Pseudo-Piano Tech

O. Guy Morley

October 17, 2017 (Revised: August 14, 2018)

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

1. Prologue

Roberto loves to play the piano. But he is not really a good pianist. In fact, he was able to play only a few pieces, including one well-known classical and one not-so-well-known Argentinian Tango pieces. However, his passion is not limited to playing. He also enjoys working on the piano. Maybe, this is from his engineering background. And this is a story of Roberto as an amateur piano technician. Since this is partially based on a true story, a lot of information here corresponds to real names and real procedures. There even will be some photographs. However, none of Roberto, I (the narrator), nor the author is responsible for any potentially negative consequences from using the information presented in this story.

By the way, my name is Lester. I was born in 1946 and am four feet and ten inches long. I have known Roberto only for about a year. However, due to unusually strong connection between us, I learned his story pretty well. That is, about his experience with pianos in various ways. How did I learn it? That is a topic of another story. Anyway, it all began in the summer of 2014.

At the age of fifty-four, Roberto started to practice the piano on an old Yamaha electronic keyboard. It has only 61 keys and the keyboard action is based on cheap springs. So, it was not at all a good instrument for practicing. However, he already had that keyboard and didn’t want to spend any additional penny to get started. He also made a sustain pedal out of cardboard paper, aluminum foil, and a few pieces of electrical wire. It worked just fine.

About half a year later (the spring of 2015), Roberto was making a progress. In fact, he was hooked. In the summer of 2015, his family visited their relatives in Japan, where there is an old Kawai upright piano built in 1967. It had not been tuned for over thirty years. So, it was obviously out of tune even to the ears of Roberto. However, when he played it, it didn’t matter too much to him. He was simply glad that he was able to use a full-size keyboard with 88 keys for the first time and was very impressed by the sound of an acoustic piano. At that point, he had no idea about what he was going through in the coming three years.

Note: The rest of the story can be read at and is also available in the PDF format:

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