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Open G string is tuned but fretted notes are sharp   You are logged in as Guest
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oldskoolfool

 

Posts: 12
Joined: Nov. 15 2012
 

Open G string is tuned but fretted n... 

Hi,
First off, I tune to the main chord of the piece I'm playing so usually A or E. And, I have experimented with different fretting pressure and hand positioning to no avail.

When I play the open A string to the 2nd fret G it sounds perfect but the open G is a bit flat. If I tune the G string to pitch, using a clip on tuner, the fretted notes are a bit sharp. Only really noticeable when playing octaves against the A string but it bothers me.
1) What causes this discrepancy? Only seems to be on the G string...
2) Aside from playing around with different G string thicknesses (I currently use Savarez Cristal or Alliance), can this be remedied?

Thank you
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 15 2023 22:28:13
 
RobF

Posts: 1602
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to oldskoolfool

You might need an adjustment to the nut slot to lower the string to sit a little closer to the frets. When an open string is fretted it is stretched a bit from being moved from its resting height at the nut down to where it can contact the fret. Without getting into nut compensation, reducing this distance will reduce the amount it will get pulled sharp.

You can test this out by putting a capo on the first fret and repeating your exercise. If the phenomenon is reduced then that points to, or at least demonstrates, the effect being due to a high nut slot. G strings are also notoriously finicky, so if this is a something new to the guitar then it could be a defect in the string (try changing it) or, if you’ve recently moved to a higher tension, a thicker string which might not be seating fully down into the nut slot.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 15 2023 23:27:41
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14607
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to oldskoolfool

Considering EVERYBODY complains about the G string intonation on every guitar practically, resulting in almost mass hysteria “fixes” such as weird materials used for the physical string, or OVER Compensation at the bridge or nut, etc., etc., and the fact your nut/strings don’t reveal issues with any other string, I am going to go out on a limb (make an assumption based on the available data) and drop this video.



_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2023 11:48:51
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3410
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to Ricardo

A vibrating string produces a number of frequencies: the fundamental, and overtones. The overtones follow the harmonic series (2, 3, 4,...-times the fundamental) only if the string has no resistance to bending.

Obviously, any physical string will have some resistance to bending. But if this resistance is small enough the overtone series is acceptably close to the harmonic series.

The lower the desired pitch, the heavier the string needs to be, if you're going to keep them all near the same tension. That's why the bass strings are wound with dense metal wire over a very flexible core of many tiny filaments.

But the thick third string is the stiffest. Which makes the overtones go sharp relative to the harmonic series. They go sharper the higher you fret. The string is inherently out of tune with itself, so it doesn't sound as brilliant as the rest. Furthermore, the perception of pitch depends upon the overtones, as well as the fundamental. On the guitar the overtones decrease rapidly in volume as they go higher in pitch, so the problem is usually more or less under control.

D'Addario tries to make the third string louder in one of their sets by using a denser material. You have to tune it up a little tighter. It is in fact louder, but it's also stiffer, which makes it worse out of tune with itself. To my ear it is self-defeating.

When I visited Abel Garcia in Paracho I played the only finished guitar he had on hand, a small, short scale one he made for his young daughter. It had the best second and third strings I ever played. I remarked on it. Abel replied that the quality of a guitar was reflected in the sound of the third string.

The 655mm scale classical I ordered from him duplicates this performance. The top bracing of this guitar is an elaborate and complex version of fan bracing, with a treble cutoff and a high thin bridge strap. My guess is that this has something to do with the brilliance and purity of the second and third strings, but I don't know the details, nor have I ever talked to Abel about it.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 19 2023 0:04:07
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to oldskoolfool

Ricardo , yeah I’m watching your video, I think so far it’s really good. One suggestion for making it easier to watch, could you do it as the Fonz from Happy Days?

Thanks, always a fan.

Sincere regards,

Este

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 20 2023 3:05:52
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1667
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

The top bracing of this guitar is an elaborate and complex version of fan bracing, with a treble cutoff and a high thin bridge strap.


Richard--

I greatly appreciate your explanation about strings and overtones. Good to know.

Regarding the above quotation, I wonder what it means for a soundboard to have a treble cutoff. And what use anyone has ever found for a bridge strap. (And what it means for a bridge strap to be high.)

Best wishes

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 21 2023 1:55:57
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to oldskoolfool

Here is a historical reference to what Ricardo is talking about.



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Attachment (1)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 21 2023 5:47:47
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to oldskoolfool

This text is from the book here:





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Attachment (2)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 21 2023 5:49:45
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to constructordeguitarras

quote:

ORIGINAL: constructordeguitarras

quote:

The top bracing of this guitar is an elaborate and complex version of fan bracing, with a treble cutoff and a high thin bridge strap.


Richard--

I greatly appreciate your explanation about strings and overtones. Good to know.

Regarding the above quotation, I wonder what it means for a soundboard to have a treble cutoff. And what use anyone has ever found for a bridge strap. (And what it means for a bridge strap to be high.)

Best wishes



Bridge straps are for laying in a paddling to naughty boys and girls who don’t practice the guitar enough.

