#1
Hey UG,

I've had this question bugging me for quite some time. If you play a riff and then play the exact same riff faster, would that in turn make it go up slightly in pitch? (Same thing if you do it slower).

Hope someone can clear this up.
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#2
Of course not.
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#4
No. But if you played a riff, then recorded it, then sped it up in the studio, the pitch would rise.
#6
Quote by michal23
No. But if you played a riff, then recorded it, then sped it up in the studio, the pitch would rise.



Exactly, but why doesn't it when you just play the thing faster.
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#8
Listen to disposable heros by metallica and you will hear in the palm muting its an open E played over and over but when he goes into triplets it does sound higher. And the original version of sad but true was faster and it made it sound brighter now its slower and it sounds very dark.
#9
Well when you play the same riff except faster, you're still playing the exact same notes... just faster, so why the hell would it change pitch?
#10
Quote by Dizzy-D
Exactly, but why doesn't it when you just play the thing faster.

thats because its speed in the recording affects pitch and tempo
youre increasing your TEMPO when you play faster


EDIT: this question is so dumb im convinced its a troll
#11
Is this an actual question? wtf?

speed in bpm =/= pitch

speed in hz = pitch
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#12
Quote by Trivium7
Listen to disposable heros by metallica and you will hear in the palm muting its an open E played over and over but when he goes into triplets it does sound higher. And the original version of sad but true was faster and it made it sound brighter now its slower and it sounds very dark.


it sounds darker because of the tempo, not the pitch.
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#13
That would defeat the whole purpose of notes. And think of it this way. How would you play a single note faster or slower? What is it relative to? An E is E. A Gb is Gb.
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#14
Haha funny and dumb, but imagine if it was like that, if you wanted to play something fast and stay in the same key you would have to record it really fast then turn the pitch down..or would that even work?
Last edited by Tempoe at Jan 6, 2010,
#15
Quote by Dizzy-D
Exactly, but why doesn't it when you just play the thing faster.

Because no matter how fast you pick a string, it vibrates at the same frequency. Slow stuff sometimes tends to sound heavier but the pitch doesn't change.
#17
Quote by tenfold
Because no matter how fast you pick a string, it vibrates at the same frequency. Slow stuff sometimes tends to sound heavier but the pitch doesn't change.


I would disagree, strings don't stay the same pitch all the time. They go up and down a few cents very slightly. If you want to be specific..
#18
a few cents possibly, but if you play an A very fast it doesn't turn into a D.
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#19
Pitch is defined by the frequency of a pressure wave in the air, that is how many times the string/air vibrates back and forth per second. the more vibrations per period of time the higher the frequenzy and the higher the pitch.

If you record something and play it up faster you will hear more vibrations per second since you are hearing the same amount of vibrations in a shorter span of time and thus you will hear a higher pitch.

If you play faster you will still only have the frequency of that particular tone and you will not hear a change in pitch.
#20
In the TS's defense, knowing why the pitch changes when recording speed is changed is not common knowledge, and most of you obviously couldn't explain to him why it happens.
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#21
Playing faster/slower affects the mood of the song as in a slower tempo, more emphasis is made on the notes compared to faster tempo when notes are flying by. But no there is no alteration in the pitch.

It will only happen (the pitch change) when you modify the song digitally in a studio.
#22
if you are just playing regular riffs it shouldnt really do much. if it does, its not because you are playing faster. playing hard and fretting hard can change the pitch a bit. if you fret hard, it actually bends the string slightly. also, the way you place your finger behind the fret can change the pitch too. thats how classical players can do a side to side, violin type vibrato. so if you do all that, sure it could change pitch. but again, its not because you are playing fast. you can play fast and soflty too.

and the reason things go higher or lower in pitch from a recording is because you are playing it faster than or slower than the speed it recorded it. for example, to see a movie in "real time", which is the speed that seems normal to us, i think you need to play the film at 24 frames per second. if you go faster or slower than that, it will either seem too fast or too slow. same with music. if you take a casette tape for example, the tape too records and plays at a certain speed. if you record at one speed, and then play it back at a faster speed, it will change the pitch.

now why doesnt it just go faster and not change pitch? well, i dont think i know enough of the science behind that but my thinking is that you are recording the sound waves so when you play it back, it reads the waves the way they are supposed to. if you speed it up, it takes less time in between waves making it seem like smaller wave lengths which would sound like a higher pitch. so by speeding up or slowing down, you are either squeezing the sound waves together which raises the pitch, you you stretch them out making them lower in pitch.
#23
It has been noted that, in practice, playing faster may result in different picking causing slightly different tones, but this is akin to Lorentz invariance in classical mechanics: not important for this discussion. (I can explain my analogy, but it's not so important.)

The post above is good. I like equating it to slow-motion photography. Let me explain slow-motion.

Let's say you move your arm 2 feet in one second and film it. At 24 frames/second, your arm moves one inch between every frame. (See, the English system has its advantages!) What about if you film it at 48 frames/second? Your arm moves 1/2 inch every frame. When you play back the footage at 24 frames/second, the arm moves with 1/2 the original speed of one foot/second, so it appears that the arm was moving more slowly than it actually was. This only happens by manipulating the camera, though. Your arm was always moving at one foot/second; no amount of trick photography will affact that. (I'll let you deduce on your own how fast-motion photography works, and I have confidence that you will get this with ease.)

The pitch transformation applies only to shifts in recording speed. It is not dependent on how fast you play.