Hi all,
I'm really interested in developing haptic feedback into electronic devices and wanted to understand what others regard as the 'key' haptic feedback provided by an electric guitar.

An explanation of haptic could be: how a user interacts or manipulates an object through touch and the response it gives. i.e If we pluck a guitar string, it vibrates. The intensity that it vibrates is determined by the pressure at which the string is stimulated (plucked), the frequency it vibrates is determined by the length of the string (position on the fretboard); and the time it vibrates is determined by the intensity that it's been stimulated (disregarding its material as a factor).

The key considerations of haptic feedback in the above example would be:
- the interaction between user and instrument when plucking the string.
- string vibrations that cause the body and neck to vibrate at different intensities throughout the instrument.
- the frequency and duration of the vibrations.
- user physically holding string/s against the fretboard.

So, my question is: when playing a guitar what haptic feedback do you regard as fundamental to provide an accurate and consistent performance?

Cheers, Ian
The only thing which I pay attention to in that statement is the pressure of the strings on the body. Of course the body and neck resonate, but I do t pay attention to it while playing, nor do I think it or any other vibration make a difference in how I play.
I think your quite right. The resonance happens, but it isn't a factor in performance.

What do you think of this...

A completely imaginary instrument, that sounds exactly as a guitar should. Light beams represent the strings which should be plucked like a guitar; and instead of holding down a strings to identify notes, you press pressure sensitive pads along the fretboard (still looks like a normal fretboard). The key factor is that it does everything a guitar does, functions as a normal guitar (vibrato, string bend, etc) and also sounds like one, but doesn't provide any haptic feedback.

How to you feel about this instrument, do you think the lack of resonance and physical interaction with strings would affect your ability to play it?
such a device would have to replicate all the feedback the strings give to the picking and fretting hands. this includes details like the way a string feels different to the picking hand when fretted vs. open (though this particular detail is just a quirk that existing guitar players put up with, maybe you want to create a guitar v2.0 or something). vibrations coming from the guitar body would still be missed, but is much less important.
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Last edited by vIsIbleNoIsE at Dec 16, 2013,
I can't say much about the haptics affecting play, but there ARE "laser" guitars out there. Check YouTube.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
I think the fundamental things are the physical pressing of the string onto the fretboard, and the pressure and release of the pick (as an extension of your hand) against the string. I think resonance and any vibrations are trivial. They can definitely be crucial when controlling feedback or other harmonics, but they aren't nearly as important as strings on the fretboard and picking.

As for your question with the light beams, I think you run into the same problem as with a theremin. You could definitely learn to control it the same way as a guitar, but without something to physically feel, it's very hard to control. Lack of resonance wouldn't be an issue unless you were working with feedback, I don't think.

It could be just that we're used to it. There are some great theremin/light harp players out there, but it's a totally different mental process. I think we make a subconscious connection between the string and the sound, so when the feeling of the string is out of the equation we lose our ability to control it the same way. Guitar playing as it is in the most basic sense needs the physical feeling of the string on the fretboard and the pick against the string.

This is an awesome thread.
There are theremin players who have great precision. Its just a matter of practice.

As for the laser guitars, here's one of many:
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Dec 16, 2013,