Piano Repair: Craftsmanship Matters

There are some technicians who just care about one thing: getting the piano to work with the bare minimal amount of time investment. This attitude sacrifices craftsmanship. Some think that with piano repair, craftsmanship doesn’t matter. Who cares, right? Most of these repairs are inside the piano and you can’t even see them. WRONG! Craftsmanship DOES matter. A piano is a work of art and should be treated as such.

In addition to getting the piano to work it is important that the repairs are neat, tidy and aesthetically pleasing to the eye so they match the original working parts. It is a true sign of professionalism. Not to mention your reputation with other technicians. I’ve seen some real hack jobs, “butchers” as I like to call them, during my tenure of working on the various pianos I see from day to day.


Here is a photo (above) I like to give the title of “The Stringing Job From Hell”. I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the photo, but regardless, the point is evident. This particular piano was strung differently than most in that each string is individually strung to its own hitch pin, a single hitch pin loop knot, as opposed to wrapping around the hitch pin between two tuning pins. Apparently this technician did not know the single hitch pin loop and was trying to work around it… with laughable results.

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The next photo is a bass string I replaced on a 1960’s Wurlitzer spinet piano. At first it is hard to see which string I replaced (photo above), but upon closer inspection (photo below) you can tell by the shiny wire next to the duller-toned wires that it is the string on the tuning pin in the bottom center row. Notice it is the same number of coils as its neighbors and that the coils are nice and tight… like its neighbors.  Also note that the tuning pin protrudes at the same length as its neighbors. Not only does this serve a pleasing aesthetic function, but it simultaneously serves a practical function.

String repair done right, excellent craftsmanship, Bloomfield NJ

I won’t bother to go into details of the practicality as that is not the focus of this blog post. But I will say it again once more…

…craftsmanship DOES matter with piano repair.  Respect the piano!