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Piano tuner


These professionals work in the world of music, taking care of the instruments and adjusting them to reproduce the right pitch, which is essential to ensure optimal sonority. However, these professionals have traditionally focused on stringed instruments and particularly on the piano, given that stringed instruments are more prone to going out of tune and that the piano is a particularly complex instrument, since it has 220 strings for 88 keys.
These instruments are delicate, so it must be considered that humidity, temperature variations, transfers, the passage of time and continuous use can cause the loss of their characteristic sonority. It is normal for instruments to go out of tune quickly, so they should be tuned regularly.

For a professional tuner, tuning pianos correctly can take several years of practice and work with the best tools. The most common tools used are: an electronic tuner, a tuning fork in A (440 HZ), a frequency and beat tone chart, a tuner with a connector and diameter that corresponds to the piano pegs (square, rectangular or star-shaped), a standard star-shaped key (usually no. 2), plastic or felt wedges to block the strings while tuning the third string of a note, plastic tweezers to dull the treble strings and a good light source to illuminate the darker areas inside the piano.

Thus, this job is considered a trade because it combines a natural ability to pick up the incorrect musical pitch of an instrument, but also the technical knowledge to tune it. These professionals may work in the workshop and at the client's home or even in concert halls and auditoriums preparing the instruments prior to the performances.


Prior to tuning
  • Know and master note intervals and theory (major and minor chords, minor third, major third, perfect fifth, etc.).
  • Prepare and set up the necessary tools for tuning and check their correct functioning.
  • Attend to the client and explore their tuning needs and preferences.
Procedure during tuning
  • During the tuning task, care must be taken not to damage the tuning pegs and mechanism. These professionals have to proceed very carefully as all parts of the mechanism are very small and delicate.
  • Place two wedges or a plastic clamp to turn off the adjacent strings and start by tuning the central A of the instrument, the A 440.
  • Avoid stepping on the piano pedal to do the tunning, as it would be impossible to tune by blending the different sounds.
  • Handle the tuning key very precisely and smoothly.
  • Go to the upper octave and then to the lower octave. Compare the tuned octaves and tune the remaining octaves by ear.
  • Use the electronic tuner as an additional support when tuning, but the device's setting is never decisive, because the tuning process is not a mathematical procedure.
  • Take care of the correct intonation of the instrument and make the appropriate adjustments.

Quick access and copyright:

Centre per al desenvolupament professional Porta22

Barcelona Treball (Porta22)
Llacuna, 156-162, 08018 Barcelona

Monday to Friday from 9 to 18 h

Generalitat de Catalunya
Unió Europea FEDER
Unió Europea FSE