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Musicians know the Beatles were not out of tune
[Posted by Gary Mettetal on Monday, 02/04/08 7:26 am] [Full Blog] [Tweet] [Facebook]

On Friday, in a new interview in Q Magazine, English pop star Cliff Richard slammed the Beatles, saying some of their music was "horrific" because it was "out of tune", and maintained some was so off-tune it was "unbelievable" and "unforgivable".

Enough is enough. Please let me clear up this so called out of tune statement!

My name is Gary Mettetal, I am in a Beatles Tribute band called the English Channel here in the States, and have been playing their music for over 40 years.

Knowing their music as I do, I can tell you that the Beatles were definitely NOT out of tune. Please let me explain. The Beatles played ALL of the early songs at what is known as 435 semitones, not the traditional 440 semitone tuning.

So if someone tries to play a song like Please Please Me, for example, at the 440 tuning, they will seem to be out of tune with the Beatles recording.

However, if you take a guitar and tune it perfect on a Peterson strobe tuner set at 435 semitones, you will see it is a perfect match to what is on the record. The guitar will be in perfect tune including the octaves, but slightly lower than the 440 tuning.

The band later changed the tuning to 440 to accommodate all the orchestra, which is at the standard tuning of 440 semitones.

This has been a closely guarded secret for many years and I hate to let it out, it is the key for all tribute bands who want to sound like the Beatles. But I cannot let Mr. Richard bad rap the Beatles!

If you doubt my word ask Paul McCartney.

So there you have it, mystery solved. They were not out of tune. They were geniuses, ahead of their time.

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