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George's tuning of 12-string at Budokan
17 March 2015
1.35pm
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vectisfabber
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Can't find another thread for this sort of query, so here goes.

George's 12-string is capoed at the 7th fret for the first concert, and at the 6th fret for the second concert.  And, although the pitch in the sound recordings isn't precise, this would seem to be confirmed by an apparent drop in pitch by a semitone between the two concerts.  So, presumably, this means that the other guitars were also tuned down by a semitone.

But why?

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Into the Sky with Diamonds
17 March 2015
1.59pm
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PeterWeatherby
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Just a guess, because I have no documented evidence, but I'd assume it was because the setlist in 1966 included "Yesterday ," which is played in G with the guitar tuned down a full step, so that it sounds in F.

But tuning all their guitars down a full step for the entire concert would have made the other songs sound really weird, so maybe they just decided to "meet in the middle" and tune down half-a-step?

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Beatlebug, Into the Sky with Diamonds

Not a bit like Cagney.

17 March 2015
4.37pm
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vectisfabber
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Maybe.  Hadn't thought of that.

 

Heaven only knows why I headed this thread Shea Stadium when it's actually the Budokan concerts.  I shall try to change it.  Whether I succeed or fail, this post evidences my foolishness.

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Zig
17 March 2015
4.45pm
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Beatlebug
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vectisfabber said 
<snip> 
Heaven only knows why I headed this thread Shea Stadium when it's actually the Budokan concerts.  I shall try to change it.  Whether I succeed or fail, this post evidences my foolishness.

 I'll page the mods for you. (Nice new avatar, by the way.) 

@Ahhh Girl  @Zig @meanmistermustard 

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17 March 2015
5.25pm
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Zig
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vectisfabber said

Maybe.  Hadn't thought of that.

 

Heaven only knows why I headed this thread Shea Stadium when it's actually the Budokan concerts.  I shall try to change it.  Whether I succeed or fail, this post evidences my foolishness.

Not foolish at all, @vectisfabber. I've renamed the thread for you - hope the wording is OK.

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Beatlebug

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17 March 2015
7.05pm
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PeterWeatherby
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vectisfabber said
Maybe.  Hadn't thought of that.

 

Heaven only knows why I headed this thread Shea Stadium when it's actually the Budokan concerts.  I shall try to change it.  Whether I succeed or fail, this post evidences my foolishness.

Well, now I'm thoroughly confused.

Are you comparing Shea Stadium in '65 to Budokan in '66? Or Budokan in '66 to Shea Stadium in '66? Or is Shea Stadium no longer part of the question at all, and you're actually comparing Budokan to Budokan (June 30 vs July 1, 1966)?

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Beatlebug

Not a bit like Cagney.

18 March 2015
12.11am
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Bongo
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I can't answer this guitar question, but I love watching the concert at Budokan!  Not sure why 1 night's video is better than the other night!!!!  But, oh well! 

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

18 March 2015
6.20am
muzair
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It could be like those early '64 performances in the states.  If I remember rightly, the Washington Coliseum is detuned, as is the first Sullivan show.  Perhaps it was a 'vocal safety' thing? In the case of those two, they were particularly important performances, so dropping a semitone would help the confidence for nailing the vox. 

In the case of the second Budokan gig.. Neil Aspinall says on the Anthology that bit about them playing and singing so bad on the first night they scared themselves into getting their act together for the second night...  Maybe they detuned to make it easier to sing?

Could be anyone's guess, really.

18 March 2015
9.17am
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meanmistermustard
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As they hadnt bothered rehearsing maybe they were so out of touch with the material they didnt realise until after the show they had been in that key and shifted it.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris)

18 March 2015
1.28pm
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PeterWeatherby
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muzair said
It could be like those early '64 performances in the states.  If I remember rightly, the Washington Coliseum is detuned, as is the first Sullivan show.

Could have been a total accident, too. We know that John, at least, had trouble in the early days even knowing how to tune his guitar, so I can't see them being so particular about it that they got a pitch pipe and made sure they were tuned to "concert A" for every performance.

It's like when I'm jamming with friends -- I know my guitar is somewhere near standard tuning, but it might be a half-step flat, or maybe even a few cents sharp. But inevitably, we all just pick up the guitars, choose one of those guitars as the one that everyone else will tune against, and away we go.

So I suppose it's possible that, before that particular Beatles show, John's (just to pick on him) guitar had drifted a half step, and when it came time to tune up, George and Paul just said, "Hey John, give us an 'E'," and the rest is history.

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Beatlebug

Not a bit like Cagney.

18 March 2015
1.52pm
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Beatlebug
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PeterWeatherby called down from a tree  

muzair suggested from below 
It could be like those early '64 performances in the states.  If I remember rightly, the Washington Coliseum is detuned, as is the first Sullivan show.

Could have been a total accident, too. We know that John, at least, had trouble in the early days even knowing how to tune his guitar, so I can't see them being so particular about it that they got a pitch pipe and made sure they were tuned to "concert A" for every performance.

It's like when I'm jamming with friends -- I know my guitar is somewhere near standard tuning, but it might be a half-step flat, or maybe even a few cents sharp. But inevitably, we all just pick up the guitars, choose one of those guitars as the one that everyone else will tune against, and away we go.

So I suppose it's possible that, before that particular Beatles show, John's (just to pick on him) guitar had drifted a half step, and when it came time to tune up, George and Paul just said, "Hey John, give us an 'E'," and the rest is history.

If that were the case, it would probably be somewhere in between pitches, not an actual pitch of E-flat or whatever. I've never known instruments to drift a perfect half step.a-hard-days-night-john-6 

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18 March 2015
2.13pm
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Billy Rhythm
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muzair said 
 
 
In the case of the second Budokan gig.. Neil Aspinall says on the Anthology that bit about them playing and singing so bad on the first night they scared themselves into getting their act together for the second night...  Maybe they detuned to make it easier to sing?
 

The two Tokyo Shows that have been bootlegged clearly show that atleast one of the guitars is way out of tune during the first show, in fact, it sounds like BOTH the High & Low E-Strings (which may be in tune with each other) are off from the other four strings.  The recording features a minute or two tune-up before John rips into 'Rock And Roll Music ' and it's pretty noticeable, the second show sounds better because the guitars are in tune..:-)

18 March 2015
3.51pm
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vectisfabber
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PeterWeatherby said

vectisfabber said
Maybe.  Hadn't thought of that.

 

Heaven only knows why I headed this thread Shea Stadium when it's actually the Budokan concerts.  I shall try to change it.  Whether I succeed or fail, this post evidences my foolishness.

Well, now I'm thoroughly confused.

Are you comparing Shea Stadium in '65 to Budokan in '66? Or Budokan in '66 to Shea Stadium in '66? Or is Shea Stadium no longer part of the question at all, and you're actually comparing Budokan to Budokan (June 30 vs July 1, 1966)?

My apologies - it was never about Shea, just about the two videotaped Budokan concerts.  I just foolishly said Shea when I originally headed up the thread.  And now there's all this...

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