Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
edwardsguitar
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by edwardsguitar » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:23 pm

I have a 2016 Traphagen classical with wood pegs, but they are the "pegheds". I have had vintage 19th cent. guitars; some with friction pegs and some with mechanical tuners. Traphagen likes the wood peg look, and he talked me into it. :) The wood pegs are more beautiful to me now than the mechanical tuners, and there is an organic look and feel to the design overall. I think it's possible pegs could become a fashionable style or trend, but as a classical guitarist I have the prejudice that pegs are for flamenco, and probably most of us have that. The other prejudice is that cypress back and sides are only for flamenco. I've gotten over both those notions, and hope to get a cypress classical some day as well. My Traphagen is based on the Torres model and has a cedar top with Brazilian rosewood back and sides. Regarding the guitar as an object of art only; I prefer the aesthetics of the wood pegs. There is no problem tuning since I have the mechanical pegheds; the only drawback to them is there are far less design options. A luthier could get very creative carving his own pegs I suppose.

Dirck Nagy
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Dirck Nagy » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:01 pm

Stephen Faulk wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:16 am
That was not my question, I really want to know specifically why players are not interested. What are the reasons in the players own words why they do or do not like the idea of guitars with pegs.
...
well, granting that I don't play period instruments, the aesthetics are a moot point.

personally, i wouldn't want pegs for the following reasons:
  • greater possibility of slippage with high tension strings (guitar strings are much higher than violin strings)
  • difficult to retune in the middle of a performance
  • gearing allows for easier fine tuning
= more extra things to worry about while onstage
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Dirck Nagy
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Dirck Nagy » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:16 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:12 am
...
As for violinists, the vast majority of classical violinists do not use fine tuners (apart from the E string). In fact it's very rare.
...
it's not that rare at all:

Gidon Kremer, David Oistrakh, Anne-Sophie Mutter:


gidon kremer.jpg
oistrakh.jpg
Anne-Sophie-Mutter.jpg
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Michael.N.
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Michael.N. » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:36 pm

A little pedantic. I meant fine tuners on all four strings, which would be the equivalent of fine tuning on all 6 strings of a classical guitar. They are playing with metal strings, which is especially problematic for the e string. If we take the equivalent of nylon strings, the baroque violin, I think you'll find that fine tuners are virtually non existent.
Historicalguitars.

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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:23 am

Dirck Nagy wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:16 pm
Michael.N. wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:12 am
...
As for violinists, the vast majority of classical violinists do not use fine tuners (apart from the E string). In fact it's very rare.
...
it's not that rare at all:

Gidon Kremer, David Oistrakh, Anne-Sophie Mutter:



gidon kremer.jpg

oistrakh.jp

Anne-Sophie-Mutter.jpg
The E string on the violin needs a tuner, everyone uses it. Gut strings don't work correctly with fine tuners really, so you see tail pieces without tuners on gut strung instruments.

In bowed string playing you see many tail pieces that have four fine tuners, there are brands of tail pieces made with synthetic products that have molded in fine tuners. These are especially good for students, kids, and even some pro players use them, especially cellists who use steel string set ups.

Comparing the tension on the violin to high tension strings on a guitar is kind of odd, I don't get where that comparison logically goes, these are two distinct systems. There's no reliable correlation between the amount of friction in violin pegs on a violin and the friction of guitar pegs on the guitar for which ever tension strings. Pegs slipping is not really about a failure of the friction needed to hold the pegs on either a guitar or a violin. Slipping pegs are not prepared correctly or need a touch up of peg compound, or that thee has been a radical weather change and the peg box and peg being made of different woods are expanding and contracting at a different rate. Not super common if you take care of your gear. If you are on top of your instrument and keep it in good working order these problems are dealt with.

As for a guitar coming unwound, it's not out of the realm of possibility that a violin could also have a catastrophic structural failure during a performance. Bridges have collapsed, tailguts have popped,tuners have worked loose and wobbled out, pegs slip, seams pop open... a lot of things could go wrong. What is the worst structural failure you've ever seen a classical guitarist have on stage? A broken string? A violin can potentially explode if one component breaks.

