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Details for Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners


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


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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.



  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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