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Meet David Shepherd Coots of Artisan Piano Service in North Side

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Shepherd Coots.

David Shepherd, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The early 90’s I had just finished playing in the band The Gerards. Meeting my new girlfriend’s father at the time, he asked me, so what do you do for a living? I said I am a musician. He said no, what do you do for a living? I admit I was bartending. He said well son, if you are going to date my daughter then you need some more skills. He took me on as his apprentice. Taught me to tune by ear and finally decreed me an official Tuner/Tech.

I found a job right away full-time reconditioning pianos. Kept that for years. Wound up later moving from Chicago to Nashville working with Producers and Artists there until I missed Chicago too much and moved back.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Piano tuning and tech work has been a journey. I have always enjoyed being self-employed and have always striven to leave a wake of happy clients and pianos. In fact I tune every piano as though the Angels are watching and listening. I have always wanted the 10 year old student’s piano to be tuned at a super high level just as a high level artist should have.

It is truly one’s reputation that forwards a career and maintains it, especially in Chicago. I consider the pianos I tune and work on as being my Art. Therefore I want to always paint beautiful pictures for my legacy and clients.

Please tell us about Artisan Piano Service.
Artisan Piano Service is me. I am unusual in that I tune by ear. I work with the highest level industry clients and many homes as well as Universities, Jazz clubs and the Classical music arena from the North side and Evanston right up the North Shore.

I also am quite skilled in voicing, regulation and acoustic piano tech work of all kinds.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Ha, lessons learned…hhmm, if I started over I would probably be more consistently adept at the clerical side, i.e. making calls consistently. As my older clients know that they may have to call me sometimes.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Serving Chicago North side, Evanston and the North Shore
  • Website:
  • Phone: 773-417-6720. 847-800-0844
  • Email:

Image Credit:
Paul Crisanti, Jeff Coffin, Myself

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