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Alternate tunings anyone using them for fretless?

#1 User is offline   jahloon 

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 06:25 PM

Hi all, I wanted to produce a new section of the Unfretted website outlining alternate tunings and their uses.

I'm currently using DADGAD (D modal) and EBEG#BE (open E)

Anyone have any techniques / tips / recommendations?
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
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#2 User is offline   Newbie Brad 

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 02:57 AM

This is probably reaching further out than usual to connect with your question, Jah, but I've been reading and internet exchanging about similar alternate tunings and scaler and harmonic systems ideas.

In a forum called Microtonal Guitar forum I have been saying some things about the unfretted guitar as a microtonal guitar instrument. Jon Catler said this in the last day, responding a bit:

"My experience has been that it's easier to play fretless guitar in-tune when playing Harmonic Series pitches. Listening to the difference tones lock in is key to helping with the intonation. La Monte Young has said that 'tuning is a function of time', so the longer you play a pitch, the more you can fine tune it. Once you've really absorbed the sound, your accuracy in faster playing improves..."

It's not always nice to quote someone out of context. I apologize in advance if Mr. Catler disagrees but I don't think I injured his words or meaning here. If you want to see the whole thread in context, go here. Link
I also found some of the things said in another thread there interesting for thinking about the fretless guitar in relation to fretted guitars that commit to one or more alternate tunings or scaler and harmonic systems by how the frets are permanently slotted to the fingerboards. Here is a link: Link

Anywho, interesting stuff thinking of these things.
www.3pupsmusic.com

www.facebook.com/3pupsmusic

www.reverbnation.com/3pupsmusic

www.youtube.com/3pupsmusic

www.cafepress.com/3pupsmusic

www.archive.org/search.php?query=3pupsmusic
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#3 User is offline   WolfV11 

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 06:05 PM

Got a nice Microtonal tuning for you:

D, A, D, A, C half-flat, D

Allow me to explain how to get that 'C half-flat'

One way is to tune your low 6th string to a regular D first. Then play the 7th harmonic (a bit past the 3rd fret on a traditional guitar, towards the nut)on that D and tune the 2nd string till it matches that. You'll know if it is the 7th harmonic of D if it reads on a tuner as a flat C.

An easier way is to adjust the frequency of your tuner. Assuming A=440, tune the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, and 1st strings to the pitches named above. For C half-flat, adjust the tuner to 433Hz, and tune the 2nd string to a "C". In relation to the previous strings, this C will be the 7th harmonic of D.

If you have a tuner capable of Microtonal/Just Intonation tunings, Just have your 'C' be the 7th harmonic (7/4) of D as your 1/1. Or if A is your 1/1, then the C Half Flat will be 7/6 (in relation to A).
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#4 User is offline   Kai 

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 05:41 PM

I take my cue from sitar and sarod, since my main focus is Hindustani music. I use C#, either the C# as found on an A440-tune piano, or the C# my teacher uses, which is 31 cents flat of that, as my 1/1, but I will occasionally retune to other roots, within the limits of string tension. (My high string is already pretty taut.)

Ascending:

C# (below the usual E)

G# (3/2)

C#

G#

C#

F# (4/3)

This has the advantage of being tunable via the harmonics of the C#: the second harmonic of the C# is the G#, of course, and the second harmonic of the F# is the C#. For getting other pure ratio pitches, it's still best to have sympathetics to reinforce one's "aim".
[i]"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench - a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side..."[/i] - Hunter S. Thompson
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#5 User is offline   Mat Cooper 

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:50 PM

View PostKai, on 17 January 2012 - 05:41 PM, said:

the C# my teacher uses, which is 31 cents flat of that, as my 1/1


There's that pitch again! Why does your teacher use that? Someone on the yahoo microtonal tuning list said he could 'hear' that pitch in India.
Also that pitch is an exact octave transposition of the Earth year frequency. Here i've transposed the year frequency into tempo, audible pitch and light frequency / spectral colour. The green background is carefully matched to that colour.

Posted Image
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#6 User is offline   jahloon 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:38 PM

View PostMat Cooper, on 24 January 2012 - 11:50 PM, said:

Also that pitch is an exact octave transposition of the Earth year frequency.

Thanks for the info Mat, but how do you transform C# at 272.4 (31 cents flat) into 365.2421?

