Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Piano tuning, maintenance & restoration.

Most of what is involved in piano tuning, voicing, repair and regulation does not require much strength at all. Indeed, there are many women technicians and many elderly who do this work. Many who had more strength in their youth but suffered the impairment of rotators cuff injuries in both shoulders and tendonitis continue to do this work as a full time occupation. There are occasionally moving and lifting tasks but those who do not have the strength to do those find ways around it such as a little assistance from someone else.

The first thing that comes to mind is that the skills directly involved with tuning are apt to be contrary to those involved with highly skilled playing of the piano but there are ways to learn to do each without one impairing the other. To play the piano well, one must have nimble fingers, hands and wrists. To tune the piano well, one must operate the keys very firmly and manipulate the tuning hammer with very exacting movements.

After tuning, the thing to do would be to relax, take stretching breaks and do some warm up finger exercises such as one may do in any case before attempting to launch into any advanced repertoire. One may have tensed the muscles in the forearms, wrists and hands while tuning in a way that one never would in playing. It would be important to shake off that kind of tension and prepare for a different kind of use of these muscles before playing.

In learning tuning, most novices will immediately think in terms of "turning" the tuning pins much the same as one would think about turning the pegs of a guitar or the key of a harpsichord. Of course, the principle is the same but the piano is different in the sheer mass of the steel wires and their tension that is involved. The tuning pin is driven into a massive wood product made denser under pressure. What it takes to move a tuning pin, even without a piano wire under tension attached is many times greater than a harpsichord tuning pin or guitar peg.

The piano string is a steel wire under the average tension of a fully grown man. Imagine suspending yourself from the ground with one of these wires as your only support and what it would take to make the tiniest increase or decrease in tension from that to make the difference between an in tune or out of tune string and multiply that an average of 230 times just to finely tune a piano, let alone what it takes to get the piano close enough to accept a fine tuning!

While there are many technicians who use and even advocate a "slow pull" technique for tuning a piano, that technique requires much more use of arm, wrist, hand and finger muscles than an impact type technique. The slow pull (and push) type technique can be tiring and exhaustive to the muscles and tendons and can also cause such conditions as tendonitis.

Those who advocate the slow pull technique say that they need to "feel" the tuning pin move. First of all, one feels the pin move when using the impact technique, so there is no advantage in the slow pull technique in that regard. Most importantly, however, because the tuning pin is so tightly gripped by the pinblock, slow pulling and pushing upon it will twist and bend it. This, then requires many more compensating movements along with more muscle and tendon strain to tune each pin.

It is a far better idea, therefore to begin to learn piano tuning by using an impact type technique or even an impact type tuning hammer. The hand and wrist remain relaxed. The forearm also uses only the strength required to lift itself. The total energy and strain expended are far less after a pitch adjustment and fine tuning. Total time spent tuning a piano is also generally at least a half hour less.

Monday, July 30, 2012

How many keys does a standard piano keyboard have?

88. The piano has 33 black keys and 55 white keys.

What is the lowest note on a standard piano keyboard?

A. The lowest note on the piano is A, which is the farthest key to your left. A is a white key. On some rare pianos there several additional bass keys ending with a C that is subsonic.

What is the highest note on the piano?

C. C is the highest note, and is a white key. It is the farthest key to your right.

This famous composer wrote songs including "Fur Elise" and "Moonlight Sonata". Beethoven. Ludwig van Beethoven was a famous composer born in Bonn. Beethoven later moved to Vienna, where he died. He was deaf, and had a terrible temper. The piece "Fur Elise" is also known as "Bagatelle in A Minor". "Moonlight Sonata" is more formally called "Sonata Op.27 No.2". Beethoven's piano music consists of 32 sonatas, along with many other small pieces, and is commonly found in classical music books.

What is it called when you have each hand play two keys and you play the keys (one key from each hand at a time) repeatedly at a fast pace?

Tremolo. In a tremolo you usually play an octave with each hand. They are written above the notes as a 'Z' looking figure, but with more lines. Tremoli are usually played at the end of a song. The definition for the word is "a tremulous effect produced by rapid repetition of a single tone or rapid alternation of two tones".(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition) The word "tremolo" is Italian, coming from the Latin word tremulus.

What device produces a "clicking sound" and can be used to keep time while playing the piano?

Metronome. Metronomes can come in many forms. Some have a swinging pendulum and others just produce sound through a speaker. You set the metronome to the time indicated at the top of the music page, and it will click once for every beat. For example, if you are in 4/4 time, the metronome will click 4 times in every measure.

