#1
Hello,

I've only had my guitar for a week, and I love playing with a beat, which I make by hitting my wrist against the body above the sound hole. I do it pretty hard in order to create a loud enough noise. Is there a risk of cracking the guitar by doing this? I'm really worried that I might've broken something on the inside, like the bracing, but I'm not sure why I would think that, because there aren't any visible signs of damage on the outside. I'm just worried, and would like to know if it's even possible to break something on the inside or outside of the guitar by doing this type of percussion.

Thanks.
#3
Tony Done

Do you think it's possible there is any damage there at the moment? I don't even know how I would check. How possible is it that there is internal damage if there is no external damage? I'm just really worried that I've cracked some wood on the inside somewhere.
#5
Quote by jsmithj
Tony Done....[ ].... How possible is it that there is internal damage if there is no external damage?...[]...
As Tony said, the most likely damage is loose braces. I'll explain how that happens:

Ostensibly, the glue which holds the braces and top together is stronger than the wood(s) itself. With continued impact to the joints, the top bends, causing not the glue joint to break, but rather wood splinters to break away from, (most likely) the top, or the braces.

You know, those wrists are going to still be needed when you're older. So it might behoove you to not swing so hard, or they may not last.

Plans B through D involve. "B", mounting a contact mic to the soundboard, and not swinging so hard, letting an amplifier do some of the work for you. "C", glue a "golpeador" or "tap plate" to the guitar top. Last but not least, (and my personal favorite), make friends with a jitterbug groupie who could play the bongo drums fo you, thus sparing the life of your guitar in the process.
#6
Captaincranky

Good ideas all. FWIW, The Baggs M1 active soundhole pickup is very sensitive to top sounds, and would therefore be good for percussive players. Re golpe and bongos - I went to see the Paco Pena trad flamenco ensemble last year, and they were using a cajon player rather than beating their guitars to death. I didn't like it because I thought that the cajon was pitched too low to fit in well with the guitars.
#8
jsmithj

Well at first, not really.

As the separation progressed, you would likely begin to hear buzzing, particularly when playing forcibly on the bass strings.

At some more advanced stage, I'm guessing there would be enough separation to cause the top to crack along a grain line.

Why don't you think about my "Plan B"? You know, miking the guitar with a contact pickup, and ramping down your top assault.

The simple fact is, it's difficult to impossible to reinforce the top against percussive playing AFTER it's been built. You would be much better off having guitars built for you. I realize that's not in everyone's budget.

I switch from 6 to 12 strings frequently. The twelves take a much softer pick attack than the sixers. So I have to adjust. Not claiming I'm terribly good at it, but without some sort of lighter touch, 12 strings sound like crap. The strings are able drive the top so hard, it sounds really muddy, like an amplifier "clipping". Which is similar to the reason people use cedar tops for finger picking, and not so much for pick style. (Just threw that in there, no particular reason). Or I suppose you could say, "the right tool for the right job", which is the situation you find yourself in now.

You do know Gabriella, (of Rodrigo y Gabriella), was down for a while with stress fracture(s?). Jus' sayin', she's the "drummer" of the band, in a manner of speaking
#9
Quote by Tony Done
...[ ]...Good ideas all. FWIW, The Baggs M1 active soundhole pickup is very sensitive to top sounds, and would therefore be good for percussive players. Re golpe and bongos - I went to see the Paco Pena trad flamenco ensemble last year, and they were using a cajon player rather than beating their guitars to death. I didn't like it because I thought that the cajon was pitched too low to fit in well with the guitars.
So my bogo idea is ostensibly better then? It seems with two tones at your disposal, it would have the effect of emulating striking the top at different places, plus the bongos are much higher pitched than your average cajon. Although, the cajon is much more visibly imposing. Perhaps that went into the decision to use it...

Plus, the bongos likely still have the stigma of having accompanied beatnik poetry to live down..
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 18, 2016,
#12
Paco's ensemble got a standing ovation at the end of his performance, so the audience liked it. The music was interesting, it sounded a lot like modern jazz at time, he evidently hadn't stood still stylistically. Which is what I admire about Bob D - I thought he did the right thing going electric.