Portable/commuter guitar practice

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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by N i g e l »

BJG145 wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:27 pm I'll try it on the train for a bit. As a MIDI gadget aficionado I think it deserves a bit more of my time.

Interesting.
Maybe you could use it for composing to your phone DAW on the train and swap some home composing time for practising- or some similar switcharoo scenario.

It sounds "non silent" on uTube!
Are the strings tuned ? I found playing EADGBE guitar thu a pitch shifter takes a bit of getting used to.
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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by BJG145 »

N i g e l wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 11:13 pmIt sounds "non silent" on uTube!

...yes, I think you're right; too noisy for bus/train.

Are the strings tuned?

No, they're untuned and damped.

BobTheDog wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:37 pmtotally hopeless.

Yes, it's going back on eBay. It's not suitable for my purposes and I find it practically unplayable. As far as I can see it's useless either as a practice aid or musical instrument.

Next...
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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by BobTheDog »

BJG145 wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:49 pm
BobTheDog wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:37 pmtotally hopeless.

Yes, it's going back on eBay. It's not suitable for my purposes and I find it practically unplayable. As far as I can see it's useless either as a practice aid or musical instrument.

Next...

That's a shame, I was hoping for you that they had improved a little.
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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by BJG145 »

Since I've recently been wondering about using guitar to add some live synth strings, I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone, and this morning I retrieved a different gadget from storage; the Artiphon Instrument 1. (Terrible name.)

Image

It's compact enough to play on the train and can be completely silent. It probably won't help my guitar playing, but it's a worthy instrument in its own right; well designed, rugged and expressive.

It's difficult to find anything on YouTube except reviews and Artiphon's own product demos, which tend to major on posturing rather than performance. But I think this thing has untapped potential, and after leaving it to gather dust for the the last few years I'm looking forward to spending some time on it.
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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by tea for two »

Wonks wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:03 pm

Sailing past it circa summer 1981. (I took the photo).
Image

I not quite sure why Wonky, this photo rekindles some nostalgia, maybe because I remember how light hearted friendships were at that age.
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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by tea for two »

BJG145 wrote: Fri Jul 30, 2021 12:41 pm the Artiphon Instrument 1. (Terrible name.)

Image

It's compact enough to play on the train and can be completely silent. It probably won't help my guitar playing, but it's a worthy instrument in its own right; well designed, rugged and expressive.

Re Jamstik
BJG145 wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:49 pm
Yes, it's going back on eBay. It's not suitable for my purposes and I find it practically unplayable. As far as I can see it's useless either as a practice aid or musical instrument.

Next...

As there seems to be nothing on the market to meet the requirements of travelling silent geetarr practicing,
is there a window for yourself to get together with SOS and the contacts SOS has,
to design such an instrument as an Indiegogo.
(I imagine it would be quite the hit).

The tech could probably be brought over for Violin, Viola, would be appreciated by Classical musicians.

(I have an Electric Violin but it's not quiet).
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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by BJG145 »

Self-portrait on the bus to work this morning...

Image

It works. This is now my new favourite commuter gadget for a while. :thumbup:

There's one design flaw, which is that the sockets for USB and headphones are in exactly the wrong place. You can't hold it comfortably on your lap, and it obstructs the hand position...

Image

But I'll get some leads with angle jacks to help with that.

* * * * *

You can plug the Artiphon into a computer as a MIDI controller, or a mobile app. This has various instruments you can click through; guitar, violin, keys, drums. These presets combine the instrument's settings in an intelligent way. Eg the violin will have the right sound and string tuning with a "fretless" approach, where pitch varies within a fret. The drums, likewise, are configured in a sensible and playable way with a different sound on each fret, and suitable interaction between these, so that a closed hat will stop an open hat, but not a ride.

As well as the 'factory' instrument presets, there are some user-definable ones where you can combine the options however you want. This would enable you to make a fretless guitar, for instance. You can also adjust the sensitivity for things like hammer-ons and aftertouch.

Image

The raised rubber "strings" can be set to respond to touch, or played by a set of thick rubber tabs which can be plucked, strummed or pressed. It might be possible to use a pick with these, but it would have to be a pretty chunky one, and I find it easier using fingers.

The Artiphon can respond to pressure on the strings, pressure on the strummable tabs, and also tilt, so performances can be quite expressive.

The spacing is fairly wide - the strings are about 9mm apart and placed equally at about 29mm the whole length of the fretboard. This makes barre chords and three-notes-per-string scales a bit of a challenge for me, though it might feel more natural if you're used to classical guitar. Overall though, it's a reasonable compromise for the different playing styles available.

Another nice feature, and one I've not seen on any other MIDI controller without its own sound engine, is the built-in speakers. These help to add a comfortable, balanced weight to the instrument. They can be turned up quite loud (Artiphon aimed to make it comparable to an acoustic guitar). It's cool having the sounds play directly from the instrument, and it's also handy having the volume control under your fingers even if you're using headphones.

This morning I found myself strumming open chords quite easily, then I turned it to a touch-sensitive mode to practice scales and arpeggios. I think maybe I'm going to find this helps aspects of my guitar playing after all.

https://artiphon.com/pages/instrument1
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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by Folderol »

Sounds (literally) like you got a winner there :thumbup:
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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by Stratman57 »

I'm left handed, so I was wondering can you set it up to be played left handed?

Regards, Simon.
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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by BJG145 »

Stratman57 wrote: Tue Aug 03, 2021 12:22 pmI was wondering can you set it up to be played left handed?

Yep -

The INSTRUMENT 1 can be played by both left and right-handed players. The Fretted and Fretless string modes can be set to either a left or right-handed orientation. The INSTRUMENT 1 can globally be set to always right or left. Alternately, it can be set to Automatic flip, where the INSTRUMENT 1 will flip the strings based on how you are holding it.

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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by Stratman57 »

That's great. Thanks for the info.

Regards, Simon.
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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by merlyn »

It strikes me that your right hand isn't going to get much of a workout with instrument 1. It will be useful for practicing left hand fingerings though.

You mentioned sweep picking in an earlier post. I don't know if you were joking, though, as sweep picking seems pretty far from the blues. :)

Paradoxically sweep picking does rely on a lot of left hand technique, particularly, eh ... I don't know what you would call it exactly -- I've seen it called a 'lay over'. Frank Gambale (the sweepmeister) calls it 'the rubber stamp'. It's playing notes on the same fret with the same finger by rolling the finger. So if you wanted to play E on the B string, then A on the high E, you could play them both with your first finger by rolling the first finger, so the E doesn't ring into the A.

I tend to think Frank Gambale has made his left hand fingerings harder to make the right hand easier, as it's the right hand that is usually the limit on fast playing.
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Re: Portable/commuter guitar practice

Post by BobTheDog »

The yellow faced guy looking in the window of the bus seems to be enjoying it.
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