Woohoo! This is my 20th tuning post on the blog. I am 1/5 of the way to 100!
If you want to go back and read more tuning posts, here's some others:
For this tuning I went back to the Kranich & Bach piano from tuning #10. It had been a few months past 6 months because we were having a hard time coordinating our schedules, but the piano still sounded pretty good. There's nothing unusual or new to tell you about this piano, or this tuning. So instead, for my 1/5 virtual party, I'll tell you how tuning is going now vs a year ago when I really started tuning seriously after finishing my course.
1. I don't stress about each tuning.
I used to worry about each tuning, and practice a little before it, especially if it had been a few weeks since I'd last tuned a piano. Obviously with 20 tunings in about 1 year, I am not doing them every day. I am also teaching, and playing piano, and being a mom and a housewife. But now I am much more comfortable showing up for a tuning after a month off.
2. I have an awesome tuning bag!
I used to keep everything in several random bags and felt like a bag lady hauling everything in. After doing some research on tuning forums, I found this bag: The Nantucket Bagg
It is meant for knitting, but is awesome for my basic tuning tools. A lot of technicians have a big (expensive) case that they carry with all their supplies that is designed just for technicians. I opt to just carry the essentials and leave the rest in the car (or at home). Most of the time I don't need them anyway. I've been meaning to write a full review of it eventually, in case other technicians out there are in search of a better bag.
3. I have an awesome notating system!
The course I completed was written in the 90's so some of the stuff was really outdated, like: how to keep tuning files. Randy's instructions were to keep them on note cards. I started out that way, but I kept forgetting to bring the right card with me, so I'd take notes on one big legal pad and I wasn't good about transferring those notes back onto the note cards. Anyway, I got a smart phone and starting using OneNote. It is so much easier! I'll write a post on how I use OneNote for tuning and teaching soon.
4. I still worry about breaking strings.
Strings break. It is part of owning a piano. They get old and less flexible and they break. If a technician breaks a string on your piano, don't assume they are a bad technician. However, I do not enjoy replacing strings. It is a skill I really need to work on but replacement coils are really expensive! Buying a set of replacement strings and practicing is next on my things to do after buying a tuning device. In the mean time, it is always a nagging worry when I do a tuning that I will break a string and have to order a replacement.
5. I am better at fixing small things
I have fixed ringing notes, pushed parts back into place, adjusted pedals, solved buzzing noises... I am getting better at fixing those little annoying things that just need the right pressure in the right spot to end your piano playing misery. And I am not as afraid to try because I know the secret that most piano parts are harder to break than you might think. But, be careful what you push on without the right knowledge to go with it. Pianos are strong, fragile instruments.... kind of like every other instrument!