Tuning Frequency: 446, 447, 432, vs 440?

Discussion in 'Guitars, Guitars Guitars!' started by reitze, Dec 24, 2011.

    Dec 24, 2011
  1. reitze Banned

    This topic seems to have been around a long time with mostly :meh: perceptions about it.

    Since my early days of guitar playing I just did relative tuning and guessed without a reference (was always off from others when checked) - and since in that mode I never noticed any difference - like "its all relative"... I had my doubts. But...

    My guitar instructor asked me several times about 432. I couldn't answer if it sounded any different or why so I took an "engineering" look at it.

    My impression is it's a good thing- and the "right answer" is 446 (447 is within tolerance same). The effect is not easy to discern but my impression is that I do hear a difference. A google reveals a HCAF thread that reveals some modern bands are using 447 too - though per my spreadsheet and current earth measurements it looks like 446 is "ideal". Yet all the while the earth itself is only accurate-frequency to 7.8 +/- 1/2 HZ. So 447, 446, even 440 could argue no big deal. But giving it a chance...

    Its funny my guitarin FEELS better this week, and in my lesson my guitar instructor tuned on 446 too and played better than I've EVER heard him play. It opened a whole new approach to our lessons - so rather than coming away with videos all I got was some schoolin (that's really even better).

    So it's still a subtle thing.. is it real?

    I've tried to capture the picture in this video:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2013
  2. Dec 24, 2011
  3. cfgsteak Kick Henry Jackassowski

    When I read posts like this I realize how dumb I am.


    Sent from my Samsung Epic 4G via Tapatalk.
  4. Dec 24, 2011
  5. Jeremy Also no borders.

    You and me both, man. I don't even know what the difference is...
  6. Dec 24, 2011
  7. Peeker jerkass

    I tune to H.
  8. Dec 24, 2011
  9. Help!I'maRock! Quaalude Moonlight Graham

    440 is the standard frequency that the entire western world has agreed on since 1955. i've found that getting other musicians in-tune is difficult enough. getting them in-tune at 435 (or anything else) seems like a good way to bang my head against the wall.
  10. Dec 24, 2011
  11. Denverdave Resident Ragamuffin


    If all you are doing is playing in your living room or strictly solo gigs you can tune however you want. Playing in a band, especially with a keyboard player, A440 is it.
  12. Dec 24, 2011
  13. Tiltsta Show me your frittatas

    I once played a thing with a German flute player whose instrument was tuned to 446. I thought it was a little odd, but she assured me that was a standard thing in europe. Much easier for me to retune to 446 than her to tune to 440. Pretty much everything else I do is 440.

    As for the tuning to the fundamental harmonic of the planet, I can't imagine a situation where I would give a shit.
  14. Dec 24, 2011
  15. Peeker jerkass

    maybe if you were the planet...?

    eayh...about that nap
  16. Dec 24, 2011
  17. Tiltsta Show me your frittatas

    Odd Peeker mentioned tuning to H. That was another odd thing playing with the German. They use H for the note a semitone below C, what we would call B...and they call B flat plain old B. I remember her telling me I should play an H while we were practicing, and I was like all WTF is H.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  18. Dec 24, 2011
  19. Help!I'maRock! Quaalude Moonlight Graham

    from what i understand, that's one of those relics of non-tempered systems where Bb and A# are actually different notes.
  20. Dec 24, 2011
  21. Flamencology You don't deserve koa.

    You're playing with the wrong people.

  22. Dec 24, 2011
  23. Peeker jerkass

    Dexter said they use it over there too.
    kinda took the wind outta me sails, tbh :weebz:
  24. Dec 24, 2011
  25. Modern Saint Starve your Fear, Feed your Dream!


    There is enough issues to keep everything tempered properly. If it were to help improve music overall cool but since it won't - neat to learn but meh.
  26. Dec 24, 2011
  27. reitze Banned

    Yea I get it about getting everyone tuned the same. But I did read a forum on HCAF some bands were into it (i read they liked 447).

    For what its worth, the primary Earth's Schumann resonance frequencies seem to be midway between notes E,F and between notes BC. Hmmm 1/2 steps - IDK if it relates or if it did in 1955. My impression is the Schumann resonances have been slowly increasing with 1/2 hz variation when measured, so in 1955 440 might have been as "in tune with the world" as it seems 446 is now (that's 111.6 instead of 110 hz on A string open).
    Here's the spreadsheet... let me know if there's something else worth a try - but it does seem just a bit warmer - like in the video if that's possible to hear. Seemed the C had a "dark" sound to the cord while tuned to 446.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  28. Dec 24, 2011
  29. reitze Banned

  30. Dec 25, 2011
  31. Wyatt Mayor McSleaze

    AC/DC also records guitars at a slower tempo and different key and then speeds it up to pitch to sound fuller. You can do anything in the studio.

    All of this becomes moot as soon as you have to play with a piano...everyone tunes to the piano because it's far too expensive to tune it to anyone else (even the drummer, though I drummer who knows how to keep his skins in tune is rare these days).
  32. Dec 26, 2011
  33. reitze Banned

    I do like the speed-up/slow-down approach to shift the tuning up/down a bit while maintaining the relative-relationships of the notes - for the sake of getting to the bottom of this being of real or imagined benefit.

    I once had a Teac Porta-1 4 track mixer/tape which had a tape-speed control. If I had easy access to something like that playing a simple cords like the root E and bar'd B it could confirm/refute that perception I have about it seeming warm/dark.

    That is, in 446 tuning my impression is the bar-B is "warm" or "solid" while the bar-C is "dark" almost "minor" sounding. And per the spreadsheet the B is most resonant and seems the C is the least (in THAT 446, and prolly opposite that in std 440).

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