Piano Tuning by Jim Selleck, Brighton, Michigan

Piano Tuning by Jim Selleck, Brighton, Michigan Piano Tuning and Repair Services in S.E. Michigan

Please visit the web site for more information: www.selleckpiano.com

03/18/2019

Well here's something that doesn't happen very often.

I have an appointment to tune a piano in Farmington Hills this evening at 6, but somehow the appointment confirmation fell between the cracks and I have NO information on the schedule, not the customer's name, address, or phone number.

Posting this here just in case YOU are that customer, please give me a jingle so we can get it straightened out.

Wow.  Now here is an unusual instrument.  This 1947 Story and Clark console has a wonderfully engineered compact action ...
05/30/2018

Wow. Now here is an unusual instrument. This 1947 Story and Clark console has a wonderfully engineered compact action with cantilevered keys, 90° rotated jacks, vertically mounted wippens and curved overhead back checks. Oh, and the damper arms are about half normal size. It's amazing and plays pretty well.

I'm just relieved no parts need replacement, because I would have to whittle them! Nothing standard or off the shelf here.

12/16/2017

Happy holidays kids! Don't forget to offer your piano tech a nice cup of hot cocoa.

10/29/2017

Best time of year to tune your piano revisited

We all know (right?) that manufacturers recommend our pianos be tuned twice a year (or more, in some cases). In reality (where most of us live) there are only a few customers I see more than once a year. Most find they can let it go a little longer before the pets and neighbors start complaining about the awful discordant noise where once were sweet harmonic tones. Many folks time the annual tune-up to a recurring event such as the start of lessons after summer or just before the family holiday party.

NOTE: Pianos need to be tuned periodically even if they are NOT played. The strings are under tons of tension, and that changes over time whether you play or not.

But is there a "best" and "worst" time of year for tuning? Short answer: not really. But as always, you have a little bit better chance the tuning will last longer if you can choose the more moderate weather seasons, spring or fall.

Okay, but why? The answer lies in changing temperature and humidity conditions in the room where your piano lives. The wood components are especially sensitive to humidity and will tend to swell in the summer and shrink in the winter, UNLESS you keep your piano in a room where conditions remain the same all year round. If you are fortunate enough to have such a music room or studio, you can have the piano tuned any time of year you please and it will hold optimally.

Back in reality with the rest of us "normal" folks, the piano is generally kept in rooms where the weather cannot be kept strictly regulated through the year. Still, if your home was built recently, it will be a far better place for the piano to live than were the homes of our parents and grandparents before the days of central air, high tech insulation, and energy-efficient windows.

Bottom line: if it's time for your piano to be tuned, spring or fall are recommended, but don't be too concerned with the time of year as long as you have it in a room that remains at a fairly constant temperature and humidity. Call up your favorite piano technician if you have any doubts or questions.

Piano Tuning by Jim Selleck, Brighton, Michigan's cover photo
10/29/2017

Piano Tuning by Jim Selleck, Brighton, Michigan's cover photo

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10/29/2017

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Piano Tuning by Jim Selleck, Brighton, Michigan
10/29/2017

Piano Tuning by Jim Selleck, Brighton, Michigan

Had the privilege of tuning a beautiful Kawai this week in the home of a couple who really love music.  Their instrument...
09/20/2017

Had the privilege of tuning a beautiful Kawai this week in the home of a couple who really love music. Their instrument collection is impressive, and they play them all.

07/28/2017
Storia

Not all of us can afford a Steinway, but they're still being made and purchased. Where would you put the $2.5 million model they show in this video?

Like the page for more videos: Storia

It takes hard work to learn the piano. Imagine what it takes to actually craft one?

Armed with curiosity, we set out to spend the day at the famous Steinway & Sons in Queens and learn all about the detailed process of making a grand piano.

Founded in 1853 in New York City, Steinway & Sons has been dedicated to constructing the world's finest pianos. Each built-by-hand Steinway grand piano is made up of 12,116 parts, and is pieced together by 200 people over the lengthy three-year process.

Read the related article at: https://goo.gl/ePftbq

Discover more at: https://storia.me/

#DiscoverStoria

Summer is here!  Is your piano ready?  No need for mosquito repellent or sun-block, but your piano will appreciate it if...
07/05/2017

Summer is here! Is your piano ready?

