What People Are Saying About Us
"David Weiss is a master piano technician. He has been servicing our 1967 Yamaha G2 piano for many years now. In 2017, with the piano fifty years old, it was time to rebuild the action. David skillfully removed the action, took it to his shop, and rebuilt it as needed. Th re-installation was most precisely accomplished with the result that the piano has performed as if brand new. This was done in timely and cost effective manner.
I would recommend David without hesitation or equivocation."
"Phenomenal technician David truly cares about his customers and the pianos he works on. Customer service and attention to detail are impeccable. Recommend most highly!"
Founder and Executive Director Front Porch Roots Music School
"David Weiss is fantastic! When we were looking to purchase a piano in the fall of 2009, I reached out to my boys' music teacher at their school, and she recommended David Weiss. After David inspected a number of pianos at Charlottesville Piano and walked us through each one, he recommended a Kawai that we still love to this day. Since the purchase, David has been our piano tuner and tunes our piano every 6 months. He also installed a humidity control system to help maintain the integrity of the piano. David is very professional and highly skilled, arriving to every appointment on time. There have been times, due to my work schedule, where I've had to leave a key for him to enter our home for the piano tuning; I have trusted David and felt very comfortable letting him tune with no one home. I would recommend David enthusiastically to anyone searching for a piano tuner or a consultant in making the investment of a piano purchase."
"I have used David for years and appreciate his professionalism, attention to customer care and skill. I'm thrilled with the extensive work he did on my Baldwin grand piano last year! I love the feel of the action now, which had become very worn from years of use, and the greatly enhanced sound. I highly recommend his services!"
Jeanne Jackson, Piano teacher.
President of Charlottesville Music Teachers Association.
"David Weiss has been fabulous to work with. We had one old piano that needed a tuning badly, and one baby grand that we thought was beyond repair. However, David came by, assessed the situation, gave a detailed and fair estimate, then performed the work quickly and professionally. We are so happy with the results and excited to be able to use them both again! I recommend David Weiss for any of your piano needs!"
Lucy Akers-Allen, Principal
Murray High School
"David Weiss has been invaluable in keeping my piano in top shape for nearly eight years. I initially asked him to tune a piano that had gone badly off during a move, and subsequently worked with him to keep that piano in tune in an apartment with wildly fluctuating temperatures and humidity. He succeeded. In this, and in evaluating other work or potential work that could be done, David has always taken a practical approach. I trust him and value his advice on all things piano related."
Just a note to let you know. The sound of my piano is spectacular. After several years of distance, I feel that I have my piano back. The beauty brought tears to my eyes Thank You"
"My family couldn't be happier with the service we received from David Weiss Piano. We have an old piano that belonged to my great-grandmother, and it hadn't been given the attention it deserved in several years. David was extremely quick to respond to our needs and our piano is feeling like the grand old lady she is once again. From tuning and restoration to custom string covers and humidity systems, there is nothing that this company can't do. We can't recommend them highly enough and we will use them exclusively in the future. If you have a cherished piano that needs attention for a reasonable price, look no further than David Weiss."
I just wanted to express, in writing, how very pleased I’ve been with the piano services you have provided. From joining me to verify that the freecycle piano was worth the effort, up to and including today’s 2nd tuning, You and Lucas have helped bring beautiful piano music back to my life. The piano sounds absolutely fantastic now!"
"I am a piano teacher in Ivy and have worked with David for over ten years. I have always been impressed with his knowledge and skill. I currently play on grand piano that he refurbished. I would recommend him to anyone with a piano in Charlottesville."
Mike Anderson. Piano teacher, musician, Public television producer.
"David is an excellent technician and musician -- so he brings both skill and a keen ear to his trade. He has tuned our piano for years and I highly recommend him for regularly scheduled tuning as well as repair and maintenance issues. 5 stars!!!"
Nancy Paulson. Vocal Coach.
"Just wanted to let you know how happy we are with the tuning and voicing you gave our piano. The Piano once again has the sound we love! It is like welcoming an old friend back. Thank you so much!"
Janneke and Bob Smith
"I am happy to report that my Yamaha U1E upright piano that you repaired last spring has been working perfectly and has inspired me to start playing again on a regular basis."
Gavin G. Professor of engineering.
"Just wanted u to know how much I appreciate your help and work on the piano. Plays better than any piano I tested including those way out of my price range. You make it exciting to get off of work and lose myself in playing. Big ups. Thanks again and again."
Neil C., .Professional musician.
Good Tuning is One Man’s Piano Forte
By: Bryan McKenzie - July 1, 2002
Here in the living room of a Waverly home in Albemarle County stands a box of finely finished wood surrounding a sounding board with 220 steel wires each strung with as much tension as an air traffic controller, about 150 pounds per square inch.
