612 reputation
28
bio website
location Illinois
age 44
visits member for 1 year, 7 months
seen Aug 26 at 20:32

Jun
9
comment Building an electric guitar from scratch
Given that the strings on an electric generally have steel as the "tension" element (do any wound strings use something else?), having the guitar expand about the same amount as the strings would probably be a good thing. I don't know how the COE of stainless compares with the alloy used in strings, but unless it's vastly greater I would think uniform expansion in the structure would be a good thing for tuning stability. BTW, I have both a 3/4 and full-scale guitars, and the 3/4 is more comfortable to play, but the change in tension when a string is plucked means notes change pitch...
Jun
8
comment Building an electric guitar from scratch
...I would think a stainless steel frame would be dimensionally more stable than wood under conditions of varying humidity. No way I could cast such a thing myself, but I'm curious how the cost and performance would compare with more "conventional" approaches. Having the "guitar guts" of a guitar be a solid assembly that could be placed into any desired body (which would not have to endure mechanical stress) would have a certain appeal, and could also help make the instrument more portable.
Jun
8
comment Building an electric guitar from scratch
To what extent should an electric guitar's structure be expected to affect the sound, and to what extent should the contact points with the strings attempt to minimize energy transfer (so the body would receive very little sound energy to "do anything with")? I've wondered sometimes about whether it would make sense to construct an electric guitar with a cast stainless steel frame, rather than using wood with a truss rod. Weight along the fretboard and near the bridge would seem more helpful at minimizing energy transfer than weight elsewhere, and...
May
28
comment Do SIT (stay-in-tune) brand strings really stay-in-tune better than any others?
If the two ends of the guitar are moved apart by e.g. 0.1", I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that with typical strings at typical tension levels, the increase in tension [which is a function of Young's modulus] will raise the pitch significantly more than the change in length will reduce it. If Young's modulus were lower, then the change in tension resulting from the change in length would be reduced.
May
27
comment Do SIT (stay-in-tune) brand strings really stay-in-tune better than any others?
Excessive friction at the nut will certainly cause problems, and I'm not sure that a lower E would help with those, but many instruments also have problems with things like dimensional stability under changing temperature and humidity conditions. I would expect that cutting E in half would reduce by half the amount by which an instrument is put out of tune by a 0.01" change in length.
May
27
comment Do SIT (stay-in-tune) brand strings really stay-in-tune better than any others?
I would expect that some string materials could have different coefficients of elasticity than others, and that a string with a lower coefficient of elasticity would stay in tune better than one with a higher coefficient.
May
16
comment Can I use semi-acoustic guitar with overdrive (or compressor) without getting feedback?
It may be worth mentioning that when using an amp "clean", having the volume low enough not to totally blast the guitarist will usually mean the gain is low enough not to cause feedback but using a compressor or distortion will cause the gain at low volumes to be much higher than it otherwise would. If with loud sounds the gain is set at 5% of the point that would cause feedback noises, but quieter sounds are boosted 100-fold, then the amplifiers will generate annoying feedback noises at whatever level would cause gain to fall back to a factor of 20.
May
6
comment Why are pianos traditionally tuned “out of tune” at the extremes?
I think that technically the issue isn't so much that partials are sharp, but rather that all frequencies including the fundamental and the partials are flat of what theory would predict, but the effect on the fundamental is, in relative terms, greater than on the partials, so they end up being "less flat".
May
6
comment How does a piano go out of tune?
How many pianos have wood as part of the structure maintaining string tension? I know that at least historically some did, but I thought that nearly all pianos had a cast iron frame which would hold the strings in tension even if all the wooden portions of the structure were removed.
May
5
comment What are the true frequencies of the piano keys?
@JCPedroza: Each string will vibrate at a multiple frequencies, most of which will be almost--but not quote--equal to integer multiples of its fundamental frequency. These other frequencies will cause the apparent pitch of a string to differ slightly from its fundamental frequency. Because treble strings and bass strings are constructed differently, their frequency mixes differ, as does the amount by which their apparent pitch differs from their fundamental frequency. Octave stretching compensates for this.
Apr
25
comment Why is there a key signature if I never play those notes?
Actually, one could argue in favor of using a separate set of key signatures for harmonic minor (e.g. C minor would have Eb and Ab but not Bb; D minor would have Bb and C#). That's not common practice (the convention is to write major-ish pieces in the key signature for the corresponding Ionian mode, and minor-ish pieces in the key signature for the corresponding Aeolian mode, and put in whatever accidentals are made necessary by such usage.
