Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

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Pat Dodson
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Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby Pat Dodson » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:09 pm

Recent threads have had me pondering this question: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

In a spirit of scientific enquiry I set up an exploratory experiment. While blindfold I asked my daughter to hand me my Rohan Lowe (Cedar) and James Lister (Spruce) guitars several times each at random. Initially I asked my wife to do this but she has an arts degree and her response was not helpful.

Also randomly my daughter handed me a medium strength elastic band which, fitted over my fretting hand, restricted my maximum span by around 20%. So on equal numbers of occasions for each guitar, but randomly, I played the same piece either restricted or with no restrictions. I realise this is not truly double blind as my daughter was aware of which guitar she was handing me and whether or not she handed me the elastic band. Also I realise that for best experimental design I need to find a way of anaesthetising my hand so I don't know whether it is wearing an elastic band or not.

I played the same piece, Walzing Matilda, each time and self rated my performance for tone and accuracy. I did ask my daughter to do the same but she refused after the third repeat. I tried to keep all environmental variables constant though my four cats did flee the room after a few bars of the first rendition so I had to reject that datum point.

The results are mildly suggestive. Sorry, the results mildly suggest that for smaller hands Cedar might sound a little better than Spruce. However the results were not statistically significant at 0.05 and more research is needed. Also replication by other guitarists, so if you want to take part I can provide details of the elastic band and if you haven't a daughter I will see if mine will stand in for you.

johnd
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Re: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby johnd » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:16 pm

Sorry but you missed one big variable.

It is well known that Waltzing Matilda sounds better on Cedar. :casque:

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chuckinphoenix
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Re: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby chuckinphoenix » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:11 pm

Waltzing Matilda sounds best when played on a Eucalyptus soundboard :D :D :D
If you ain't the lead dog the scenery never changes.

Pat Dodson
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Re: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby Pat Dodson » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:38 pm

Thank you both. Do you know where a Eucalyptus soundboard can be sourced? The thread below (and its links)
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=98018
speak of it for back and sides but warn that it is prone to cracking and splintering and that it blunts luthier tools something rotten. Still those are small drawbacks in the search for scientific certainty. And apparently it is good for flooring, wall panels and firewood so all would not be lost.

Bill B
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Re: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby Bill B » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:48 pm

wait a minute, are you guys being sarcastic here?
2013 Angel Benito Aguado
2005 Ramirez R-2

Pat Dodson
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Re: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby Pat Dodson » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:17 pm

Bill B wrote:wait a minute, are you guys being sarcastic here?


Gosh no, sorry, I'd hate to wound. I just take off all too easily on flights of eccentric fantasy. :discussion:

Lawler
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Re: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby Lawler » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:13 pm

I use artificial hands - Ricohands. They come in several sizes. You can customize them also. Some say that prosthetic hands don't get the same tone as real hands. But I like 'em.

JohnB
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Re: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby JohnB » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:19 pm

chuckinphoenix wrote:Waltzing Matilda sounds best when played on a Eucalyptus soundboard :D :D :D


Good if you catch a cold too.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso"

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Guitar-ded
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Re: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby Guitar-ded » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:17 am

Pat Dodson wrote:... Also I realise that for best experimental design I need to find a way of anaesthetising my hand so I don't know whether it is wearing an elastic band or not.


Sit on it for a while before you play, that'll do the trick.

And as for Waltzing Matilda, true afficionados ( :wink: ) know that it's best played on air guitar to fully appreciate it's true musical value.
:chaud:
Getting better bit by bit, day by day.

nedboy
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Re: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby nedboy » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:49 am

No matter what size her hands I've never known an alcoholic to have trouble picking up the bottle and drinking from it , That sounds a little bit of a Rubainat of Omar Khayyam

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ashworth
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Re: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby ashworth » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:08 pm

There is the variable of the elastic band, also. As you were blindfolded, might your daughter have inadvertently stretched the band at some point, altering its elasticity? Or might the elastic strength have changed due to simple structural fatigue during the course of the experiment? Bet you didn't think of that??
- Donnie

Pat Dodson
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Re: Do different hand sizes better suit Spruce and Cedar?

Postby Pat Dodson » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:20 pm

Thank you all for your thoughts. It's complicated this science lark isn't it? Never considered the possible changing elasticity of the band; I wonder if Alan Carruth could tell me how to measure its Young's Modulus...

My daughter has small hands but it never occurred to me either that she might have been imbibingg while I played, even though my wife reckons the experiment was enough to drive anyone to drink. How accurate are those do-it-yourself-at home-breathalysers? Actually never mind- the mention of alcohol has suggested a quite different experiment... 8) :merci:


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