“There’ll be a mighty bridge strapping for you young lady if you don’t get that Bach prelude nailed by next Thursday!”

_____________________________

https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 21 2023 5:52:56
 
ernandez R

Posts: 723
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: constructordeguitarras

quote:

The top bracing of this guitar is an elaborate and complex version of fan bracing, with a treble cutoff and a high thin bridge strap.


Richard--

I greatly appreciate your explanation about strings and overtones. Good to know.

Regarding the above quotation, I wonder what it means for a soundboard to have a treble cutoff. And what use anyone has ever found for a bridge strap. (And what it means for a bridge strap to be high.)

Best wishes



Bridge straps are for laying in a paddling to naughty boys and girls who don’t practice the guitar enough.

“There’ll be a mighty bridge strapping for you young lady if you don’t get that Bach prelude nailed by next Thursday!”


And here I thought all along it was for those luthiers whom tended toward the jocular?

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 21 2023 6:28:15
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3410
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Here are two photos. In the first there is a treble cutoff and a flat bridge patch. In the second there is a high bridge strap--though I defer to the experts in terminology in both cases.

In the Garcia classical the treble cutoff is much less robust, about the same size as the fan braces, and not as steeply sloped.

The bridge strap in the Garcia is thinner, and is higher in proportion to its thickness.

There are two transverse braces on the bridge side of the soundhole. The one nearer the bridge is less robust. There are two cutouts in this brace. On the centerline, this brace, the center fan brace and the top are all in contact, glued together. The other fan braces pass through the cutouts in the transverse brace, and under, but in contact with the treble cutoff.

This frustrating attempt at verbal description prompts me to look for a light I can insert into the soundhole.

RNJ





Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (2)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 21 2023 17:22:26
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1667
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Here are two photos. In the first there is a treble cutoff and a flat bridge patch.


This is a great explanation. Thanks.

I wonder how the treble notes know that they should vibrate mainly the side of the soundboard with the short fan braces.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 21 2023 19:34:06
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to oldskoolfool

Far be it for me to slide into this conversation with an off putting question, in as much as I enjoy a good esoteric discussion of bracing nomenclature, am I the turd in the punchbowl for asking what matter does it make to a topic of intonation?

Asking for a friend.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 22 2023 0:10:31
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1667
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

what matter does it make to a topic of intonation?


Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. I was just following the flow. Maybe I'm getting old. Actually, I kind of subconsciously felt that everything had been said about the original topic.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 22 2023 18:57:08
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14607
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Here is a historical reference to what Ricardo is talking about.


1545??? Jeezus. At least I know I would have been in good company in Renaissance…but I would be like “guys, they STILL don’t get what the heck you are talking about in 2023!”.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 22 2023 20:15:35
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

quote:

Here is a historical reference to what Ricardo is talking about.


1545??? Jeezus. At least I know I would have been in good company in Renaissance…but I would be like “guys, they STILL don’t get what the heck you are talking about in 2023!”.


Hey I’m just trying to back you up. I have more info in that book, which covers the history of how music went from modalities with weak inferences of a key center to full on Well Tempered Clavier with 48 preludes and Fudges in all major /minor keys.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 23 2023 9:49:19
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to constructordeguitarras

quote:

ORIGINAL: constructordeguitarras

quote:

what matter does it make to a topic of intonation?


Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. I was just following the flow. Maybe I'm getting old. Actually, I kind of subconsciously felt that everything had been said about the original topic.



I want to continue the top brace esoteric nomenclature, but momentum towards the super important point Ricardo (Fonzi) makes about subtle intonation corrections with fingers is super important.

Myself I really don’t know how top bracing effects intonation, if it does, I think it’s more about action set up and how you use the equal temperament division.

Before we had our modern guitars with immovable metal frets, the lutenists had movable frets, and still as the text I brought up says, they were aware of intonation with finger placement within fret boxes.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 23 2023 9:55:04
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14607
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Open G string is tuned but frett... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Before we had our modern guitars with immovable metal frets, the lutenists had movable frets, and still as the text I brought up says, they were aware of intonation with finger placement within fret boxes.


Moving a little off topic, I have to say, this moveable frets thing must have been good for Bards and singers of drinking songs, where you stick to one key and need the sweet intervals to match the voice. However, this complex vocal intabulations such as by Fuenllana, use A LOT, of ficta notes, or accidentals to the key signature, as I have compared to original scores of vocal parts. There is no way in heck that they would have advocated loosey goosey fret placements with that level of complexity. It would sound REALLY bad…almost all the pieces I looked at. The Bermudo book you linked advocates glueing those fret strings down at precisely measured points to play in all keys (ie 12-tet more or less), and he was Fuenllana’s buddy or acquaintance, so, probably he and others wanted fixed frets for that stuff (or at least as close to EQ temp half-steps as the ear was capable of deriving). In addition to the finger pressure thing, Fuenllana had a couple spots where he would split the string courses such that he would fret a single of the two strings, allowing the open note to clear the finger….as demonstrated by comparing to the vocal parts. I can’t imagine doing that easily on a modern 12-string, but he was doing it back then on the lute-sized vihuela unicorn instrument thing.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 24 2023 16:40:04
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