Posts Tagged ‘piano technician’

The Past Month

Monday, August 8th, 2011

The past month I have been out of touch for the blog.  We have been making many changes, one of which is going to be released by the end of the month.

I have long been concerned about the fact that shopping for pianos can be rather difficult when you are not sure what you are doing.  You’re not sure if there are questions that should be asked, if you are asking the wrong questions, the right questions, or if there is something thatis missing.

I have watched many customers that are not sure what to ask, get in a lot of trouble because they forgot the right questions or asked all together the wrong questions.  Searching for a piano can be exhausting to the person who knows nothing at all.

Searching for a teacher, tuner, technician, artist or any other thing in the piano business can be difficult at times.  In the age that we live in it is usually about electronic gadgets or cars that are all over blogs but, finding piano information can be challenging at very best.

Next month PianoSD is planning on a complete overhaul that will hopefully take the guess work out of buying a piano anywhere in the U.S.  finding a teacher in Los Angeles, or a tuner in San Francisco, perhaps you need to know more information about pianos in Sacramento I hope to help put the end of quess work for you.

As we move forward I would like to tell you how excited I am to now be handling all of the social media and internet marketing for Brodmann pianos in the U.S.  We have been talking about this for about 7 months and finally landed the contract in July.  As you know I am managing the Piano Outlet in Nipomo, Ca.  We are a part of a much larger branch in Oxnard.  i have been so happy with the area and what it has to offer. So if you are up in the San Luis Obis

Social Media and Blogs

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

As many of you know who follow us on a regular basis, PianoSD closed in July.  My biggest problem is that I REALLY love the piano and music industry.  I have a real passion for teachers and music education and I dearly love the instrument itself.  The history of the piano is rich and it seems that I can’t just walk away and not be involved in the industry.

While I built PianoSD, one of the things that I did there on a regular basis was to post to social media accounts and blog posts almost every day.  So, I began to offer to friends in the music industry to allow me to do their posting and blogs.  The demand is big right now for social media connections and people really want to know what you are doing.  Social media and blogs are the easiest way for people to keep up with you.  The problem for a lot of music and piano dealers as well as teachers and artists is to take or have the time to do this.  Although its not difficult it is a little time consuming.

Max Morgan of www.MaxMorganDesign.com and I will be redesigning the website www.PianoSD.com to reflect our new direction soon.  In the meantime I wanted to let everyone know what is going on.

PianoSD is NO LONGER a showroom for pianos.  We simply are a referral service for people in need.  Last week I referred almost a dozen people customers to various services from tuners, technicians, teachers, violins and pianos.  I have really enjoyed being able to do this because I keep up with what is going on in Southern California with the people in our industry.

I wanted to tell you who we are working with so you can visit thier websites and see what they are doing too.

www.RosemaryBaileyMusic.com

www.SethRye.com

www.SorrentoValleyMusic.com

www.JoanieManero.com

www.PianoSD.com

www.MaxMorganDesign.com

and about 4 more on the way.  We are negotiating now with two international manufacturers, 6 artists and two dealerships.

What all this means is that even though I am not in the business of selling pianos, I am actively involved in the music industry and would be happy to help you if you are looking for a qualified tuner/tech, teacher, artist or if you are looking  for a referral for a piano in San Diego, or a piano in La Jolla, or a piano in Carlsbad, even if you are looking for violins or orchestral stringed instruments, I can direct you and if you want me to go with you I would be glad to.  Just to address money.  I do not have a prearranged agreement with any of the dealers.  I am friends with every one of them but, have no reason to suggest one over the other.  If you want me to visit with you, I would request that you be respectful of my situation and pay me for my time and expertise which we can discuss at the time.

Keep your eyes on us and watch as we begin to change the way we have traditionally done business.  I hope you are happy with what you find.

Ric Overton

post by Ric Overton of www.PianoSD.com via www.MaxMorganDesign.com

A Guide: What Is Piano Voicing?

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about voicing on the piano.

When you purchase a new piano you will find nuances about your piano that make it individual.  The tone of the piano is generally the one thing that stands out immediately.  Perhaps you like a brighter sound or more mellow sound a full sound or more thin sound.  It all depends on you and your likes.  I happen to lean to a tone  that is round and full but at the same time a little more stable than the next person.

Generally, all of the things I have just spoken about can be dealt with through a process called voicing.  Voicing involves the shaping of hammers, and addressing the density of the felts on the hammers.  Hammers have an ideal shape.  Each hammer should strike each one of the strings in their particular set.  In other words, each note has either one, two or three strings.  When the hammer comes up to strike the string each string should be struck in order to hear the complete sound of the intended note.

