Category Archives: Bradford Piano Tuner

Busy April, but still open to customers!

It’s looking like a very hectic month for the Leeds piano tuner, be he’s still open to new clients throughout the month and into May. If you could be patient and understanding of his busy schedule, he will book you in as soon as possible – please don’t forget to check the availability page of this website for a regularly updated list of piano tuning availability. A well-earned holiday has been booked in late April which further complicates things – but he will always aim to book you in within a week or two of your enquiry.

Digital verses acoustic pianos (an unbiased perspective)

Even though I should be an acoustic purist, I’ve lost some of my piano tuner credentials by purchasing a digital piano recently for my flat so I can practice at night with headphones on. I made this purchase from a reputable Leeds piano shop. After being shown many new models by a fellow Leeds piano tuner working in the shop and after trying out everything in store I settled on the Nord Stage Piano and I’m very happy with my decision. Some beautifully authentic piano sounds and I was quite surprised to hear some imperfect tuning on one or two of the patches!

Now, does the Nord digital piano really compete with an acoustic piano in terms of sound or touch? I would have to say no. The keys are weighted and have enough responsiveness to be able to play expressively, but even a low quality acoustic piano has better dynamics overall. When it comes to the sound, while the sampled grands on the Nord are musically pleasing, speaker (or headphone) technology can no way compete with the room-filling quality of acoustic piano’s spruce soundboard reverberating (creating much greater air movement) and hitting the pianist with the full, powerful sound we all love. In comparison a digital piano is always going to seem slightly sterile and lacklustre.

The digital piano serves the purpose of getting pieces together for more serious playing which occurs on the grand piano in my parent’s home (I currently live in a flat and can’t fit in an acoustic piano, even a spinet or console). In a perfect world everyone would have a high quality grand or upright piano for different purposes (annoying scales and technical exercises could be done on headphones on the digital piano, which leaves the acoustic piano ready for louder and more dynamic performances). Another upside of having the best of both worlds is that their is less wear and tear on the acoustic piano over the years which prolongs its lifespan. Knowing what I know now I would certainly choose the ‘best of both worlds’ option if I was starting out as a pianist.

Happy New Year to my Leeds and West Yorkshire piano tuning clients!

Happy 2023 everyone. 2022 was the most financially successful year on record for me by a wide margin – lots of piano tuning, and new friends and contacts made with various Leeds and Bradford theaters, recording studios, schools and churches – plenty of freshly tuned pianos out there today. It was a delight. Don’t let anyone tell you that digital pianos have superseded acoustic pianos – lots of Luddites and purists out there like myself who can appreciate the sound and feel of a real piano.

On that note, please don’t forget to have your acoustic piano tuned regularly – ideally twice a year. It’s best for the piano tuning stability, its tone and its longevity.

  • – Richard Lidster, Piano Tuner Leeds.

Prices remain the same… for now

Does anyone remember when a can of coke cost 50p, a chocolate bar was 30p and petrol was less than a £1 a litre? Inflation is rather worrying now. My prices will have to stay the same… for the time being. For piano tuning I have to travel long distances (although my main customer base is in Leeds), so I will have to see how cost effective my current prices are with these huge increases in the price of fuel, food, and utility payments. I am always upfront with my prices (everything on this website is wholly up to date) as I find “hidden charges” extremely annoying and wouldn’t want to inflict them on anyone else. But don’t be surprised if in two or three months I have to put my prices up.

Plan of action this Christmas

December is here. I’m more or less working a typical schedule this Christmas – despite the pandemic, things won’t be drastically different to other months. I’m only taking Saturday and Sunday off to celebrate Christmas with family, and the rest of the time I’ll be piano tuning or wrapping presents. The week between Christmas and New Years Eve I hope to pack more piano tuning in… although that all depends on what is going on in Leeds and Bradford.

My Covid-19 safety measures (Omicron edition)

What are my health and safety precautions during a piano tuning visit? For starters I will wear a mask upon entering your home. I will keep two metres during the visit and allow each customer to decide if they’d like to open the windows for ventilation while I’m piano tuning. I’d advise every piano tuning customer to wipe down the keys with antibacterial spray before and after each piano tuning as I’ll be touching every key.