It’s a pianoforte, otherwise known as a piano. Since its perfection in the late 1700s, it has attracted brilliant musicians like Ludwig Von Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Duke Ellington and Thelonius Monk, to name a few. It has inspired talents like Franz Joseph Haydn, Frederic Chopin and Margaret Johnston.
It can be sad, soft, angry, and hard. It’s capable of great expression, just as soon as David Weiss is through with it.
“Most people don’t believe it, but a 10 percent change in humidity will affect the tuning of a piano,” he says, his right arm up to the elbow in instrument.
Knowing is the Key
Mr. Weiss knows pianos. He played on and off Broadway as a professional musician in New York City. He gave up the late night lifestyle, got married and moved to California, where he worked as a forest ranger for nearly a decade.
But he missed music. Unwilling to live the life of a performer while raising a family, he looked for another way to play and found a love of tuning and repair and moved his family to Canada to study.
Now he makes possible the music of others. He brings notes into line. He makes repairs. He adjusts felts, hammers, pads and the thousand parts that make up the instrument.
“I was trained to tune by ear,” he says, striking a chord and adjusting the waver between notes. “I start out with concert A and tune the 12 keys around it. Then I move out octave by octave. I don’t listen for pitch, I listen for harmonics.”
He sits on the piano’s bench. With his right hand he makes miniscule adjustments using a piece of wood with a metal head placed over the piano tuning pegs. With his left hand he strikes a series of notes and chords.
He listens to the wavering harmonics generated among the notes and adjusts the strings one at a time. There are as many as three stings per note in the piano.
It’s not quick work. It can take as long as an hour to tune a well maintained, oft –played piano.
“If it hasn’t been tuned for three of four years it can take a lot longer, because the strings stretch when you tune and tend to go back out of tune quickly. As you change tension of one side of the piano, it changes tension on the other and what you’ve just tuned can go back out of tune. So you tune and retune and sometimes you tune again, he says.
Chords, intervals, single notes struck with force; the repetitious procedure to tune a piano is aurally monotonous. To Mr. Weiss, however, it’s music. It may be music in the raw, but it’s still music.
“I love what I do. I’m proud of it. I make it possible for other musicians to sound their best,” he says, adjusting and tuning. “I may not be performing, but I am making music.”
Piano Will Soon Play It Again, Sam
By: Bryan McKenzie - February 25, 2006
A rack of 88 century-old, felt-covered, wooden hammers lifted from a 1908 William Knabe piano sits on the floor.
"It's not as easy as it looks," says David Weiss, sitting cross-legged next to the rack, carefully removing one of the hammer mechanisms for repair. "What you're looking at when you look at a piano is about 5,000 moving parts and every one of them can fail at any given time. And they do."
There are seven hammers marked for repair. Mr. Weiss will carefully remove them. He doesn't want to bend, snap or break the leather, wood and brass parts that push, slam and pull the hammers on, at and off the strings.
"At the time this piano was built, in the 1900s, Knabe was one of the best pianos made," he says. "I thought I'd take a look at it because it seemed like music is an important part of [the seniors'] lives."
Music as life Indeed. The Mary Williams Senior Center attendees are in another room, singing along with a Karaoke machine. They sing old songs. They sing soul tunes. They sing hymns. To them music is an important part of life. It's a connection to their past. It's a reflection of now. It's a promise of the future.
The piano is a major part of that music. Volunteer pianists come in on a regular basis to lead songs or entertain and members have listened to the old instrument slowly work its way out of tune and repair.
"The piano is important to the people here because music is very important to them," said Wanda Cabell, the center's director. "They sing a lot and we have a lot of folks who come and play the piano and it's hard to play it if it isn't working right."
The center recently sought help. Mr. Weiss, a professional piano tuner and repairman, volunteered his time. A former pianist on Broadway, he learned the art of piano repair and tuning to keep in touch with his music while raising a family.
Now he expresses his love of music by perfecting an instrument for others to play.
Piecing it together Mr. Weiss carefully positions a small wood piece, called a jack, on the end of a hammer from which it broke, pouring watery glue across it.
The glue flows where he wants it - the piano part - and where he doesn't - on his hands.
"This is a special glue that sets almost immediately. Hospitals will use this for surgical procedures rather than sutures so I'm not too upset if I get it on me," he says. "It comes off in a couple of days."
Mr. Weiss will make several trips to the center to rough tune, repair and finish the tuning. The piano's age requires that he take his time and pay attention.
"There are a lot of small parts, a lot of cloth and felt and everything you touch is 100 years old and liable to fall apart, making more work," he says. "This piano is in pretty good shape for how old it is and how much use it gets. It was built well. It will definitely be playable, again."