A definition of correct tone production (under construction)

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Christopher Freitag
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Christopher Freitag » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:52 pm

Call me crazy, but I would say a definition of correct tone production is "whatever it takes to produce the tone you want from your instrument."
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Soundminer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:09 pm

Yes, but no man can defy the third law of newton my good man

That tone we all like is similar in the way that the string is vibrating freely!

It gives you a free feeling, dare I say :)

there are not a whole lot of ways to achieve this...I would say only one...at least on guitar
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Soundminer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:10 pm

...how can one get rid of a post?

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pogmoor
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by pogmoor » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:24 pm

Soundminer wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:20 pm
yes! pulled upwards!!..only After pushed down and into the guitar and only possible because of the side way pressure of the string on the finger!

You can push in or pull up on a string for preparation and get a good sound.....as long as you pluck out and away from the guitar using the downward or upward pressure from the string.

The string has to vibrate up and down...not parallel to the board..that is not what I mean!

It doesn't matter in terms of clarity....if it returns to neutral from above or from below. That's a matter of taste

I like to use both....so do flamenco guitarists for example
I've read this a few times and I can't work out what you mean :?
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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:51 pm

Haven't read the whole thread cos it's way too confusing. But I have to say that a good stroke is most definitely when the finger goes through the string, or at least through the space it occupied.

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guitarrista
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by guitarrista » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:19 pm

Soundminer wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:20 pm

yes! pulled upwards!!..only After pushed down and into the guitar and only possible because of the side way pressure of the string on the finger!

You can push in or pull up on a string for preparation and get a good sound.....as long as you pluck out and away from the guitar using the downward or upward pressure from the string.
I am sorry but this is simply incorrect (as far as I understand what you are saying), and Mark's description is correct. Several ways to show you this, including data from actual image captures from ultra-high speed cameras showing string displacement.

However, there is also basic physics to consider. You can't "pull" something which already wants to go in that same direction (unless we are playing redefinition games). Pulling (and pushing) a string only makes sense when you are overcoming its resistance; in your stated case, the string already has a restoring force toward its equilibrium (i.e. away from soundboard) which then it will overshoot and thus result in free, decaying oscillation generally in the "up-down" direction; the string is pushing your finger in that direction while you hold the string in its displaced position (and you are pushing it in the opposite direction into the soundboard, not away from it).

Additionally, as I mentioned elsewhere previously, the actual fingertip-string interaction involves (1) string displacement generally into soundboard, (2) string rolling around itself (and thus travelling a bit toward your fingertip) until static friction is overcome(*), (3) string slipping around fingertip/nail, (4) free oscillation (which is like a narrow ellipse trajectory in the frame of the graph below as it has mostly cross- but some along-soundboard component).

This is why what really happens is that at the point of release (at the end of (3)) the string is at its greatest displacement in into-soundboard direction (and there is some displacement in parallel-to-soundboard direction - less for rest stroke and more for free stroke). After that the only force acting on it is the restoring force from being displaced. There is no "pull" up by your fingertip; there is a push up by the string on your fingertip - if you let you fingertip stay there as at the end of (1).

You and especially "guit-box" seem to ignore or be unaware of (2) and (3) so I regularly see the argument about PIP and DIP joint chiefly working to pluck/release based on the supposed inability of the string to go through your finger if you push into soundboard and a bit toward bass string by finger rotation from MCP joint. The flaw in this argument is your incorrect assumptions about the components/phases and physics of the fingertip-string interaction.

Here is a graph of typical experimental data of string cross-section position collected with high speed motion capture equipment. Negative displacement y means into the soundboard; positive x is parallel to soundboard toward bass strings; so this is like looking, from the nut toward the bridge, at a cross-section where (0,0) is where the string cross-section's position is at rest. Note this is not the trajectory of the fingertip; that would be different after phase (1); nor is it the movement of the string relative to finger.

The dots are drawn at equal time intervals which is why the free oscillation phase only has a few compared to the previous phases, as well as why the dots are sparser in the slipping phase compared to the initial displacement and the rolling phase.

The red arrow points to the moment of release. That point does not have to be that close to x=0, but it will be closer to x=0 for rest stroke compared to free stroke, which is where the concept of "shallower angle" for release for free stroke comes from. (The angle formed by the release point-to-(0,0) line and the line of y=0.)

trajectories1.JPG

(*) The reason slippage eventually occurs after the string rolls around itself (twists around itself) is as follows:

First, note that the way the string is pushed into the soundboard and the curve of the finger's cross section combine to result in a force component of the string tension in the direction, along your finger's surface, toward the tip/nail/end. In phase (1), static friction is enough to overcome this, and so the string is simply displaced but not moving in relation to the finger which is pushing it "down".

At some point, the displacement is large enough that the tension has increased to the point where there is enough torque to twist the string; the string starts rolling around itself (twists along its length). At this point the strings rolls on the finger's surface toward its tip but is not slipping. This is the rolling phase (2).

