Different Types Of Piano Tuning Tools Update 12/2021

types of piano tuning tools

Piano tuning is the process of altering the tension on the strings of a piano to bring them into a state of equilibrium about their length that will produce a smooth and stable sounding instrument. In ordinary usage, the tuning process is described as raising or lowering the pitch of a set of piano strings.

For example, if a string is too loose then it will stretch and thin (lowering its pitch) when pushed by the tension in other strings. If a string’s tension is too high then it will be prone to breaking when played (raising its pitch). The tuning process is generally overseen by a trained tuner, who may employ the use of piano tuning tools to facilitate it.

Tuning Hammer

Tuning Hammer

A tuning hammer comes in various sizes and weights with round or octagonal shaped ends. Some hammers use wood, others metal. They are typically made of aluminum or steel, and sometimes a combination of the two metals depending on the intended function of the hammer.

There are also specialized hammers for specific tasks such as tuning octave strings (with a long handle to reach across), ceiling cluster work, coupling pins, action parts, tuning pins, and more. For piano tuning, the hammer must be weighted and balanced to ensure consistency in tone and quality of striking.

One of the most important tools in a tuner’s kit is their hammer. Hammers are used to strike pianos strings and set them into harmonic resonance by applying focused, controlled force to the string through its center of percussion.

Piano Tuning Lever

This tool is regarding the piano tuning lever. It has a screw-in one end into which fit an Allen key bit or sprocket wrench shank. The other end has a sliding tip with the arm fits down onto a piano pin to exert pressure on it for tuning purposes.

The sharp, pointed tip can be used for setting hammer flanges and other small actions. It is made of hard plated steel for strength, precision, wear resistance, and protective covering against corrosion.

The piano tuning lever tool is usually secured in a rolling pin-like handle which pivots with use around the axle screw hole by means of a connecting pin that allows it to swivel horizontally or vertically.

The hand screw, which is made of durable steel and has a sharp threaded tip for use with Allen-type bits or sprocket utility wrench shanks, fits into the socket where it is secured by means of a thumbscrew that helps to maintain consistent pressure on the pin or action point being manipulated during tuning.

Piano Regulating Screwdriver

Piano Regulating Screwdriver

Screwdrivers are used to adjust the action of your piano. The most common type is made in a styling of a blade with a thin shaft, allowing you to turn screws and rods into their proper positions.

Regulating screwdrivers can vary slightly; some have thicker handles than others, while others may be as thin as a pencil lead (such as those used for maintaining an antique, or the earlier American pianos).

These work by holding the blade with one hand and the handle with another, while inserting it into a screw or rod head. The screwdriver is then twisted slightly, allowing you to make small adjustments without much effort. They are usually used with a piano action wrench for larger movements.

Electronic Chromatic Tuner

This is the standard chromatic tuner used by most professional piano technicians. It can be connected to any digital piano and calibrated to a certain temperature (typically 73 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 23 degrees Celsius). One of these typically costs $300-400 and are almost always used with the microphone-type digital piano thermometers, which can cost $100-200.

This chromatic tuner will measure the pitch of any note within a whopping 12 half steps on either side of middle C (C3), though it doesn’t display all those notes at once. It has several modes – standard scale, temperament, harmonics and transpose. It also doesn’t measure the temperature of your piano’s tuning pins, so it is not recommended for use with Steinway pianos (unless it can be calibrated to 73 degrees F).

The temperaments and harmonics modes allow you to transpose the pitch or add extra notes to the scale, making it possible to tune pianos with more than 12 half-steps per octave. The transpose mode allows you to raise or lower the pitch of notes up an octave instantly, which can be useful if a piano is in tune everywhere but one note (such as with old pianos where the tuning pins were bent).

Piano Lid Prop Block and Pin Block

Piano Lid Prop Block and Pin Block

The piano lid prop block and pin block were first used in 1839 when the upright piano was developed. They are made of a metal, with the name inscribed into its surface. The metal has a wooden handle on one side to allow for extra leverage when using it to prop up the piano lid. On the other side is an angled surface that fits into the piano pin block. When inserted inside, it holds the lid at a 90 degree angle to allow for easier access to the tuning pins underneath.

The piano lid prop block and pin block can be used in any size of pianos, from the smallest to the largest, including spinets.

These tools are still being made today for tuning old and antique pianos. They are inexpensive, usually ranging between $20 -$35 USD, and can be purchased online or by visiting a local music retailer.

