Its all about the 5th! We will demonstrate and make a case for using the interval of the 5th as the primary check across the piano. This will result in a very fine tuning. The musical theory behind thie ear-opening choice will be illustrated and examples will be heard.
In this aural tuning class, a sequence of tuning the temperament is presented which leads to a relatively foolproof way of finding out what kinds of thirds, fourths and octaves are needed to fit a given piano. As a result, the temperament tunes the same way on any piano, regardless of size or scale. This temperament sequence will be equally useful for beginners, those who normally tune with an electronic aid, and experienced aural tuners.
The piano will dictate valuable beat speeds in your temperament if you know how to coax it out. Come find out how the piano discloses its secrets, and learn how to quickly set aural guideposts in the midrange appropriate for each individual piano.
In this class, we’ll step toward mastering the art of using your body effectively while tuning pianos. The class will focus on the impact hammer, body mechanics, and how to do common things we do in our work that cause us damage differently. There will be presentation and hands on instruction.
This class presents an overview of settling down and building the tone of new (and newly strung) pianos. Specifics on causes of instability, pitch raising and its effect on stability and the tone of the instrument are discussed. “String Voicing,” hammer seating, and fine voicing methods are demonstrated in detail.
CyberTuner can be optimized to repeat your tuning style, pitch raise style, and adapt to how you tune pianos. We will be covering iRCT's Smart Pure 12ths tuning style, and how to both tune and pitch raise quickly and accurately in a single pass. Plus we’ll cover iRCT’s new Custom Equalizer which lets you adjust the tuning to match your ears..
Have you ever rebuilt an action and the piano felt harder to play afterwards? Have you watched clients struggle with their instrument instead of enjoying it? If you are looking for clear cut solutions to these very common problems, this class is for you. Equip yourself with the techniques that can provide your clients with a piano that empowers their musicality.
“I’ll take pedal squeaks for 200!”
Based upon the PTJ series of the same name, this Jeopardy-style class features videos of clicks, buzzes, squeaks and more. Participants will be given the chance to earn points by guessing the source of the sound correctly. When the source has been identified, the solution will be discussed. This class is full of multimedia and covers the majority of non-musical sounds you will encounter in the field. If that’s not enough for you, be sure to check out the companion class “Fantastic Problems and How to Solve Them”
“I’ll take sticking keys for 300!”
A companion class to “Fantastic Squeaks and Where to Find Them,” this Jeopardy-style course presents videos of common infield problems and repairs. Covering everything from sticking keys to ringing dampers and beyond. Participants will be given a chance to score points by guessing the source of the problem correctly. Once identified, the solution to each problem will be discussed.
Designed to help technicians look at the whole piano system. If you know what to look for, you'll be seen as a professional. The tips in this class will help you quickly diagnose problems and fix them. Topics include tuning instability, bedding actions, ironing key bushings, fixing damper rod problems and addressing pedal issues. A detailed handout is included. Questions are always encouraged!
Take your daily work to a new level with this full-service approach, by “servicing” instead of “tuning” the pianos in your clientele. Increase your income and customer satisfaction while making your job more interesting and rewarding.
An overview of how relative humidity affects the moisture content of wood in general and pianos more specifically. We will examine this all the way from the tree to the finished product. Hopefully, you will leave with a better understanding of why your customers' pianos behave the way they do and be more equipped to find a solution.
Having the skills to cope with scratches, dings and gouges in piano cases greatly enhances your value to your customers and dealers. Add to your income in surprisingly simple ways. Many nicks and scratches are easy to repair with minimal material investment. All are learnable and not difficult with practice. This seminar concentrates on the repair and polishing of high gloss polyester finishes.
See demonstrations of the touch-up of traditional finishes. Learn how to make repairs and de-gunk the finish. Burn-ins, color matching, pigments vs. dyes and other subjects will be covered. Effort will be made to use camera technology which will allow you to clearly see repairs as they are made.
Don will unravel the mysteries of servicing damper systems in Kawai grand pianos and other similarly designed pianos. He will demonstrate damper tray block replacement and service, regulating the damper lift from the key and from the pedal, Regulating the sostenuto, plus much more! Don will even include demonstration of trimming trichord wedges to reduce noise when lifting. If you’ve had difficulties working on grand dampers, don’t miss this class!
Topics covered will be prioritizing your work, planning to spend time on the areas that will have the most impact on the piano, giving the most “bang for your buck” in action performance and piano tone. Don will provide an overview of how to accomplish this with some demonstrations, covering string seating, hammer shaping, minor action reconditioning points that can be done quickly, regulation, tuning, and voicing, He will also show some useful tips that can help any piano perform and sound better. This class will challenge you to raise the level of service you provide, and provide a lot of useful tips for making heavily used newer pianos perform at their best.
This comprehensive class explains action regulation in a way that can be understood. We cover general theory and mechanical relationships, and diagnostic skills to achieve optimal regulation with uniform after touch. The damper system – diagnostics and regulation. Unique tools and procedures are demonstrated for regulation and other adjustment points. Related topics covered as time permits.
In this course you will learn how to assess an existing regulation and improve it. It is recommended that you have a basic understanding already. Learn what adjustments effect others, and which adjustments are the most important. Most importantly, we will not just talk about it, we will demonstrate.
