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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?
Sep
10
comment Why do harmonics played on guitar sound lower as you move to higher frets while fretted notes sound higher?
@Édouard: It's also why power chords used with distortion sound an octave lower than played. The three notes of a power chord have fundamentals with a 2:3:4 ratio, and distortion creates sum and difference tones with their harmonics, and all those sum/difference tones are multiples of the sub-harmonic.
Sep
3
comment Rules of how the bass should (and should not) move in chord progressions
@Basstickler: The voice leading from a G chord to a D/F# is better than going to a "normal" D (where the bottom two voices just disappear). On my tuning, the transition would be G-g-b-d'-g' to D-f#-a-d'-f#'. Parallel octaves on the g-f#, but that's okay in this context; adding another parallel octave would be a bit much, though.
Sep
3
comment Rules of how the bass should (and should not) move in chord progressions
@Basstickler: On the guitar, a G chord is voiced G-B-d-g-b-g', and a "normal" D chord is voiced d-a-d'-f#' and sounds rather wimpy by comparison. The most practical improvements are D/A (which is easy) A-d-a-d'-f#', a C-barre-shaped D chord d-f#-a-d'-f#' (I'm don't know any common way of writing that besides tabbing it out), an A-barre-shaped D chord d-a-d'-f#'a' (likewise), or D/F# which is easier than the C-barre-shaped one and is voiced F#-A-d-a-d'-f#'.
Sep
3
comment Rules of how the bass should (and should not) move in chord progressions
The D/F# case is particularly notable since, when using standard guitar tuning a rooted D chord has only four notes: d-a-d'-f#', and doesn't contain any embedded minor third. Notating "D/F#" doesn't necessarily mean the arranger wants an F# in the bass, but rather that the arrange wants the chord to extend below the fourth-string d. On my own tuning, I have a low D, and I can play F#-f#-a-d'-f#', D-f#-a-d'-f#', D-d-a-d'-f#', or D-d-f#-a-d', but my normal voicing for either D or D/F# would be D-f#-a-d'-f#' [five-string chords in every case]
Sep
3
comment How can a non-musician recognize anacrusis?
@ToddWilcox: I think his point was that the song could work as "HAP-py birth-day TO you, HAP-py birth-day TO you". If one put the chord changes on the indicated syllables, many measures would start with dissonance between the melody and chords, but that's not necessarily unusual.
Sep
2
comment How can a non-musician recognize anacrusis?
How would you figure "On top of old Smoky"? Sheet music is generally in 3/4, but to my ear it's strongly grouped in four-bar phrases (or 12/8), with the downbeats on "Smo-", "snow", "lov-", and "slow".
Aug
26
comment Thick fingers create problems sometimes
@EJP: I almost always play five- and six-string chords (mostly) arpeggiated, though doing so is much easier on my tuning than on Standard [I generally use the fifth or sixth string plus the top four then plucking, though when strumming some chords use all six]. My C chord (barred) is c-[G]-g-c'-e'-g', my G chord (barred) is G-g-b-d'-g', and my D chord (open fifth string) is D-f#-a-d'-f#'.
Aug
17
comment How Long Can an Anacrucis Be?
The same issue appears in "On Top Of Old Smoky", which is also generally written in 3/4 but has a four-quarter-note anacrusis. If one were to notate it in 6/8 or 12/8, the problem would go away. I don't think 6/4 would work for that piece or Für Elise, since 6/4 generally "feels" like three pairs of quarter notes rather than two groups of three.