I made this thread in the Pit a few days ago, but I realized that I would probably get better answers here. For my science project, I want to do something with an electric guitar. I'm in high school, so it can't be something like "How does a pickup work." There has to be an investigation of some sorts. Also, it has to be quantitive, meaning that I have to be able to measure the independent variable. I got some good answers in the Pit, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do any of them.

So do you guys have any ideas? I have to submit two project ideas tomorrow, so all help will be appreciated.
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Maybe do something like: How different woods effect the tone(frequencies/sustain), and greatly affects the music that is played on that particular instrument.
how your string gauge affects the tone
How string gauge affects sustain. You can measure sustain.

The one problem would be getting a consistent attack.
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The problem with the string gauge suggestions is that we already know how string gauges affect tone and sustain, so there's no investigation. Also, do any of you know what I would use to measure frequency?
Josh Homme writes the greatest lyrics EVAR:
"I wish we could get away
Drink wine and screw"

"Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol
C-C-C-C-Cocaine!"

"I wanna lick you too much"

Own this Black Sabbath shirt?
Sorry if this is a noobish question, but do you guys think that distortion could have an effect on the frequency of waves produced by a guitar? I know that would change the note (which is why I thought it was a noobish question), but would there be a small difference? Because then I could look up the accepted values for notes and see if distortion is less "accurate" than playing a note cleanly.
Josh Homme writes the greatest lyrics EVAR:
"I wish we could get away
Drink wine and screw"

"Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol
C-C-C-C-Cocaine!"

"I wanna lick you too much"

Own this Black Sabbath shirt?
Quote by maninthebox24
Sorry if this is a noobish question, but do you guys think that distortion could have an effect on the frequency of waves produced by a guitar? I know that would change the note (which is why I thought it was a noobish question), but would there be a small difference? Because then I could look up the accepted values for notes and see if distortion is less "accurate" than playing a note cleanly.

Distortion has no effect on the pitch. It's considered less "accurate" because it adds lots of gain.
Quote by UncleCthulhu
Distortion has no effect on the pitch. It's considered less "accurate" because it adds lots of gain.

So would the effect of distortion on frequency be a valid experiment?
Josh Homme writes the greatest lyrics EVAR:
"I wish we could get away
Drink wine and screw"

"Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol
C-C-C-C-Cocaine!"

"I wanna lick you too much"

Own this Black Sabbath shirt?
Well it changes the wave of the signal, making it harsher. You should ask the user roc about that type of stuff, he knows loads of stuff.
I could do this with an acoustic, too, but how about measuring the frequency of the same notes on two different strings, to find out if the frequencies are different?
Josh Homme writes the greatest lyrics EVAR:
"I wish we could get away
Drink wine and screw"

"Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol
C-C-C-C-Cocaine!"

"I wanna lick you too much"

Own this Black Sabbath shirt?
Last edited by maninthebox24 at Oct 11, 2008,
I'm not sure how you'd do that.

Oh but another cool idea would be the electronics of electric guitars, and how lots of the electronic circuits in electric guitars are used for sound, but in any other electronic field these circuits wouldn't be used because of efficiency or not being needed in usual electronics.
how many winds of coil effect the tone of the pick up...
...
I did the same thing for my Gr. 11 Physics class. Except basically what I did was about electromagnetic induction, and how a pickup works. I outlined the studies of Michael Faraday and explained exactly how a transducer works. I stuck a cheap guitar neck on a big piece of wood and made my own bridge out of wood and sewing needles, and made my own pickup out of magnets from a microwave and some coil material. Played the bass part to the Charlie Brown theme for my class piano style.

But I guess that isn't good enough for your high school.
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Quote by maninthebox24
So would the effect of distortion on frequency be a valid experiment?

Distortion doesn't affect the frequency of the waves, it affects the shape of the waves. The number of peaks in a certain amount of time is still exactly the same.
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EC-1000
Homemade Strat (seymour duncan classic stack p/ups)
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How different woods affect the sound of a guitar e.g. Basswood, Mahgonay, Ash, etc.
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How different woods affect the sound of a guitar e.g. Basswood, Mahgonay, Ash, etc.

wood be good but it needs to be more specific. maybe try which wood has the most mids, highs, lows and compare it to which has the highest/lowest density and hardness.

but it would be hard to get rid of extraneous variables such as the string gauge, the size of the guitar, the shape of the guitar and the neck of the guitar.
Quote by Ghold125
how many winds of coil effect the tone of the pick up...

I want to do this, but how would I quantitatively measure this?
What about how the winding of coil affects the amplitude of sound waves produced by the pick up?
Josh Homme writes the greatest lyrics EVAR:
"I wish we could get away
Drink wine and screw"

"Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol
C-C-C-C-Cocaine!"

"I wanna lick you too much"

Own this Black Sabbath shirt?
Last edited by maninthebox24 at Oct 12, 2008,
Quote by maninthebox24
I want to do this, but how would I quantitatively measure this?
What about how the winding of coil affects the amplitude of sound waves produced by the pick up?

You could measure the level of certain frequencies. Garageband has an analyzer built into the EQ effect.