Action Brackets for Warped Young Change Weber Pianos

I just replaced the action brackets on a weber grand from 1990’s. As mentioned before in MPT convention it was discovered that the action brackets were swelling due to a poor alloy mixture during the manufacturing process. and you can not regulate that out of it. By advice from MPT Pres. Jack Hamiliton, I called Young Chang and they confirmed the serial number and sent me brackets free. If you come to a grand piano from young chang or weber from the 90’s with out of wack weird regulation, before you regulate the heck out of the piano, check with mfg to see if the brackets are at fault. The alloy was mixed wrong and it causes swelling over time. This knowledge saved me hours of work and the job paid very well. I took video of my entire process which included relocating screws for the center brackets on the action frame (which took the longest of the steps in the process) I will try to post some video on our blog later.

This piano was checking so bad and the jacks were not lined up at all. In fact, it looked like someone messed up the entire regulation but the customer had no previous action work done and was the only owner. Warping of this kind is such a freak type that many techs can’t even believe it but it is true. This knowledge was discovered and shared at an MPT convention in past years. When you encounter a problem and can not see the solution, you can inquire with MPT members and network to find a quick and solid answer. This is one great reason to be affiliated with MPT, the things you learn and can accomplish are so much greater in a group of such skilled and accomplished technicians.

Once the new brackets were installed, I had to regulate the basics and the piano plays great now. I admit it was a bit scary to me as a young technician to undertake this project for my customer but I have the backing of the greatest techs in the country with the MPT.

Thanks to Jack Hamilton who had the knowledge right away and shared it with me so that I could accomplish this job.

Re-stringing a Steinway

Today I worked with Tim on a Steinway at BHA.  It was a hands on restring of a Steinway grand.  Had a great time.  We put on a new set of bass strings and then did the initial tunings.   I did a restring with Jack in the beginning and that is when I started in on my piano tech learning.  Today it was more hands on and I learned a ton doing this job.  It helps in this field to get you experience next to techs who have high skill level and I was able to take the time to perfect winding and making very nice coils.  I’ll post some picts later.

This Steinway got over-sized pins and new key tops.

If you have a nice piano and it sounds dead in the bass, you may consider a re-string of the bass section.  This will make the piano sound amazing compared to old tubby bass strings.

Beyond Tuning. What your piano needs.

There is more to piano care than an occasional tuning.  I am going to take you through a few of the important things that your piano need in order for it to play and sound wonderful.

I am going to describe some of the reasons that you are compelled to call a tuner and then explain what is going on inside your complex instrument…. all in simple terms.

My piano is out of tune!

First of all, a piano should be tuned at least 1 time per year and many manufactures suggest 2-4 times per year.  You should have one technician that you trust and you should keep the tuning on a regular schedule.  I offer a courtesty call at your request so that you don’t have to worry about keeping on track.  I remind you when it is time to tune and keep detailed notes about your piano.

If it has been many years since your tuning or you can’t remember, you are most likely in need of a pitch raise to get the piano up to standard concert pitch and the more regular tunings your piano has, the better it will sound and more stable the piano will become!

My keys are sticking!

This can be for many reasons.  High humidity causes everything to swell and makes your keys stick.  Then in the winter, the dry air dries it all out and they may stop sticking.  So, I can “ease” your keys so that they are moving properly and keep them from sticking.

Often sticking keys are just a symptom of a larger problem.  Your piano may need regulating (adjustment of the moving parts inside)  If things are out of adjustment which happens over years of playing, I can make the proper adjustments to get your keys playing again.

Sometimes a piano needs lubricated!  It plays slowly or feels sluggish.  In this case, the many moving parts need to be lubricated to free up all the moving parts to work properly.

Regulation should be done every 4 years and will keep your piano playing correctly.  Many people never take this step and the piano will continue to play worse as time goes on. The felt inside the piano mechanism will get hard and squished!  It makes the piano play poorly.  It just needs some attention from a Master Piano Technician.

My Piano is Noisy!

Over time, the felt and leather pieces in the piano become brittle and compressed.  I can help quiet your piano by working to lubricate and restore the felt and leather in your piano.

My Piano has a Heavy Touch!

Heavy sluggish touch on a piano can be fixed by regulation and lubrication of the action.  The action is the inner working mechanism of the piano keys.

My Piano Sounds Bad!

