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Jan
29
comment Piano vs Guitar Strings? Tension vs length?
With regard to thicker strings sounding richer, I'd say that the "thin-string" model predicts that the string will only vibrate at frequencies which are exact integer multiples of the fundamental; stiffer strings have overtones which are not exact multiples. The fact that overtones frequencies are shifted slightly is not subjective.
Jan
21
awarded  Yearling
Jan
20
comment What is the relationship between the melody line and the rhythm chords?
@Nachmen: Some melodies stand alone just fine, but there are some songs where the melody line really would be nothing without the backing chords. The song "I got lost in his arms" [Annie Get your Gun] has a melody which (key of D) starts "d d D, d d D, d d D d E, e e E, e e E, e e E e e F#, g g G, g g G, g g G g A" [each letter is one syllable; uppercase letters mark chord changes]. I can't imagine Irving Berlin having composed such a melody without having a harmonization in mind because there would be nothing to it--just a bunch of syllables on the first five notes of an ascending scale.
Jan
20
comment What is the relationship between the melody line and the rhythm chords?
@Nachmen: A good composer should generally have in mind an intended pattern of tension and release. Some melodies have strong patterns of tension and release built into them, but many are fairly weak in the absence of surrounding chords.
Jan
6
awarded  Notable Question
Dec
15
comment “slash” chords, e.g. B/F♯ - are these only for inversions, or can any note be the bass note?
I'd say an effort should be made to play the indicated bass note in the bass, and to play the whatever notes of the marked chord can reasonably be played in addition to the bass note. If playing all the notes isn't practical, however, one may have to do with less.
Dec
15
comment Thick fingers create problems sometimes
@EJP: My tuning is G-D-d-f-g#-b, with the fifth string being the lowest. I started out just using the top four strings in minor-thirds tuning, but thought chords seemed wimpy. Adding an octave below the fourth string made chords sound better except for the second-inversion chords which were too heavy on the fifth; tuning the sixth string to provide the root of such chords makes them sound much better.
Dec
14
comment “slash” chords, e.g. B/F♯ - are these only for inversions, or can any note be the bass note?
I don't think the Music Police will arrest someone for neglecting to have any G outside the bass when playing an Am7/G chord, but the chord without any G above the bass could just as well be notated Am/G. In most cases, when practical, the 7th should be a note which is near a note which is played in the following chord. For example, if Am7/G is followed by a standard-guitar-tuning D chord, that would suggest that it would be very desirable for the chord to include a high G which could resolve down to the D chord's F#.
Dec
3
comment Are there any plain nylon bass strings for classical guitar?
I presently use a g string tuned down to d for my fourth string and it's workable, though a little looser than I'd like; it may not be possible to go down another octave without using a wound string, but I'd think it should be possible to have an unwound string that was a little heavier than a normal g string.
Nov
30
comment What characteristics of a single-coil (Telecaster) sound to consider for simulation?
Many cheap pickups have one magnet, but six ferromagnetic pole pieces which direct the magnetic field along six essentially-independent paths.
Nov
9
awarded  Caucus
Oct
12
comment Is it OK to pick over the neck pickup?
@luserdroog: The D is looser than I'd like, though I've gotten used to it by now. Even at the lower tension, the string plays a consistent pitch throughout the note's decay--something a steel string wouldn't do. If I could experiment with custom guitars without spending boatloads of money, I'd like to try a 3/4-scale solid-body with nylon strings and piezo pickups. I have a 3/4-scale electric and I like the way it feels well enough, but steel strings get overly "twangy" when loose.
Sep
30
comment Two silence notes and a note that isn't played? misunderstanding ties
@fdreger: Although the original poster asked the question about a particular piece of piano music, I don't think it is only piano players who will encounter this issue. In any case, I'm sorry if you're not interested in the notational distinction; I thought you might like to know about it.
Sep
29
comment Two silence notes and a note that isn't played? misunderstanding ties
@fdreger: On a piano that may be true, but on some other instruments or in vocal music it would be very common to slur two notes. In vocal music there may also sometimes be a dashed slur or dashed tie between notes (when part of the music should for some verses be sung as one syllable and for some as two syllables). In cases where the tie/slur would cross a bar line and the first note is an accidental, the distinction may be significant (though well-printed music should either cancel the accidental if a slur with changing pitches is intended).
Sep
28
comment Two silence notes and a note that isn't played? misunderstanding ties
Tie and slur symbols look similar, but when they are drawn properly there is almost always a way to distinguish them: tie symbols end just before the succeeding note, while slur symbols extend past the start of that note. Ties are often drawn facing the opposite direction from slurs, but the direction in which a ties and slurs are drawn can sometimes be influenced by layout considerations, especially in multi-voice music, so I don't consider that as reliable as the their length.
Sep
25
comment Is it OK to pick over the neck pickup?
I often play an acoustic electric strung with nylon strings, and I usually play it over the neck because I like the nice sweet tone. Someday I may get a transitional guitar which would probably sound even nicer, but I like the sound I get playing that way, and don't know any other way to get it. It would be nice if the fourth string were tighter (I like the sound of an unwound G string tuned down to D better than the sound of a wound D string, but I really like having wound fifth and sixth strings for a boomy bass and four harp-like (unwound) treble strings.
Sep
10
awarded  Revival
Sep
10
comment What is virtual pitch?
@Dave: I suspect that's the case, but lack the expertise to pass judgment on such claims. Sensory perception is weird in many ways, and many sensory processes "almost" fit certain nice easy physical models but have anomalies that suggest the processes behind them are probably quite different from what the models would suggest.
Sep
10
comment Why do harmonics played on guitar sound lower as you move to higher frets while fretted notes sound higher?
@Édouard: Check out my answer there.
Sep
10
answered What is virtual pitch?