Sympathetic Ringing

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Sympathetic Ringing

Post by fatwarry » Wed May 10, 2017 11:34 am

I'm just getting back to classical guitar after a 3 year hiatus. I used to be fairly flexible about note durations letting notes ring on if they didn't clash harmonically with whatever followed. However, this time round I'm being a lot more careful about playing what's written and am stopping notes where practical "once their time is up". However, that has highlighted the sympathetic ringing of other strings (typically the open bass strings) that continue after the played note has been stopped. I'm often finding it difficult to stop the sympathetic string at the same time as the played note so I'm just stopping them as soon as the opportunity arises using my usual range of damping techniques. I guess it's as much a learning curve and a matter of practise but I thought it worth raising in case somebody has a suggestion that I've not thought of. Anybody???
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Re: Sympathetic Ringing

Post by kmurdick » Wed May 10, 2017 2:36 pm

You don't have to worry, IMO, a whole lot about ringing notes. Usually they sound good, but sometime not. I dampen notes mainly for phrasing purposes but sometimes to get rid of offending notes. Here's my video on the topic. ... D7FA3F7B59

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Sympathetic Ringing

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Wed May 10, 2017 2:41 pm

You'll probably find that during active playing, the ringing you describe is not that great a problem, at least to anybody listening a few feet away. If you come to a rest in the music and you have time, that may be the moment to take care of anything still ringing, and of course, the end of the piece would be that.
Its the kind of thing I like to ask people to be just a bit annoyed about for the time being, so they don't get to forget about it, and when the time is right you can start to actively deal with it.
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Larry McDonald
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Re: Sympathetic Ringing

Post by Larry McDonald » Wed May 10, 2017 3:03 pm

Like others have said, I too damp the bass notes when they interfere with the harmony or the harmonic rhythm. Otherwise I let them ring, especially in the treble. I call it "the charm of the guitar".

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Re: Sympathetic Ringing

Post by fatwarry » Thu May 11, 2017 4:08 pm

Thanks guys. Seems like I'm on the right track then if I'm going to stop the sympathetic ringing at all
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Re: Sympathetic Ringing

Post by Jstanley01 » Thu May 11, 2017 5:49 pm

What I want to know is, why does the ringing in my ears, which occurs from time to when I'm not playing guitar, always sound like my mobile phone ringtone, even after I change it?
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Re: Sympathetic Ringing

Post by rguitar » Fri May 26, 2017 5:23 pm

It's a good idea to develop several techniques to damp the strings. For each situation there are always a few possibilities and I try to work out the best solution when working through a piece.

As others have said, sometimes the ringing adds character to the sound, but being able to damp unwanted notes really clarifies the voices.

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Re: Sympathetic Ringing

Post by Leitmotiv » Fri May 26, 2017 11:24 pm

When you pluck a string, the strings above and/or below become 'live': proximity. This is not an audible ringing, but it can be used to produce a 'hammer-on' note without having to pluck the string that sounds the note. Play a note on the 4th string, and 'hammer-on' next on the 3rd - without plucking mind(!) - to produce a beautiful strong note 'out of nowhere'! You have to be very accurate though; but with a little trial and error it comes. The force of the finger is how loud it will turn out to be.

Controlling ringing by damping is one thing, but you can also use it to produce a nice full note with the left hand alone.

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Re: Sympathetic Ringing

Post by georgemarousi » Sat May 27, 2017 1:05 am

That ringing is exactly what I like even more ! I would seldom prefer to mute it !
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Re: Sympathetic Ringing

Post by muirtan » Sat May 27, 2017 10:21 am

Hi fatwarry good to see you back.

Did you see the guitar circle has a concert coming up near to you, well Tasburgh not a million miles away? Would be good to see you and a couple of other things happening which you might be interested in.

Stephen has covered what I'd say about sympathetic resonance.

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