The hardness of the hammers will have a huge effect on the tone as well.  Once we have been able to determine your taste then we must set the hardness of each hammer.  If the hammer is harder then we have to pin the hammer.  We use a device that actually goes into the hammer itself and then moved around a little to seperate the wools in the hammer and actually make it less dense to produce a more mellow tone.  If the hammer is softer then we have to iron the hammer making the wools more dense and creating a more bright sound.

Paul McCloud of Accutone Piano Tuning www.pianoservsd.com does a lot of voicing for us.  We want the piano to sound very good when the cusomter makes their initial trip into PianoSD.com in Mission Valley, San Diego, California.  After the sale if we need to make some changes then we can.  Its often hard to drive from La Jolla or Rancho Santa Fe to go through this process so we can actually do this in a persons home in a short amount of time.

The differences in humidity, heat and sunlight can also techinically have an effect on the voicing of the piano too.  If you live in Carlsbad as opposed to San Marcos you may need to make a certain amount of allowances for that as well.  Only a technician can decide that for you.

The Standard of Excellence

In any case, voicing of your hammers should never ever be attempted by someone without experience so a qualified technician should be able to help you.  If you are in San Diego area I of course, would suggest Accutone Piano Tuning at www.pianoservsd.com of you can visit www.PTG.org to find a technician in your area.

Stop by the store sometime, we would love to meet you.

Ric Overton

Neat story about a customer of ours

Thursday, May 20th, 2010
I am (unfortunately) a lover of older uprights.  We recently took in an old piano that was from 1889 that was in really, really, bad shape at first glance. Waiting for the opportunity to go to the local dump, I took a shot at some new refinishing products, just to see how they worked and “low and behold” the finish under the black and grey exterior was an absolutely beautiful burled walnut.

I spent the next few days working on the finish while a tuner friend began to “try his hand” at the older action parts and such. It was more a labor of love and to gain some experience than anything else. After a few bucks in parts, the piano was sounding pretty good. By this time we had named the piano, you know guys have to name everything for some reason, Carla. The tech was leaving for a few days and I put a note on the piano that said “I’ll miss you while you’re gone” and signed the note “Carla”.

The next week a lady came in searching for a particular piano that we had in the back of the store, we went back and after playing the piano that she had come to see started to leave and noticed “Carla” over to the side. She immediately walked over to the piano, asked who Carla was and I explained that it was just a name we had made up as a joke and it stuck. She began to cry and told me that her twin sisters name was Carla and that she would buy the piano when we were finished with it.

After we delivered the piano and some months later the customer called to tell me that only a few days after she got the piano in her home she was diagnosed with cancer but, the piano had made her recovery so much easier because she felt and immediate attatchment to it.

Sometimes, its the unexpected surprise that makes it all worth while.

Ric Overton

Piano moving is an art form

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

We have talked about some basics in Piano regulation, Piano tuning and Piano voicing this week.  I wanted to talk about Piano Moving and tell you some things that you may or may not be aware of.

While PianoSD uses Paul McCloud at Accutone Piano Service, www.pianoservsd.com for our all of our piano techinician needs.  We use Precision Piano Moving at www.PrecisionPianoMoving.net for all of our moves and heres a few reasons why.

A few of the things that have to be seen and realized about moving pianos is that it is important to understand where the piano is now in relation to where it is going.  For example if it is coming out of a home that is in a humid area or dry area it has to be  taken into consideration.

Precision Piano Movers located in the PianoSD building in Mission Valley, San Diego, Ca moves a lot of pianos every week.  We see them coming from very dry areas moving to very humid areas and vice versa.  When a piano is leaving one climate for another, or from a room that is cool to a fully sunlit room the piano needs to go through an acclimation time of up to three months depending on the extremes in changes.  After the acclimation time the piano should be tuned and if needed a regulation, and voicing would be in order.

Upright pianos are generally the easiest to move.   If the piano is going upstairs Precision would simply bring the necessary tools and equipment to do this.  Of course, some “upright” pianos are 36″ tall while others may be up to 52″.  This is  important information for your movers to know BEFORE they arrive to move your piano.  If the legs are decorative, they are wrapped up and blankets are put around the piano for safe keeping and then the piano is placed on a four wheel dolly and taken to the truck for transportation to its destination.

Grand pianos can be a little more challenging.  Most of the time one leg is taken off and balanced on the lyre that has been very quilted for strength.  It is laid on its side and stood upright.  Then the other two legs and lyre come off .  It is blanketed and put on a skid board, transferred to a dolly and then put on the truck for transportation.  The important thing is how many steps is it going down (or up) and what kind of equipment should be used needs to be understood BEFORE the piano is moved.

Regardless of whether the customer is using Precision Piano Moving or some other company, it is important to note that you should NEVER trust someone who is not a professional piano mover to move your piano and MOST DEFINITELY do not move it alone.  To many injuries and to many accidents are caused every year by people who try to do this by themselves.

Drop by sometime we would love to meet you.

Ric Overton

PianoSD.com Store

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