Van Halen's Weird Tuning And "The Canadian Chord Progression"

Tommaso Zillio

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van halen tuning

Just got an email from one of my students: “I’m trying to transcribe some classic Van Halen songs, and they seem completely out of tune”.

He is perfectly right! And BTW, kudos to him for doing some transcribing… it’s doing him a lot of good!

The thing is, some of the classic records by Van Halen (at least the first 4 albums…) are NOT consistently tuned to 440 Hz.

And before someone starts shouting “432 Hz !!!!” - no, that is not either. 432 Hz is really nothing special, despite what you may have heard about the “resonant frequency of the planet” (LOL)

… but wait, it’s worse.

It’s not only Van Halen that does this. I have heard songs from Led Zeppelin, Queen, Black Sabbath, and even the Beatles doing the same.

Why?

Well it turns out that they have a pretty good reason to do it… and you’ll find it here.

BTW, In this video you also find what I consider my worst dad joke ever (so far). Behold “the Canadian Chord Progression”, eh?

If you want to understand why the “Canadian Chord Progression” works (or why ANY chord progression works) and how to write great chord progression yourself, check out the Complete Chord Mastery guitar course


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