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Tuning to pitch


onewilyfool

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"In the years before the Nazi Regime, the Standard Reference for Tonal Frequency for the European countries was 435...Not 440 A.....435 A. When Germany came to power they insisted that 440 was to be the standard and has been ever since. What's the difference ? If you have ever seen a tuning fork marked 970 ( 435 X 2 = 970 ), that's it. but if you don't have one,the Red Snark Tuner can be reset to 435. Try it.

 

What's the difference ? Well,...if you have ever been waiting for new strings to loose that harsh, biting sound that mellows with age,...therein is the clue. When we enjoy Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar playing,...there is the 'Slack' in Slack key',...a relaxed, looser sound. How about Slide Guitar in general ? Not only is the instrument tuned to a Chord but,...we usually loosen the tension to re-set the pitch to that Chord. Drop D Tuning,...gotta love it.

 

Jimi Hendrix and Robert Johnson both tuned their guitars to a lower pitch. What's the difference ?

 

What's the difference ? Well for some guitars it just sounds more mellow, not so bright.

Also,...we know that it's better to have the pitch just a bit Flat and never a little bit Sharp.

We will often bring the notes slightly Sharp just in fretting them. There is also what we call 'bloom' wherein the perfectly tuned string will crawl just above the note played and then relax back onto the actual note.

 

What's the difference ? Today while playing along with KPIG tunes I found that it was much easier to hear my part fitting in because I never played a note that was too Sharp. What's the difference ? I was tuned just 5 clicks down from 440A to 435A. Not far enough below to sound out of tune but rather,...the 'Bloom' often raises that little bit plus,...any bending, vibrato, etc. you get the idea ? It's easier to bend up than down, no?

 

Even Bach and Beethoven expected the Reference Pitch to be 435A,...not 440A. What's the difference ?

 

Try it,...you might like the sound."

 

I used to down tune to this pitch a while ago…works great if you aren't playing with other guitarists…..try it, you may like it, especially if you are a solo-type player

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They defined it 1939 in London, and Germany immidiately followed this rule, although e. g. Richard Strauss critisized it since the situation for vocalists got worse. The defintion was confirmed by the ISO in 1955 and 1971.

 

Originally, they intended to define 439 Hz but that was rejected since it is a prime number. So what's the use - except for octaves, you always will end up with surd numbers, using the 12th root out of 2 as a multiplier for each half step... [confused]

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Oh No!

 

More moving goal posts.....

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

Nice pun about posts [biggrin]

 

But what's the goal? Regardless of reference pitch, tuning must in fact follow the Railsback curve, for stringed and wind instruments as well. This says the higher, the sharper, when sounding in tune is intended. Every real sound source has overtones which are overpitched, compared to simple maths.

 

Bearing this in mind, every player may refer to whatever frequency, as long it can be achieved applying a reasonable string tension. Note names and pitch references are just nomenclature for use in ensembles.

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The method for proper tuning to pitch is to note the wife as she approaches in the milk house during the evening milking of the cows. Playfully poke her in the behind upon a fine cheek there with the pitchfork you are holding as she passes by yourself. The screech she emits will be at the desired 440* pitch and will be forever indelled upon your memory so as to allow you to call it up and tune by ear the next time you sit down to play your guitar out in the barn where you, your guitar and your rattlesnake rattler will be residing from that point forward. The profound ringing in your ears which you will experience as your constant companion after she hits you over the head with a bucket will be equally permed in your brain at 55* and serve well as your bass reference. Hope this down home method for proper tuning to pitch will be of use to all.

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The method for proper tuning to pitch is to note the wife as she approaches in the milk house during the evening milking of the cows. Playfully poke her in the behind upon a fine cheek there with the pitchfork you are holding as she passes by yourself. The screech she emits will be at the desired 440* pitch and will be forever indelled upon your memory so as to allow you to call it up and tune by ear the next time you sit down to play your guitar out in the barn where you, your guitar and your rattlesnake rattler will be residing from that point forward. The profound ringing in your ears which you will experience as your constant companion after she hits you over the head with a bucket will be equally permed in your brain at 55* and serve well as your bass reference. Hope this down home method for proper tuning to pitch will be of use to all.

 

 

but,,

 

what if..

 

I don't have a milk house.

 

guess I'm screwed?

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The modern consensus about pitching in Bach's day is that it was closer to A=415hz - about a semitone flat - and in Beethovan's day A=432hz. The A=435hz standard came later.

 

Violins with unwound, Baroque style gut strings sound massively better to my ears at A=415hz - I also used to play a Baroque instrument calked the viola d'amore, a bizarre looking viola with seven playable strings and seven sympathetics under the fingerboard, and I always used the A=415hz tuning for that one.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The modern consensus about pitching in Bach's day is that it was closer to A=415hz - about a semitone flat - and in Beethovan's day A=432hz. The A=435hz standard came later.

 

Violins with unwound, Baroque style gut strings sound massively better to my ears at A=415hz - I also used to play a Baroque instrument calked the viola d'amore, a bizarre looking viola with seven playable strings and seven sympathetics under the fingerboard, and I always used the A=415hz tuning for that one.

John McLaughlin had a guitar made like that!

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John McLaughlin had a guitar made like that!

 

I just googled it, very interesting. Some of the Linda Manzer guitars have a similar thing going on - I'd love to try one. The violas d'amore are a nightmare to play, even on the rare occasions you can get them in tune. I have a second one with only five melody strings and a small body that's more like a violin to play, but it doesn't ring as much as the proper Baroque style one. Amazing beasts in the right hand though - here's a good Youtube example from a great player (not me!):

 

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