No need for mosquito repellent or sun-block, but your piano will appreciate it if you can keep the temperature and humidity in it's room as constant as possible. In the winter we worry about the air getting too dry. In summer the challenge is the opposite. Too much humidity can cause wood and felt parts to swell up. Keys can begin to stick or operate sluggishly. Soft felt surfaces that get too damp can sometimes harden when they dry, causing buzzes or a tinny tone. These problems can be worse if you live near a lake or river, as do many here in Michigan.

The best preventive is if you have central air conditioning. Keep the music room windows shut and run the A/C to pull excess moisture out of the air. Otherwise, a small dehumidifier in the room can serve the same purpose. Just make sure to empty it regularly.

And as always I would be remiss in not reminding you that the manufacturer recommends your piano be tuned about every 6 months. If its been a year or more and you live in Southeast Michigan, give me a call to set up an appointment.
810-360-3896
www.SelleckPiano.com

Summer is here!  Is your piano ready?  No need for mosquito repellent or sun-block, but your piano will appreciate it if...
07/05/2017

Summer is here! Is your piano ready?

No need for mosquito repellent or sun-block, but your piano will appreciate it if you can keep the temperature and humidity in it's room as constant as possible. In the winter we worry about the air getting too dry. In summer the challenge is the opposite. Too much humidity can cause wood and felt parts to swell up. Keys can begin to stick or operate sluggishly. Soft felt surfaces that get too damp can sometimes harden when they dry, causing buzzes or a tinny tone. These problems can be worse if you live near a lake or river, as do many here in Michigan.

The best preventive is if you have central air conditioning. Keep the music room windows shut and run the A/C to pull excess moisture out of the air. Otherwise, a small dehumidifier in the room can serve the same purpose. Just make sure to empty it regularly.

And as always I would be remiss in not reminding you that the manufacturer recommends your piano be tuned about every 6 months. If its been a year or more and you live in Southeast Michigan, give me a call to set up an appointment.
801-360-3896
www.SelleckPiano.com

06/26/2017
Selleck Piano Service - Tuning and Repair

As of tonight, rising expenses have forced me to make my first price increase in about 10 years. Specifically, the base rate for piano tuning is moving from $125 to $150, and for customers with neglected instruments needing a pitch raise tuning, the cost moves from $200 to $250.

In appreciation for the loyalty and support of my existing customers, the old rate of $125 will be held through August 31. Starting September 1, the new rates will apply across the board.

Please see the web site: www.selleckpiano.com for detailed rates. When you call for service prior to September 1, please be sure to identify yourself as an existing customer (if you are) and I will be happy to extend the previous prices to you.

Jim Selleck - Providing courteous and accurate piano tuning, repair, and rebuilding services in southeast Michigan since 1977.

03/08/2017

Do you believe in coincidence? Generally I do not. It is natural for us to look for patterns in events and wonder if there is some significance to apparently related random stuff, but I don't find the groupings a suggestion of any mysterious forces at work. That thinking works for me except in one area: pianos. Since the very beginning of my adventures as a piano tech, 40 years ago now, I almost immediately noticed odd groupings. I would see no Kimball pianos for several weeks, then 3 in the same week. Same with Baldwins or Yamahas or any particular brand. Unrelated customers would call and set appointments randomly, but the brands would tend to group. Same with grand pianos vs uprights. Also the age of the instruments. I am prompted to write this because this week I am servicing 3 large upright pianos in the 3 different towns on three consecutive nights, and just by chance (?) all 3 were built around 1901. I may not see another antique upright piano for three months. There are similar apparent patterns in the types of repairs encountered. I may not replace a broken string for over a year, then suddenly within the same month have to replace strings on several pianos. Do I think these oddities are a sign of unseen influences, ghosts in the machine or glitches in the Matrix? No, just random coincidences. But it’s enough to make one wonder.

Once again, a heartfelt thanks to everyone I've served who has left a review here on facebook or on Google.  Your kind w...
01/27/2017

Once again, a heartfelt thanks to everyone I've served who has left a review here on facebook or on Google. Your kind words DO make a difference as I hear from people every week. A reminder that there are other sites that offer review opportunities as well, such as the Yellow Pages (yp.com). Thank you again!

