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Hearing chord changes, breathing

Mrrzy 21 Jan 02 - 03:01 PM
Murray MacLeod 21 Jan 02 - 04:56 PM
Grab 21 Jan 02 - 05:16 PM
53 21 Jan 02 - 10:14 PM
michaelr 22 Jan 02 - 02:00 AM
Mark Cohen 22 Jan 02 - 02:24 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 22 Jan 02 - 04:22 AM
van lingle 22 Jan 02 - 05:47 AM
Mrrzy 22 Jan 02 - 12:25 PM
Grab 22 Jan 02 - 12:43 PM
Steve in Idaho 22 Jan 02 - 02:17 PM
53 22 Jan 02 - 02:45 PM
SharonA 22 Jan 02 - 04:53 PM
Murray MacLeod 22 Jan 02 - 05:18 PM
53 22 Jan 02 - 10:41 PM
rangeroger 23 Jan 02 - 12:59 AM
Don Firth 23 Jan 02 - 01:46 AM
Robbyanne 23 Jan 02 - 04:08 AM
AKS 23 Jan 02 - 07:27 AM
AKS 23 Jan 02 - 07:35 AM
SharonA 23 Jan 02 - 09:14 AM
Murray MacLeod 23 Jan 02 - 09:24 AM
53 23 Jan 02 - 10:15 AM
SharonA 23 Jan 02 - 10:48 AM
SharonA 23 Jan 02 - 10:58 AM
53 23 Jan 02 - 02:58 PM
A Wandering Minstrel 24 Jan 02 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,UB Dan 24 Jan 02 - 09:57 AM
Ebbie 24 Jan 02 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,joco 24 Jan 02 - 06:56 PM
Mark Cohen 24 Jan 02 - 07:11 PM
breezy 24 Jan 02 - 07:20 PM
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Subject: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 03:01 PM

This may be just me, but I don't like hearing fingers sliding over guitar strings on their way to the next chord, and I'd rather not hear the big indrawn breath before the next line that is sung... so one question is, why do some songs have the whine of the sliding fingers and some, perhaps by same artist, don't? Is it a style thing (can you tell I don't play guitar?), like the whiny music in the background of some country songs? Or is it that some transitions are audible, willy-nilly, and others not? Do you avoid that sound, or not notice it? And then all the same questions about the big breathing, too.

And, of course, IS THERE A WORD in folksong jargon for that whine, or the fact of sliding fingers rather than moving them? Just some musical thoughts... thanks, all.


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 04:56 PM

The sound of fingers on strings can be irritating, I agree. Players with superlative technique, (and Martin Simpson is the only one I can think of in the folk idiom) are able to record without any string noise whatsoever.

But some syles of music do require the occasional glissando and string noise is an inevitable by-peoduct of the technique, especially when using new strings. Lubricating the strings with Fast-Fret or WD40 can help, however.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Grab
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 05:16 PM

I've heard that flat-wound and tape-wound strings reduce string noise. Any ideas on that?

About the first thing my singing teacher said was that she didn't want to hear me breathing in! And sure enough, a few techniques to get that right and you can't hear the breathing.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: 53
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 10:14 PM

if you listen back to some of the early beatle songs you can hear the finger squeak. i think that it gives the song identity, and even more it's cool, yes you could get flat wound strings and you would have a flat wound sound, instead of the bright sound of the acoustic string, cause that is what acoustic music is all about, maybe you should learn to play the guitar, then you would understand for yourself. the breating part i can't comment on cause i don't sing very much. BOB


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: michaelr
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 02:00 AM

Mrrzy - (you from Liverpool?) singers do train themselves to inhale quietly. As for string noise, I agree that it's a matter of technique. Few of us will achieve Martin Simpson's level, and I think that's OK. Personally, I'd rather hear some string noise on nice roundwound phosphor-bronzes than the sound of flatwound strings.

BTW - I hope that by "the whiny music in the background of country songs" you don't mean the divine pedal steel guitar?!?

Cheers, Michael


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 02:24 AM

Mrrzy, it's not just the style of music, it can be the specific chords and fingerings involved, as well as the temperament of the player. Sometimes it's difficult to get from one particular chord to another particular chord at a certain tempo without sliding your fingers (not impossible, of course, but difficult). Some guitarists take the extra time and trouble to avoid the sliding sound, while others don't mind it, or like it in certain settings, so they let it stay. If you listen to classical guitar recordings, you'll frequently hear string noise. I personally don't mind it, unless it's excessive. (No, of course I'm not going to define "excessive"!)

Also, on most acoustic steel-string or classical guitars the lower strings are "wound"--a thin wire is wrapped in a tight spiral around the core, which gives the string the extra mass needed to achieve the correct pitch, while maintaining flexibility. This means that sliding your finger along the string tends to give that twangy "zipping" sound, which may be more obvious than the sound made when you slide your finger along a single non-wound string.

