The Piano And Tuner Are One w/ Dale Erwin and Arlan Harris (Part 1)

The Piano And Tuner Are One w/ Dale Erwin and Arlan Harris (Part 1)

Many of us feel pressure while we work, actively concentrating on what we are doing. It's not bad, but over time it can lead to frustration and puts a fence around our work.

Our co-host David Andersen shares his philosophy on piano tuning–just relax and pay attention to your work. Because 8/10 times, your body knows exactly what to do and you can just watch it perform. We just have to let our years of practice flow through us as we pay attention to our actions.

Arlan Harris, our guest, reinforces the concept that paying attention is an aspect of passive observance. When you can passively observe what you're doing, you can quickly become one with your work.

If you're playing/tuning and passively observing what you're doing, you become the piano. You are one with the piano.

In this episode, our guests Dale Erwin and Arlan Harris extensively talk about how you can level up as a piano technician by doing some simple but underrated things like training your ears. Listen to pianos and their tunings and study what you hear. Ask the pianists what they want out of a tuning/piano and listen carefully to their input. As per Arlan's experience, pianists love getting involved in the tuning process, and they are the happiest when we tune their piano just the way they want it to sound. We often get to learn from them just like they learn from us.

Learn more about communicating with pianists/customers, getting vulnerable by asking questions, and levelling up by “tuning” into this episode.

Here's a little bit about our guests:

Dale Erwin:

Dale being a piano technician wasn’t a planned event, he was unintentionally trainedcame by accompanying his dad to countless tunings and soaking in the craft through hours of absorption in a shop environment. His official training began with my Dad & Dick Hamlett in 1972 at the family Yamaha dealership in Modesto.

Dale became a registered piano technician in 1980. He had the privelege to serve as president of  local Piano Technician Guild chapter five years, a tuning examiner for 8 years & an instructor at the local, state, and national level. He has had enormous opportunities and has taught many classes at state, local, and national Piano Technicians Guild conventions.

Arlan Harris:

Arlan is a piano restorer and a concert piano technician. After working in the Famous Steinway Hall Basement in the 80’s, where many of the world's most demanding artists arrived almost on a daily basis and working as an action specialist as well as tuner/technician, Arlan honed his skills learning from his superiors, colleagues, and top-level pianists. He is the president of Arlan Harris Pianos and Services and Arlan Harris Production.


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Creators and Guests

David Andersen
David Andersen
David Andersen, owner of David Andersen pianos in Los Angeles has been a professional musician, recording artist, and piano technician/consultant for nearly four decades. He has overseen the restoration and maintenance of hundreds of Steinway and Mason & Hamlin pianos during that time. Beginning in 1975 he apprenticed for two and a half years under Jack Cofer in Atlanta, Georgia; during the 1980s he studied at Steinway facilities both in New York and London.
Eathan Janney
Eathan Janney
Eathan has 20 years of experience as a piano technician. He studied with Dave Miller, the staff piano technician for the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Dave Carpenter, the inventor of the Verituner electronic tuning device, provided mentorship for Eathan in Chicago. Eathan also worked with Ken Eschete and Bill Schwarts, the staff piano technicians at Northwestern University in Chicago. In 2009, he founded Floating Piano Factory of New York, a company that allows piano technicians to move from Apprentice to Craftsman level while offering value pricing to clients as technicians progress toward mastery. In 2017 he founded Piano Technicians Masterclasses, an online project designed to offer cutting-edge instruction from piano industry masters to anyone on the globe with an internet connection.
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