Welcome to the Counting to 100 Pianos series. I am blogging my way through my first 100 tunings. For previous pianos, check out these:
I tuned my own piano this month, and it reminded me of all the ways you should not tune a piano, if at all possible:
1. Over the course of a few days.
This does not help with the stability of the tuning. You can almost think of a piano as a living instrument. It is made out of wood and metal, so something is always slightly changing, even if it is the tiniest bit. This means that it should be tuned all at once, so the slight changes won't effect the overall tuning. Unfortunately, with a small child underfoot, all at once isn't always an option. I tuned our piano over the course of about a week, finally finishing in a mad rush between piano students, while my kid was with a baby sitter (see #2).
2. With a small child yelling and babbling.
Babies babbling are cute. But there is something about their high pitched yells, whether yelling for good or bad reasons, that makes it really had to hear strings vibrating. Aural tuning and loud kids just don't go together well.
3. With a small child trying to steal your tools.
My kid loves my metronome, and was also begging for just about every other tool I was using.
4. With a small child hanging on your legs.
Although, as a parent I suppose I am pretty used to that one by now. It still does make tuning more cumbersome than it needs to be.
This is just a small picture of what it looks like to tune your own piano with a one- year-old at home. But the good news is our piano sounds a lot better than it did, and I have a challenging 13th tuning under my belt!