#1
I've noticed that on most guitars [Maybe all???] (accoustic or electric, doesn't matter), if you pluck one of the low string (like the low E) very hard and away from the top of the guitar, the initial note that rings out is sharp, only to mellow out to the natural frequency of the string after a couple seconds.

Is this only happening because the guitars I've been playing lately suck? Or is this some phenomenon I just don't understand? I'd really like for it not to happen, as sometimes I strum the lower strings with quite a bit of force for emotional effect.

#2
it happens because you touch yourself at night...
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#3
The attack should be forceful if you want that kind of emotion but you shouldn't be raping your strings mate.

What our ears percieve as in tune is something vibrating at a certain speed (vocal cords, guitar strings). Like an in tune A note vibrates at 440hz (vibrations per second)... so logically if you hit the strings hard enough the strings will vibrate faster than that and the note will be sharp until it slows down to 440 again.
#4
not really...its more the fact that it is stretching so much cuz you just pwned it.
#5
Quote by little papa
it happens because you touch yourself at night...

That's been used so many times on this site it isn't even remotely funny anymore.
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#6
scheck's pretty close... It's a pretty common 'effect' known as string-compression (which causes other string distortions also). It's not that the string stretches really, but it elasticates. The effect is a length change and a slap back into the original frequency.
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#7
not that i dont trust you, cor, (which i do) but ...

is Elasticates really a word or are you pullin that from your ass? seriously tho
#8
Quote by Corwinoid
scheck's pretty close... It's a pretty common 'effect' known as string-compression (which causes other string distortions also). It's not that the string stretches really, but it elasticates. The effect is a length change and a slap back into the original frequency.


can you explain the difference between stretch and elasticate
#9
Elasticity in this sense is the amount something can bend without changing it's actual length or deforming. Such as in a vibrating string, the truth of the string, in length and uniformity of mass, remain constant, even though it's 'stretching' from side to side.

Compare to a rubber band (which we normal think of as very elastic), which deforms to mass very easily. That deformation of unity in mass is a bend.

ed. This needs some clarification, because I've used length in two different senses here. In terms of engineering and elastics as it applies to materials (especially metals), 'length' is the distance measured in a straight line between one end of a material and the other. Physically, in a more 'real' sense, the length of a string changes as it vibrates, if you measure it on the arc that's created.

The canonical example of elastics used in mechanics is a steel ruler... imagine a foot (or meter) long steel ruler that's stood straight up, with another straight edge placed perpendicularly to it to form a T, and suspended. The elasticity of the ruler is the amount that it can bend (without deforming in mass or shape) and still measure one foot (or meter) long by the straight edge that was suspended above it.

A very cool example of the elasticity of steel is in roller-coasters (or tall buildings, if you've got a good perspective of it). In a tall steel roller-coaster (or building), the track/moorings/pillars will sway, but the uniformity of the supports and the mechanical length doesn't change... you can feel it in tall buildings in heavy wind, also.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elasticity << more concise, without the examples
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Last edited by Corwinoid at May 16, 2006,
#10
How much pressure is put on a guitar from the tension of the strings? Thats without taking into account what happens when we play one.
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#12
Quote by Corwinoid
Elasticity in this sense is the amount something can bend without changing it's actual length or deforming. Such as in a vibrating string, the truth of the string, in length and uniformity of mass, remain constant, even though it's 'stretching' from side to side.

Compare to a rubber band (which we normal think of as very elastic), which deforms to mass very easily. That deformation of unity in mass is a bend.

ed. This needs some clarification, because I've used length in two different senses here. In terms of engineering and elastics as it applies to materials (especially metals), 'length' is the distance measured in a straight line between one end of a material and the other. Physically, in a more 'real' sense, the length of a string changes as it vibrates, if you measure it on the arc that's created.

The canonical example of elastics used in mechanics is a steel ruler... imagine a foot (or meter) long steel ruler that's stood straight up, with another straight edge placed perpendicularly to it to form a T, and suspended. The elasticity of the ruler is the amount that it can bend (without deforming in mass or shape) and still measure one foot (or meter) long by the straight edge that was suspended above it.

A very cool example of the elasticity of steel is in roller-coasters (or tall buildings, if you've got a good perspective of it). In a tall steel roller-coaster (or building), the track/moorings/pillars will sway, but the uniformity of the supports and the mechanical length doesn't change... you can feel it in tall buildings in heavy wind, also.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elasticity << more concise, without the examples


Thanks Corwinoid, that was a good explanation. I suppose I could have asked one of my mechanical engineering friends too, but the music kids are much more fun .

From the sounds of it, there's not a lot that can be done about it, eh? I suppose different strings would be effected different amounts, but probably not as much as I'd like. I'm really, really picky about instruments being in tune and making the exact pitches I intend, but maybe I can deal.

#13
^The differences between strings types (as n, what they're made of) would be insignificant. They will, for all intensive purposes, do the same thing and change to the same frequency.
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#14
^ Actually I've noticed a huge difference in compression between steel strings and nylon monofil's on my acoustics. I'm not sure if it's the string, or the attack method; on a classical the attack off the nail is more round, not as flat or sudden, and it probably puts the string into a truer elipse sooner.

I play with pretty heavy picks most of the time, but I've also noticed a decrease in compression using a softer pick (JD nylon .somethingreallysmall, instead of my usual 1.2's). Again, I think the pick in this case takes more of the initial collision, and folds more to absorb more initial energy.

From what I know, and I may very well be wrong about this, the initial attack doesn't significantly alter the amount of energy that's released on the string once it's travelling elliptically. (Before you all call me crazy -- "When I hit the string harder it sounds louder!!" I'm not talking about the initial attack, where most of your dynamic is, or the duration of the ring, but in the significant amount of noise energy produced once the string is travelling in a sound producing ellipse... ie. the difference in volume after the initial attack and 'decay' isn't very different from the amount produced by a string with a relatively softer initial attack.)

Slurgi: not knowing what you're asking, how would you have known to ask them?

And for everybody wondering, once again, wtf I know so much -- I actually learned about string compression by chance, walking through a music store and overhearing some guy giving a seminar on strings... one of the audience members asked. IIRC he agreed with red, that they various strings, at least of a similar type, would produce approximately equivelant compression.
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#16
Cor: I meant there was a negligible difference between electric strings... yeah, I forgot about nylons.

I'll be more knowledgeable after my Analytical Mechanics course next year...
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