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MMD > Archives > October 1997 > 1997.10.21 > 08Prev  Next

Make Your Piano Tuner Feel Comfortable
By Craig Brougher

"What does the PTG advocate?"  Robbie brought up a really good point:

 [ Initials and acronyms are speedy substitutes for long phrases, but
 [ there is no redundancy, so careful spelling is needed.  What does
 [ PTG (Piano Technicians Guild) advocate nowadays?  -- Robbie

I don't think that the PTG advocates anything regarding player pianos,
officially.  However, what its members advocate seems to be generally
accepted in the area, since many of them do not wish to be considered

In regard to player pianos, you will find, at least in the Kansas City
area, that many technicians don't want to tune pneumatic player pianos,
or in any way have anything to do with them.  Many of my customers call
me and ask who will tune their player piano.  They have called a
half-dozen tuners in their area, and nobody will come out.

I don't know why a tuner would be afraid of a player, except that most
tuners nowadays are trained mainly to tune but may be a little
intimidated by a player.  They may be also afraid because of all the
horror stories they hear from fellow tuners at the meetings.

"I'll never tune one of those things again.  I dropped a wedge behind
this humongous stack, tried to remove the stack, stuff broke off, and the
customer said I had ruined it.  It used to play, now it doesn't.  I
explained to them that I didn't work on players.  Then they said, 'well,
why did you work on ours?' What could I do but give them a free tuning."

That's really the wrong way to handle it.  If you want a tuner to tune
your player, the best way to do it is to relieve their fears.  They
aren't trained to fix them.  Let them know that you don't hold them
responsible.  Granted, they should not be dropping wedges behind the
stack, but it sometimes happens anyway.  Put their fear to rest, absolve
them of any "criminal intent," pay them for their job, and have a tuner
next time.  make them feel comfortable.  Realize what you would feel like
if you were an engine tune-up specialist and were hired to fix a
neighbor's Rolls Royce.  (Maybe a bad analogy, but something like that!)

Craig Brougher

(Message sent Wed 22 Oct 1997, 00:19:37 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Comfortable, Feel, Make, Piano, Tuner, Your

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