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How to transcribe Django from recordings not tuned to A440?

anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
edited April 2013 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 560
Hey there,

For my ear training practice, I would like to begin figuring out some Django solos on my own, without TAB. The only problem is they're tuned slightly off of A440. I'm wondering if they were tuned to a specific frequency consistently, and if so, what was it (A439 ??) , OR are there decent recordings I can buy that have been tweeked so the songs are tuned up to A440.

Let me know if you know this !

Anthony
«1

Comments

  • Relative pitch is just that...most of the discrepancy is likely due to the old technologies and some may just be that they tuned to somone close.

    If you have to shift it rahter than retune your axe...use transcribe or other software and correct the pitch.....harder done than said :lol:
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Archtop EddyArchtop Eddy Manitou Springs, ColoradoModerator
    Posts: 589
    Hi Anthony,

    Transcribe = $39
    Amazing Slow Downer = $15-49
    Retune your guitar = $0
    Pick a song out in the wrong key and mentally transpose it to the correct key = Priceless (but hardly worth the angst)
  • Eddy ....you missed your calling LOL
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,684
    Did you have any in particular that you were thinking of. I have not run across any that were so far off that I couldn't re-tune my guitar close to the recording just for the purpose of transcribing it.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,026
    My friend Mitch (who posts here too) produced this with Alain Antonietto:

    http://www.amazon.com/Retrospective-193 ... rospective

    According to him, everything is tuned to A440; i haven't actually tested this but I don't see why he 'd lie

    Otherwise, I usually just tune my guitar to whatever the tuning is or if it's not too far off, I deal with it and use my relative pitch
  • Svanis1337Svanis1337 ✭✭✭
    Posts: 424
    I have found that many recordings are in the elusive A=432 tuning. You can read about it on the internet. One of those is the recording of "La Mer".
  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 158
    Now this is an internet myth (though widely spread one), or as we used to call them: urban legend. At least in the Integrale La Mer seems to be quite near 440. The recording has a piano, so most likely all stringed instruments were tuned according to that. Why would a piano in 1949 Italian radio's studio have been tuned to 432?

    Exactly, it wouldn't.
  • Svanis1337Svanis1337 ✭✭✭
    Posts: 424
    Absolutely right. But we can assume that when there were only stringed instruments, there might not always have been something to tune to, a tuning fork or a piano et.c. Especially in impromptu recordings. The tuning differences could be the results of many factors. The most obvious one would be the lack of an A=440 source, another common factor would be warped recordings and inferior recording equipment.
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,240
    Svanis1337 wrote:
    The tuning differences could be the results of many factors. The most obvious one would be the lack of an A=440 source, another common factor would be warped recordings and inferior recording equipment.

    True true... those 24/96 DACs from the 1930's and 1940's were very buggy... and don't even get me started on the problems with the WWII-era versions of Pro-Tools... uggh. ;-)

    In this day and age... it's awesome. I can't remember the last time I used my strobe tuner because the one on my phone is better. I know I know... that's sacrilege, but it's true - or at least it gives me better results. The phone is battery driven so it doesn't have to contend with powerline noise and it generates a background noise profile and subtracts it from the tuned signal so it's like a strobe tuner but without the fiddly things that happen to strobe tuners if the furnace is on or whatever.

    In Django's day - a tuning fork was high tech. Hell, I remember touring with a singing group in the early '80s which was 50 years after those early Django recordings but still primitive compared to now. Occasionally we'd wind up at a venue with no piano and couldn't find the pitch pipe - so we'd rehearse and sometimes even perform with no pitch reference. Our "reference" was one of our tenors... a guy named Frank who could somehow find a middle D. He'd tilt his head back a little and hum and vocalize a bit so he could feel the tone in his throat and also in his nose and then somehow by feel he would come up with it and sing: "There's a Dddddddddd" .... I can still hear and see him doing that odd ritual... sort of looked reminiscent of a bird mating-ritual... lol... but man - somehow he always nailed it - which was a good thing because our repertoire pushed our basses low and our sopranos high, so if we were off pitch by much, it got ugly.
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
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