How come piano players cannot tune pianos? :) :)

Aloha guys,

(This post is about acoustic piano players only. Not keyboardist or synth players).

The deal is; I really respect piano players because IMHO, piano is ‘THEE’ master instrument
(tho’ many pipe organists may not agree).

From my POV by the time a player ‘masters’ that instrument, you are to me a very special person indeed.

But while having the studio piano tuned today something brought up a funny lil thought.

In all my years and with all the great piano players (not just keyboardist) I
have know and with whom I have performed, (mainly jazz guys) I have never know one
who could actually tune a piano. And most would not even try.

Yet the piano tuner folks I have used (some blind) can play their asses off! (sorry for ending with a preposition)

Soooo, sup wi dat piano players?

(just having a lil fun here guys, feeling good and getting ready for the weekend. Season is over. Locals rule! At least till december
) :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


As a guitar player, I feel I’d be able to tuna piano if I had a tuna key :slight_smile:

ROTFLMAO!!! Really! Tanx SYNC.

I think it’s because tuning a piano is really difficult and time consuming. For most of the keys, there are three strings per note. To tune them in correct equal temperament, you have to be trained to hear the “beats” and time them to ensure the precise “out of tune” that equal temperament demands. So it’s not something you do for 5 minutes before a gig.

Plus, let’s just make the point that pianists are not the only musicians who cannot tune their own instruments; they’re just the only ones who admit it up front!

Soooo true, I saw Jimi in Toronto try to tune his ax for about ten minutes. Ouch!

Regards Jimi, ten minutes and the axe was still out of tune :stuck_out_tongue: .

Jimi had a great pair of ears, when he jammed with people, if they played a line he could instantly reproduce it . you have to take into consideration the amount of abuse he inflicted on a guitar ,the tremolo system ,was the bass guitar in tune ,did he have new strings on .what smoke
had he just taken. apparently he was a stickler for wanting to be in tune ,i don`t know if there would have been a problem with tuning down to Eb back then.

You don’t need to tune a piano as often as you need to tune a guitar. Also, way way way more complex and time-consuming. Finally, we pianists are known to be a spoiled bunch and we consider tuning a menial task so far beneath us… :laughing:

I guess in a way it is like some studio engineers.

When things break some engineers are right up under the console
pullin’ and fixin’ stuff.

And with others (like me) it’s:
‘hey call somebody’ quick cause dis thang is whack!

the Castlebar Clavinet may need tuning now and again looks great fun

Ah but how come my Piano tuner can’t play the piano???

maybe he gets all shy in the presence of your greatness Kenny :laughing:

If I told ya once, I told ya a thousand times -the piano is in tune! It’s you guys that are out!

A piano tuner will NOT tune your piano unless you pay them. Piano players can hear when the piano is out-of-tune, and since many of them have perfect pitch, playing un-tuned is excruciatingly painful and not an option.

Piano players will often play a freshly tuned piano (that they paid out of their own pocket to have tuned) with minimal, or no, pay.

A guitar player has NO money to pay for having their instrument tuned. That leaves them with two choices:
(1) tune it themselves
(2) play it un-tuned (very popular and economical solution since they usually can’t tell the difference)

Those are the main differences.


i remember years ago someone advertising a guitar for sale locally , the wording was, "badly out of tune guitar for sale"etc .

“Wow, it’s actually even more out of tune than I thought. You definitely need to knock it down by at least $200!”


it would probably have being the only outcome.

Tanx guys. this thread has made my summer.

And ‘swamptone’ knocked it out of the park.


How come piano players cannot tune pianos?

Same reason why most motorists can’t fix their cars… it’s complicated.

And remember a guitar has six strings a piano has 242. :smiley:

…or even more: the Boesendorfer 290 and Fazioli 308 have 92 keys (F0 to C8.) Two Stuart&Sons models (an Australian maker of “boutique” pianos like Fazioli) have a whopping 102 keys!! (C0 to F8.)