I’m double vaccinated and, outside of piano tuning in Leeds, Bradford and so on, I never go out or put myself in close proximity to large groups of people. Piano tuner is the most solitary profession in the world outside of lighthouse keeper and that’s a good thing at present.

Unfortunately, all that being said, I tested positive for Covid-19 earlier in the year (I caught it at a band rehearsal), but it was the most mild version of the coronavirus ever seen – so I’m confident my immune system has built up a strong defence against the virus. I had a blocked nose and a cough for two days, and tested negative after four days. Following the guidelines, I stayed in quarantine for ten days in total even though I was testing negative for six of those days. The experience has made me even more cautious when travelling around Wakefield, Bradford or Leeds piano tuning. I can’t afford to stop being a Leeds piano tuner for ten days (or more) again! I test regularly, both at home in the mornings, and often before a piano tuning at a Leeds or Bradford School or commercial venue.

Pennies from heaven for the Leeds Piano Tuner

It’s that time of year again – industrious piano students are preparing for their grades and their Christmas concerts and their keen ears require their pianos be tuned to A440. Concert halls, venues, clubs, pubs and restaurants in Leeds and Bradford are busier and require their pianos to be tuned as more and more customers mention it to them. I hope I don’t sound ungracious as I appreciate the increased interest, but a weekend booking might be more favourable right now (assuming you can manage it), as my week day West Yorkshire and Leeds piano tuning slots are being snapped up by the second. Please keep a keen eye on my availability page if you’re looking for a Leeds piano tuner, I’m updating it on a daily basis and it’ll give you a general idea of my schedule at the very least. My number is 07542667040 if you’d find it easier to make an appointment verbally.

I don’t know what it’s like for other piano tuners working in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield etc, but December appears to be the busiest month for anything musical. I’m being sensible with my bookings and not squeezing too much in – I leave sufficient time to do a thorough job on every Yorkshire and Leeds piano tuning.

Worried about Covid-19? I’m double vaccinated, have caught and defeated the virus in the past (thus have built up the antibodies), am testing regularly (last tested today: negative. Previously tested on Saturday: negative). I will wear a mask upon request and naturally keep two metres distance throughout each visit. I don’t think there’s a safer time to book than now – but the decision is yours!

Leeds Piano Tuner to cover broader territory

There seems to be a distinct absence of calls and emails from Leeds piano tuning clients the last few days, which is a little concerning as business over the three months has been heaving (what caused the short drop off? Christmas?). More optimistically, I received a text this evening from a happy customer in Shipley expressing his gratitude for my fixing of his ‘twangy’ piano (a word often used to denote pianos slightly out of tune – piano tuning improves the tone as well as the pitch!) and a call from a restaurant in Wakefield which requires another piano tuning. Maybe its time to broaden my territorial scope even further! Where else could I advertise?

I still remember my lacklustre early years building this business from the ground up. Many weeks of only 2 – 3 jobs for the first year or two. Having to take odd jobs in unrelated fields just to make ends me. I suppose a week where I have 10 jobs rather than 20 is not a cause of despair when looked at from that perspective. Now I’ve grown used to working 7 days a week, I get terrified when business shows signs of slowing down.

More weekends hours open for piano tuning

My ‘Leeds Piano Tuner Availability’ page is best used as a guide to find an hour that fits your work schedule. I also work early mornings on a regular basis although these are ‘hidden’ piano tuning hours that I offer when no others suit you; they tend to be offered to theatres, schools, commercial venues and the like (usually in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield or Harrogate), but if you’re an early bird like me then a home booking at 7 AM or 8 AM might be your first choice. Piano tuning can be done at any time of day, as long as it isn’t disturbing a neighbour or relative, although I personally feel most energetic in the morning, afternoon and early evening.

As Christmas draws near, late evening bookings could be an option. While my stated last booking is usually 7:30 PM, I sometimes have a piano tuning booking at 9 – 10 PM as well if it meets the needs of the customer. I always like to have 2 hours available for each customer, even if it doesn’t take that long – this allows enough time to tune the piano and make any required adjustments to the mechanism.