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I'm learning guitar and practicing some beginner chords. Specifically, C and G. I've noticed lately that the G string rings far longer than the other strings. It's the only open string in both chords, which I thought was the reason, but even just strumming all six open strings, the G seems to ring out longer and sounds "tinny" despite being tuned numerous times with a tuner.

If I just strum an Em chord, I'm not actually sure that the G string is ringing longer so much as just sounding louder than the others.

The guitar and strings are relatively new (less than a month). It is a PRS SE Custom 24 with factory strings. I believe the G string is 0.0160. I'm not sure what things to try to figure out if it's a string problem or just me. Any suggestions?

Edit:

Finally had time to record a video showing this:

The audio output is from the output of a Boss Katana 100 amp direct into the camera. I just strummed an open C major chord twice.

Edit 2:

As suggested by Scott, I compared the three G notes in an open G major chord. I recorded them with Audacity so I could more accurately time them. My picking of the three notes is certainly not identical, but I think this still demonstrates that there's nothing wrong with the duration.

Picked G notes of G maj chord

I think the low and mid G are very similar while the 1st string G is shorter. (Which could be my fretting of it, or, I speculate, thinner string or higher frequency, etc.)

In any case, the fretted 6th string and open G string being very similar in duration seems to show that there's nothing inherently wrong. I think I am just noticing the one string which isn't fretted between these two chords. Because I'm a beginner taking time to change chords, and not muting strings well, it has a tendency to ring more than the others.

  • Any chance of a video? – topo morto Mar 22 '18 at 8:36
  • @topo I recorded a quick video with my phone but the audio is abysmal. I'll do a proper video with a direct connection from the amp soon. – JYelton Mar 22 '18 at 21:06
  • @topomorto Finally got the video done! – JYelton Mar 24 '18 at 6:53
  • It may be that your fretting is stifling the sustain a bit (it takes time to get the same tone from fretted strings as open ones). You could try comparing that one strings sustain time open and fretted. – AJFaraday Mar 24 '18 at 16:34
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As @CarlWitthoft says, it could be the way your pickups are configured or maybe your EQ (do you have the mids cranked with the treble and bass turned all the way down?). I know my Strat resonates best when I strike the A string (I feel the vibrations in my belly through the body of the guitar); maybe yours resonates in G. You could test this by playing the 3 G notes in a G chord and seeing if they all sound for about the same length of time.

But my first thought when reading your post was about the physics of vibration. A string that vibrates longest is shedding energy slower than the others. Given that the G string is the thickest (the wound strings have thinner cores), it would make sense to me that it would maintain its energy the longest.

  • I'm using a Boss Katana 100 with bass, mid, and treble at the halfway point. I will do some more testing with a different amp (have a loaner Line 6 Spider IV 120) as well as without any amp. Thanks for the suggestions. – JYelton Mar 24 '18 at 6:55
  • Just a followup comment: I recorded and timed the three G's on a G major chord. I'm pretty sure the guitar and string are fine now. :) I think the reason I felt it was being louder/longer was simply due to it being the only non-fretted string between the two chords I was practicing. Thanks for the help! – JYelton Mar 26 '18 at 1:35
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Well, it's certainly cheap and easy to swap in a different G string to see what happens. Different axes can have different body resonances (tho' less so in solid-body). Another possibility is that the pickup under the G string is a bit higher than the others, making more sensitive. And don't rule out a nonlinearity in your amp & speaker combo.

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