Piano Technicians Journal

Author Resources

Guidelines and Suggestions for Submitting Articles to the Journal

When the editorial staff receives submissions from Journal contributors, we convert all files to the same format. The closer the files arrive to their final format, the less chance of error during publication. These guidelines and suggestions will make it easier your article to be included in the Journal.

General

Articles may be anywhere from 500-2500 words in length. Complex technical articles are at the long end of that spectrum, while book or CD reviews are at the shorter end. Articles longer than 2500 words will be considered for publication as a series.  We print about 500-600 words per page plus illustrations and seek to include at least three feature articles per issue.

Grammar

We make every effort to maintain an author's voice while making the text conform to well-established rules of English grammar and Journal style.

Please don't take offense at whatever editing may occur once you submit your text. Similarly, don't let weak writing skills prevent you from sending in material. We will work hard to share your ideas with the world in a consistent, grammatically correct way while giving you all the credit. In fact, most of the time authors don't even know that editing has taken place. Send us your articles!

Text Standards

Word document format: .doc format
Text Font: Times New Roman
Font size: 12
All margins: 1”

Indent paragraphs with the tab key or use block style paragraphing. Do not change margins to indent paragraphs or blocks of text.

Avoid use of alternate styles, different fonts or larger font sizes for titles and headings as formatting will be done at layout. Any attempts to create layout makes inclusion of your article more difficult.

Illustrations

Illustrations are an important part of the Journal. Please include supporting photos, drawings, graphs and/or charts when you submit the article. Also, please consider where your illustrations might be placed within the body of the article and mark them as such. (Your actual high-resolution images will be turned in separately and you will be guided through that submission process.)

[Photo 1. Tighten the flange screws.] 

Note: Be sure to name your illustrations accordingly.

Format for charts, graphs: .pdf
Format for hand drawings: .jpg or .pdf

Remember all Illustrations (charts, graphs, drawings, photos, etc.) must be made with the highest quality settings available to you.

Photographs

Format: .jpeg
Minimum size: Set your camera to its highest quality setting and send the original file.

Picture-Taking Tips:

  • Keep your hand as steady as possible when taking pictures. If necessary, try bracing against a solid object otherwise your pictures may end up being too blurry to use. (If you have the ability to use a tripod, please do.)
  • Don't hold your camera too close to the subject or the picture may blur.
  • When taking a photo of a person, put their head in the top half of the frame otherwise you will have a lot of sky or ceiling in the photo. Be careful to include all of a person’s head and hair.
  • Don’t cut off a person's foot when taking a full-length picture. Include feet.
  • In group photos, don’t line up people like soldiers on review. Faces can be at different levels and people can be looking at each other or at an appropriate focus of attention.
  • Look at the background when taking a picture of people. Avoid pictures where you have things like branches "growing" out of peoples' heads.
  • Don’t take pictures with other things in the background that are distracting.
  • Always have subjects face the light source. The light source should be behind you otherwise their faces often end up being too dark and the background too light.
  • A cloudy day or a neutral window shade can be excellent sources of filtered, even light.
  • After you take the picture, check to see that it is focused, well lit, and clearly depicts your subject. If you're using smart technology, zoom in on the picture to verify that it meets the print guidelines stated above. Remember, a photo in print is much less forgiving than just looking at it on a screen so the better your photo the better your article will look when published.

Industry News

The Journal Strives to be fair and unbiased in its coverage of new products and materials. Brief items of interest from piano manufacturers, suppliers, and trade schools, including special events, personnel changes, training opportunities, and new products, should be submitted for the “Industry News” section of the magazine and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Non-Technical Submissions

Human interest stories are always welcome for the “Tuner’s Life” column. These stories usually run 500-700 words and are meant for entertainment purposes.

Guidelines and Suggestions for Submitting to the Tips, Tools, and Techniques Column of the Journal

The Journal seeks to present tips with a variety of authors, topics, and levels of difficulty. Tips should be direct and succinct. One or two photos and a few sentences should tell the story.

Tips may be edited for content and clarity. Authors will be sent the edited version for comment. We do not pay for TT&T items. We welcome tips from everyone.

Sources

Tips may be original, but feel free to share tips learned at conventions, conferences, chapter meetings, or other events. Just remember to credit the original person: “I learned this tip in Bill Nelson’s regulation class at the convention in Burns, Oregon."

Content

Anything that helps us do our jobs as piano technicians is fair game. Topics typically include:

  • Tools (other than commonly used tools or those already sold by the supply houses)
  • Tool modifications
  • Jigs and measuring devices
  • Time-saving methods for common tasks
  • Marketing
  • Software, social media, and useful apps
  • Common household items repurposed for piano work

Tips for methods that are contrary to established “best practices” will be considered, but please use common sense: does the method actually work? Could it cause damage to a piano?

The editor may be cautious in printing tips that recommend unproven chemicals, especially those that have not been specifically designed for pianos, tested by piano manufacturers, or proven safe for indoor use.

Although sometimes a tip may be product, tool or brand specific, we try not to endorse specific products or brands. A statement such as “other brands and models are available at different price points” may be added.

Photographic Standards

Please try to send well-focused high-resolution photographs. Sometimes we may need to request a better photo.

Author Permission

Submission implies the author’s consent for publication of photographs and text by the Journal in both print and digital formats.

Where to Submit

Please send tips to: TTT@ptg.org

Obituary Policy

The Journal publishes obituaries of deceased PTG members. The focus of a Journal obituary should be the professional life of the member—how that person became a piano technician, where the person worked and the kind of work done, professional relationships with other technicians, and the role the person played in the Guild on local and national levels. Brief statements of unusual facts of the person's life may be included, especially when related to the person's work as a piano technician.

Comments about family, military service, religion and politics should be very short if they are mentioned at all, keeping in mind that most readers will not have had a personal relationship with the member, and that the significant connection is a professional one.

It is recommended that the member's PTG chapter affiliates write the obituary, as they usually will remember the person in ways consistent with the above guidelines.

Obituaries will usually be published several months after the death of the member, so they need not be written under time pressure.

Families should understand that obituaries will be edited to comply with these guidelines. Obituaries making little or no reference to the professional life of the deceased member may not be published at all.