Does all that help answer your question?

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 04:22 AM

Mrrzy,

I took classical guitar lessons and learned always to hold my finger on a string when changing position. It is very difficult to change position without some guide, especially when you are not watching your fingers. My teacher took great pains to get me to not make noise. It is hard sometimes, especially with new wound strings, but it is better than losing your place on the fingerboard.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: van lingle
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 05:47 AM

When I first started performing friends pointed out to me (usually by laughing hysterically) that I was kind of puckering my lips into a small o and sucking wind. I then trained myself to breathe through the nose and to take slower, broader breaths when breathing through the mouth. It wasn't easy.
Elixir strings seem to me to have about the least amount of noise of any string I've tried. They ain't cheap, 12-13 bucks a set, but they last a long time. VL


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 12:25 PM

This is fascinating, I would never have thought it might depend on the STRING rather than the PLAYER. Can I get a better description of the types of strings and what they are good for? And Michaelr, no I'm not Liverpudlian, LOL! And I have no idea what instrument makes that whine to which I referred in country music, and I cherish my ignorance there!


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Grab
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 12:43 PM

I've heard of tape-wound strings recommended for guitars playing in chamber jazz groups. Apparently they reduce the string noise, but at a cost to the tone/volume of the guitar sound. Anyone know what they're like?

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 02:17 PM

Mrrzy - It is the pedal steel that you are referring to in country music (not all country but some). And for myself I use the string noise as part of what I do. But then I've been known to use the top of the guitar as a drum at times *G*. Sliding notes are part of the beauty, for me, of the acoustic guitar. The string noise is also a piece of it. It's why I don't use flat wound strings or some of the other brands that minimize it.

So add performer preference to the list of things that create the string sounds!! I think the key for me is to minimize the sound when it doesn't sound good and to maximize it when it does - and that is part of the artistry of music.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: 53
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 02:45 PM

like i said earlier and several others seem to agree, acoustic music demands string noise, that is the beauty of a song with a acoustic guitar, just listen to the beginning of i feel fine by the beatles, and some of dwight yoakums songs, rock and roll music you can hear string noise, its part of the song, so don't do it intentionally, but when it happens don'tlet it freak you out. BOB


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: SharonA
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 04:53 PM

The string noises irritate me less, now that I play guitar, than they did before I learned to play. But I'm still not crazy about 'em! Likewise, I get irritated by excessive pick noise particularly on an electric guitar (sometimes it almost makes a "feedback" sort of squeaking sound). Example: the electric-guitar solo on the pop song by The Carpenters, "Goodbye Again."


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 05:18 PM

Sharon, I assume the song to which you refer is "Goodbye to Love". You have just touched on my favorite guitar solo EVER !

Henry Peluso, who played this solo, uses the pick and the flesh of his thumb tip to generate artificial harmonics, this is NOT to be confused with string noise or unwanted pick noise!!

Murray


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: 53
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 10:41 PM

PLAYING THE GUITAR DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. BOB


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: rangeroger
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 12:59 AM

Grab, the Epiphone electric basses I have came with round wound strings that were too bright and made noise when I slid a finger. Put flat wounds on the EB-1 Violin bass and Fender tape wound on the Les Paul.

What a difference. Still have a good bass tone that can be worked with using tone and volume controls, and what a pleasure to play. No extraneous noises,fingers slide like snot and they feeel good.

Having 2 humbucking pickups helps.Plus they are a deep black that matches the pickups and all the hardware.

rr


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 01:46 AM

I've been using one particular brand of strings for years now, since I found what I like, so I don't really know what all is out there these days. But way back when, I used to use La Bella "Golden" (nylon) on my classic. La Bella made a "Golden Superior" string with highly polished basses which were practically squeak-free--but at a price. A) They were more expensive; and B) the fourth string fret-cut very easily and usually popped a couple days after you put them on. La Bella made them to minimize finger-squeak on recordings, and suggested that they not be used for general playing because of their lack of durability.

Almost all musical instruments make some kind of extraneous noise. Cellos are very noisy. Sometimes you can hear the keys popping on a flute. I can sometimes hear fingers popping down on the holes when someone is playing penny-whistle. Big cathedral organs are very noisy. Lots of pops, thuds, wheezes, and clunks. Most of the time, most people's ears recognize that it isn't part of the music and just filter it out. The problem is that when you start to notice it, your ear tends to "focus" on it and it becomes bothersome. The trick is to do some Zen meditation or some other psychological legerdemain and re-focus your ears on the music. Not easy sometimes.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Robbyanne
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 04:08 AM

When I was working in the studio on my third recording, I discovered Elixir strings, and I've used them ever since. They're a coated string - a polymer casing that at first felt pretty slimy and slippery to me, but it's something I've learned to appreciate. The "skritching" noise caused by sliding up the neck for a chord was greatly reduced, which I was happy with on the guitar tracks, but another perk was that the strings last a LONG time. I'm a happy convert. Love, Robin


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: AKS
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 07:27 AM

I'd say it's a matter of 'signal to noice ratio'; some genres (or people) tolerate more 'undesired noice' than others.

