A Piano Tuner’s Tools of the Trade

In the world of piano tuning, where precision meets artistry, one method stands out for its ability to create a unique and vibrant sound: stretch tuning. This specialized technique involves stretching the piano’s strings to produce a rich and expressive tone. To achieve this intricate tuning method, professional piano tuners rely on a specific set of tools. 

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of stretch tuning and unveil the essential instruments that bring its magic to life.

The Tuner’s Toolkit for Stretch Tuning

Stretch tuning is an art form that requires meticulous attention to detail and a specific set of tools. Here’s a closer look at the instruments that we use when employing this distinctive method:

Tuning Lever

The tuning lever, also known as a tuning hammer, remains at the core of the tuner’s toolkit. It’s a specialized wrench designed to fit the tuning pins of the piano precisely.

Electronic Tuning Device

To establish the initial pitch reference, we use either a traditional tuning fork or an electronic tuning device. These tools help ensure that the piano is initially tuned to the correct starting point.


Mutes, made of soft materials like felt or rubber, are employed to temporarily silence specific strings while tuning others. This is especially crucial in stretch tuning to isolate individual strings and achieve the desired sound.

String Spreader

Stretch tuning requires precision, and a string spreader tool helps tuners gently separate and space the piano strings evenly, allowing for accurate adjustments.

Tuning Hammer Tips

Tuning hammers come with interchangeable tips to fit the tuning pins accurately. Having a variety of tips ensures a secure grip and minimizes the risk of damaging the pins during the stretching process.

Listening Skills

While not a physical tool, a keen ear is an essential asset for any tuner, especially when practicing stretch tuning. Our tuners use their discerning listening skills to gauge the resonance and harmonics of the stretched strings.


Stretch tuning is a captivating method that adds depth and character to a piano’s sound, making each note come alive with vibrancy. Our professional piano tuners who employ this technique are not only masters of their craft but also skilled artisans who wield a unique set of tools to shape the piano’s voice.

The next time you hear the captivating melody of a stretch-tuned piano, you’ll appreciate the intricate artistry and precision that go into creating its distinctive sound. If your piano needs a tune, give us a call at (210) 593-8329 or request a quote.

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