April 10, 2018

piano piece ii

Official-looking thingie
Not only did I repair the pedal ... I tuned my own piano last night.

*smug dance*

See, what happened is, there is this little screwdriver-type thing in the bottom of the toolbox in our kitchen that has been there for eleven years, and I never threw it out because I didn't know what it was for, and it had a curved end and a square socket so it looked vaguely official and important, so there it sat, conversing with pliers and bits of wire and some kind of device that has a flashing red light and measures something.

I was looking at piano tuning kits on eBay yesterday, because I absolutely, compulsively must fuck with things, and saw one of those curved tools among the rubber stoppers and metal tuning forks and was all, "I have one of those!"

A shortage of hubris wasn't an issue.  I brim with it.

I did my weekly grocery shopping.  John was gathering carts out in the parking lot and I told him that he has mad skills because he pushed a mile-long line of carts in-between two cars and had less than an inch of clearance.  He didn't say anything.  Once I got home, I grabbed that weird gadget and went downstairs and opened the piano.  It fit the pegs perfectly.  For all, um, two hundred and thirty strings in there.

Right, then.

I started with the note that made me make Picasso faces when it was struck, because it was supposed to be an A but was sort of a B-flat-flat-flat-flat-flat.  There are three strings and you have to get them all on the right note and make them all agree with each other so they sound like one string.  What I learned is, you have to possess amazing subtlety (not my strong suit), because the slightest little turn has a profound effect on the sound.  I immediately gained great respect for the hand strength and prowess of professional piano tuners.

But I don't need this to be grand-piano concert-grade tuned by a pro who could do it with perfect pitch.  I just need to be able to stop whimpering while trying to play it.  I got it across that threshold.  I can keep at it until it's right, but god-damn-it, it felt good to sit down and try to play.

There have been some extra little moves added to the smug dance and it probably looks really stupid now, but I danced it anyway.  I danced like no one was watching, but only because they weren't.  Fuck that affirmation shit.

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