Just purchased my first classical guitar (Alhambra 10P) and I am learning to play.

I notice that if I strike the top two strings (B & e) then immediately mute them, the guitar's lower strings resonate a matching sound for several seconds. I am wondering whether this is expected behavior or should be considered a flaw?

It is not that it sounds bad, though it is a bit distracting, I just don't know if it is correct behavior from the guitar or not.


  • 2
    btw the 'bottom two strings' are E & A, the 'top two' are B & E. The 'top' is the highest sounding string, not actually the one furthest from the ground. Anyway - wish someone had bought me a 1500 buck guitar when I was just learning. My first cost £23, brand new :P Enjoy it. Your first lesson, it seems, will be 'damping' - how to stop stray resonance when you don't want it.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 17:12
  • Thanks, yes you are right I meant to say that. As for the guitar, I think you might be looking at another model, the 10P is only $400. Which is already way more than I should have spent on a starter. :)
    – Stefan
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 18:24
  • Ahh, then what you probably got was the 'student' version, the 1 OP, not the 10P [one's an 'oh' the other's a zero & there's an extra space in 1 OP] Sellers do like people to confuse those so they think they're getting a bargain, caveat emptor, I'm afraid. Still 400 is quite a price for a beginner guitar. Hope you enjoy it.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 18:39

2 Answers 2


Well, you have just rediscovered sympathy!

When plucking an E, any string which have an E as an harmonic not too far away (the low E and the A strings especially) will also resonate. As you do not mute them, the sound of these strings is lasting…

That is actually normal ans a good sign: it both means that the guitar is well resonating, and that you are tuned properly.

Note that some instruments have strings especially to have this phenomenon: the sympathetic strings.


EWhen the top two strings vibrate, they make certain pitches. Those pitches are 'heard' by anything else around. In this case, other open strings.

The bottom string is another E, so when it hears the top E, it vibrates in sympathy. The B string also makes a second harmonic of that E string, making it vibrate sympathetically. That top string is also a second harmonic - of the A string, so that vibrates as well.

It shows that the guitar is working very well, but that in itself causes a problem, alleviated by you muting various open strings to stop them vibrating sympathetically.


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