First things first. My sincere wishes go to all my subscribers, friends, customers and everyone else to have a great 2014 and beyond!  I promised last year that I would start bringing in more information about pianos and their makeup, experiences with my customers and be informative in a way that you will find entertaining (and hopefully humorous too!).

Well…here’s the first one.

While I was working on a customers action from a K Kawai Model 600 (6′ parlor grand), my 3 year old grandchild was with my family for typical baby sitting duties. (No, she doesn’t watch me…my wife watches her and I help too!) As the work day went on, she wanders in and out of my office and talks to me, regardless of being on the phone or working and trying to concentrate. Out of the blue, she comes and sits on my lap at my desk and said “Can I help you with the piano?” You have to know she is a very bright child and wants to be involved in a lot of things, even if she doesn’t know what she’s asked about. But this little girl came to me with sincerity and I couldn’t help but think “Am I assisting in raising the next great piano technician in the world?”  I don’t know if that’ll ever be, but her interest in fixing the action on my workbench was real.  So, I took her to the piano action and started to point out parts of the piano action while having her repeat the names of the items. Of course, here enunciation wasn’t exact, but cuter than I could say it!

Mid section BEFORE filing

I told her “hammer” and she said “hama”. I pointed out that the hammer is made from wool, and she looks at a bunch and said “how come they’re so dirty?”  I explained they needed to be fixed, and then they will look clean.  With that, she said “oh good, clean is better. And why is that one different?”, pointing to the one in the illustration that is flatter than others. Amazing how she not only could notice the difference, but express it so well for a tot who still has lots of growing up to go. If I do say so myself, I have a “genius” for  a grandchild. That, of course, is biased, but when she walked around at 2 years old and told me “Papa, you’re a genius”, I couldn’t help but know that she is the smart one! I have to admit that when she was with me while explaining things in simple terms for her, I found a renewed knowledge in my own understanding of the “how to” in repairing and regulating a grand piano action. After all is said and done, I honestly feel that this was one of my best repairs to an action, and the customer was ecstatic with the results.

A few more pictures of what was done and some parts used in the “regulating:” of a grand piano.

Three of many parts to regulating grand action

Three of many parts to regulating grand action

Upper arrow pointing to “let off buttons” for adjustment of hammers heights before striking point of string.

Middle arrow points to the “tail” of the “jack”, which is what is adjusted for proper “let-off”.

Curved arrow points to “capstan” adjustment screws, for proper “lost motion” of hammers and hammer height in relation to hammer rest rail.

 

 

Treble after filing BEFORE regulation showing how hammers were not yet leveled.

Closer look at capstan screw.

View of center of action after all adjustments and keys being cleaned with a 1:6 mix of Sol U Mel and water

View of action of hammers filed, leveled and other adjustments made for regulation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best part of this experience was that when I told my customer that my grandchild helped with the repairs, they said (and I quote) – “She’s a genius!”

Until next time…have great harmony and peace in your lives.

Rich Goldberg

Owner, Rich Goldberg Piano Tuning

Rich Goldberg Music