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How does a piano's plate affect the tone? March 10, 2020 10:20

When we were developing the latest version of our piano tuning and repair course, we had to decide what pianos we wanted to teach on. Being that we filmed right next door to a Yamaha dealer, it seemed obvious that we would teach on Yamaha pianos but we also needed to show how other brands sounded and functioned. I myself am a Mason & Hamlin fan and love working on these pianos so we pulled one of those in the mix as well as a Yamaha, Pearl River and some random older uprights. 

Do I need Perfect Pitch to be a Piano Tuner? March 6, 2020 12:07

As the student coordinator here at the Piano Technician Academy, I get asked this question a lot. Its an honest enough question but I have found that most people don't really know what perfect pitch means... 

When somebody asks me if they need perfect pitch to tune a piano, I always ask "what does perfect pitch mean to you?". The reason is most people think perfect pitch means the person can tell if a note is flat or sharp "perfectly" meaning they can tell the difference between a cent or two. 

I can tell you this, as a 3rd generation piano tuner and somebody who has taught piano tuning for years, I have yet to meet anybody who can tell the difference between a couple cents. 

For those of you who dont know, piano tuners use what we call "cents" to measure pitch. A half step has 100 cents and a whole step has 200. When tuning a piano that was just tuned a year ago, the tuner is usually only required to adjust the pitch 1-4 cents. 

I have tested this theory with people who claim to have perfect pitch and every one has failed. BUT! Thats not what perfect pitch means anyways! Perfect pitch just means a person is able to sing or identify a note with no reference at all. For example, somebody with perfect pitch would be able to hear a note and tell you what note it is. They may guess if it is sharp or flat (and some may be able to tell depending on how flat/sharp it is) but that is not the definition of perfect pitch. A person with perfect pitch would also be able to sing or produce a specific note with no reference. An example would be if I asked you to sing a C and you did it without hearing a C first. Again, it may be a little flat or sharp, but its a C none the less. This is the definition of Perfect Pitch. 

Anyways, I cover it in this video so take a look and if you have any questions or comment, please feel free to shoot them my way at Michael@PianoTechnicianAcademy.com

Michael Stilwell

Student Coordinator/ CPT


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Piano Tuning School March 4, 2013 13:56

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