I help people with pianos.
That means that in addition to tuning and fixing pianos, renting them and giving advice and recommendations, I also sell them.
My focus is on quality and integrity and helping you love your piano. If you are considering purchasing a piano I can help you with advice and technical evaluation. If you already own a piano, I can help you get the best touch, tone and experience from it.I am well known in this industry with a reputation for being honest. I take that same approach to all my activities.
I’m an excellent tuner and I’m especially skilled at regulation and voicing with expertise in maintaining the correct tone and touch of fine European pianos. I’ve visited most of the fine European makers and am very familiar with their individual characteristics. I am very experienced in preparing pianos in professional settings, including concerts, schools, recording studios and for teaching.
Piano tuning is important! I trained as an aural (ear) tuner and recently passed the PTG tuning exam (again) at over the 90th percent level, which means I can qualify to be a CTE (Certified Tuning Examiner). My technique combines the use of my ear with an electronic tuning device (ETD). Usually I do the first pass with the ETD and then go through the piano a second time adjusting using my ear.
Tuning is obviously important and fine pianos, regardless of the make, should be tuned quarterly. At minimum a piano needs to be tuned twice a year. Sometimes older pianos are so stable you can get away with once a year. I am not one to just make work for myself so if your piano falls in that category, I will tell you. But few do.
Why is regular tuning necessary?
Because the steel in the piano string stretches. This is why pianos go out of tune even when they are not played and why new pianos go out of tune quicker than older ones.
When a piano tuner tells you your piano is below pitch, he or she means that the overall pitch of the piano has dropped below the international standard of A=440. Bringing a piano back up to standard pitch (A440) adds often hundreds of pounds of tension to the cast iron plate. This additional tension takes time to settle and even itself out across the plate. Pianos don’t like change, so bringing a piano back up to proper pitch stresses it and contributes to instability. Keeping a piano constant at A440 means that it will sound better longer and you won’t need what is called a pitch raising, an extra tuning because of the low pitch.
Regulation and Voicing
There are other steps you need to periodically take to keep your piano sounding and feeling great and to prevent problems down the road. Regulation is the process of adjusting all the mechanical aspects of a piano action. There are over 10 individual steps for each key, including adjusting the height of the key at rest and the distance a key travels, as well as easing and proper lubrication. Another critical aspect is hammer maintenance, which means removing the grooves that the string makes and voicing the hammers for good and even tone.
THE PROBLEM is that pianos go out of adjustment very slowly so one gets used to the gradual deterioration of touch and tone. This is the cause of the 4 words piano technicians hate: “Sounds fine to me”. The issue is that, often, your piano sounds horrid and you’ve forgotten how good it can and should sound. I have a couple of service packages that can help you get your piano back in proper condition and keep it that way.
New pianos need attention too! Proper regulation and voicing is rarely done at the factory or at the dealership. This doesn’t have to be a large amount of work. Just a couple of hours spent regulating and voicing in addition to a good tuning can make a huge improvement in the tone of a new piano. This includes new pianos from well known brands like Kawai and Yamaha and Steinway.
Don’t let all this European stuff scare you away. I’m more than happy to help you maintain your Yamaha or Kawai; I admire these makers and have a great deal of experience with both of these fine brands including the Yamaha CF concert grand and S series. I of course also work on a lot of Steinways and the other great American brands.
My basic service area is Fairfield County CT, including Westport, Fairfield, Stamford, Greenwich, Weston, Wilton, Redding, Ridgefield, Darien, Norwalk and neighboring towns. I have regular customers all over including New York City, New Haven, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC.
In you like technical subjects, you may find my blog interesting.