E string goes sharp when i pick faster

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by still.ill, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. still.ill

    still.ill Member

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    as i pick faster,, the open e of my high e string gradually goes sharp about 11 cents up--- and its proportional to how fast i pick.
    is this normal
    otherwise the intonation of it is fine....
     
  2. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    Rub a pencil over the nut slot. The graphite should allow the string to move better in the nut.
     
  3. Brien

    Brien Member

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    Are you saying that it remains sharp, or just that it sounds sharp when you pick it hard or fast? Any string will temporarily sound sharp if played hard. Lighter gauge strings will be even more extreme in this regard. Otherwise, I agree, it's probably the nut.
     
  4. still.ill

    still.ill Member

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    it goes back to normal right as i stop playing, or if i start playing slower

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf9ozC8abws

    i realized it first happened when i tried to play that ascending part here on the e string
     
  5. kimock

    kimock Member

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    normal, cool huh?
     
  6. still.ill

    still.ill Member

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    but then how did the guys on the record keep their e string in tune-- because when i play along with the song its noticeably skewed (to my ears at least)
     
  7. kimock

    kimock Member

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    That's a good question. The guy on the record may not be picking as hard as you do when you play the bit that's going sharp for you.
    That would be my first guess.

    It's possible that string gauge plays into it as well, although I believe the heavier string has the potential for greater pitch swing on attack, not the lighter string thing brien mentioned earlier.

    You might have better luck picking with a little less force closer to the bridge, you might have a shorter scale guitar than the guy who played it on the rekid, etc.

    It's possible your guitar just plays sharp on that string, or his plays flatter.

    Wish I could be of more help, but the attack excites the upper partials on the string, and they're gonna be sharper than the fundamental by some amount depending on string gauge, string construction, scale length and how hard you're hittin' it. That's normal.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Hold on.
    Goes sharp, open string, as you pick harder?
    Or, goes sharp as you get excited and are fingering with greater pressure trying to play an ascending run?
    Both are normal, but take a good look at the intonation/tuning at each fret of the wonky string.
     
  9. russ

    russ Supporting Member

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    It could be heat (friction) from your index finger
     
  10. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Well sure, that goes without saying, but which hand?
     
  11. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    You're altering the physical world with the power of your shredding !


    Sorry, I have nothing of value to add besides that.
     
  12. Supasso

    Supasso Member

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  13. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    This is normal. As you pick harder, the string vibrates more, and that makes it go sharp. Think about it for a second, and you'll see that as the string vibrates harder, it's essentially changing the tension, just like doing a bend.

    There's two things happening:

    1) some folks pick harder as they pick faster and will notice this more. I tend to actually pick softer as I go faster, probably because I use very heavy picks and it's just easier that way, I guess.

    2) the string will always be a little sharper when you first pick it than when it decays. You can see this on any good tuner, and especially on a strobe. Anyhow, as you pick faster, you're increasing the amount of time that the string is spending in "slightly sharp" mode because you're not giving it a chance to decay. This makes it more noticable.
     
  14. Structo

    Structo Member

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    The B and E string are typically hard to tune so they play well with other chords.
    Play an open E maj chord and then play a C chord.
    The B string particularly usually sounds off between these two chords.
    I forget what it's called when it does this but it has a name.

    Anyway, I have a Strobo Stomp 2 and it has a sweetened tuning that helps take care of this anomaly.

    But as far as a string going sharp from digging in too hard, I think that's pretty much par for the course.
    Especially the low E. And the lighter the strings gauge the worse it seems to be..
    On a few of my electrics I have to tune the low E just a bit flat so it doesn't sound too sharp when I strike it.
     
  15. slambango

    slambango Active Member

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    What gauge strings do you use?

    This used to happen to me when I used 9's
    Sometimes back when I used 10's

    But now that I use 11s it never happens. Joe Bonamassa uses 12s I think, and SRV used 12s or 13s.

    It might be time to muscle up put a REAL set on that axe!
     
  16. still.ill

    still.ill Member

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    i actually tried picking softer and it makes it a lot better... thanks

    i use 9's on a 25.5 guitar-- i had 10's once for 5 months and i didnt like em
     
  17. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    So learn how to hit it hard without it going sharp..


    You need to alter your hold on the pick. It is possible to be heavy and in tune..


    Emee
     

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