Noise when sliding on wound strings?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by ari, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. ari

    ari Member

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    Whenever I slide (with my finger, not a slide bar) on wound strings, I can't help but make this scratchy sound -- the kind that you hear on some rougher acoustic guitar recordings. My finger's not touching any unnecessary strings, it's just what happens when I physically press down on a string and keep it down while moving to a different fret. It's most audible when you're playing on bridge pickup with fair amount of treble.

    I'm succesfully improving on all my other noise problems, but this one I'm not sure how to overcome. It's the friction between the finger and the string that's making the noise. So it happens no matter how slowly and carefully I play. Is it more or less apparent on a different brand string? Does anyone else have this problem?

    Occasional noise is not too bad but all the time, it's distracting.

    ari
     
  2. TubeAmpNut

    TubeAmpNut Member

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    Try a little swipe of Fast Fret.

    BK
     
  3. cameron

    cameron Member

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    That's one of the principal reasons most jazz players use flatwounds. Squeak reduction.

    Flatwounds are also essential to getting authentic surf and rockabilly tones. But for reasons unrelated to the squeak/scratch factor.
     
  4. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane Silver Supporting Member

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    Lifting my fingers straight up before moving them, combined with right hand palm muting, gets rid of much of the string noise.
     
  5. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    There are certainly strings that minimize squeaking, but it is mainly a technique issue.

    Bryan
     
  6. ari

    ari Member

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    Well, yes, this prevents the noise, but there are occasions where I do want to keep the string pressed down while I slide, for that slur effect. That's what I was asking about.

    ari
     
  7. ari

    ari Member

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    That's what I thought, too, so far I can't figure out what approach will get rid of the squeaking. Lighter touch? Heavier touch? I tried but they still squak. Finger angle? Going slowly doesn't help, either.

    :confused:

    ari
     
  8. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    Now that I understand you are specifically talking about noise while slurring, I think a lot of it will be a result of the shape of your fingers. You'll want the least amount of flesh touching the string on which you are slurring. Additionally, watch out for touching adjacent strings.

    If this is for a recording session and it is really bugging you, then you might try a set of coated strings. For my acoustic recordings I find that Elixir Nanowebs let me be sloppier with my technique than other strings (not to mention their other benefits). You can also use EQ to lessen the obtrusiveness of the noise. For live use, I don't think anyone will complain.

    Bryan
     
  9. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Rub the fingertips of your fretting hand on your nose...
     
  10. Cthross

    Cthross Member

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    Oddly enough I've done this. LOL Didn't think anyone else did it and I don't think I've ever consciously thought about it. But it helps sometimes, kinda corrosive for the strings though isn't it?

    Good thing I buy in bulk. :dude

    Chris
     
  11. gennation

    gennation Member

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    I always thought string squeak was a special nuance of guitar. I think in 30 years of playing there was only one tune I recorded that it bothered me. Other wise is adds to the character. My .02
     
  12. Antero

    Antero Member

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    It seems to get lost in full band recordings, anyhow. I've never heard an excess string squeak that grabbed my attention unpleasantly outside of acoustic stuff, and I listen hard, neh?
     

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