Apr
25
comment Piano music with two treble clefs, and notes between staves
@Tim: If pianist uses the right thumb and index finger to play the lower A's and C#'s in the treble clef, the distances between the fingers will be reasonable, but adding a "D" to the mix would require that it be played with the middle finger--quite a stretch from the upper "A". That having been said, I'm surprised the fourth beat doesn't omit the C# so as to free up the index finger for the E. Otherwise, playing that beat smoothly would seem to require six fingers.
Apr
22
comment What is a good source for learning playing all shapes of a chord?
If an A7-shape bar will be followed by an E-shape bar in a V-I relationship, the third-string seventh is better; if followed by a C-shape or D-shape bar (in V-I) the first-string seventh is better. Personally, I use a tuning which allows bar chords analogous to the A- and E shapes chords to be played (in major, minor, and seventh forms) more easily than with standard tuning; a G7 would be fretted X-5-5-6-6-8 and voiced as G-g-b-d'-f'; a C7 would be fretted as 5-5-5-5-8-8 and voiced as c-G-g-bb-d'-f'; both seventh-chord forms have the dominant chord's seventh lead into the next chord's third.
Apr
22
comment What is a good source for learning playing all shapes of a chord?
I find the A-shape bar is rather difficult to play. Doing an "inside chord" with just the middle four strings may make it much easier (one can bar the first string on the same fret as the second through fourth, but not play it); one can turn the chord into a seventh chord by using the pinky to finger the first string a fret higher. Another useful moveable form is to bar the top four strings, but put the pinky on the top string up three frets (basically a G-shape bar without the bottom two strings).
Apr
18
comment Two consecutive mdi note-on of the same pitch misbehaving
I would expect any reasonable translation of guitar to MIDI should use one channel per string. If one does that, hammer ons, pull-offs, etc. could be accomplished either with various combinations of portamento and pitch-bend controls, or by designating certain velocity values as having "special" meanings (so that e.g. a "note on" velocity of 2 would represent a fretted finger which was not accompanied by a pluck).
Apr
18
comment Two consecutive mdi note-on of the same pitch misbehaving
I don't think overlapping notes are a particularly gray area. The combination (channel number + note number) is the only means of designating particular notes to be cancelled; thus, if it will be necessary to cancel one note at a given pitch while sustaining another, the two notes must be on separate channels.
Apr
9
comment Correct notation for a minor chord?
You can see a partial preview copy at onlinesheetmusic.com/amazed-p304281.aspx (I'd figured the chords by ear (second thing I ever did on the guitar, interestingly enough); for my second Cb chord the sheet music shows Abm7 (don't think I'd used one of those before; with my tuning, a Cb chord is voiced as Cb Gb Gb Cb Eb Gb on frets 4-4-4-6-7-7; when I get home I'll have to try 4-4-6-6-7-7, 4-6-6-6-7-7, and x-6-6-6-7-7 and see how they sound).
Apr
8
comment Correct notation for a minor chord?
@Tim: The chord sequence is "2x (Ab Eb Fm Db) Cb Gb Cb Fb 2x(Db Ab Bbm Gb) Fb Gb Ab". The "Cb Gb Cb Fb" doesn't feel like it's centered on Ab major; from an analytical perspective there's no reason to reckon it jumps to a lots-of-sharps key, but from a performance perspective reckoning those middle chords as "B F# B E" seems perfectly natural.
Apr
8
comment Correct notation for a minor chord?
I would expect a typical guitarist of moderate proficiency who's sight reading with a group isn't going to expect see a chord, figure out where it fits in the key, etc. and play it in time with the group. Instead, I would expect the guitarist to see the next chord is "E" and get ready to play 0-2-2-1-0-0 on the proper beat. Some styles of music will require harmonies too complex for sight-readable chords, but in cases where sight-readable chords would sound decent (if not optimal), big bold enharmomically-simplified chords would be helpful.
Apr
8
comment Correct notation for a minor chord?
@Gizmo: If you could do so without overly cluttering the page, perhaps having a big bold enharmonic chord and then a small-print notation or footnote reference with the "technically correct" chord might be helpful, especially if music would sometimes be performed in a sight-reading or near-sight-reading situations, and might sometimes be performed by a group that wanted to analyze the music and fill out chords in more calculated fashion.