An unfortunate example: back in the 40's-50's the Finnish Broadcasting C. had done a few hours of tape recordings with Teppo Repo (1886-1962), who was propably the last real master of Finnish and Karelian traditional wind instruments (shepherd's horns, pipes, flutes, wooden whistles and what ever). Later - in the 60's - practically all those irreplaceable tapes were destroyed being 'of no quality'; the poor man could be heard breathe in every now and then!! (Luckily these tapes were not the only recordings of TR.)

AKS


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: AKS
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 07:35 AM

Sorry, one slash too many in the link, I think. Here's it once more Teppo Repo.

AKS


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: SharonA
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 09:14 AM

Murray MacLeod: You're right, I did mean The Carpenters's "Goodbye to Love". Sorry; it's been too long since I've listened to the song (because I can't stand the artifical harmonics in the guitar solo!)!!

I had no idea that those harmonics were intentional; I'd always wondered why they were allowed to remain on the recording, and now I know! Sounds like a difficult technique to master, and I truly do have great respect for people who can master difficult playing techniques....... I just wish I could say I liked the effect that this technique produces! Unfortunately, for me, the harmonics detract from my enjoyment of the music. Sorry about that!


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 09:24 AM

No problem, Sharon, it doesn't mean you're a bad person ! *G*

Murray


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: 53
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 10:15 AM

i am listening to a lot of different songs in my mp-3 player as i make this post, and in almost every song there is string noise, so i think like i posted earlier, string noise is part of the music. an by the way what's wrong with it, its the soul of the music saying i'm alive, so why would you wont to kill it? BOB


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: SharonA
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 10:48 AM

Murray: Yeah, but it doesn't mean I'm not... *bigger G*

Sharon


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: SharonA
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 10:58 AM

Bob 53 says: "It's the soul of the music saying 'I'm alive'." Wow. That's really beautiful. I'd never thought of it exactly like that, although I do like a little bit of occasional string noise to confirm that the music is being played by living, breathing human beings and not a synthesizer. I just don't like it when the noise overwhelms the music. After all, a song's soul is bigger than the person playing or singing it.


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: 53
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 02:58 PM

thanks Sharon A, that was the only way i could get my feelings across, glad to know that somebody picked up on it. BOB


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 09:21 AM

Nice one BOB.

On a purely practical note, I find if I'm making string noise then moistening the tips of the fretting fingers will reduce it a lot. But don't forget to dry the strings afterwards or they rust.

Some of us older asthmatic singers will tell you that breathing in whether noisily or not is a strangely rewarding experience ;)


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 09:57 AM

Mrrzy, You might also be able to reduce these noices some using the sound board:
If you cut the high end just a bit it should reduce the scratching
If you cut the way low end (several systems have a low end rumble button) it reduces wind/breathing noise
Finally, if you reduce the trim and turn up the slider, the lighter noises won't be picked up...it makes it harder to play subtly but if you play/sing deliberately it will not pick up the incidental sounds as much


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 01:16 PM

I don't remember where I read once that when Segovia was performing, some people paid extra for the 'really good' seats- way up front so they could hear the squeak of the strings...

I think we have mentioned two very different things here- the squeak of strings as fingers are moved and the rising tone of a fully-pressed string on the way up to another chord. I do the second one on occasion because in some tunes/songs I like it.

The squeakiness that I hear sometimes under my own fingers bothers me a lot more than when I hear someone else's. (I also don't like the flappiness of a too-light pick in my hands, maybe because I tend to be a strong picker.)

Do strings when they are new squeak more? Gotta check.

Eb


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: GUEST,joco
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 06:56 PM

Absolutely the best way of illiminating string tizz is to abandon the guitar altogether and take up the kazoo.

Alternatively, as others have said, use Elixir strings. They're not my preferred choice. IMHO they sound average from the day you put them on, but continue to sound average for a very long time after.

John Collyer


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 07:11 PM

Hmmm...here in Hilo, the wettest city in the US, strings last about eight minutes. I'll give those Elixirs a try.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Hearing chord changes, breathing
From: breezy
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 07:20 PM

I thought it was the squeak/screach caused by the palm of the hand sliding up the back of the neck you were compaining of, that can be annoying but preventable by applying a liberal sprinkling of talcum powder to the hand palm.
Noise on the fret board is down to guitar and technique,WD40 eh? Good for industrial/engineering type of song.Olfactory stimulation "this next song also smells of narrow boat engines"


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