Covering East Yorkshire, Humberside, North Lincolnshire. If you live in or near any of the following places you will be within my travelling area:
Action regulation is maintaining the moving parts to work as they are meant to. What are some signs of poor regulation? Some guidance here may help. These items may also be useful in evaluating an instrument for purchase. A lot of what happens when the key is pressed can be picked up by touch. After all, it's the key that transforms your intentions into sound. The key must work efficiently and accurately to do the job it was designed to do. Poor regulation can cause the key to work at less than its utmost efficiency. If you gently press the key and feel a lot of "nothing happening," this could suggest that the key isn't set up properly. In the trade, this is called "lost motion," which is one of the most common conditions one encounters. Of course this kind of regulation must be carried out by a trained technician. One should understand that all of the regulation procedures are interelated. Change one, and another one may be affected. When the key is pressed, the hammer is brought into contact with the string. In a correctly maintained action, the hammer will release a split second before actually hitting the string. To understand this, think of a rocket being launched into orbit. The engines are turned off, and the rocket allowed to coast to its final position. Same for the hammer. It is sent to the note in a sort of free fall. If this isn't happening, you may get a condition known as "blubbering," a sort of double-strike, when the hammer is brought repeatedly into contact with the string. Again, this condition must be treated by a trained, competent technician. Another aspect of piano regulation is something called "after-touch." This is harder to define and describe. When the key is pressed down slowly, it brings the hammer up to the string. In an ideal situation, the hammer is released by the jack described above; that is, the rocket has been switched off. The key will continue to travel downwards a small distance. There is a slight kick or bite transmitted back through the key as the jack is released, and the key bottoms out against the keybed where it rests. A small amount of after-touch ensures that the key has done its job, rather than running out of steam before the hammer hits the string. Blubbering can occur with insufficient after-touch.
Tuning is the procedure by which the piano is brought into sonic harmony with itself. The process of tuning is a multi-stage process. The tuner begins by setting the instrument to the pitch to which it is to be tuned. Then he performs the setting of the "temperament." This is the 12-note pattern that governs the entire tuning of the piano. It is based on a mathematical formula that dictates that all the notes in this 12-note pattern be spaced equally apart from each other. This "scale" has been worked out by musicians down the years, and has come to be known as "equal temperament." This is the formula by which instruments in the west have been tuned for the last 150 years. The tuner accomplishes this task of setting the temperament by applying a series of tests that are part of his training. Thus, a good aural tuner can set up a piano from a single reference point.