Help, too many overtones!

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Stefan Prechtl
Student of the online lessons
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Location: Vienna, Austria

Help, too many overtones!

Post by Stefan Prechtl » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:56 pm

Hello!

I am currently studying on the first pieces of the D01 lessons and I am asking your help with the following problem. I am getting too many disturbing overtones from strings which I didn't even touch to make them vibrate. I can't here any on the reference recordings from maestro Delcamp. So my question is, can this be because of technical reasons? Am I executing the rest stroke in a wrong way?

Or can it relate to the different instruments used? I am playing on a steelstring western guitar, not a classical nylon string instrument.

I am aware that this may be difficult to answer just from description, without hearing or seeing. I still do not have my recording equipment ready and I plan to deliver examples as soon as I can. But maybe you can tell already from what I describe what could be the reason?

Many thanks for you help!
Stefan

Rasputin
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Re: Help, too many overtones!

Post by Rasputin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:41 pm

This is normal and is due to sympathetic resonance between the strings. If you play a note that corresponds to a harmonic on another string then you will set that harmonic off. Try playing open high E and then stopping it - you will find that its ghost rings on. What you are hearing is the harmonic at the 5th fret of the low E. To stop it you damp the low E in whatever way is most convenient - could be LH, could be RH. Similarly, if you play open D using free stroke then stop it you will hear a ghostly concert A. That one shouldn't happen with rest stroke though, for reasons which should now be clear.

eyedoc
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Re: Help, too many overtones!

Post by eyedoc » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:48 pm

I may be crazy, but to me , too many overtones is like too much sex....nothing to complain about !
Ron

Rasputin
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Re: Help, too many overtones!

Post by Rasputin » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:43 am

More like someone turning up uninvited during sex. Which could be a good thing... but not if it's your girlfriend.

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georgemarousi
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Re: Help, too many overtones!

Post by georgemarousi » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:04 am

sounds like "help, too many girls chase me to pleasure them all !" :lol:

So I also like this "problem". But if you want to "pause" other strings at some point you should consider muting them ( using either RH or LH )

You would also benefit from buying a CG ;)
--Classicals--
Paulino Bernabe Especial 2009
Ramirez 1A 1980
Alhambra Luthier india 2012
Juan Martinez nr 55 (the return @2014)
Yamaha cg 110 (as a kid @88)
--
student again since 2015, to my degree @..? - God bless!

simonm
Amateur luthier
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Re: Help, too many overtones!

Post by simonm » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:26 am

It result from a combination of factors as mentioned in the various posts.

Certainly a steel string guitar you here a lot more ringing overtones that on a nylon string. Actually when your switch from nylon to steel string it can be quite disturbing for a few minutes until you get used to the "ringy-iness" again. :-) As you advance on classical guitar learning how to dampen the sound on strings you don't want to ring is an important skill too.

As a beginner you will have lots of unwanted sounds, eventually you will gain technique and control. Typical classical guitar lessons are based on a nylon string guitar which has a much wider fretboard which will influence how you play and how you are taught to play. So it would be a good idea to look into getting a "classical" guitar soon.

Stefan Prechtl
Student of the online lessons
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Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:29 pm
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: Help, too many overtones!

Post by Stefan Prechtl » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:38 pm

Many thanks for all your replies and advices!

I am new to classical playing and at the moment, during a short piece of exercise a whole cacophony of overtones is buliding up. I hope I will get used to this and find out how to intentionally incorporate them into my playing.

celestemcc
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Re: Help, too many overtones!

Post by celestemcc » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:00 pm

Someone said it above: as your technique grows, you'll learn how to mute/damp strings as a matter of course, using the fingers of either hand depending on circumstances. It'll become second nature. And in scales and exercises, well, overtones just happen! (And yeah, do get a "classical" guitar. You'll still get them, but not maybe as crazy as on a big-bodied steel string...)
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Todd Tipton
Teacher
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Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

Re: Help, too many overtones!

Post by Todd Tipton » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:28 am

I've always been impressed with bottom of the line Yamahas. A lot of guitar for the buck, imo.
Dr. Todd Tipton, classical guitarist
Cincinnati, OH, USA (available via Skype)
http://www.toddtipton.com

PeteJ
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Re: Help, too many overtones!

Post by PeteJ » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:10 pm

If you are a novice you may be playing very quietly and this will bring up the 'noise floor'. On steel strings I'd always play with my thumb quite flat and the back of my hand close to the bridge, controlling the vibrations as a electric player would. I'd say it is important that you get hold of a nylon string guitar. You can swap back any time but imho nylon is the way to go when starting out.

CactusWren
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Re: Help, too many overtones!

Post by CactusWren » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:15 pm

Damping the unwanted resonances is part of the technique. "Easy" pieces with simple textures often sound bad because the resonances are so obvious, and so they're a great place to practice the muting. Damping the unwanted sounds is key to a good, clean sound.

Rognvald
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Re: Help, too many overtones!

Post by Rognvald » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:35 pm

If you want to seriously study CG, get rid of your guitar and buy a CG. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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