The mistakes are that I can hear the sound of sliding the finger quickly when removing it properly (I don't really slide it between notes, it's a minor slide while removing the finger) and the sound of the string being gently played while removing the finger.

I don't notice those sounds when playing without a pickup, so it's new stuff for me. If I play with a mic, would this sensitivity be reduced? Is there a solution with a pickup? I'm using a simple sound editor, and I managed to equalize in a way that those mistakes were reduced, but they are still there. I'm wonder if I will have to upgrade my skills to be more silent, or if it's not my fault, but from the pickup.

  • 5
    All these "mistakes" are part of the charm imo ;). Sounds more real... That apart, recording with both the internal mic (which I suppose is what you're doing now) and an external mic in front of the sound table and mixing them together will probably help!
    – Tom
    Aug 3, 2021 at 14:33
  • 2
    Can you say something about what kind of pickup is installed in the guitar? (BTW, "plugged-in" is probably what you mean.) Can you say something about the microphones available to you? Microphone technique can make a big difference.
    – Theodore
    Aug 3, 2021 at 15:41
  • Using a noise gate should cut off a certain amount of unwanted noise Aug 4, 2021 at 12:43
  • @Tom that could be turned into an answer, there a even some well known songs that show this as example. I personnally used the double recording for the bass with a lot of success (line out from the amp + mic), it sounded great!
    – Kaddath
    Aug 4, 2021 at 14:22

5 Answers 5


Funny, I have been doing some recording this week - first time for several months - and found the takes to be sloppy, particularly on bass, which never came over during the gigs each week. It may have been due to the new set of headphones, but that's no excuse! So, I had to clean up my playing - taking care changing frets, etc, to eliminate as much of that sloppiness and extraneous noise as possible. Took a bit (lot) of doing!

So, it's tidy time - release chords cleanly, ty not to slide all over the frets, no duff notes in chords, etc. Judicious mic placing will help, as will eq-ing after, and you may consider a noise limiter/compressor. But don't forget, it's a guitar, and those sounds are really an inherent part of what it does - just not in abundance!

If the string noise changing chords really bothers, there's always the option of tapewound or such-like strings.

  • Ringing strings and inter-chord vamps, that lovely "vrrrrp" as you slide to a new fret, these are a guitar's character! And duff notes in chords, that's jazz! Aug 4, 2021 at 9:46
  • @GrimmTheOpiner - they are part of the character, but sometimes we need to leave out the warts! Did you realise you share the same middle name with Vlad, Attila and Winnie?
    – Tim
    Aug 4, 2021 at 12:46

If your guitar has a piezo transducer, then it's likely to be accentuating string & fret noise because of the way it works.

Miking it up would probably sound a whole lot sweeter.

  • 1
    Piezo pickups have really expanded the possibilities for amplifying acoustic instruments but they can be very harsh for sure, especially in the upper midrange. I’ll always choose a mic over a pickup but any suggestions in case he doesn’t have that option? I usually will do a medium bandwidth mid cut and slide the frequency up and down till it warms up. Aug 3, 2021 at 16:24
  • 1
    @JohnBelzaguy - I've always hated what I still think of as the "takamine sound' right from when they first appeared in the early 80s. I've honestly never tried recording one so couldn't advise what to do. Everyone I've ever known who uses one live has a better guitar for the studio. It would be well worth writing up as an answer if you've got a practised technique.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 3, 2021 at 16:31
  • 1
    I get it and I agree. It has that very unnatural top end. I’ll pass on posting an answer just because I’m far from being a competent engineer. Aug 3, 2021 at 16:53
  1. Strings with flat winding do exist. They have disadvantages, but they eliminate the sliding sound to a great extent.

Disadvantages may be narrow vibrato, higher price and shorter usable life. You may or may not like their sound as well.

  1. Try different positions and orientations of the piezo transducer. There should exist an orientation where it is almost insensitive to the sliding.

Most of the slide sound is polarized along the strings That's why the guitar body is not as efficient as in regard to the normal string sound that is polarized orthogonally to the strings.

  1. Microphone - good in regard to the slide sounds, but picks up other unwanted noises that piezo doesn't.
  • 1
    A set of flatwounds will probably cost more than a set of roundwounds, but for that added cost I get a much longer string life since the flatwound strings really don't accumulate crud between the windings. I'm not sure how you find a "shorter usable life."
    – user39614
    Aug 4, 2021 at 0:39
  • @exnihilo ...because the dirt accumulation is not the only failure mode for a guitar string. The flat winding is easier to get loose. Of course, your mileage may vary.
    – fraxinus
    Aug 4, 2021 at 0:58
  • "The flat winding is easier to get loose." Hmm. I've never heard that; I was under the impression that hex cores hold windings better than round cores, and I have heard that most roundwounds use hex cores. Still, I have been playing Thomastik Infeld flatwounds with round cores for a long time, and I have never had any windings come apart; but TIs are expensive, high-quality strings. The conventional wisdom that I always heard is that flatwounds last much longer than roundwounds. Flatwounds don't bend as well; maybe that would be harder on the windings than for roundwounds.
    – user39614
    Aug 4, 2021 at 5:31

I already commented on the OP but will expand a bit here.

If you have a guitar with a built-in piezo pickup, a good way to record is to double it with an external mic recording. They won't give the same sound at all and, what is interesting with the external mic is that, depending on its angular response and where you put it, you can achieve very different results. By mixing it with the built-in pickup, work probably different EQ, you'll get something which is both very sharp, because of the piezo, but also kind of more natural and less prone to emphasize"parasitic" noises (frets, slides...) thanks to the mic.

It's all dependent on the characteristics of the two pickups so there is no general recipe but that gives you more room to play to achieve the sound you want.

As I also said in my comment, my opinion is also that, as the guitar is a real instrument, noises of actual playing are not troublesome in my opinion. But obviously, that depends on the extend of it!


Amplification amplifies everything! But yes, a microphone will 'hear' differently to a pickup. And different microphones, placed differently, will all sound different. Experiment.

But a wired pickup is so convenient! Try to clean up your playing technique too!

You mention a 'sound table'. A mixer? Does it have a specific guitar input? Using Line In or Mic In will produce sound, but it won't be optimum. And does it have compression? That would make the things you mention a lot worse.

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