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self-sounding strings

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Emoody, Jul 20, 2012.


  1. Emoody

    Emoody Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2012
    Switzerland
    Hi all, I have a problem with the E and A string, whose harmonics are activated when I play on the G and D string. It's increasing of course when I play amplified.
    Now when I have my left hand fingers curved, as it's recommended, I can't at the same time damp the strings around, so I have to do it with the right hand, isn't it?
    That leads to the fact that I place my right hand thumb on the fingerboard leaning to the E-string to damp this one at least, while I play on the G-string.
    Is that weird or is it ok? Some other solutions perhaps?
    Thanks for any tips.
     
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    You shouldn't have to deal with that problem. Try putting a rolled sock behind the tailpiece and through the strings below the bridge to dampen the vibrations.
     
  3. Emoody

    Emoody Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2012
    Switzerland
    IMHO it has nothing to do with the bridge-tailpiece part, but each time I play an E, B or A on the G-string, the open E and/or A string produce a pretty loud harmonic sound which I have to mute :-(
     
  4. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Did you try his suggestion?
     
  5. It's generally not the afterlength resonating, but an open string. I teach my students to listen for this happening to learn where the notes are in tune.
     
  6. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Sympathetic vibrations. Play an "A" on your G-string, it's going to cause the open A-string, first harmonic to vibrate. It's suppose to.

    If you don't want the A-string to sound, mute it.
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I always damp the lower strings with the right hand while playing the upper strings unless there's some specific reason I want them to ring. It's an extremely common pizz technique because it's very effective, and one of the advantages of the more "horizontal" right hand angle.
     
  8. Nathan Parker

    Nathan Parker

    Oct 10, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    What kind of strings you use? Get thicker ones.
     
  9. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    When I pizz the G string my index finger will stop at the D string but the meaty part between my index finger and thumb are normally laying on the E and A strings. When pizzing the D string the finger stops on the A and when pizzing the A it stops on the E. My thumb is normally on the bottom edge of the fingerboard, slightly hooked underneath. It's a very common technique. If I'm using a two finger approach with the fingers more perpendicular to the strings they still stop at the lower string but my thumb moves to the top edge of the board or to the E string for the higher strings.
     
  10. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    This is what it looks like from my end of the neck. I think this is what Chris and Greg are saying: meat of the hand on the lower strings. My thumb is hooked under the fingerboard.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Exactly. Just like that.
     
  12. Emoody

    Emoody Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2012
    Switzerland
    Thanks guys for all the helpful contributions and to Michael for his great pics :)
     
  13. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Two pictures are worth two thousand words.
     
  14. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    Sounds like feedback to me. I've found that the resonance changes with the venue. You can also try a notch filter or hpf. Mike's thing is sometimes the only way though.
     
  15. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Yes as suggested the E and A strings should be muted with the right hand to avoid harmonics. But a normal right hand technique will automatically do that so you don't have to worry about that.

    However when you play on the low strings you should also touch the higher strings with the left hand to avoid harmonics from the the D and G strings. So your left hand fingers should be a little flatter (closer to the strings).
     
  16. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Look on the bright side. If the open E rings on a fingered E, A, or B, it means your intonation is good.
     

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