On your piece of music, if you see a 'p', what does that mean?

Piano or soft. Piano, meaning soft, is the opposite of the symbol 'f'(forte), meaning loud.

Pianoforte is the full name for the piano meaning ______.

Soft loud. Pianofortes are rarely called by their full name, which is pronounced in Italian. The original name was "gravicembalo col piano e forte" (the "great harpsichord with soft and loud capabilities"). They generally are called "pianos". Some locations in Europe still refer to it as the "pianoforte". Pianoforte indicates the actual instrument, but the terms "piano" and "forte" also can be used to describe the volume at which the notes should be played.

What genre of instruments is the piano generally considered to be?

Percussion. Pianos are considered percussion, because despite the strings inside of them, small internal hammers hitting the strings produce the sound when a key is touched.

What is the most basic note, usually taught first to beginning piano students?

C. Middle C is in the middle of a piano, and usually taught first because of its simple major scale consisting of neither any sharps nor flats.

When instructed to play "legato", how should the piece sound?

Smooth and connected. When playing legato, you will usually also be playing in phrases and/or with the sustain pedal down.

How does the pedal furthest to the right change the music?

Sustains. A piano usually has 3 (sometimes only 2) pedals. The one furthest right sustains music, making it connect.

What time signature is most common? 4/4. 4/4 timing is used commonly in both classical and modern piano music. 4/4 time means a quarter note gets one count and each measure receives 4 counts.

What type of line divides measures?

bar. Bar lines split measures according to the time signature to make music easier to read.

What instruction means to play the notes short and choppy?

Staccato. Staccatos are marked by a little dot on the top of the note head. To play staccato, strike the key, then quickly release.

In 4/4 time, what type of note gets 3 counts?

Dotted half. The dotted half note consists of an unfilled head and a dot to the right of the head.

Decrescendo means to get _____.

Softer. Decrescendo's are marked with the less than sign used in mathematics. They are placed between the treble and bass clef staffs in individual lines.

On the music staff, how many lines are there?

5&five. There are five lines and four spaces on the music staff.

If the key signature indicates two sharps, which sharps will you play?

F and C. The major scale consisting of two sharps is D, so the piece you are playing would be in the key of D major.

If you play any single octave scale, how many keys will be played?

8. Any scale, minor or major, will always consist of seven keys, with the first key repeated at the end of the scale. These sets of eight keys are called octaves. Every octave has the keys A-G but not necessarily in that order. Also in an octave, a key's sharp or flat may be played in place of the natural key. For example, in the G major scale, F sharp is played in place of F. These seven keys were used in Ancient Greek modes, the naming of the colors of the rainbow, and in the organization of the periodic table.

Read Sheet Music for Piano - Difference Between Bass Treble Clef

The piano is played with both hands, usually higher pitched keys with the right hand and lower sounding keys with the left. A treble clef represents those higher keys and notes while a bass clef represents the lower keys.

When you think about the term "bass" your mind probably automatically thinks of a bass singer with a very deep voice or perhaps a bass guitar. The term "bass" means low and deep, so it makes since that the bass clef tells you to play the lower sounding keys (normally with your left hand) on the keyboard for that particular line of notes.

Treble Clef Identification

Some music instructors will refer to the treble clef as the "G" clef. This is because the symbol for the treble clef looks similar to a very fancy cursive "G"! The symbol also encircles the staff line for the G note (the G line). This line is for the G key that is closest to the middle of the piano's keyboard.

As a beginner, you'll learn to identify the G line and read other notes on the keyboard from there. Think about "EGBDF" meaning "every good boy does fine" and "FACE" for easy remembrance!

Bass Clef Identification

When you learn to read music, you'll be instructed to use your left hand to play the bass clef notes. These are the keys that add a deep, low tone to your songs. This symbol curves around to the left and has two vertical dots to the right of it. The two dots are above and below the F line (for the F note). The bass clef is sometimes called the "F" clef. The F that it encloses is an octave group below the G clef that the treble clef encircles.

Being able to recognize the treble and bass clefs is a great starting point when trying to learn to read music. You can start with these basics and learn where certain notes are located on the keyboard - and on sheet music. Begin tapping the keys to notice how low or high the bass and treble clef notes can sound. You'll be well on your way to playing your first song before you know it!

Friday, July 27, 2012

1.The piano scale - What you need to know before you start.

Piano scales are fundamental to playing piano.The knowledge of how a piano scaleis built and the knowledge of its key signature isessential for every piece of music.Knowing the correct fingering for a piano scale will help you to play a wide variety of musical pieces properly.