I give violin tension vs. guitar a false comparison rating :)

As for pegs being difficult to tune there's a skill curve, but once you get good at it, not hard to tune.
Audiences, well here is the opportunity to have a pause and tell the audience about the guitar and that it has pegs. The performer gets an interaction, can introduce the music, create a teaching moment with the audience by saying wood pegs take a little care tuning, and more often than not the audience watches with great interest. It's a bit of how you carry ourself stage if you have trouble.

Gearing allows for finer tuning? I not entirely convinced of this. Machines make it easier in general, but fine tuning can be done with 1:1 turn ratio, geared pegs are 4:1 and they work just fine for careful tuning. Most gears are 14:1 and some are overkill at 16:1 - If players can manage at 4:1 how much more skill and ear does to take to fine tune with 1:1?

The violin with one fine tuner for the E string that has no tuners on the other strings tune up just fine with 1:1 ratio on the peg.



I don't understand artists that have to be so cool on stage that a bit of tuning is problematic. A violinist will walk out on stage and check the tuning, and if it has changed will stop and retune and everyone one just relaxes and waits. It's music, it's not perfect, we're not machines.
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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:47 am

I really thought there would be more standing jokes....oh well......stiff crowd...
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by riffmeister » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:18 am

Stephen Faulk wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:47 am
I really thought there would be more standing jokes....oh well......stiff crowd...
Well, don't stand near the end of the peg. More likely to break.

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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:00 am

I was hoping for a couple peg leg pirate jokes, but no one has put their hooks in that yet.
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by riffmeister » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:10 pm

Stephen Faulk wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:00 am
I was hoping for a couple peg leg pirate jokes, but no one has put their hooks in that yet.
When pirates study grammar.

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Dirck Nagy
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Dirck Nagy » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:25 pm

Stephen Faulk wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:23 am

The E string on the violin needs a tuner, everyone uses it.
correct. Technology is amazing, isnt it?
Stephen Faulk wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:23 am

Comparing the tension on the violin to high tension strings on a guitar is kind of odd, I don't get where that comparison logically goes, these are two distinct systems. There's no reliable correlation between the amount of friction in violin pegs on a violin and the friction of guitar pegs on the guitar for which ever tension strings.
what do you mean?
Stephen Faulk wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:23 am
...
Gearing allows for finer tuning? I not entirely convinced of this. ...
How can you not be? Think about the actual function of a gear.
Stephen Faulk wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:23 am
...Slipping pegs are not prepared correctly or need a touch up of peg compound, or that thee has been a radical weather change and the peg box and peg being made of different woods are expanding and contracting at a different rate. Not super common if you take care of your gear. If you are on top of your instrument and keep it in good working order these problems are dealt with.

...As for pegs being difficult to tune there's a skill curve, but once you get good at it, not hard to tune.
Audiences, well here is the opportunity to have a pause and tell the audience about the guitar and that it has pegs. The performer gets an interaction, can introduce the music, create a teaching moment with the audience by saying wood pegs take a little care tuning,
...
Right. As I said in my post above:

"= more extra things to worry about while onstage"
Stephen Faulk wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:23 am
It's music, it's not perfect, we're not machines.
But a friction peg is!


Stephen Faulk wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:16 am
I'm trying to establish things like are the fears of using peg guitars really that rational?
So, you now have my answer to your question. I have shared with you some of the reasons why I don't like pegs, and given you my justifications. I think its an entirely RATIONAL fear, and that I have given pegs plenty of, as you say, a "fair chance."

Use them as much as you like! Its not for me, though. Sorry, mate!

cheers!
dirck
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1994 Larry Breslin ("Deerhead")
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Dirck Nagy
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Dirck Nagy » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:28 pm

A related question is "Where do Flamenco players stand...?"