PHOTO: Job in progress in my shop. This vertical action was built in about 1950 using flanges made of a revolutionary new material called "plastic". Unfortunately, they just didn't have the formula right for plastic YET. Those original parts were unstable and after a few years they began to decompose, losing their moisture and gradually becoming more brittle until they invariably crumbled into yellow fragments. This mechanism lasted a lot longer than most, as many of the original flanges are still holding together (barely). We can replace them with new parts made of space-age plastics that will stand the test of time, or (as in this case) we can use traditional wood parts.

Had to share a few pictures of a really odd piano I tuned tonight in Howell, Michigan.  It's a 1912 Cable-Nelson, which ...
01/26/2017

Had to share a few pictures of a really odd piano I tuned tonight in Howell, Michigan. It's a 1912 Cable-Nelson, which alone is not unusual at all, but it was built into a wall with cabinets. Although the casters are still on the piano, it can't move an inch as the case is completely enclosed and the legs are inside cabinet boxes. I may be getting new white plastic keytops for this old girl as well (I'm calling her 'Aunt Clara') to give her a shiny new smile. (P.S. this house is being refurbished. They're not bad housekeepers. The flooring is being replaced.)

12/31/2016

When should I tune my piano?

Happy New Year! Where did 2016 go? Do your new years resolutions for 2017 include getting the piano tuned more regularly?

And just when should you have the piano tuner out anyway? That would be the number one question: "How often should I have my piano tuned?"

The answer is a firm and resolute: "It depends."

The fact is that some instruments need tuning 4 or 5 times every year, and some pianos can go 4 or 5 years between tuning without causing them any harm.

On average, it is safe to say most pianos should be tuned once or twice a year to keep them sounding good and to afford your technician a chance to tighten up any loose parts and replace worn felts before those become broken parts or stuck keys.

How quickly your piano goes out of tune is the result of an arcane calculus involving:

A. The age of the piano and the quality of its construction/design.
B. How the piano is being used
C. Temperature and humidity changes in the music room
D. The structural condition of the piano

I was tempted to add an (E.) citing strange voodoo understood only by Jedi knights and a secretive group of monks living in Tibet, because once or twice a year I see a piano that SHOULD be totally out by all the rules, but its not, and vice versa. Personally I suspect extraterrestrials are at work in those cases.

To generalize further, if your piano is only played occasionally by adults, tuning once a year is probably fine. However, if young students are playing (say, under 10 years old) I the piano should be tuned as often as possible, perhaps with the changing of every season, because those young ears are learning the musical tones, and its important that the piano be as accurate as possible.

You can ensure that your piano remains in tune longer by making sure it lives in a spot where temperature and humidity are properly set and do not change. Keeping the piano on an inside wall helps, away from heating and cooling ducts, outside doors or windows that open. Finally, if the air gets dry in the winter in the piano room, consider placing an inexpensive mist humidifier at the opposite side of the room to help keep things from drying out too much.

Finally, if you have a choice and can plan ahead, its generally best to try to tune your piano in the more moderate weather seasons, spring or fall. However, that's not a hard and fast rule, just a guideline (like the Pirate Code).

See you in 2017!

Friends, as you know, I ask folks to confirm our appointments by going to the web site (www.selleckpiano.com) and clicki...
12/17/2016

Friends, as you know, I ask folks to confirm our appointments by going to the web site (www.selleckpiano.com) and clicking on the little "Email Jim" link at the top of every page. This takes you to a handy form where you can fill out your address, the date and time we discussed, and anything else you think might be useful (like your favorite banana bread recipe).

This plan works great 99%+ of the time, but once in a blue moon, I don't get the email (when I do get it, I send back a confirmation).

This is the case for this coming Wednesday, December 21. I spoke to somebody on the phone last week who wanted that 6pm slot (my LAST opening before Christmas), but up to now, no email has arrived.

If the person who wanted that time is reading this, PLEASE go back and try "Email Jim" again or call me. If I do not hear from you confirming by Monday, I will have to give that time to somebody else on the waiting list.

Thanks!!

How to Give Your Piano Tuner a Nervous BreakdownThe manufacturer of your piano recommends you have it tuned every time s...
04/14/2016

How to Give Your Piano Tuner a Nervous Breakdown

The manufacturer of your piano recommends you have it tuned every time seasonal changes cause significant humidity ups and downs in your home. Humidity changes cause swelling or shrinkage of the wood parts, affecting the tension of the strings, rarely in a good way. In reality, most normal folks have their piano tuned about once every 1 to 5 years, or just after visiting Aunt Esther sits down to play Amazing Grace and proclaims the instrument to be so far out of tune its sound might call up demons from the Underworld. Aunt Esther does not like the Underworld. She’s been there. She would know.

