Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners

Description

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

Tasks

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

Knowledge

Foreign Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Geography
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Philosophy and Theology
Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.

Skills

Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Abilities

Speed of Limb Movement
The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Innovation
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

Accordion Repairer
Accordion Tuner
Band Instrument Repair Technician
Band Instrument Repairer
Band Instrument Repairman
Banjo Repair Person
Bow Rehairer
Chip Tuner
Fabrication Technician
Fretted Instrument Repairer
Fretted String Instrument Repairer
Guitar Builder
Guitar Repairer
Harp Regulator
Keyboard Instrument Repairer
Keyboard Instrument Tuner
Luthier
Mandolin Repair Person
Metal Reed Tuner
Musical Instrument Mechanic
Organ Fixer
Organ Installer
Organ Pipe Voicer
Organ Tuner
Percussion Instrument Repairer
Percussion Instrument Tuner
Piano Mechanic
Piano Mechanic Apprentice
Piano Regulator
Piano Regulator-Inspector
Piano Technician
Piano Tuner
Piccolo Mechanic
Pipe Organ Installer
Pipe Organ Mechanic
Pipe Organ Mechanic Apprentice
Pipe Organ Technician
Pipe Organ Tuner and Repairer
Player Piano Technician
Reed or Wind Instrument Repairer
Reed or Wind Instrument Tuner
Stringed Instrument Repairer
Stringed Instrument Tuner
Tone Regulator
Violin Mechanic
Violin Repairer
Voicer

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$14.73 hourly, $30,630 annual.
Employment (2008):
7,130 employees