As promised in my last post, I’m posting the instructions on how to tune your guitar to 432 tuning. This article is solely covering on the technicality of tuning, not the reasons why you should use it. See my last post for info on why you should consider using it.
Please note, I am no music expert, I just do my research, and I am guided by musicians from “the great beyond”.
First, a little bit of music theory. What is 432 hz referring to? It is the frequency that the A note in the middle C octave (on the piano) resonates at. So what you’ll see it noted like this: A=432, or what the moderns standard is, A=440. If you want to check what tuning you have on the piano, then play the A note in middle C (A4) and measure it with a tuner app that tells you the hz. On a guitar, the equivalent A note is on the fifth fret on the first string. Although there is 8 hz difference between 432 and 440, it does not mean that you lower each string by 8 hz. Each note has its own incremental difference, and what you must do to use 432 tuning is follow a chart that outlines the frequency for each key or string. Here is the chart to refer to so that you can retune for piano. This article is for guitars, but if you want to do it for piano, it is the same theory.
To tune your guitar to 432, download a chromatic tuner app for your smartphone or tablet. Any one should do, as long as it measures the hertz (hz) that your guitar string is making. The app I am using on my iPad is called Chromatic Guitar Tuner (by Gismart). For Android devices, go here.
This particular app has a setting that allows you to set the tuning standard to whatever you want. So press the setting button and change it to 432 by typing it in where it says “A=”. Then you can use the gauge indicator to tell you if you are in tune with the selected tuning standard, in this case, 432. It is really simple. And you can use the reference numbers below to make sure you are doing it right. This app is meant for pianos, but it’s great for guitars too. I used this app to tune my piano to 432 as well.
The other, more hands on way is this if you are not using the app I recommended above:
Switch it on and measure the hz on each of your guitar strings. You can ignore everything else on the tuner. Compare the hz of each string to the chart below, and adjust it accordingly to match. (And obviously, go slow, don’t want you to break any strings.) I have also provided the measurements for bass guitar.
E, 81 hz (6th string)
A, 108 hz (5th string)
D, 144 hz (4th string)
G, 193 hz (3rd string)
B, 242 hz (2nd string)
E, 323 hz (1st string)
Bass Guitar Tuning
E, 41 hz (4th string)
A, 54 hz (3rd string)
D, 72 hz (2nd string)
G, 96 hz (1st string)
If you want to hear what the 432 hz frequency sounds like on your guitar, place your finger on the fifth fret of the first string, that is A. You can measure it and it will be at 432 hz, more or less. Please note that there can be some variation, as every guitar is a bit different.
These numbers are based on what I measured from the tuning videos I found on YouTube, and comparing it with this chart. The numbers are rounded off.
Updated on March 27, 2018.
Image above: “Me, playing bass” by Prince in spirit.
©2017 by Andrea Mai. All rights reserved.