Preferred Tuning?

What Tuning Do You Prefer?

  • E Standard

    Votes: 83 74.1%
  • Eb / Half-step down (God's tuning)

    Votes: 23 20.5%
  • Drop D

    Votes: 1 0.9%
  • D Standard

    Votes: 4 3.6%
  • Drop C#

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Drop C

    Votes: 1 0.9%
  • Looooooooow

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    112
  • Poll closed .

dirocyn

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 20, 2018
7,286
Murfreesboro, TN
Kind of a surprise, nobody mentioned playing in A:432, there's a whole thing about that. Tuned Eb (down 1/2 step) is effectively A:415.3, sometimes called Baroque tuning.

A440 has been more or less universally accepted since 1975. We regularly listen to music that predates the standard.

The following is an incomplete list of pitch standards from various sources.



1640Vienna Franciscan Organ A457.6
1663Bernards Schmidt's Orgain in Duham, England A474
1699Paris Opera A404
1711John Shore's tuning fork, a pitch of A423.5 He invented the tuning fork, one of which still exists today.
1780Stines, for Mozart, A421
1780Organ builder Schulz A421.3
1714Strasbourg Cathedral organ A391
1722Dresden's chief Roman Catholic church organ A415
1759Trinity College Cambridge organ A309
1762Stringed instruments at Hamburg A405
1772Gottfried Silbermann built the organ in the main Roman Catholic church in Dresden, and it had a pitch of A 415 at the time.
1780Organ builder Schulz A421.3
1780Stein's tuning fork A422.6
1751Handel's own fork A422.5
1800Broadwood's C fork, 505.7, which is about half a semitone lower than that of today
1811Paris Grand Opera A 427
1812Paris Conservatoire A440, as modern pitch
1813George Smart adopted for the Philharmonic Society the pitch of A423.3.
1820Westminster Abbey organ and possibly Paris Comic Opera used a pitch of A422.5.
1823In Veienna pitch was A437 and it 1834 A 440
1828Philharmonic Society A 440
1834Vienna Opera A 436.5
1835Wolfels piano maker A443
1836Pleyel's Pianos A446
1846Philharmonic pitch was A452.5 (very high) which lasted till 1854
1846Mr Hipkins piano tuner (Meantone) A433.5 (Equal) A436.0
1849Broadwood's medium pitch was A445.9 which lasted till 1854
1858New Philharmonic pitch C522
1859The French government set up a commission for a standard pitch. which was A435 the fork temperature was15 degrees centigrade.
1860Cramer's piano makers of London A448.4
1862Dresden Opera A 440
1871Covent Garden Opera House A 440
1877Collard's piano maker standard pitch was A 449.9
1877St. Paul Cathedral organ A446.6
1877Chappell Pianos A455.9
1877Mr Hipkins piano tuner A448.8
1878Her Majesty's Organ A436.1
1878Vienna Opera A447
1879Covent Garden Opera A450
1879Erard's factory fork 455.3
1879Steinway of England A 454.
1879British Army regulation pitch for woodwinds A451.9
1880Brinsmead, Broadwood, and Erard apparently used a pitch of A455.3
1880Steinway may have been using a pitch of A436. According to Steinway of New York, 1880 is right around the time they switched from three piece rims to the continuous rim that is used today. So it is unlikely the pitch was any higher before 1880, yet Steinway of London had a fork A454.7.
1885In Vienna a pitch of A435.4 was adopted at a temperature of 59 degrees Fahrenheit for A.
1885At an international exhibition of inventions and music in London a pitch of A452 was adopted.
1896Philharmonic pitch A439, giving C522
1925On the 11th of June the American music industry adopted A440.
1936American Standards Association adopted A440. yet; New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, use 442 Hz
1939At an international conference A440 was adopted.
 
Last edited:

davidKOS

not posting these days
May 28, 2012
17,116
California
Kind of a surprise, nobody mentioned playing in A:432, there's a whole thing about that. Tuned Eb (down 1/2 step) is effectively A:415.3, sometimes called Baroque tuning.

A440 has been more or less universally accepted since 1975. We regularly listen to music that predates the standard.

The following is an incomplete list of pitch standards from various sources.