Practising each piano scale will develop your:

a)Hand / eye dexterity (fine motor skills)



d)brain function / concentration & memory skills

Piano touch (technique)

It is important to play a piano scale not only with correct fingering but also with aneven touch.As you practice more, you will be able to play your scales at a faster paceAs the saying goes, in order for you to play a fast piano scale, you have to practice alot slowly!This ability to play fast and correctly applies at any level of learning the pianoLike a sportsman has to put in a lot of training before a game, so too does the piano player have to warm up their fingers using piano scales Now you go to the piano or keyboard and try it, remember all the benefits and youwill be richly rewarded.

2.Exercises for getting started on the piano scale Before you are going to start playing the scales, you need to know that each finger hasa number 1,2,3,4,5 (thumb=1; index =2 etc)To play a piano scale, you will need to learn how to turn your thumb under the other fingers, except the 5'th finger.Let’s look at some exercises, where you try the following three exercises with eachhand.

1.Place your second finger on any white key and turn your thumb under thesecond finger to play the next white key.

2.Place your third finger on any white key and turn your thumb under the thirdfinger to play the next white key.

3.This exercise is a little bit harder and will really test your flexibility. Placeyour fourth on any white key and turn your thumb under the fourth finger to play thenext white key.Do a few repetitions of each exercise, without stopping.Make sure you are walking with your fingers and not jumping.When you have mastered one exercise, then move onto the next.Do not worry if you find one hand is easier to do than the other.Good luck, now you have finished your first lesson and you are ready to play your first piano scale.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The piano is one of the most well-known and popular instruments in the world. Most people either have had a piano in their home, or know a friend or relative who does. It's easy to take the piano for granted, but there are some marvelous stories behind it. As an introduction to this page and this instrument, here are some fascinating facts to share the next time you gather around a piano at a party or event.

1. The largest piano ever made was 11 feet, 8 inches long, and weighed about a ton.

2. The fastest pianist ever, according to Ripley's Believe It or Not, was Liberace, who was said to have played over 6000 notes in only 2 minutes.

3. The largest piano ensemble ever according to the Guiness Book of World Records was a group of 555 pianists playing together in Seoul, South Korea.

4. Piano is the most widely studied instrument in the United States. 21 million people have played the piano at some point, which is about 1 in every 11 Americans.

5. The world's smallest piano is approx ten inches long and 7 inches wide. It is fully playable even though its keys are 4mm wide. (See the video demonstration)

6. The piano that John Lennon used when he recorded the song "Imagine" is considered the most expensive pop memorabilia item ever. It is valued between 8 to 12 million dollars.

7. Every U.S. President has either owned or had a piano placed in the White House except for Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. You can find more about Presidential pianos at WhiteHouseMuseum.org.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Adam Schlesinger

Way back into Love


Chasing Pavement

To make you feel my Love

Hometown Glory


I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing

Amy Winehouse

He can only hold Her



You know I'm no Good

Tears dry on their Own

Back to Black

Ashley Tisdale

We'll be Together

Alicia Keys


A Fine Frenzy

Dirty Little Secrets

All American Rejects

It ends Tonight

It ends Tonight

Move Along



Avril Lavigne

He Wasn’t

Keep Holding On

My Happy Ending

When You’re Gone

Bella's Lullaby
Bella's Lullaby - Cartel Burwell
Bella's Lullaby - Yiruma

Barry Manilow



Can't smile without You


Crazy In Love

Dangerously In Love



Billy Joel

Just The Way You Are


Piano Man

Blessed Union of Souls

I believe

Brian Crain
A walk in the Forest

Just The Way You Are

Butterfly Waltz


Song for Sienna


Chris Tomlin
I Will Rise

How great is our God


Christina Aguilera

Ain’t No Other Man


Chris De Burgh

Lady In Red

Colbie Caillat




In My Place

The Scientist



Daniel Powter

Bad Day

Danny Elfman
Corpse Bride - Main Title

Corpse Bride - The Piano Duet

Corpse Bride - Victor's Piano Solo

Dashboard Confessional




It’s Not Over

Listen to your Heart

Diana Ross
Ain't no mountain high Enough

Dresden Dolls

Coin operated Boy

Missed Me


Girl Anarchronism

Eric Clapton


Tears in Heaven

Wonderful Tonight

Nobody knows you when you're down and Out

Presence of the Lord

Elton John

Your Song

Eric Clapton


Tears In Heaven


Call Me When You’re Sober

Everybody’s Fool

Close Enough

Faith Hill

There You’ll Be

Fiona Apple

Bette than Fine (Waltz)

