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finger-squeaks revisited

DADGBE 27 Feb 07 - 03:53 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 27 Feb 07 - 04:13 PM
terrier 27 Feb 07 - 04:19 PM
terrier 27 Feb 07 - 04:25 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 27 Feb 07 - 05:32 PM
terrier 27 Feb 07 - 05:38 PM
Bert 27 Feb 07 - 05:43 PM
SharonA 27 Feb 07 - 05:58 PM
Liz the Squeak 28 Feb 07 - 05:29 AM
Scrump 28 Feb 07 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,GT 28 Feb 07 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Ken Brock 19 Jun 09 - 05:40 PM
Stringsinger 19 Jun 09 - 06:16 PM
michaelr 19 Jun 09 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,Kiss rock 20 Jun 09 - 01:20 AM
GUEST,leeneia 20 Jun 09 - 01:39 AM
Piers Plowman 20 Jun 09 - 06:03 AM
Backwoodsman 20 Jun 09 - 06:20 AM
Will Fly 20 Jun 09 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,leeneia 20 Jun 09 - 09:53 AM
PHJim 20 Jun 09 - 10:46 AM
Ebbie 20 Jun 09 - 11:33 AM
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Subject: finger-squeaks revisited
From: DADGBE
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 03:53 PM

There's a lovely thread going right now full of witty, funny names for the noise made by a guitar player's left hand sliding on the wound strings. Different 'fixes' such as grease, flat wound strings, etc. have been mentioned in that thread but, so far, the actual cure hasn't come up.

The only real cure for the problem is to stop sliding the fingers when changing positions. It takes considerable time and application to develop one's technique to the point where finger-squeeking can be controlled but it's doable.

Your thoughts?


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 04:13 PM

John Williams was at one time known to have a superb left hand technique, and almost, but not quite, managed to eliminate string squeak, at least on recordings. This was on a nylon strung classical guitar - an instrument far worse than our steel strung acoustics for this problem. Unfortunately, his father Len, a contemporary of Jack Duarte and Ivor Mairants, shamelessly promoted young John and put it about that his technique was so perfect that he had completely eliminated the problem, which was definitely not the case(the fact that Len spent rather a lot of time bad-mouthing those he'd come up with didn't help either - he ended up running a monkey sanctuary I believe).
Yes, it can be controlled, but only controlled. I doubt if any of us could actually eliminate it, or for that matter whether it's worth it in the context of the very direct, physical nature of playing an acoustic guitar. And certainly not at my age...
I propose we call the squeaks "Lennies" in his memory.
KYBTTS


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: terrier
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 04:19 PM

A while ago I heard a radio interview featuring classical style guitarist John Williams. He lamented the need for fixes for finger squeaks as they were a problem ,esp when recording or using P.A. One of his tricks is to polish the strings thoroughly to reduce the friction between finger and string. Do you think JW needs to practice his technique more? ;@)


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: terrier
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 04:25 PM

You just beat me to it V.B.
The monkey sanctuary,BTW, is (or was?)on the south coast of Cornwall (UK)near to Looe. I visited once. Excellent.


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 05:32 PM

Think the sanctuary is still there, though I doubt Len is still with us. He was a decent guitarist in his day and part of both sides (classical and modern) of the guitar revival, as were Duarte and Mairants. It's rather a pity that he hacked so many people off promoting a young guitarist who was so bloody good he didn't need promoting anyway. I would have preferred to remember him more kindly.


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: terrier
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 05:38 PM

Agreed


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: Bert
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 05:43 PM

so far, the actual cure hasn't come up...
It sure did here but nobody takes any notice of me anyhow *GRIN*


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: SharonA
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 05:58 PM

There's stuff you can buy and apply to your strings so that one's fingers "glide" more easily on the strings, which should reduce the friction noise. GHS Fast Fret, Finger-Ease, Kyser's Dr. Stringfellow lubricant, Dunlop Ultraglide, etc.


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 05:29 AM

I used to know a guitarist who used ordinary talcum powder and wiped the metal strings down after every session... seemed to work for him but he was the sort of guy who didn't have clammy hands. Knew another guitarist who had terrible problems... shaking hands with him was like holding a damp sponge. He had awful trouble with stringping and developed an affectation of rubbing his hands on his knee about 8 times a piece to try and dry them. It didn't work.

