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Dan talks about what it takes to be a qualified piano tuner


I remember when I became a piano tuner for the first time

I was teaching at a school in Ethiopia.  The pianos at the school were horribly out of tune.  I asked the principal “who tunes the pianos?”  He said, “we had an Armenian man come out about 4 – 5 years ago but I heard that he died.”  I was forced into service.  I played the guitar and could tune it, but a guitar has only 6 strings and a piano has 250.

Learning how to become a piano tuner “on the job”Dan Malloy Piano Tuning Cedar Rapids Iowa

I spent 4 hours one Saturday tuning the piano with tools my dad had sent to me.  I did improve the piano, but it was far from being in tune.  Over the next few months, I improved my piano tuning technique. After tuning my piano at home several times, I learned to tune the intervals at the proper temperament.  After that, it still took several years of refining this technique before I was ready to work professionally.

The Piano Technicians Guild

I then joined the Piano Technicians Guild and studied for the PTG Exam.  I can truly say that the 3 part test (written, bench exam and tuning proficiency) was harder to pass than my MA Comps at the University of Iowa.

I passed my PTG test and became a full registered member of PTG in 1979!

2019 will mark my 50th years as a professional piano technician.  I have a vast knowledge of pianos and how they work!  At times, I may charge more than my colleagues who have been in the business for a short time.  My R.P.T. (Registered Piano Technician) status puts me in a select group of the best piano technicians in the country

If you want the best and most qualified people to work on your piano, insist on an RPT.


Dan Malloy

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