The fact is, like any musical instrument, pianos do not stay perfectly in tune for very long. Tiny variations creep in within hours after the tuner/technician leaves. Celebrities will have their pianos re-tuned before every show. Often in classical concerts the piano will be tuned in the afternoon then touched up during the intermission.

This is why it is so important to try to situate your piano in the most stable place in your home for both temperature and humidity. It's why you are told to place your piano on an "inside wall" away from heat or air conditioning vents, as far as possible from open windows and doors, and away from those dramatic high windows that invite the sun to stream in to create hot spots where the cat loves to snooze. Basically, the best place for your piano is often the walk-in closet in the middle bedroom where nobody can see or hear (or find) it.

Right. That's not happening. Back in the real world, the piano is usually a centerpiece of the living room or family room, and lives wherever the demands of architecture, decorating, traffic flow, and feng shui dictate. If that happens to be a spot where the wind blows in, so be it. You'll just have to have it tuned more often. Or you can spend all of the holidays having pot-luck over at Aunt Ester's cramped little place that smells vaguely like antique doilies.

Here’s how you can help: when your piano technician arrives, the very most important thing he or she needs, is silence. Of course, we very rarely get it, simply because the piano is located in a living area where people who live there are engaged in the normal acts of... well, living. And that is as it should be. Life can't be expected to stop entirely just because the piano tuner is present, but we hope it can proceed at a somewhat lower volume for a couple of hours. It doesn't matter if your tech uses tuning forks or electronics for a pitch reference, in all cases their primary tuning tools are their ears, and ambient noises make the job harder. Enough of the wrong stray sounds at just the wrong times, and you might find your tuner curled up in a ball under the piano bench, whimpering pitifully.

Don't let that happen.

In the interest of preserving the sanity and mental health of piano technicians everywhere, I humbly present the following list of a few common household sounds that drive tuners crazy. We'll skip over the obvious. Nearly everyone knows that loud televisions and screaming children need to be turned down or moved out of range. But that leaves a whole range of "normal" noises that happen near the piano, more so thanks to the advent of "open concept" homes where there is no longer a wall separating the kitchen and living areas.

10.
Grandfather clocks. Or any clock that makes chimey noises every 15 minutes. Even better, more than one chimey clock set to slightly different times so the pleasure is doubled. Note that the tuner stops during the chimes and waits patiently. Little secret: that's not patience.

9.
Microwave oven programming tones. Even better, set the timers, then don't be around when they go off. Beeeeep... beeeeep...

8.
Running water in the sink. This is called "white noise". It's technically not just one frequency, but it clogs the ears.

7.
Washing dishes, especially pots and pans. Clanks, clunks, and clatters all have atonal components that make tuning difficult to say the least.

6.
Running the clothes washer and/or dryer. More white noise. Surprisingly distracting when you're trying to focus.

5.
Running a vacuum cleaner. Seriously? You can't do that later?

4.
Whistling or humming. Oh H*LL no.

3.
Phone ringers. This usually isn't a problem, but if you really want to have some fun, set up a business line that gets calls constantly and have all calls go to an answering machine near the piano. Set it to ring loudly 4 times before answering, then have the message set to top volume so the tuner has to hear it along with the messages people leave. This actually happened.

2.
Window open, lawn mowing and/or wood chipper running nearby outside. Self-explanatory, hopefully.

1.
Family dog in the very next room, barking constantly through the door at the intruder. Really, just let the dog in. PLEASE. The barking generally stops after they get the idea the tuner isn't hurting anyone and even the enthusiastic snuffling of a hyperactive dog is far better than that repetitive, ear shattering, brain/concentration destroying barking.

Thank you in advance for doing your part to promote and support the serenity and happiness of your local piano tuner.

Address

Tamarack Dr At Cowell Rd
Brighton, MI
48116

Opening Hours

Monday 18:00 - 21:00
Tuesday 18:00 - 21:00
Wednesday 18:00 - 21:00
Thursday 18:00 - 21:00
Friday 18:00 - 21:00
Saturday 08:00 - 21:00
Sunday 08:00 - 21:00

Telephone

(810) 360-3896

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