The most expensive visit of a piano technician, is the one where he travels BACK to a customer's location to adjust something that could have been noticed, remedied, or adjusted - by the technician or the customer - BEFORE the technician left.
Heeding these guidelines can result in a better overall outcome for you, your piano, and your piano technician.
Pianos require a tremendous amount of time, energy, patience, and attention to detail. Once the work has been completed, even in incremental steps and stages, the end ensuing result can be both felt and heard, and is greatly enjoyed by the musician and listeners.
In most cases, the difference is noticeable immediately.
It may be the noisiest few hours (both tuning/voicing) of your entire [service visit] life, but this is to ensure the piano holds its proper pitch and voice for the longest possible period of time, for your betterment, enjoyment, and life.
Before Scheduling Your Appointment:
- Have your piano's make, type (upright vs. grand), and serial number/approximate age ready.
- When was your piano last tuned or serviced?
- Has the piano been moved recently?
- Do you intend for the piano to STAY in the place where it is currently situated? Or, do you plan on moving it to another room or location shortly after it has been serviced?
- Place sticky notes on the keys that are bothering you.
- Make a list of anything you would like for the technician to adjust or take a look at.
- Take notice of and point out any scratches on the piano before he begins. Expect the technician to do the same.
- Does the key cover (fallboard), any lids, or boards not close fully or properly or seem to not fit snug? Make a note of any inconsistencies of/on/in the piano BEFORE the technician begins any work on it.
- DO NOT schedule ANY other maintenance services, cleaning services, or other personnel (e.g. lawn mowing, gardeners, maids, carpet or tile cleaners, cabinetry or counter top workers, vacuuming, etc.) on the day and time of your appointment.
- DO clear off ALL OBJECTS placed on TOP of the piano.
- DO clear away ALL OBJECTS AROUND the piano.
- Do you own a grand piano? Be sure to sweep or vacuum under your grand piano in case the technician needs to inspect the soundboard, or make any pedal adjustments, laying underneath.
- Keep the piano's area adequately lit.
- Make sure your home or studio is ABSOLUTELY QUIET during the tuning time. Turn off all TVs, stereos, radios, computers, YouTube, etc. within earshot of the piano. Tuning a piano demands 100% of the tuner's attention and should not be disrupted by any unnecessary and prolonged noise.
- Do you own pets? Does your dog bark, unceasingly?... near a glass door or window, within earshot of the piano? Are there any inquisitive children, relatives, or friends who might stop by, who may be interested in knowing what the technician is doing?
Make sure ALL animals, children, pets, and other curious 'visitors', are kept at a distance, and clear of the technician's work space, to prevent any accidents, delays, and unnecessary setbacks.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER the Technician Arrives, and BEFORE he Begins Work:
- After the technician inspects the piano, ask approximately how much time the service visit will require, before the work begins.
- Are YOU on a time limit? Do YOU have any appointments, schedules, or errands you must run, which may inadvertently run into the piano tuner's service time, or cuts the allotted time short?
Make sure the technician knows EXACTLY how much time YOU have allotted for him to complete the piano [100%], BEFORE he begins.
- DO ask if he needs anything before beginning work (refreshments, restroom down the hall, clear/adequate workspace, more light around the piano, TV off, etc.).
- Keep all children, pets, and/or other 'visitors' away from the piano during the technician's time on site. The technician's workspace must be clear and free of any distractions, noise, and encumbrances.
- Keep the piano's area adequately lit. If late afternoon/early evening approaches, ask if the lighting is adequate, BEFORE the sun goes down.
- Please make sure there is sufficient lighting and quiet.
Kitchen appliances, ceiling fans, noisy pets, kids screaming or running around can make it difficult for your piano tuner to concentrate. These noises interfere with the vibrations your tuner is listening for, to adequately bring your piano into a stable condition.
- Ask 20-30 minutes prior to the end of the service call if he needs more time, and if so, how much more?
- Stand over the piano technician, for extended periods of time, as he services your piano.
- Do not talk for long periods of time with your piano tuner/technician before, during, or after his visit.
This may be a hard rule to follow, please bear in mind, piano tuning and servicing requires a tremendous amount of time, enormous amounts of mental energy, and above all, unbroken focus, to sustain and complete successfully.
- Once the technician has opened up the top and/or front lid, front boards, etc., RESIST the urge to CLEAN inside your piano.
Surprising as it may be, customers who watch their piano open up before their very eyes, suddenly feel a compelling urge to clean/dust/vacuum inside. While much dust has accumulated from many years (decades, in several cases) of being unopened and uncleaned, simply stand back, relax, and allow the technician to perform his her job.
- Please do not try to 'intervene' or assist, unless specifically asked to do so.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOUR SERVICE VISIT:
- If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to ask your technician before he leaves, before scheduling your next appointment.
- Be patient with your piano technician, and allow him the allotted time necessary - without interruption - to complete a solid, stable, and meticulous tuning, cleaning, regulation, or voicing for you to enjoy, year round.
- Schedule your next service visit before the technician leaves. Your piano requires regular servicing, the same as your automobile does.
- Play your piano BEFORE your technician leaves. What's right with the piano? What's wrong with it (if anything)? What subtle and major differences do you notice? Does the piano respond/sound better, or worse than before?
Please play and test out your piano, before the technician packs up to leave. Point out any observations, questions, or concerns you may have.