Guitar Waking Up?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Alan Carruth
Luthier
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Re: Guitar Waking Up?

Post by Alan Carruth » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:38 pm

So far the most reproducible 'pluck' anybody has found is the 'wire break' method. You get some fine copper magnet wire, say about #43 or #44. Quality control on this stuff is so tight that it always breaks at the same pull, within about 2%. Loop a length of the wire under the string and pull up until the wire breaks. So long as the wire breaks just where it touched the string the initial displacement will be the same, and so will the direction the string vibrates. It's easy to pluck the string in the same place every time by simply marking it with a Sharpie. I made a small solenoid operated 'plucker' for this so I would not be standing in front of the guitar. The main issue with it is the setup time: it takes me a few minutes to set up for one pluck, and if the wire breaks in the wrong place you have to repeat. When you want to pluck a lot of strings, and take multiple samples to check for uniformity, it adds up.

John Stone
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Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Guitar Waking Up?

Post by John Stone » Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:45 pm

Alan Carruth wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:15 pm
Bill B. wrote:
" I really don't think that its a fault of my hearing, because nobody can demonstrate this phenomenon in reality. "

Again, I do have objective measurements that suggest that 'warming up' is real.
Thank you!
2001 Manuel Velazquez
1977 Ramirez 1a
2014 Cordoba C10
They said, "You have a blue guitar, You do not play things as they are." The man replied, "Things as they are / Are changed upon the blue guitar."

ddray
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Re: Guitar Waking Up?

Post by ddray » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:08 am

rojarosguitar wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:09 am
I've been saying this many times in similar posts: I think there is no possible separation line between you and the instrument. If you play it, both change. So it might not be possible to tell what changed more, actually: Is it the guitar that wakes up or is it you who wakes up to the actual guitar at hand and instead of playing with a kind of generic technique you start to play that specific instrument with an adequately adjusted and fine tuned technique bringing the potential of that actual instrument to the fore...
My own experience has me wondering about it now. I got a fairly new cello a few weeks back, usual spruce top and maple b/s. The sound of it does seem to be getting "richer" the more I play it, but I have to wonder if that's because my playing is advancing little by little. My cedar-top guitar though sounds pretty much the same as it did when I got it about 5 years ago. I've heard that spruce tops are the ones that more likely "open up" over time, but I've never had a spruce top guitar to be able to tell one way or the other.

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Contreras
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Location: In the Wind

Re: Guitar Waking Up?

Post by Contreras » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:19 am

ddray wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:08 am

The sound of it does seem to be getting "richer" the more I play it, but I have to wonder if that's because my playing is advancing little by little.
'waking up' has been my experience with both my used guitars (veteran and vintage) which had been unplayed for quite some time ... but I can't discount the human factor, that is me familiarising myself with the instrument and getting the best I can out of it. And then there's the process of optimizing the choice of strings .... :mrgreen:
1929 Francisco Simplicio
1997 Manuel Contreras Doble tapa

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Guitar Waking Up?

Post by rojarosguitar » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:53 pm

ddray wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:08 am
... My cedar-top guitar though sounds pretty much the same as it did when I got it about 5 years ago. I've heard that spruce tops are the ones that more likely "open up" over time, but I've never had a spruce top guitar to be able to tell one way or the other.
You must have an amazing sound memory. As for me, I may have kind of a memory of how my guitar sounded last week, though I'm not sure what this memory actually represents. But I wouldn't feel able to make statements about how it sounded 5 years ago - absolutely none! Not to mention how much my playing would have changed in 5 years... Even if I would compare recordings, I wouldn't be sure, what the changes I hear would actually represent...
Because of the ever changing form and quality of my nails I think they would be a much bigger factor here even if my playing rested the same all the time.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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ddray
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Re: Guitar Waking Up?

Post by ddray » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:44 pm

rojarosguitar wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:53 pm
ddray wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:08 am
... My cedar-top guitar though sounds pretty much the same as it did when I got it about 5 years ago. I've heard that spruce tops are the ones that more likely "open up" over time, but I've never had a spruce top guitar to be able to tell one way or the other.
You must have an amazing sound memory. As for me, I may have kind of a memory of how my guitar sounded last week, though I'm not sure what this memory actually represents. But I wouldn't feel able to make statements about how it sounded 5 years ago - absolutely none! Not to mention how much my playing would have changed in 5 years... Even if I would compare recordings, I wouldn't be sure, what the changes I hear would actually represent...
Because of the ever changing form and quality of my nails I think they would be a much bigger factor here even if my playing rested the same all the time.
No, it's just that I've never noticed any significant change in the sound quality of the guitar, then or now. My playing has gotten better (at least a little, I hope), and my nails are always pretty much the same length (short). :)

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