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Lately, I've been playing all the songs that I know on the guitar a tone lower than the usual. Personally, anything that I play sounds better with a lower tone. Then, I switched and started to listen to music with lower tones, and found that I liked them more!

As a woman, is there any reason why I would prefer lower tones? (given that, biologically, women like lower pitches) Does anyone like songs with higher or lower tones, or is it just a personal preference?

  • I thought this would be a quick thing to answer. It is not. I like the question. I'll do some more research and get back to you. What you are describing is basically the opposite of the global tendency to gradually increase pitch. Over the last few centuries A has climbed from 415Hz to A 440Hz to 442Hz is some instances. 415Hz is around a modern Ab or a semitone lower. This happened because a slightly sharper orchestra is perceived as more impressive than the flatter one. I'm not able to yet find good info on the gender part of your question. I'll post an answer when I find one. – xerotolerant Apr 2 '17 at 3:13
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    It's not clear from your wording whether the guitar is tuned down by a tone, or you're just transposing the pieces down a tone. Interesting to hear pieces originally in C if it's the latter. And what constitutes 'music with lower tones' ? – Tim Apr 2 '17 at 7:37
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    Are you singing along with the guitar? Could you be bringing the song down to a comfortable singing range? – Michael Curtis Apr 3 '17 at 3:45
  • @Tim I tune the guitar 1 tone down, by 'music with lower tones' I mean shifting the song, I use an online pitch shifter. – Andrea Mora Apr 3 '17 at 6:04
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I think it's just a personal preference. Many artists from rock legend Eddie Van Halen to jazz wizard Ted Greene like to tune down just for the sound aspect (or in Van Halen's case to accommodate David Lee Roth's limited vocal range).

I wouldn't bother overthinking something like that. When it comes to music, the mind is the biggest barrier to overcome.

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I think it's just a personal preference. But, it's interesting how the reasons for these preferences may differ. Some might like lower tones because they are soothing. A good example for me is the opening of Bachianas Brasileiras #1... it's for 8 cellos. Then on the other hand you have heavy metal guitar fans who play in drop C tuning, because it makes their guitars sound like a clanging metallic wall of destruction. Quite a contrast! I wouldn't look for a deeper meaning or universal explanation. It won't explain why a low tone is appealing.

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