1640Vienna Franciscan Organ A457.6
1663Bernards Schmidt's Orgain in Duham, England A474
1699Paris Opera A404
1711John Shore's tuning fork, a pitch of A423.5 He invented the tuning fork, one of which still exists today.
1780Stines, for Mozart, A421
1780Organ builder Schulz A421.3
1714Strasbourg Cathedral organ A391
1722Dresden's chief Roman Catholic church organ A415
1759Trinity College Cambridge organ A309
1762Stringed instruments at Hamburg A405
1772Gottfried Silbermann built the organ in the main Roman Catholic church in Dresden, and it had a pitch of A 415 at the time.
1780Organ builder Schulz A421.3
1780Stein's tuning fork A422.6
1751Handel's own fork A422.5
1800Broadwood's C fork, 505.7, which is about half a semitone lower than that of today
1811Paris Grand Opera A 427
1812Paris Conservatoire A440, as modern pitch
1813George Smart adopted for the Philharmonic Society the pitch of A423.3.
1820Westminster Abbey organ and possibly Paris Comic Opera used a pitch of A422.5.
1823In Veienna pitch was A437 and it 1834 A 440
1828Philharmonic Society A 440
1834Vienna Opera A 436.5
1835Wolfels piano maker A443
1836Pleyel's Pianos A446
1846Philharmonic pitch was A452.5 (very high) which lasted till 1854
1846Mr Hipkins piano tuner (Meantone) A433.5 (Equal) A436.0
1849Broadwood's medium pitch was A445.9 which lasted till 1854
1858New Philharmonic pitch C522
1859The French government set up a commission for a standard pitch. which was A435 the fork temperature was15 degrees centigrade.
1860Cramer's piano makers of London A448.4
1862Dresden Opera A 440
1871Covent Garden Opera House A 440
1877Collard's piano maker standard pitch was A 449.9
1877St. Paul Cathedral organ A446.6
1877Chappell Pianos A455.9
1877Mr Hipkins piano tuner A448.8
1878Her Majesty's Organ A436.1
1878Vienna Opera A447
1879Covent Garden Opera A450
1879Erard's factory fork 455.3
1879Steinway of England A 454.
1879British Army regulation pitch for woodwinds A451.9
1880Brinsmead, Broadwood, and Erard apparently used a pitch of A455.3
1880Steinway may have been using a pitch of A436. According to Steinway of New York, 1880 is right around the time they switched from three piece rims to the continuous rim that is used today. So it is unlikely the pitch was any higher before 1880, yet Steinway of London had a fork A454.7.
1885In Vienna a pitch of A435.4 was adopted at a temperature of 59 degrees Fahrenheit for A.
1885At an international exhibition of inventions and music in London a pitch of A452 was adopted.
1896Philharmonic pitch A439, giving C522
1925On the 11th of June the American music industry adopted A440.
1936American Standards Association adopted A440. yet; New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, use 442 Hz
1939At an international conference A440 was adopted.
thanks for posting this list....which I've used in the past in these sort of discussions, glad you beat me to it this time!

it proves pitch was all over the place before international standards, both high and low

the Baroque tuning you mention is also sort of a modern construct for reproduction instrument makers

"
British Army regulation pitch for woodwinds A451.9
"

Old High Pitch...almost a half step high

If you are interested also look into the difference between chorton and cammerton:


THANKS
 

dirocyn

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 20, 2018
7,286
Murfreesboro, TN
the Baroque tuning you mention is also sort of a modern construct for reproduction instrument makers

It IS effectively the tuning of the Silbermann pipe organ at Dresden. Which was good enough for the likes of Mozart and Bach, they both loved it.

And since it was good enough for them, I say that's more than enough to give cover for anybody else who prefers to tune to A:415 (Eb).
 

Groundwire

Strat-O-Master
Apr 16, 2021
749
Oregon
I don't like making other musicians transpose...and I don't like doing it myself unless I absolutely have to. Standard tuning for me.
Do you ever use Eb tuning for the occasional song that is in Ab or Bb? I have heard some session guys do this so they can make use of open strings etc… I guess these keys are more common for arrangements that have Horns.
 

davidKOS

not posting these days
May 28, 2012
17,116
California
Do you ever use Eb tuning for the occasional song that is in Ab or Bb? I have heard some session guys do this so they can make use of open strings etc… I guess these keys are more common for arrangements that have Horns.
I ain't El Gob...but

Open string licks...OK, that would justify retuning. It never happened to me, though.

Pretty much all the "horn bands" I played in were fine with me playing in standard tuning.

I would play stuff in all the flat keys - including Ab and Db - even when playing solo jazz guitar.

For non-jazz, it was also all standard tuning. hey, Eb9 chords are cool!
 

MetalPedal

Senior Stratmaster
Oct 22, 2016
2,670
Auto-Wah, Canada
I play in D standard. When I jam with others I just use a capo and it's not too bad for me ...I just clip it on there and start playing.
For a while, I avoided songs in non-standard tuning but if all strings are dropped equally, the pitch shifter on the Quad Cortex makes it a breeze. We’re now doing Stereo by the Watchmen.
 

Capncalyx

New Member!
Jan 12, 2022
6
IN
I tune a half step down and then play a lot in drop D, whatever that would be. Also a few months back i found love for heavier gauge strings, like 11+. Killer tone. Chews my fingers up more though.
 

dspellman

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 24, 2013
1,322
Los Angeles
I put the song into Guitar Rig 5 and convert it to the tuning I want.
I do the same with Motely Crue stuff that I don't want to tune to D Standard for.
There are many software options to change the pitch of songs, and as long as you don't go crazy, the songs still sound great. (It gets a little wonky if you start down-tuning standard songs to drop C or something lol...the music still sounds good but the vocals sound crazy.

I have no problem playing in standard if I were playing with a group or something, but if I'm sitting at home on my own, why do I care that my non-existent band has to down tune to match my Eb :) lol
I have Korg Pandoras that include both a pitch shifter and a slower-downer. Two of the best practice gizmos (after a metronome) I've used.
 

joebtone

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Jan 26, 2022
2,379
Northwest US
I'm one of those pianists, but I've never had a guitar player tune to Eb to accommodate me. Shouldn't be necessary at all.
It’s not that I have to for those keys it’s that I like the fingerings better.
Not a big deal...It’s a change of pace.
I used standard E for years.
 

joebtone

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Jan 26, 2022
2,379
Northwest US
I'm one of those pianists, but I've never had a guitar player tune to Eb to accommodate me. Shouldn't be necessary at all.
I like to steal bass lines when I can too....so the open lower strings...I tend to use them even when I’m way up the neck with them ringing between my fingers.
Sometimes bass players don’t like it. 😎
Pianist too.😎
 


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