Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuner Career

Job Description: Repair percussion, stringed, reed, or wind instruments. May specialize in one area, such as piano tuning.


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Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuner Career

What Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners do:

  • Disassemble instruments and parts for repair and adjustment.
  • Inspect instruments to locate defects, and to determine their value or the level of restoration required.
  • Play instruments to evaluate their sound quality and to locate any defects.
  • Mix and measure glue that will be used for instrument repair.
  • Polish instruments, using rags and polishing compounds, buffing wheels, or burnishing tools.
  • Repair cracks in wood or metal instruments, using pinning wire, lathes, fillers, clamps, or soldering irons.
  • Repair or replace musical instrument parts and components, such as strings, bridges, felts, and keys, using hand and power tools.
  • Compare instrument pitches with tuning tool pitches to tune instruments.
  • Reassemble instruments following repair, using hand tools and power tools and glue, hair, yarn, resin, or clamps, and lubricate instruments as necessary.
  • Shape old parts and replacement parts to improve tone or intonation, using hand tools, lathes, or soldering irons.
  • Adjust string tensions to tune instruments, using hand tools and electronic tuning devices.
  • Refinish instruments to protect and decorate them, using hand tools, buffing tools, and varnish.
  • Make wood replacement parts, using woodworking machines and hand tools.
  • String instruments, and adjust trusses and bridges of instruments to obtain specified string tensions and heights.
  • Solder posts and parts to hold them in their proper places.
  • Remove dents and burrs from metal instruments, using mallets and burnishing tools.
  • Align pads and keys on reed or wind instruments.
  • Strike wood, fiberglass, or metal bars of instruments, and use tuned blocks, stroboscopes, or electronic tuners to evaluate tones made by instruments.
  • Remove drumheads by removing tension rods with drum keys and cutting tools.
  • Assemble bars onto percussion instruments.
  • Repair breaks in percussion instruments, such as drums and cymbals, using drill presses, power saws, glue, clamps, grinding wheels, or other hand tools.
  • Replace xylophone bars and wheels.
  • Adjust felt hammers on pianos to increase tonal mellowness or brilliance, using sanding paddles, lacquer, or needles.
  • Clean, sand, and paint parts of percussion instruments to maintain their condition.
  • Remove irregularities from tuning pins, strings, and hammers of pianos, using wood blocks or filing tools.
  • Deliver pianos to purchasers or to locations of their use.
  • Solder or weld frames of mallet instruments and metal drum parts.
  • Test tubes and pickups in electronic amplifier units, and solder parts and connections as necessary.
  • Wash metal instruments in lacquer-stripping and cyanide solutions to remove lacquer and tarnish.
  • Refinish and polish piano cabinets or cases to prepare them for sale.
  • Remove material from bars of percussion instruments to obtain specified tones, using bandsaws, sanding machines, machine grinders, or hand files and scrapers.
  • Place rim hoops back onto drum shells to allow new drumheads to dry and become taut.
  • Stretch drumheads over rim hoops and tuck them around and under the hoops, using hand tucking tools.
  • Assemble and install new pipe organs and pianos in buildings.
  • Cut out sections around cracks on percussion instruments to prevent cracks from advancing, using shears or grinding wheels.
  • Cut new drumheads from animal skins, using scissors, and soak drumheads in water to make them pliable.
  • File metal reeds until their pitches correspond with standard tuning bar pitches.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Holland Code Chart for a Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuner