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Piano Tuner and Repair Technician, Don Burke

Don Burke on Drums

I started playing drums and piano around age 4 or 5. My father, Ed Burke, was a music teacher and also did instrument repair. In 1958 he opened Burke Music Company, a music store in our hometown of Frederick, Maryland. He played trumpet, trombone, sax and clarinet. I remember listening to the John Coltrane Quartet on the record player in the shop. The legendary drummer, Elvin Jones was a strong influence on my playing from a very early age!

Burke Music Company 1958

I started playing electric bass at age 13. At age 16, I attended my first summer session at Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was quite overwhelming for someone who was primarily a drummer, but I attended additional summer sessions over the next few summers. I mostly enjoyed the Ear Training classes and the jam sessions in the evenings with other students.

In the early to mid-1980's I was playing either drums or electric bass in various rock, country-rock and jam bands. In the late 1980's I bought a Roland D-50 synthesizer, I got back into playing keyboards, and started taking piano lessons again. A couple of years later, I acquired an old upright piano and got totally involved in becoming a piano technician. It's now over 28 years later, and I have become an expert at piano tuning, repairs and rebuilding. I maintain a web site at www.DonBurke.com

Grand Piano Action Regulation

Currently, I am playing drums or bass in band situations, but I also spend many hours at home playing various keyboards including a Roland VK-8 (Hammond organ "clone") and various hardware and software-based synthesizers.

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