Does Anyone Feel Out of Tune When Playing Sunshine of Your Love?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by HG1180, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. I was playing along to this song as a warm up just now and I realized that I sounded very out of tune as compared to the recording, is this just another example of the days in music where tuning was a bit...optional?
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  2. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    You sure you're in the same key as the recording?
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  3. I doubt they had an electronic tuner handy or any guitar techs for that matter, especially if it was a live recording. They might have had a tuning fork or a questionable piano backstage to tune to. Someone asked Jack about his tone in those days and he said it wasn’t an overriding quest for a specific tone. Some nights my tone was just playing through a Marshall with all but one speaker blown.
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  4. Yup, D Major but sort of D Minor-ish.

    This is kind-of what I was thinking, just a case of general out of tune-ness.
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  5. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Try playing with early Van Halen - they tuned to whatever Eddie was tuned to at that time - often half a half step or so flat. When they started using keys, that all went away.

    What you're talking about is very common on older recordings.
  6. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Guest

    Nov 22, 2017
    A lot of old recordings are like this. You have to tune to the recording in order to play along, as they weren't always tuning to concert pitch of A=440. Sometimes it was dictated by the piano in the studio, sometimes it was just that one person tuned to their own A string and everyone else tuned to them. Doesn't mean you shouldn't use concert pitch when you play the song live.
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  7. 12BitSlab

    12BitSlab Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2016
    Liberty Township
    Sometimes the tape was sped up or slowed down in order to hit the proper total time. This was usually done for AM radio.
  8. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Wait, "Sunshine Of Your Love" is in D?!?! Ruh-roh...
  9. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    I’ve played Sunshine behind Jack and Pete Brown. It’s in D.
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  10. fretlessman71

    fretlessman71 Still beats havin' a job Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    FoCo, NoCo
    D MINOR. You sure you're playing it correctly?
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  11. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005

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  12. Blue


    Jun 19, 2004
    Southeast Penna
    It was standard practice in those days to tune to whatever keyboard was "in the room". Many songs from that era are "pitchy"
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
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  13. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Or to fit everything on the album. That was common all the way back to the days of 10" 78's.

  14. He's really digging in on a short scale and smearing the 3rd so it's major and minor at the same time, and having fun slopping it up.
  15. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    And if that keyboard was a dusty old piano in the corner of the studio...o_O Or an analog synth...:confused: Or if the guitars/bass were simply poorly tuned/intonated...:dead:

    Many modern recordings have this "problem" too.

    But it doesn't really matter as long as it sounds great. It's just a slight hassle to play along with. Often it's even part of the vibe to be out of tune. It's hard to imagine how Highway 61 Revisited would have sounded in perfect pitch. Probably not nearly as interesting. The obsession with perfect tuning/timing these days can totally suck the life out of music, at least for some genres.

    Always tune by ear when playing along to older recordings (and some newer ones too!). And accept that even then things may sound out of tune by modern standards.
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  16. Matthijs

    Matthijs Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    One of the many joys of fretless
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  17. Relsom

    Relsom Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    I bought a cassette deck and a CD player with pitch controls to solve it. Tuning on a lot of the music I was playing was all over the place.
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  18. Uriah Sheep

    Uriah Sheep

    Feb 12, 2017
    New York
    The last band I subbed for play rockabilly/early rock(Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Eddie Cochran, etc.), so i use a fretless to play along with the recordings as the tuning is always all over the place. Practice was always a huge pain because of having to use ancient recordings as reference. Im a pretty weak fretless player but this helped me “play to the song” and stay in tune more (on my fretless jazz)
  19. Outbush


    Nov 6, 2016
    Another issue; when songs were recorded and mastered on tape if they wanted to speed it up or slow it down a little to make it sound better it effected the tuning. Not an issue with digital but with tape it could it had a big impact. It’s quite annoying when you’re playing along at home!
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  20. petergales


    Dec 29, 2009
    Leeds UK
    When I try to learn Stones' tunes from the original recordings I struggle as a) the bass is low in the mix and b) the tuning is all over the place. I try to find live recordings from recent years and they are much, much better.