LTS


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: Scrump
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 05:35 AM

I always try to wash my hands before playing a set, but sometimes my efforts are in vain if I'm handed a pint of ale with froth seeping down the outside of the glass (not that I'm complaining, mind!). Still, that's what jeans are for :-)

As for squeaks, I do find that using Elixir nanoweb coated strings (as I have for the past couple of months) has helped in this respect, but it doesn't eliminate it completely.


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: GUEST,GT
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 10:37 AM

I'm in the process of recording a guitar album - pure acoustic,and a lot of it solo guitar.Of course,there is quite a bit of this squeeking,but for the most part I think I can live with it.I have enought trouble trying to play the stuff properly in the first place,without worrying about changing my technique.I've heard about the talcum powder cure,but most other ways of coating the strings I would avoid - it seems they either change the tone or affect your playing technique.


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 05:40 PM

I recently listened to the Fairport Convention recording of Bob Dylan's "Percy's Song" and would not be surprised if it holds the worlds record for number of string squeaks for a record on a major label.


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 06:16 PM

On contemporary recordings, finger noise can often be reduced through editing out unwanted frequencies. Probably not eliminated, though.

For steel string guitarists I have found Finger Ease and all the commercial products don't help too much. I use (gasp) WD40 and it reduces noise and keeps rust away. It has not hurt the neck of any instrument I have owned including my Martin 0021, my B and D
tenor banjo, my five-string longneck RB175 and others. On the electric I own, flat wound strings work to reduce the squeaks but going through an amp also does.

Frank


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: michaelr
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 06:17 PM

I second "Lennies"!


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: GUEST,Kiss rock
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 01:20 AM

get a Les paul and 100 watt amp stack..

crank it up,

guaranted you'll never hear any more finger squeaks !!!


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 01:39 AM

A few years ago I saw an article in the newspaper about software firms who produce instrument side-effects for rock bands. Example: a recording of a flute player making that soft, hishing sound when taking in a breath. This is added to a rock band's electronically-simulated flute sound to convince listeners that somebody is actually playing an actual flute.

(I've read that women make that sound more than men, but how many people know that?)

Another product was software to generate mistakes in canned, pre-programmed tracks to convince listeners that somebody is playing an instrument rather than flipping a switch.

So squeaks may be a good thing. They mean that actual fingers are touching actual strings. But try not to overdo.


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 06:03 AM

I don't worry about it. If they squeak, they squeak. I haven't actually noticed it very much lately.

People aren't machines and instruments aren't, either. Well, actually they are, but they aren't perfect. Making a real instrument (as opposed to an electronic imitation) is a matter of compromise and I believe that part of the art of playing an instrument is learning to play within its limitations. Guitar strings sometimes squeak, harmonica reeds sometimes stick, high notes on a trumpet are sometimes missed. So what?

I can see that it would be important for recording, since no one wants to hear the same squeak 100 times.

Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: GUEST,leeneia - PM
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 01:39 AM

"[...] Example: a recording of a flute player making that soft, hishing sound when taking in a breath."

My singing teacher told me to imagine I was breathing in through my ears to avoid making noise when inhaling, if I was having trouble.

Talcum powder is about as far as I would go; I definitely wouldn't use any solvents, which would be absorbed into the skin.


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 06:20 AM

There's friction when a finger slides on a string.
It's a normal part of the sound a guitar makes when being played.
IMHO, it's a case of get over it or play another instrument.
Simples?


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 08:48 AM

I like finger squeaks and do them all the time and whenever I can - even when I'm not playing the guitar.


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 09:53 AM

I wonder if it would help to apply some moisturizer to the fingertips, the thick kind such as Neutrogena, which comes in a tube. That might make calluses less hard and rigid.

Any traces would come off the strings upon cleaning.


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: PHJim
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 10:46 AM

I seem to recall a story about Ronnie Hawkins doing some recording and saying,"What's that squeaking sound?"
His guitar player said,"That's string noise, It's part of the sound a guitar makes. Even Segovia makes string noise."
...to which Ronnie replied,"And you'll notice he's not playing in my band."


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Subject: RE: finger-squeaks revisited
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 11:33 AM

Speaking of Segovia and string noise, I once read that some patrons of the arts paid extra for seats close enough to the stage that they could hear his finger squeaks. I guess the moral of the story is to change one's mindset: Learn to love what you once hated.


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