View PostWolfV11, on 16 January 2012 - 06:05 PM, said:

Got a nice Microtonal tuning for you:

D, A, D, A, C half-flat, D

I really like this one, amazing how in tune the seventh harmonic sounds, well it should be, shouldn't it?

If you just have a freq readout the Cb should be around 257.3 if A=440
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
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#7 User is offline   Mat Cooper 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:13 PM

365.24219264 days = 365.24219264 x 24 x 60 x 60 = 31556925.44 seconds per cycle
Frequency in cycles per second (Hertz) is the inverse of seconds per cycle so ...
Year frequency = 1 / 31556925.44 = 3.168876518x10^-8 Hz
Now raise this frequency by octaves until it is between 440 and 880 Hz, so repeatedly multiply the frequency by 2 ...
x2 34 times (34 octaves up) gives a frequency of 544.4088404 Hz
Calculate the freq. multiplier (interval expressed as a ratio) from 440 to 544.4088404 ...
544.4088404 / 440 = 1.2372922819
Now convert the ratio to a cents value ...
cents = log (1.2372922819) x 1200 / log 2 = 368.62 cents above A440Hz = C + 68.62 cents (with A = 440 Hz)

I got thinking about how A4 = 440 Hz was arbitrary, and if there was a meaningful frequency we could use instead. I decided the most fundamental and constant frequency in human experience is the day frequency:

Posted Image
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#8 User is offline   jahloon 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:36 PM

Ah Mat, just getting to understand the reasoning, 33 octaves up on a year is 272.2Hz, nice coincidence.

24 octaves up on the day gives me 194.18Hz as mentioned above, slightly flat G.

Don't know the story behind A=440Hz, but when I was a nipper the standard for home pianos was drawing room scale, with C=256 c/s (Hz) definitely an easier number to work with on a binary scale.
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
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#9 User is offline   jozevgates 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:34 PM

View Postjahloon, on 26 January 2012 - 11:36 PM, said:


Don't know the story behind A=440Hz, but when I was a nipper the standard for home pianos was drawing room scale, with C=256 c/s (Hz) definitely an easier number to work with on a binary scale.


Someone Told me that A 440 represents a square or cube. I was told that, If you play in a room that is perfectly square on all sides, your A will be louder than any other note. Don't know how true this is but it's what I was told by some aspiring sound engineer.
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#10 User is offline   jahloon 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:50 PM

View Postjozevgates, on 13 May 2012 - 12:34 PM, said:

View Postjahloon, on 26 January 2012 - 11:36 PM, said:


Don't know the story behind A=440Hz, but when I was a nipper the standard for home pianos was drawing room scale, with C=256 c/s (Hz) definitely an easier number to work with on a binary scale.


Someone Told me that A 440 represents a square or cube. I was told that, If you play in a room that is perfectly square on all sides, your A will be louder than any other note. Don't know how true this is but it's what I was told by some aspiring sound engineer.

Not heard that one but here is an interesting article about C=256 (where A=432)

http://www.omega432.com/music.html
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
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#11 User is offline   WolfV11 

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:50 PM

A=440 was started due to the size of the theaters in which orchestras were playing in a pre-amplification world.

I do not remember what the pitch was before that, but it was lower. By tuning the strings a bit higher, they increased in volume and would carry further in the theaters. This is the reason behind 440: volume.

It's not entirely necessary these days with amplification.

432 connects with the spin of the earth. I've used this frequency for my 1/1 a number of times. I must report that the great mother spirit of the earth did not contact me, nor did I experience any sort of spiritual awakening.

I regularly use A=427 as it's the closes to A=426.7, which creates a "B" that matches 60 cycle hum. Got that one from Catler--so I can't take credit for it, but it works nicely!
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#12 User is offline   Mat Cooper 

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 04:16 AM

View Postjozevgates, on 13 May 2012 - 12:34 PM, said:

Someone Told me that A 440 represents a square or cube. I was told that, If you play in a room that is perfectly square on all sides, your A will be louder than any other note. Don't know how true this is but it's what I was told by some aspiring sound engineer.

Not so, only if the room is of the exact dimensions such that one or more of it's resonant frequencies matches 440Hz. A cubic room has all three directions of resonant standing waves at equal resonant frequency and so reinforcing each other. A square room also helps having two being equal.

That omega432 site and the related stuff like love528 are full of much poo-ness, i suspect they originally got 432Hz from the C# - 31 cents many-octaves transposition of the tropical year frequency (see my green image above) ... but only indirectly significant in 12ET.
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