Concert pitch 440-442

Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
edited October 2013 in Welcome Posts: 440
Was listening to a youtube clip last night and realized that they were at 442.
You can hear it.
When we work in Europe the piano's are 442 so we tune to that.
It makes for more tension on the stringed instruments.
Its good, brighter.
Sometimes if its accordion, we let the accordion be at 442 and we don't tune up.
It depends on the effect we want.
Give it a thought if your curious.
Feels a bit more taught, sounds a bit brighter.
You may like it.
Discuss ?


  • Interesting ...... In accordion slightly different reed tunings is used to get that wet sound with lots of quavering.

    I find for me that on exposed unisons the vibrato from the disimilar tunings idea a bit much. Unless playing with an accordion :mrgreen: . Other than that it doesnt make much diff to my guitar at least not to my ears. I don't jam much at the moment but my experience in jam sessions is quite a number of guitars are out 15 cents or more

    2 hz difference 440 is about 8 cents. Audible for a trained ear.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    Posts: 440
    Its a difference all right. :)
    I'm not about "jams".
    4's a crowd . IMO
    When you tune to 442 most players can at the least feel the difference.
    I can hear the difference.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,025
    Your mileage may vary???
  • I can hear the difference in pitch....I just don't hear a difference in guitar response on my Dunn from 8cents tuning difference. Haven't treid it on my beach now I will :)

    In vocal ensemble pitch reference is somewhat flexible but even a few cents doesn't get the magic happening. Has to be perfect. Which in guitar can never be because, as we all know, its a temper tuned instrument. :mrgreen:

    Four guitars is two too many IMO.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • MacKeaganMacKeagan
    Posts: 51
    Gack! No more effing pitch creep! This stuff happens because some older guys start losing their hearing, usually conductors and orchestra leaders, so they raise the pitch to make it sound "bright", thus making concert A 440 sound dull. I'm also a sometime Highland piper, and I've seen it happen with pipe bands all over the place --bagpipers' A is around 476 or higher! Maybe the orchestras are trying to keep pace with the bagpipers?? I'm also a fiddler, and I absolutely hate tuning high as it places added stress on instruments and strings--I know, 442 is only 2 cents higher, but give them a millimetre and they'll take a metre! Highland pipes used to be A 459, and now look where they are.
    Another more reasoned objection is that guitar and violin tops are "tuned", that is, made to vibrate/resonate best to certain pitches or frequencies. When you tune sharp by say a half-step, you are creating perhaps a less-than-ideal set-up for your instrument to sound, no?
  • MacKeaganMacKeagan
    Posts: 51
    But then again, how is tuning sharp any different than using a capo, or barre chords? Hmm, could be the added string tension?
    Anyhow, I feel the pitch creep thing is just causing trouble where there wasn't any. Maybe somebody could make a piano capo? :wink:
  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 166
    MacKeagan wrote:
    Maybe somebody could make a piano capo? :wink:

    That's an old invention. Irving Berlin used to have one back in the 1940's.
  • The total string linear pull of the strings on a guitar with light argies is in the 125 lb range if I recall correctly. I am not sure what increase going up that bit is but it would be something and on a very lightly built instrument it might change the shape of the top to the point where it would be noticeable.

    As there is a downward angle after the bridge some of that force is directed down and most is still in line.

    When I switched my Dunn to the Newtone Django strings the neck went crazy on me compound bend.... had to completely slack strings offrest for an hour or so and restring with the argies. Fortunately no harm done it all came back to its usual self.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527

    I had an interesting experience last weekend, when i jammed with Jean-Claude Laudat and some other very good accordeon players. Their bass (electric) player asked me to tune my guitar to the same pitch as his bass. And this was 436 Hertz! I could see this on his tuner. He explained it in french to me, so unfortunately I didn't understand all of it. What I could figure out was that they always tune the guitars and bases at 436 Hertz when accompagning an accordion, because it "sounds better together". My wife recorded the session and it sounded very good, indeed.

    Can anyone explain the technical background of this to me?
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,025
    Do you mean tune the guitars to 436 while the accordion is 440 or that the accordion is tuned to 436 so tune the guitars to 436?

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