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RE: Flamenco guitar - how much buzz is desirable, how much tolerable?   You are logged in as Guest
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Posts: 9197
Joined: Oct. 16 2009

RE: Flamenco guitar - how much buzz ... (in reply to Ricardo


Bass strings buzz, treble strings snap. A bit of snap is required in the trebs for rasgueado mainly. No buzz is required for the basses. A little is acceptable but too much is annoying. Too much snap in the trebs also not good as the guitar "frets out" and sounds like a banjo. N. Ricardo had that sound often, I would say it is not desirable. Solo playing needs less buzz or snap, the solo rhythm playing requires more than less. Pretty simple. Early PDL recordings only have the buzz or snap when he plays very hard. Some live videos you can clearly see some of his guitars had too much buzz, others just right. And even the same guitar might be different...I think due to humidity changes or string tension, but perhaps he was messing with the saddle too.


You write like you are Rasputin, if Rasputin shredded on guitar.

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 22 2014 14:12:21

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Back in Boston

RE: Flamenco guitar - how much buzz ... (in reply to Ramon Amira

My 2 cents:

Flamenco guitar buzz: Like life, one does not want to go through life buzzed all the time but a little buzz now and then ain't bad.

Flamenco guitar rasp--conjures up a raspy throaty female jazz singer singing torch songs. Janis Joplin would be another example.

A flamenco guitar is like Barney Fife--lots of nervous energy waiting to pounce on something.

A classical guitar is like Andy Taylor--smooth and steady.

The "professor" who use to live in Toronto and who likes to hawk a certain brand of guitars--Ernest T. Bass. "You ain't seen the last of Ernest T. Bass".

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 22 2014 14:58:08
El Burro Flamencuro


Posts: 118
Joined: Nov. 28 2012

RE: Flamenco guitar - how much buzz ... (in reply to Anders Eliasson


You have your ways of looking at things and others have theirs, just as I have mine. You use your words (and many of them). Others use other words, but I have a feeling we are talking about the same thing.

This is the answer.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 22 2014 20:40:51

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Flamenco guitar - how much buzz ... (in reply to estebanana

Raspy, throaty, growl, overdrive, voz afillá, buzz........huevos, dry, bright, aggressive, ........That's all the adjectives I could think of....I figure if we're splitting hairs let's just get all options open to us......


  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 22 2014 20:59:17


Posts: 85
Joined: Aug. 31 2006

RE: Flamenco guitar - how much buzz ... (in reply to Anders Eliasson


ORIGINAL: Anders Eliasson




Noone explaining on the difference between buzz and rasp, and on the measures taken by the builder to provide the latter?

When the action is low, the strings may rattle against the frets, especially on rasgueos. It gives a distinctive sound and I think this what most people mean by 'rasp' or 'rajo'.
But a buzz is an unpleasant sound, usually from one note or fret. It is usually caused by a single high fret. (although there can be many other causes)

That's my understanding anyway. Hope that helps.

That's not what rasp is - strings rattling against the frets is buzz. It's very hard to put into words what the sound of rasp is, but it's sort of like a bit of a growling sound from the belly of the guitar. It's the one single sound that distinguishes a flamenco guitar from a classical guitar, which never has rasp. A flamenco guitar can have rasp but not buzz, or can have both.


I think I agree with Ramon. A good flamenco guitar has a capacity to slightly distort when you push it hard. And it doesnt come from the frets. It comes from the box. Its like when a good valve (hifi or guitar) amp slightly cut the high end of the tonal register. Thats rasp or rajo.
Its more present on lighter woods for backs and sides, so blancas rasp more than negras. And classica dont rasp or at least shouldnt do so.
This rasping does that especially long rasgueados become much more pleasant to listen to. The tones blend a lot better. Just like on a good valve amp compared to a transistor amp.
Fret buzz can be nice as well, if its controlable. Some like more than others and some strongly dislike it. But its not the same as rasp.
And..... what I just wrote is not something I just made up in my mind. I heard about that the first time some 12 - 13 years ago, when I was new here where I live.

Yes! Agreed to both of you. You hit it right on the head. Please don't confuse string buzz (which is irritating) vs growl/rasp/rajo/distortion (which comes from the box and is intoxicating)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2014 3:18:28

Posts: 1240
Joined: Nov. 6 2008
From: Sydney, Australia

RE: Flamenco guitar - how much buzz ... (in reply to estebanana

I've always liked a guitar that sings when playing falsetas but growls when playing rasg. That contrast is always good when listening or playing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2014 7:47:04
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