Dean Petrich, Registered Piano Technician
Dean Petrich, RPT, has been servicing pianos since 1973. Dean is skilled in many ways. He is precise, meticulous, and accurate. He has a keen ear and pays close attention to detail. He can troubleshoot and repair just about anything on any piano, and usually has the needed parts on hand. If not, he has the resources and capability to solve any piano issue. Over the years Dean has received countless compliments for his tunings, at which he excels.
Dean has held every office in the Seattle Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild, including being President for two consecutive years. Currently he is Vice President. Dean maintains the Seattle Chapter library and archives of the chapter PTG seminars, conventions, and technical presentations and is interested in combining efforts with other chapter archivists and PTG Journal collectors.
Dean has a database of over 3000 customers, and has moved, tuned, and repaired pianos weekly since 1973. He began collecting so many pianos that at one point he owned over 300. For many years he rented pianos; at one point he had 98 pianos rented out, but the week after 9-11 nearly all of his rentals returned due to fears of economic shortage. Since then, Dean began giving away all his pianos.
Aural and Electronic Tuning
To be able to tune by ear takes years of training and practice. Even with a tuning aid, the skill of moving the hand and the tuning hammer is an art that must be acquired by knowledge, skill, and repetition. Increasingly fewer piano technicians have mastered the art of aural tuning. Dean is one of the remaining few.
For his first twenty years Dean tuned exclusively by ear and mastered several ways to set temperaments and to do aural checks. Then he purchased his first tuning device: the McMorrow electronic tuner. Shortly after, the Sanderson AcuTuner came out, which Dean used for many years. As tuning aids evolved, their precision and capabilities increased; consequently, the precision of every tuning has increased. Next, Dean used the VeriTuner and the PianoMeter. Now he primarily uses the CyberTuner. Even with such extreme accuracy, at the end of every tuning Dean always checks each note by ear. His work is guaranteed.
To get a glimpse of another side of Dean, watch this short video:
The arrival of Covid changed a lot of things. Each new variant is more contagious than the one before. Each case of Covid opens up the possibility of 20,000,000 more variations to the strain. Serious long-term effects of Covid are being discovered, such as headaches, cough, fever, loss of sense of smell, dizziness, low oxygen, chronic coughing, muscle ache, fatigue, eye infections, blindness, depression, anxiety, psychosis, lingering heart damage, strokes, bursting tiny blood vessels in the brain, and brain shrinkage. A person can contract two or three variations of Covid at the same time, and there is no natural immunity preventing damage from future exposures.
For these reasons and more, Dean has completely stopped tuning pianos in any space where humans are breathing on a regular basis. He is no longer travelling to Seattle, and the few pianos he is tuning on Whidbey are in vacant buildings such as churches and empty vacation rentals. When he does, he wears a mask and surgical gloves, and brings a fan. His tuning waiting list is growing long, waiting for things to improve. From the looks of the world, Covid is here to stay, and we must remain vigilant.
To keep his immune system in top shape, Dean runs and exercises daily, takes exceptionally absorptive supplements, eats and sleeps well, and laughs a lot. He has been self-isolating since the beginning of 2020 and is anticipating the day when he can resume tuning safely.