Tuning Fork

The tuning fork is one of the simplest and oldest piano tuning tools. A tuning fork can be seen as an acoustic resonator, that when struck produces a tone whose frequency is proportional to its mass and spring constant. The pitch of a tuning fork used for piano tuning was invented in 1711 by British pianist John Shore, based on a mathematical formula.

In piano tuning, the most typical forks have frequencies of 256 Hz (A4 – 4th line A above middle C) and 440 Hz (A440 – concert pitch). Piano tuners also use forks whose values are close to either 128 Hz or 512 Hz that enable them to tune pianos with stretched or compressed scales respectively.

The fork is held against the sounding board or the bridge and its pitch is adjusted until it matches the desired standard. In this way, when tuning a 12-note octave, five such forks in different pitches must be used. To tune accurately, piano tuners will use a frequency meter set to A440 (or A4 as noted above) and adjust the tuning fork’s frequency until it matches that of the meter. A good tuner will strike each note on the piano, then compare with a meter to check whether the frequency is correct.

Forks are used in orchestras, for example at pitch-raising rehearsals (“sharps and flats”), where many different tunings are performed in succession. In this case, each fork would be adjusted until a certain key is in tune, and then all the other forks would be adjusted to match it.

Rubber Wedge Mute

Rubber Wedge Mute

Rubber Wedge Mute is a tool which can mute harmonics. Its name comes from word “wedge” because of its design, which is similar to the wedge used in truck. It is made out of two wedge pieces and two rubber halves.

Each wedge piece has one half of rubber glued to it on the side touching the piano strings and the other half of rubber glued to it on the bottom side. The pieces are fastened together with a screw behind, such that two parts of each wedge have pressure against its neighboring part from both sides.

The construction is simple but effective: when the mute lies flat on top of strings, for example when played in a middle octave, the two wedges have equal pressure on both sides of each string. The rubber halves facing the strings are compressed to about half of their length and prevent unwanted vibration from occurring in the piano soundboard: this is how the mute mutes harmonics.

However, when played at a very high or low pitch, when an individual wedge piece lies flat on a single string, the opposing wedge above or below that string has little pressure against it. The rubber halves do not have their normal shape and do not mute the strings well enough.

Gang Mute

Gang Mute is a key type of piano tuning tool .

The gang mute is used for the purpose to mute all the musical notes in certain octaves. The specific compass changes with each particular brand of gang mutes that exist on the market today.

In most cases, a piano owner will install at least one type or more than one type of gang mutes according to what they have tuned their piano. This is so that they can tune the musical notes faster than ever before.

The main purpose of using a gang mute is to avoid and prevent inaudible harmonic frequencies from being produced when playing an instrument such as the piano, organ or harpsichord. A good reason to mute the piano when tuning it is to allow the tuner to hear better, so that they are able to tune the instrument with precision.

Treble Mute

Treble Mute

A treble mute can be used very effectively while you are tuning a piano. It isn’t an absolute necessity for tuning a piano but it will come in handy when you want to get the best results possible. Using this treble mute is going to allow you to mute particular treble strings by placing it in the right spots. You need to place it on the middle string of a three-string treble in order for it to work properly.

The reason that people like using these treble mutes are that they can be placed so quickly. You can easily grab the treble mute and place it where it needs to go. In some ways, it is easier to use than the wedge mutes that are more commonly used. Using treble mutes in conjunction with other mute types is probably going to give you the best results.

You will find a few different variations of the treble mute that are on the market. The one being shown here is probably the most common. You can also find treble mutes that are simply like sticks if you would prefer to purchase that. Regardless, this treble mute is going to work great for muting strings quickly.

This mute is made out of a nylon material. It comes with a convenient storage case so that you can keep it safe when it isn’t in use. You can purchase this tool at an affordable price, so it is definitely worth adding to your collection. This will help you to tune your piano more swiftly, and you’ll have a better experience overall.

FAQS:

What tools are needed to tune a piano?

A piano tuner needs to have a few basic tools in order to tune a piano. These include a tuning hammer, tuning pin, notched gauge, and tuning pins. These tools are all used in order to accurately tune a piano. Without the proper tools, tuning a piano can be extremely difficult and can take too much time.

Are all piano tuning pegs the same?

You can find a lot of different types of pegs. The most common type of peg that you will find on the market today is steel. There are also bronze pegs that are available and these are going to last much longer than steel pegs do. Neither type of peg will affect the tuning so if you have one or the other, it won’t matter too much.

Conclusion:

So, the different types of tuning tools are categorized on the basis of their size, shape and action. For each category there is a variety of choices to pick from in order to fit your needs. Picking the correct tool will enhance the experience and efficiency while working on your piano.

 

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