Sweet Spot

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Sweet Spot

Post by johnd » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:25 pm

Right hand placement relative to the sound hole - does one position sound better than others?

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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Sweet Spot

Post by ButtChin » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:42 am

In my experience, the general trend is that classical guitarists prefer to hear a warmer tone, so make sure you're not constantly close to the bridge. Here is a link to a video of a masterclass where David Russell specifically talks about this, and I think he can explain it better than me.


Basically, having your hand over the edge of the soundhole (closest to the bridge) is the general "neutral" position that players usually assume most of the time. However, this neutral position of course also depends on many factors such as nail length, right hand angle, and the guitar you are using. But I would say a good starting point is the one mentioned above.

Don't forget that for optimal expression and variety in tonal quality, you can feel free to move your right hand around while playing pieces. A good example of this variety in tone and expression would be Julian Bream's playing. Adam Holzman noted in a masterclass I observed that you don't have to have perfectly beautiful tone all the time; deviating to a "harsher" tone at times can make your playing more expressive.

Segovia on timbre: https://youtu.be/DJrEl4Nsmsg

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Location: Sulva, Finland

Re: Sweet Spot

Post by vesa » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:32 am

There is no consensus about this but many different
and very strong opinions about the matter.
1. Guitar is like a symfonic orchestra, capable in producing all the colors orchestra instruments have.
There is no such thing as a sweet spot (or it is everywhere) because where you place your hand
(=which color you choose to use) depends on the piece you are playing and where you are in that piece at the moment.
Your right hand moves a lot between the bridge and 12. fret to make these sound colors.
You play a traditionally build guitar.
2. Guitar is a miniature piano and the sound should be even.
You want to have soft but clear tone all the time as this does not disturb the music and the listeners.
You normally find the sweet spot about at right side of the sound hole and you don´t move your right hand.
You play modern construction guitar (double top, lattice etc.).
3. And everything between these two extremes.

So it is all matter of taste!
Vesa Kuokkanen

Antonio Marin nr. 813 1995 (Bouchet)
Vesa Kuokkanen 2016

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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:50 pm

Re: Sweet Spot

Post by johnd » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:16 pm

Thank you!!!

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