Category Archives: Leeds Piano Tuner

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.

A few notes about my availability page

I like having a ‘Leeds Piano Tuner’ availability page on this website. It’s convenient for the customer to have an idea of how I can work around their schedule. At the moment, I can only update it while I’m home and at my computer, so I while I aim to update it daily, it’s sometimes out of date by a date or two. This is because, for various reasons, I sometimes stay over at my parents house after a long day. Or sometimes, if I have a lot of piano repairs on top of piano tuning to do I might not be home until 11:00 PM at which point I’m too tired to turn my computer on and start updating the website (in those cases I set my alarm earlier so I can update it before setting off for work the next morning). I would say, if you’re just visiting the website for the first time, please check the page and by all means choose an available slot – but if it says it hasn’t been updated in a day or two there’s a slight chance another piano tuning appointment might have been booked during that short space of time.

Another point is about my availability on weekends – at the moment if you’re in desperate need of a piano tuner as soon as possible, I can offer weekend bookings. I’m happy to do this if it helps the customer. Generally speaking, if you’re not in such a rush to have your piano tuned and serviced, I’m usually busy for a week and then my schedule becomes flexible after 7-10 days (most piano tuning bookings are at short notice). If you’re willing to wait a week or so I can be much more flexible with hours.

  • – Richard Lidster, Leeds Piano Tuner

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.

Piano Tuner operating as usual in Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford and Harrogate

Okay. If you’ve left things to the eleventh-hour and need an emergency piano tuning in Leeds (or thereabouts) I have two 2 PM slots on Thursday the 16th and Friday the 17th of September this coming week. If you’d like to book these, it may be preferable to give me a call 07542667040 – I wouldn’t want to offer someone a slot only for it to be snatched away at the final moment.

The following weeks I have the following hours free for West Yorkshire Piano Tuning:

  • Monday the 20th of September @ 9 AM
  • Monday the 20th of September @ 11:30 AM
  • Monday the 20th of September @ 2 PM
  • Monday the 20th of September @ 5 PM
  • Monday the 20th of September @ 7:30 PM
  • Thursday the 23rd of September @ 2 PM
  • Thursday the 23rd of September @ 5 PM
  • Thursday the 23rd of September @ 7:30 PM
  • Friday the 24th of September @ 9 AM
  • Friday the 24th of September @ 2 PM
  • Friday the 24th of September @ 5 PM
  • Friday the 24th of September @ 7:30 PM
  • Monday the 27th of September @ 9 AM
  • Monday the 27th of September @ 11:30 AM
  • Monday the 27th of September @ 2 PM
  • Monday the 27th of September @ 5 PM
  • Monday the 27th of September @ 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday the 29th of September @ 9 AM
  • Wednesday the 29th of September @ 11:30 AM
  • Wednesday the 29th of September @ 2:30 PM
  • Wednesday the 29th of September @ 5:30 PM
  • Wednesday the 29th of September @ 8 PM
  • Thursday the 30th of September @ 9 AM
  • Thursday the 30th of September @ 11:30 AM
  • Thursday the 30th of September @ 2:30 PM
  • Thursday the 30th of September @ 5:30 PM
  • Thursday the 30th of September @ 8 PM

I’ll be on holiday in Dorset from the 2nd to the 9th of October. The week beginning Monday the 11th of October is good for me if you’d like to book something then.

When are my working hours?

I still like to update my ‘Piano Tuner’s Availability’ blog as often as I can. I regularly have days where I leave home at 8 AM and arrive home after 10 PM, at which point I’m too exhausted to log into this site, never mind write about Leeds and piano tuning (if I did, I’d sound tired and cranky!). In an ideal world I’d update my availability listings multiple times every day. If I can find a way to do that, I certainly will in due course.

Due to a problem with my browser, I’m unable to access the admin port of my website via my iphone which is somewhat unfortunate. If I could, then I could easily change the listings in my car when I’m early for a job (I usually park up on the road if I’m early). Because of this, I would view that page as a way to see whether my schedule fits yours and if there’s a particular day that would work well, if it hasn’t been updated in a day or two.

To earn a respectable living as a piano tuner, one must be willing to travel far and wide – only booking jobs in Leeds, Bradford and Harrogate would be a dead end. One or two days out of the week there will be nothing listed – this is usually because I’ll be booked up in a far away locality such as Scarborough or Whitby, where I get to have an enjoyable day at the seaside in between successive piano tuning. I didn’t used to like travelling, but I’ve learned that putting on some classical music or an audiobook makes such long drives much more bearable. Given that the last job of the day usually begins at 7:30 PM, driving back from Scarborough at 9 PM is a breeze.


After an interesting year of mild starvation I’ve had a week of work that was as equal to a typical pre-March 2020 week. In the past year, lack of work led to apathy and caused me to neglect this website a little. Thanks to the recent slew of calls I’m feeling much happier and more motivated about my Leeds and Bradford piano tuning.

I haven’t always been on time with reminders or with updating my Leeds piano tuner availability section. When you originally start a business you spend a lot of time on the website, making sure the availability is updated at least once a day and you have more to talk about on your blog. As time goes on you start to rely on people texting, emailing or contacting you to give a time that works best for them for a piano tuning. There are fewer topics you can write about that you haven’t already said. Also, piano tuning, repairs and regulation are niche topics I’m not sure how many people are genuinely interested.

I don’t think I’ll use this blog as much as I used to when I started piano tuning. There just isn’t as much new ground to cover. Instead it’ll be used for any important updates.

My Youtube Channel

Throughout my misspent youth I acquired a gorgeous collection of guitars, amplifiers and speaker cabinets. This collection means the world to me. On my days off I’ve started making video demonstrations of some of my favourite pieces of equipment, partly as a way to direct some traffic towards my channel and to grow my piano tuning business.

I haven’t uploaded any piano or piano tuning related videos yet. Mainly because I don’t currently have a piano at home. I’ve been contemplating buying a small Yamaha piano (I’ve perused the Piano Man shop in Leeds, in between piano tuning jobs), but it’s not on the cards right now. I do a lot of writing/recording and most of that tends to be rock music centred around rather simple, joyous guitar riffs.