Next, as it twists more and more, the combination of torsion and tension components in the direction along the finger surface overcome friction and the string starts slipping along the contour of the finger(tip) until it runs out of contour. This is the end of phase (3) where the release happens.
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Lawler » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:37 pm

Interesting graph, guitarrista. The string's rolling/twisting is something that is often overlooked. For me it's clearly felt (and seen when the string is marked with a short ink line). ...More so when I play without nails as the "grip" of the flesh is significantly more of a "timing of string release" control factor for me then than when I'm using nails. (I can play both ways because I use riconails, held on with a temporary adhesive.) For me, the longer the nails, the less string roll/twist there is. But I have no doubt it's always there.

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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by pogmoor » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:53 pm

guitarrista wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:19 pm
This is why what really happens is that at the point of release (at the end of (3)) the string is at its greatest displacement in into-soundboard direction (and there is some displacement in parallel-to-soundboard direction - less for rest stroke and more for free stroke). After that the only force acting on it is the restoring force from being displaced. There is no "pull" up by your fingertip; there is a push up by the string on your fingertip - if you let you fingertip stay there as at the end of (1).
Yes, that makes sense to me.
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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:32 pm

Christopher Freitag wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:52 pm
Call me crazy, but I would say a definition of correct tone production is "whatever it takes to produce the tone you want from your instrument."
Indeed, well not quite crazy Christopher, but the problem from the start in this thread has been that there has been no definition of that term; so perhaps we can say that what we are thinking about is what the finger does to create the loudest and fullest tone (whether free or rest strokes), because other, more veiled and of course softer tones, do not use the same technique to achieve them.

While it is always good to question and probe established matters, this one has been pretty much established for decades, and by people with degrees in physics, and by hundreds of thousands of hours of practice and tuition by the finest players around. And, but, in a sense it doesn't matter in practical terms because so long as a player knows what to do to get 'that tone'; maybe more PhDs can be earned refining or even redefining the details but it isn't going to change how the matter is taught or dealt with in practice.

In the end, unless we get to see the OP's fingers demonstrating what he thinks is good tone, perhaps with the slow-motion technology he described, this will just keep going round in circles.
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by dtoh » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:56 pm

Interesting post Guitarista. Now what would be even more interesting is to graph a fixed point on the fingertip to the same x/y coordinates.

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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Soundminer » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:12 pm

Thank you for a very well worded reply guitarrista.

Let me see if I get this right and please correct me if I misread if you will,

1. displacement until enough torque is obtained - active pushing motion
2. twisting the string until static friction is overcome and the string starts to slip - also active motion
3. Letting the string slip over the tip and keeping the tip in place for the string to glide over - no active pressure or motion

So part 1 and 2 is where the finger pushes the string and part 3 is where the string 'pushes' the finger until it's free.
This is why what really happens is that at the point of release (at the end of (3)) the string is at its greatest displacement in into-soundboard direction (and there is some displacement in parallel-to-soundboard direction - less for rest stroke and more for free stroke). After that the only force acting on it is the restoring force from being displaced. There is no "pull" up by your fingertip; there is a push up by the string on your fingertip - if you let you fingertip stay there as at the end of (1)
I really like how you worded this. it resonates

I will adjust the definition if we get some consensus between the forum members.

Thank you!

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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by guitarrista » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:54 am

Soundminer wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:12 pm

3. Letting the string slip over the tip and keeping the tip in place for the string to glide over - no active pressure or motion
Yes there is active pressure from the finger even while the string slides to still keep the string displaced from its neutral position.
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Soundminer » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:29 am

guitarrista wrote:
Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:54 am
Soundminer wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:12 pm

3. Letting the string slip over the tip and keeping the tip in place for the string to glide over - no active pressure or motion
Yes there is active pressure from the finger even while the string slides to still keep the string displaced from its neutral position.
ok, let me put it like this.. during the third phase..the slipping and gliding of the string...there is no additional pressure applied ( compared to the forces applied in steps 1 and 2, right?

Only to keep it in place, this is kind of crucial as I read your post, cause what you actual hear is the "sound" of the restoring force instead of the sound of an applied force.

Did I understand step 1 and 2 like you ment it?

Thanks!

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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by guitarrista » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:04 am

Hmm, I am not sure what point/distinction you are making.. also "hear is the "sound" of the restoring force instead of the sound of an applied force"... ??
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:04 am

guitarrista wrote:Hmm, I am not sure what point/distinction you are making.. also "hear is the "sound" of the restoring force instead of the sound of an applied force"... ??
I think that Soundminer is suggesting that what we hear is simply the result of whatever happens after the release i.e. trajectory, energy decay etc. ... but, as this is entirely the result of what happens prior to that moment should we define the two elements quite so discretely?

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