Not about Love

I Know

Paper Bag

Never is a Promise

The child is Gone

Five For Fighting

100 Years


Fort Minor

Where’d You Go

Gary Geld

Hurting Each Other

Gary Jules
Gary Jules - Mad World

Tears for Fears

Gavin Degraw

I don't want to Be

Follow Through


Boulevard of broken Dreams

Time of your Life

Wake me up when September Ends

American Idiot Songbook

Lips of an Angel

Better than Me

Howie Day



Ingrid Michaelson

Keep Breathing

The Chain

Irene Cara
Out here on my Own

Isaac Shepard

Leaves in the Wind

Letting Go


Jack's Mannequin
Annie use your Telescope

Dark Blue


James Blunt

Goodbye My Love

Jason Mraz
I'm Yours


Joe Cocker

Feeling Alright

You are so Beautiful

Unchain my Heart

Best of Joe Cocker Songbook


One Summer's Day

Spirited Away



John Addison

Murder She Wrote

John Mayer

Dreaming of a broken Heart



Your body is a Wonderland

Slow dancing in a burning Room


Lake Erie Rainfall

All I Ever Wanted

Valentine (ft Martina Mcbride)

Angel Eyes



Don't Stop Believing


Open Arms

Kate Nash


Katy Perry

I Kissed A Girl

Thinking of You

Hot N Cold

Lady Gaga

Poker Face

Just Dance

Leona Lewis

Bleeding Love

Better in Time

Footprints in the Sand

The first time ever I saw your Face


I will Be

The Best You Never Had

Leonard Cohen


Lily Allen

Littlest Things

Linkin Park
What I've Done



Leave out all the Rest

In the End

Lou Bega
Mambo No.5


Friday, September 5, 2008


Marc Cohn

Walking In Memphis

Martina Mcbride

In my daughter's Eyes


A broken Wing

God's Will

Concrete Angel

Mary J. Blige

Be Without You

Michael Buble


For once in my Life


I've got you under my Skin

Michael Buble Songbook

Michael Nyman

The Heart asks pleasure First

Big My Secret - The Piano

The Piano Songbook

Missy Higgins


They Weren't There

This is how it Goes




Why does my heart feel so Bad

In this World

Natalie Imbruglia


Natasha Bedingfield

These Words



Wild Horse

Norah Jones

What Am I To You

Don't Know Why


Stop crying your heart Out


Don't look back in Anger



Crush Crush Crush

Misery Business

I caught Myself


Phil Collins

Another Day In Paradise

Pussy Cat Dolls

Don’t Cha



We Are The Champions

Don't stop me Now
Crazy little thing called Love

The show must go On


Requiem For A Dream

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Your Guardian Angel

Face Down





Don't Stop The Music

Take a Bow

Shut up and Drive

Pon de Replay

Robert Miles



Ron Pope
A Drop in the Ocean


Listen To Your Heart

Rufus Wainwright

Foolish Love

This love Affair


Dinner at Eight


In a Graveyard

Leaving for Paris

The Art Teacher

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence

Sara Bareilles

Love Song



One Sweet Love

Many the Miles

Fairy Tales

Between the Lines

Sarah McLachlan


Secondhand Serenade

Fall For You

Your Call

Simon & Garfunkel

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Sound Of Silence

Scarborough Fair

Something Corporate

As you Sleep

Stephen Speaks

Out of my League

Susan Boyle

Memory - Cats

I dreamed a dream - Les Miserables

I dreamed a dream - Cry Me A River

Taylor Swift
Love Story

Teardrops on my Guitar



The Beatles

A Hard Days Night


Can’t Buy Me Love

Day Tripper

Eight Days A Week

Eleanor Rigby


Golden Slumbers

Here There And Everywhere

Hey Jude

Let It Be

Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da

Penny Lane


Here comes the Sun

When I’m Sixty Four

With A Little Help From My Friends

Yellow Submarine

The Calling

Wherever You Will Go

The Eagles


Hotel California

Love will Keep us Alive

The Fray

Never say Never

You Found Me

Over my Head

How to save a Life

She Is

Little House

Dead Wrong



Tori Amos

1000 Oceans


Cornflake Girl

Silent All These Years

Venus Live

Scarlets Walk

Mr Zebra



Over the Rainbow

Smells Like Teen Spirit


Drops of Jupiter


Beautiful Day

With or Without You

City of blinding Lightsm


My Boo

Can you help Me


Vitamin C