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Bushrat
01-23-2014, 10:58 PM
As far as I have gathered from research, piano tuning is really a one-person affair.
What reason could my protag (piano tuner) have in 1908 to require the help of somebody (no hands-on experience with pianos)?

Shadow_Ferret
01-23-2014, 11:03 PM
I'm quite sure I wouldn't want someone with no experience trying tune my piano.

The only scenario I can think of is as an apprentice and the older guy is retiring and introducing the new guy to his clients.

I remember when I was a child, our piano tuner was blind. I just found that interesting. And now that I think on it, I have no idea how he got to our house. Maybe he had a driver?

Buffysquirrel
01-23-2014, 11:13 PM
Oh, my, piano tuning. I had to do a lot of research into this last year.

One reason I can think of is that the tuner has arthritis or some other condition that means they can't use their hands with the sensitivity required any more. But they can still direct their assistant and still know when the tuning is right.

There is a lot more to pianos than I ever realised, tho.

Christabelle
01-23-2014, 11:46 PM
He has an apprentice? He is unable to lift the top off to check the wires and hammers? Like the others mentioned, blind or has arthritis? Has a child/grandchild/neighbor that he is teaching the ropes to? A street urchin attached himself to the piano tuner, and he felt sorry enough for him that he brings him along?

jaksen
01-24-2014, 06:00 AM
I recently read a book, Notes of a Piano Tuner, by Denele Pitts Campbell, published by Pineapple Press (out of Florida.) It was a nonfiction work, not very long, but well-written. The author learned piano-tuning from her father, but she was filled with anecdotes about the people she encountered, and their lifestyles, etc., in the rural areas of Arkansas. I think if you contacted her, or picked up her book, you might be able to get some ideas or answers from her.

Bushrat
01-24-2014, 06:25 AM
Hmm...my protag is a young woman and the guy she asks to help her with the piano is a man she has her eye on. Maybe I can get her to sprain a wrist before this scene so she needs his help for getting the lid off.
Thanks for your ideas :) It seems to be tricky *note to self: don't try to pick up men by tuning pianos*

ap123
01-24-2014, 06:29 AM
I'm quite sure I wouldn't want someone with no experience trying tune my piano.

The only scenario I can think of is as an apprentice and the older guy is retiring and introducing the new guy to his clients.

I remember when I was a child, our piano tuner was blind. I just found that interesting. And now that I think on it, I have no idea how he got to our house. Maybe he had a driver?

There is a blind piano tuner's association. I did research for a novel several years ago, cool stuff. :)

wendymarlowe
01-24-2014, 06:40 AM
That's funny - the piano tuner we had was blind also. Guess it may be a popular field if you're visually impaired!

skylark
01-24-2014, 11:41 PM
Add me to the list of people who had a blind piano tuner.

He was the father of someone who my dad had taught at school - Dad used to go pick him up from the local station.

Medievalist
01-25-2014, 12:01 AM
As far as I have gathered from research, piano tuning is really a one-person affair.
What reason could my protag (piano tuner) have in 1908 to require the help of somebody (no hands-on experience with pianos)?

An apprentice

Buffysquirrel
01-25-2014, 05:02 AM
Is this an upright or a variety of grand piano? Uprights don't really have heavy lids that'll give you trouble. A grand would be a different matter. But once you've propped the lid, you're golden. At that point the love interest might well wander off....

Did you know pianos have spoons?

Lauram6123
01-25-2014, 05:57 AM
If the piano needed to be cleaned, or moved, then perhaps this interesting you fellow would be just the man to help her do it!

Bushrat
01-25-2014, 06:33 AM
Is this an upright or a variety of grand piano? Uprights don't really have heavy lids that'll give you trouble. A grand would be a different matter. But once you've propped the lid, you're golden. At that point the love interest might well wander off....

Did you know pianos have spoons?

Spoons. Haven't delved into it that far yet--I'm already scared of what else will pop up! The piano started out as an upright but might have to morph into a grand if the guy she's ogling can't make himself useful in any way other than lid-lifting.

@lauram--hmm, moving the piano might also be an idea! Maybe if something important slips behind it and gets stuck...I think I like that! Thank you :)

Bufty
01-25-2014, 06:39 PM
Any reason that required him to do three things at once with his two hands.

Bolero
01-26-2014, 12:14 AM
I have a faint memory that training blind people as piano tuners was something that was a popular charitable thing to do at one time. A job where good hearing was the key thing and it provided useful work for the disabled.

Other than that - piano tuning assistant - how stiff are the nuts (whatever you call ems) that you need to turn to tighten the string. Is one a bit stuck and there is no WD-40?

Buffysquirrel
01-26-2014, 02:19 AM
Maybe the piano is on a very uneven surface and she needs someone to hold up one end while she tries to level it with bits of wood.