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You want the best result from your regulation. It all starts somewhere and requires an educated, logical, efficient approach to parts alignment. Learn how an appreciation of the mechanics involved in traveling, casting and spacing can give you the desired results as you turn the screws on eighty-eight subjects.
Are you frustrated by voicing classes that spend most of the time on prep and just minutes on actual voicing? Focused on the maintenance voicing of high-use pianos, this class dives right into the needling techniques to combat the tonal harshness and aggression in moderately to heavily worn hammers. Equally applicable to high- and low-density hammers, the class demonstrates a simple technique for making pp mellower without compromising the power and projection in ff. It shows how to spare the hammers from overneedling; how to test the voicing musically by playing simple tension-release sequences; how to gauge tonal balance between sections; and how to work to a time constraint instead of a goal. You will learn how to increase sustain and bloom, how to voice out clanks and capo sizzles, and how to tame boomy notes without affecting their brightness.
Increasing the power and projection, and voicing a new set of hammers will be covered as time permits.
This is not a hands-on class but you will experience an actual voicing. Previous exposure to hammer prep, reshaping the hammers, and some voicing experience are recommended though not necessary.
Have you ever wondered what happens to when you insert a voicing needle into a hammer? What is happening to the sound on an acoustical level? In this class, practical voicing application meets acoustical principles. Before and after recordings will be played to allow for immediate feedback of what needling or lacquering in different regions of the hammer affects aurally. At the same time, the volume of each partial will be displayed graphically, making it easy to see which partials are affected by different voicing techniques. Bring your listening ears!
Many technicians overlook the two most important steps in achieving consistent voicing: Leveling strings and fitting hammers to strings. A voicing job is easier and ultimately more successful if these two steps are done well, but we often skip them out of a lack of familiarity or a desire to avoid their tedium. I will demonstrate several different tools for each procedure, which will hopefully provide everyone with an option that will become comfortable and easy. Of special note is a hammer fitting tool I have only recently acquired and have seldom seen used, which enables the technician to fit hammers without sliding the action in and out of the piano. This dramatically increases accuracy and dramatically decreases tedium!
Rare is the project with an unlimited budget for the purchase of all new parts and new keyboards. More often, there is a limited budget requiring both the rearrangement of existing levers and mass along with parts renovation. Whether the budget is unlimited or not, spend a day in your shop to mockup a project for optimum performance. Participants will analyze actions, prioritize within budget, and formulate a plan for success.
Learn how to give new life to the pedals and traps of any grand piano. Get to know what to look for and expect. Your client will be grateful as the pedals go from being a distraction to being a palette for their use.
We'll demonstrate practical and objective ways to make sure your action rebuild will be successful by checking the condition of the keyboard and measuring key and action ratio. Ramifications of installing a new keyboard and/or action stack. A virtual tour through Reyburn Pianoworks keyboard manufacturing shop which using the latest CAD and CNC robotics.
Ray Negron and Starr Taylor will take you through a tour of the Ronsen Piano Hammer Company. You will see the various processes used in manufacturing piano hammers, discuss the merits of the different felts and woods available, including our newest felt offering, Weickert Special by Wurzen, and be shown how to take measurements from your old hammers in order to facilitate ordering new ones. Starr will present voicing tips and other procedures to help you get the best sound possible from the different hammers we offer. New videos included. Questions are welcomed and encouraged.
Upright hammer replacement is often needed, but installing the hammers is neither difficult nor easy and it is seldom taught. Using simple jigs, let's discuss the common issues and solutions found when performing this job.
Defining practical strategies to make savvy business decisions will help you realize your goals. Focusing on technical skills, we often lose sight of the costs of doing business. Join in a group discussion as we define what your time is really worth and build a road map to a successful business plan.
As a college piano technician you face many challenges specific to the academic environment: high expectations, abundant creativity, constrained resources, and inadequate climate control. In this class you will learn how to navigate those needs and how to prioritize your efforts to achieve most effective results. You will receive links to several spreadsheets for common administrative needs such as calculating a budget, managing inventory, generating tuning reminders, tracking expenses, and evaluating tunings for new hires. Read more here
If you are trying to make a living as a piano technician in the 21st century, you need Gazelle: a comprehensive software that enables you to manage your business on the go. Learn how it will enable you to spend your time servicing pianos and caring for people rather than playing phone tag and doing office work.
There are various options for your business structure: Sole Proprietorship, LLC,Partnership, S or C Corp, etc. We will discuss the pros and cons, including the tax benefits, of each type. Whether starting out or considering a change, this class is for you.
We will introduce you to all the study aids and material that PTG has published to prep you for the written exam. Explaining the procedures for starting the “Walk to RPT” and outline the content of the test in an effort to put you at ease before you make the commitment. The written exam will be given on Sunday morning.
A walkthrough of the requirements of the PTG technical exam and a survey of test equipment and procedures. Find out how to prepare for the exam, what tools and supplies you need to bring to the test site and what examinees are entitled to before, during and after the test. Learn how to best utilize your time, improve efficiency, cope with exam anxiety and other skills and strategies you need to successfully tackle the exam. For PTG Associate members only.
Gain an insight of what you are expected to know, how the exams will be administered and scored, what exam preparation materials are available and where they can be found. Know what you will need to do to be prepared to take the exam.