The piano tone is highly affected by the hammers.  The hammers are made from compressed felt.  New pianos can sound dull and lifeless and older pianos can sound harsh!  Voicing is the art of working on the hammers to optimize the tone of the piano.  If you don’t like the tone of your piano, I can help you bring it up with more life or mellow it out if it is hurting your ears.  The tone should be consistent from the top to the bottom.  If it is not, you will not be in love with your piano.  This is where the art of voicing comes to play.

Strings get old and can begin to sound tubby.  When this happens, the only way to bring it back is to put on new bass strings!  This can be expensive so I can talk you through the options.  Many times it is better to purchase a newer piano.

My piano is OLD!

An old piano comes with many challenges.  It is hard to know if a sticking key is a simple adjustment or the signs of the need for a complete overhaul of the piano’s insides.  Old pianos have some value to beginning students but often hinder musical growth and never play and sound like a good piano.  If you have an older piano that possesses sentimental value, it can be played, repaired and fully restored but will only ever be as good as it once was!   A poor old piano restored will be nothing more that a poor piano in restored condition.

FREE Pianos!

Be cautious of picking up a FREE piano.  A piano is never really free because you will have to move it, tune it and repair anything that is wrong.  Often, a piano is offered for FREE because it has reached the end of its real musical life.  It needs too many repairs to make it a good financial investment.  Plus many old uprights have cracked bridges and old dead bass strings, old worn out hammers and more problems that I can list here.

Accepted into the Master Piano Technicians

I was sponsored into the MPT by my personal mentor, Jack Hamilton,  in 2009 and finalized my induction into the Master Piano Technicians at the 2010 Convention at Myrtle Beach. 3 other techs were accepted this year.

I was also elected Web Master for the MPT to help them with their national sites and to help use modern web media to strengthen the orginization.

MPT is dedicated to piano technicians helping them network, train and grow to be the best in the industry.

Pictures and details about MPT can be found at our new facebook page


How often to tune your piano

Have your piano tuned as often as you feel necessary, but a minimum of twice a year is the rule of thumb.

Just remember: when you turn on the heat in the winter, and when you turn it off in spring, you’re about 2 weeks away from needing a tuning. These are the times of year when the humidity change starts to shrink or swell the wooden structure of the piano, and it starts to drift out of tune. So wait until the room your piano is in gets used to the climate change, then tune your piano!

This is a "tuning hammer", the tool used to tune pianos


Steinway & Sons

“…no matter how expertly a piano is tuned, atmospheric variations and the nature of the piano’s construction constantly conspire to bring it off pitch”

Yamaha Pianos

“…a piano should be tuned at least twice a year.”

” Complete piano service should include periodic regulation and voicing in addition to tuning.”

Baldwin Piano Company

” After the first year a piano should be tuned at least twice each year.”

Keep in mind that every piano is subject to one or more factors that will make it go out of tune, including:
– Humidity changes
– Temperature changes
– Stretching of strings
– Slipping tuning pins
– Hard use

How often you should tune your piano depends on its condition, the environment in which it is located, and the musical demands of the owner.

A piano used mainly as a furniture piece probably won’t “need” to be tuned more than once a year. A piano that is played regularly and is in good condition would be better off with 2 tunings per year, each time the seasonal humidity changes. A piano given a daily workout by a professional or serious student might need to be tuned more frequently, maybe 4 times a year or more. At this level of use, it’s really up to the individual and at what point the tuning starts to bother them.

Randy Potter School of Piano Technology

I have completed the Randy Potter School of Piano Technology and am putting the training to good use.  I will be attending the Master Piano Technicians Convention this summer.  I joined the MPT several months ago and was sponsored by Jack Hamilton.   Getting the hands on training is so important to what I have learned so far and working with Tim Upton and Jack Hamilton has given me a great advantage as I learn the craft.

Springboro Expo and Piano Tuning Care

We were at the Springboro Expo this past weekend with a booth to raise awareness for piano tuning in Springboro and to teach people about proper care of their piano.  We had a great time and were able to meet many new customers.  Many people wait too long to have their piano tuned and repaired because they do not know a trusted technician or they have the false idea that it will cost $500 to tune their piano.  A regular tuning is only around 95.00 and can be done in a little over an hour.  But if you wait for years and allow your piano to sink in pitch, you will have to get more attention to get your piano back up to pitch and it takes several tuning to get it to hold there.  In other words, it is just better to have regular tunings and keep your piano healthy.  If something like a key is sticking then it can usually be easily fixed during a tuning for a minimal fee.  Don’t be afraid to take care of your piano.  If you have fears, call me to discuss your needs.  I met a pastor that thought it would cost $500 to tune the church piano so he waited over 5 years to have it tuned!