Are Guitars In a Concert Pitch?

In a nutshell, concert pitch means that the note A below middle C on a piano is set to frequency of 440 Hz. Today, 440 Hz is called a standard tuning, and it’s the consensual tuning in which most of the orchestras and ensembles play.

Are guitars tuned in a concert pitch?

Guitars are usually tuned in a concert pitch, especially if a guitar is part of the ensemble. However, guitars can easily be tuned in other pitches, such as 432 Hz.

Many individuals are familiar with the word A=440 Hz, but you might not know the meaning of this word. This causes misunderstandings and irritation. Main uses of concert pitch are as follows:

  • It helps musicians in maintaining tuning.
  • It also helps in providing frequency to electronic tuners.

Concert Pitch Origins

440 Hz is a random number that was agreed by people around 80 years before. It was decided to synchronize tuning for performing concerts and for recording purposes.

Individuals can choose any pitch while performing concerts. The main purpose of the concert pitch is to produce a pleasant sound. It is necessary to have a common concert pitch while performing in a group. In recent times, 440 Hz is established as a standard value for tuning.

It gives a measure to musicians and they can ensure that the instruments are in tune with others.

But in the mid 19 century, there was no standard tuning value. Every city had its criteria and the value differed from area to area.

In 1859, the French government attempted to pass a law that stated 435 Hz to be the standard value for tuning. In 1939, the standard value was 440 Hz established by an international conference set, it is now called concert pitch.

Whenever there was a demand for instruments, there was a consistent tendency for the concert pitch levels to increase. It was due to competition between different musicians, who wanted to produce good music.

Studies show that 432 Hz standard value helps in improving anxiety, lowers heart rate and blood pressure level and it creates a soothing effect on our mind.

What Is The Concert Pitch?

Concert pitch is the pitch to which a gathering of musical instruments is tuned for a presentation. Concert pitch may change from group to group and has fluctuated broadly over music history.

The most widely recognized present-day tuning standard uses 440 Hz for A above middle C as a source of perspective note, with different notes being set comparative with it. In the literature, this is likewise known as a universal standard pitch.

The expression “concert pitch” is additionally used to recognize the “stated” (or “ostensible”), and “sounding” (or “genuine”) notes of a transposing instrument, for example, concert pitch may allude to the sounding pitch on a non-transposing instrument.

Guitars And Concert Pitch

There are many reasons for considering a little change in the concert pitch and you should consider it.

In a band or a group, increasing or decreasing the concert pitch for every individual can help the singer to hit the notes more precisely and easily. Moreover, this can be achieved by altering the key of the music, yet altering the concert pitch can be a delicate adjustment.

If you change the key, then it means shifting the pitch of at least half a step. This can also be altering the way of the music which is played in terms of chords. Whereas changing the concert pitch can lead to a little increment and it does not lead to change in the way the music is played.

In a single-player setting, the above thing is applicable if the person sings a song. There are many advantages of experimenting with concert pitch when guitars or any other instruments are taken into account.

Altering the concert pitch can put more or less stress on the resonant frequency of the instrument. It can alter the sound of a certain guitar. In some cases, it can also improve the guitar’s playability.

Many guitar tops have tap tuned to particular frequencies when they are made. Moreover, with time, there could be a change in the molecular structure of the wood.

You can also lower the concert pitch of a top-quality 12 string guitar that will add some pleasant effect to the bottom end music. Also, increasing the concert pitch of an old guitar can lead to an increase in its projection and power.

Care must be taken of the guitar in regards to tension on the guitar. It is recommended to use a heavier string gauge if you want to lower the concert pitch and use a lighter string gauge if you want to raise the concert pitch.

Read more about string gauges for a guitar.

About 432 Hz Pitch Trend

Many people think that 432 Hz is better if used as a standard tuning frequency. It is up to you to choose the desired type of tuning frequency. The choice is yours. You may require a tuner that has many ranges to allow you some experiments.

Some tuners have a wide range of concert pitch.

Some old instruments that were manufactured in the 19 century or earlier will have different concert pitch in it. Like A= 415 Hz or A=392 Hz are common tuning frequencies of that time.

Today’s guitar tuning apps provide an option by which you can choose the pitch to which you want to tune your guitar. Read more about guitar tuner apps.

Recent Concert Pitches

Despite much confusion, A= 440 Hz is the standard tuning frequency and is utilized around the world. Many musicians in the United States utilize A= 440 Hz as the concert pitch.

By and by most of the ensembles tune to a note given out by the oboe, and most oboists utilize an electronic tuning device while playing the tuning note.

A few ensembles tune utilizing an electronic tone generator. When playing with fixed-pitch devices, for example, the piano, the symphony will by and large tune to the. A piano will regularly be tuned to the symphony’s ordinary pitch.

In general, it is imagined that the general pattern since twentieth century has been for a standard pitch to rise. However, it has been ascending undeniably more gradually than it has before.

Guitar Tuning

Advancement in the guitar manufacturing has solved many tuning problems. Each guitar shops sell tuning forks and electronic tuners. Tuning fork provides you only a single reference note and due to this reason, an electronic tuner is helpful.

Sound is made due to the disturbance of molecules in the air. While striking the string, vibrations are produced and it leads the air particles to move in waves. These waves are received by our ears and the brain interprets it.

Striking the guitar string produces a frequency. The pitch of the note depends on the length, thickness, and tension of the guitar string. Whenever new strings are put on a guitar, most of the time they fall out of the tune easily.

These new strings will stretch till the time they reach a point where the elasticity decreases and will remain at the required tension and frequency. The guitar string should be broken in.

Put the new strings and tune them by utilizing an electronic guitar tuner. Utilize the electronic guitar tuner to retune the strings below the concert pitch.

Pull every string an inch from the fret board and it will immediately put it out of tune. Utilize the electric guitar tuner to retune the strings below the concert pitch and follow the same procedure. After some time, slack will go from the guitar strings and you can use the guitar to tune the concert pitch.


I hope this article helped you in finding the answer you’ve been looking for. If that’s the case, I’m more than happy about it. I hope you enjoyed reading, as much as I’ve enjoyed writing this article.

Don’t forget to check out some other interesting articles from this site about various guitar topics and issues!

Cheers, and rock on!

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