Pressing too hard on some chords changes tone

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Snegrah, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. Snegrah

    Snegrah Member

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    Tried to say it all in the "title" but difficult to explain. When forming chords in the first open position D, A, E, etc., it changes the tone of the chord when I press hard. Is this because the frets are too high (or the nut) that allows the string to travel further thereby causing it to stretch which changes the tone?

    On some of my guitars it doesn't happen. Godin A6 in particular! This one will not change tone no matter how hard I press on the chord.

    I was told I am heavy handed.

    Thank for any feedback.

    Tom
     
  2. Snegrah

    Snegrah Member

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    Kung-fu grip! Now that's funny. Yeah, I try but...it ain't how I am. And, it doesn't take much pressure.

    kung-fu grip! I'm still cracking up...
     
  3. fjblair

    fjblair Silver Supporting Member

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    Bigger string gauge will also help.
     
  4. woodbury

    woodbury Supporting Member

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    For some reason, when I read the title, I thought it was about chord tone soloing. I have to learn to read better.

    Anyway, it is possible that the action is too high. Since it happens on open chords, you may want to check the nut's height.

    If you don't have a string ruler, the easiest way is to follow the steps here at http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/GenSetup/NutAction/nutaction.html
     
  5. Snegrah

    Snegrah Member

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    woodbury,

    Great place to start! Thanks.
     
  6. mellecaster

    mellecaster Member

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    You may want to rephrase that...it the pitch that's going sharp from your pressure or other factors...Not the "Tone"...just sayin.
     
  7. Snegrah

    Snegrah Member

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    mellcaster,

    Isn't pitch and tone similar? If the pitch changes doesn't the tone of the note change?
     
  8. sosomething

    sosomething Member

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    ^ Yes, but when we say "tone" around here, what we mean is timbre...
     
  9. Drumnbum

    Drumnbum Member

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    I think the prevailing idea on the word "tone" 'round here is directly related to the final sound of the sum of all parts, with no regard for pitch.
     
  10. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    Use enough force to get the job, and no more. Too strong of a grip implies tension, and all good players & athletes know that this is the enemy of flow. Ever see a golfer swing 100%? Not likely. Use enough effort to get it done. Any more than that is wasted energy.
     
  11. Schpyder

    Schpyder Member

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    Pitch is a single frequency, the fundamental frequency of a note. Like 440 Hz for A.

    "Tone" as generally referred to in an instrument (also "timbre") refers to all the overtones and other frequencies that color the overall perceived sound. If you hear a guitar that sounds really "bright," it'll generally have the same tonal characteristics whether you're playing an E or an Eb. The tone isn't changing, just the pitch.

    Another use of the word "tone" in audio is to mean playback of a single-frequency sine wave, which is a single pitch, and so the usage can get pretty complicated. There's lots, and lots, and lots of different uses of the word "tone," but almost all of them have to do with nuance rather than fundamental basis.
     
  12. Snegrah

    Snegrah Member

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    Ok...tone = timbre. Got it! Pitch is more appropriate.

    At 63 I use all the force I can muster up. But I understand the wasted energy thing.

    A lot of good info in this joint!

    Thanks.
     
  13. Madison

    Madison Supporting Member

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    Is this a serious question?:huh
     
  14. Drumnbum

    Drumnbum Member

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    Welcome to the forum! :beer
     
  15. Snegrah

    Snegrah Member

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    Madison

    What question are referring to?
     
  16. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    yes pressing too hard, but it's worse if your nut isn't adjusted properly. I like just a couple thousanths + of an inch on the Hi E and up to maybe .010 max on the Low E.
    Test this by holding down the string at the 3rd fret and pushing it down on the first fret.
     

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