#1
Hey everyone, I need some help! I hear all these songs with open notes that act exactly like a fretted note, and I can't replicate it at all! On my electric, when I'm using distortion, open notes are dirtier and easily overpower fretted notes that follow them. I'll play an open note, say, open A. It'll be much louder than a fretted note, then I'll play a following fretted note, and the open note continues to ring loudly, overpowering all following fretted notes. I've ended up just immediately muting open notes regardless of what a song calls for. Could someone help? I have been playing guitar for a while now and it's always been a mystery how artists seem to have very well behaved open notes.
#2
Hi RBpunk,

Why are you not able to replace them? Show me an example of a tab/song/lesson you have been using.

I think your problem lies within your picking hand technique. Assuming you don't want the strings to ring out, you need to mute the open strings that you don't want to be heard with either your palm or your fingers depending on which is most comfortable for you. There are lessons on Youtube describing/teaching this technique but if you need to ask anything else, fire away!
#3
If your getting overbearingly loud/drown out higher strings, and dirty sounds from your e a d strings it is probably one of 3 things.

1. Pickups are too high/close to the strings.
2. Cheap pickups (I have an epiphone like this)
3. Need more muting action going on.
Last edited by Starcounter1 at Oct 14, 2013,
#4
Fretted notes will always sound different than open notes. To some extent you can control the differences with fingering and muting techniques, but they will always be there. I like it that they sound different because it allows you different sound textures and dynamics. An open A on the 5th string will sound different than a fretted A on the 6th... string thickness, length, string material, fret material different than nut material, fingering technique... lots of variables contribute.
#5
Quote by Starcounter1
If your getting overbearingly loud/drown out higher strings, and dirty sounds from your e a d strings it is probably one of 3 things.

1. Pickups are too high/close to the strings.
2. Cheap pickups (I have an epiphone like this)
3. Need more muting action going on.


Pickups are not an issue (1&2) if your open strings are ringing out just fine. You may want to make sure that you're fretting your notes *behind* your frets and not right on them.

One other thought: I've had my frets superglued. This consists of wicking thin superglue into the fret tang cavities (slots). It does two things. One, it helps prevent "flyer" frets during the dry season and Two, it makes a more solid connection between the fret and the neck. Notes seem to ring and sustain better. If you tap on the frets with the end of a screwdriver, you can hear the difference. Best if you have a tech do this who's familiar with the process, and do NOT attempt this at home unless you pay *careful* attention to what needs to be done to prevent a sticky mess.

Here's the technique: http://www.stewmac.com/tsarchive/ts0043.html

Last edited by dspellman at Oct 14, 2013,
#6
Quote by mattgreen2205
Hi RBpunk,

Why are you not able to replace them? Show me an example of a tab/song/lesson you have been using.

I think your problem lies within your picking hand technique. Assuming you don't want the strings to ring out, you need to mute the open strings that you don't want to be heard with either your palm or your fingers depending on which is most comfortable for you. There are lessons on Youtube describing/teaching this technique but if you need to ask anything else, fire away!


Well, one recent example would be Black Sabbath's War Pigs.
War Pigs Songsterr Tab
Had to link songsterr tab, UG tab not accurate. In the intro there's the parts with the
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-11--------------11/12---------------11-----------------------------------------------
--0----------------0/--0----------------0-----------------------------------------------

It repeats variations of that throughout the intro, and when I play these chords, the bottom open note totally overpowers the fretted note it's played with. You can hardly hear the fretted 11's and 12.
#7
Does this happen on any guitar you play or just yours?

I'm guessing either the action is set too low or there's a problem with the relief on your neck. when you play unplugged can you hear a buzz when theres a fretted note, but not so much when its open? If yes, I'd take it to a tech for a proper setup. Buzzing even if inaudible through an amp will have a big effect on sustain.
#8
Sounds like the fretted note isn't being played close enough to the fretwire.
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
#9
What are you playing through? It could be an amp problem. If you play with too much gain, you might lose string separation. Some amps also just don't do it well. Your pickups might just be muddy and aren't separating notes very well. If your pickups have adjustable pole pieces, try lowering the ones on the E string while raising the one on the A string. It could be a number of things.
#10
well inherently open strings will sound different. nut vs fret. also, the shorter you make the string, the quieter it gets. open strings will be louder than fretted notes at the 20th frets for example.
pickup adjustment can be key. use good strings.

also, you are forgetting - the studio isnt goint to be replicated at home. they have double tracking, compression (professional compression, not $100 dollar guitar pedal compression), etc etc. sorry man, but your guitar many never sound exactly like the record. thats just a fact of life.

ever see a life band you like but they sound like garbage? studio. i saw Awol Nation live. i am never listening to another one of thier songs again. they are a joke (for a real performance).
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#11
Open notes sound totally fine unplugged or without distortion, it seems to be distortion that's pushing them over.
#12
Quote by RBpunk
Well, one recent example would be Black Sabbath's War Pigs.
War Pigs Songsterr Tab
Had to link songsterr tab, UG tab not accurate. In the intro there's the parts with the
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-11--------------11/12---------------11-----------------------------------------------
--0----------------0/--0----------------0-----------------------------------------------

It repeats variations of that throughout the intro, and when I play these chords, the bottom open note totally overpowers the fretted note it's played with. You can hardly hear the fretted 11's and 12.


Try rolling back the bass on the EQ, see if that makes a difference. Also when picking those two notes, try to not to pick the open note as hard as the fretted one. I can't say I've encountered this problem before though.

If neither of the above help then I sugest that this may be a setup issue and that you take it into a guitar shop for them to take a look at it.
#13
Quote by RBpunk
Well, one recent example would be Black Sabbath's War Pigs.

It repeats variations of that throughout the intro, and when I play these chords, the bottom open note totally overpowers the fretted note it's played with. You can hardly hear the fretted 11's and 12.


Well, for starters, you've got half the string length producing volume. So I'd expect that those fretted notes would be quieter. Second, you're probably wanging the hell out of the open note and lifting on the notes next door.