I notice an awful lot of flamenco players nowadays use mechanical tuners. Just with a quick look at internet, I find pictures of all these folks with them: Paco Peña, Paco de Lucía, Tomatito, Vicente Amigo, Manolo Sanlúcar, Niño Josele, Diego del Gastor, Moraíto Chico II, Pepe Habichuela, Oscar Herrero, etc.
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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:42 pm

Dirck Nagy wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:28 pm
A related question is "Where do Flamenco players stand...?"

I notice an awful lot of flamenco players nowadays use mechanical tuners. Just with a quick look at internet, I find pictures of all these folks with them: Paco Peña, Paco de Lucía, Tomatito, Vicente Amigo, Manolo Sanlúcar, Niño Josele, Diego del Gastor, Moraíto Chico II, Pepe Habichuela, Oscar Herrero, etc.
The difference is, Diego del Gastor died in 1972, he lived in a time where he was as likely to be handed a guitar with pegs as one without pegs. Most of the great recordings from the late 1970's reaching back were made with peg guitars. All the important players used them.

And all the others today would not whine about it, or make excuses, because each of them has recorded with, or learned on and concertized at various times with guitars with pegs. It's a non issue. Several of Paco de Lucia's albums were recorded on guitars with pegs, same with Paco Pena, Pepe Habichuela might take a peg guitar on tour even today and he certainly grew up with one.

If you handed any professional flamenco player a guitar with pegs they would not gawk at it, they would tune it up and play it. It's normal, it's still part of the culture and always will be. For that matter any good aficionado guitarist would get with pegs, and they may not want to buy a guitar with pegs, but given money was not a issue they would buy a peg guitar and a guitar with machines, because it is a part of the culture for those who get deep into it.

People played lutes for nearly 400 years, maybe a third of that time was spent tuning the lute, so that's what a 180 years of music history spent twiddling pegs and cursing? It never killed the music....people today just want everything fast, and guitars with pegs don't fit neatly into a world of expectation of instant gratification and speed. People who like old cars or early motorcycles or airplanes antique sewing machines or clocks, and other objects of history that have romance associated with them like guitars that have pegs. Romantically styled guitars still have a place in world full of naysayers.
Last edited by Stephen Faulk on Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:55 pm


So, you now have my answer to your question. I have shared with you some of the reasons why I don't like pegs, and given you my justifications. I think its an entirely RATIONAL fear, and that I have given pegs plenty of, as you say, a "fair chance."

Use them as much as you like! Its not for me, though. Sorry, mate!

cheers!
dirck
It's irrational to me until someone actually sits down and learns to use pegs. Until then it's not based in experience. I learned on guitars with pegs and it seems perfectly normal to me. Making arguments that are based on what people think pegs are like is the usual case with classical guitar because most of the conditioning against pegs is received wisdom, and it's not always wisdom developed of experience.

Well you're just going to have to miss out on one the great satisfying haptic experiences in all of guitardom, which is tuning and playing a guitar with wood pegs.

I'm marking you down in my notes as a NO vote, so let's move on.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

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Philipp Lerche
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by Philipp Lerche » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:59 pm

It would be so cool if just more players could share their thoughts on this topic.
"If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done."
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attila57
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Re: Where do classical players stand on real wood pegs?

Post by attila57 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:10 pm

Stephen Faulk wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:37 am
Bring on the jokes! I know funny way of wording it.

I am interested in view points on why or why not players would consider classical guitars with regular wood friction pegs.

Curious? Fears? Style? Balance? Difficulties? Advantages? Period performance?
Hi Stephen,

I play the classical, flamenco & Baroque lute.
This latter has 20 wooden tuning pegs.
Tuning the lute is a nightmare, takes half an hour, with all the chalking and waxing the pegs, and it is never in tune perfectly, cos you tend to neglect regular adjustment during playing.
One must keep it in mind that lute strings have a very low tension - 2.5 kgs - compared to the classical guitar (7.0 kgs).
SL Weiss is said to have spent half of his life with tuning. If you play the Baroque lute, you will be ready to believe this.
OK, a guitar has only 6 strings, but still, tuning pegs would make tuning and re-tuning much slower.
I think this gives you the answer...

Attila
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