The eternal mystery that is guitar

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The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by Random Guitarist »

There's always something new to learn. I have a partscaster tele which I put together a while ago. Plays OK & sounds OK, but is not great. Tried a couple of pickup swaps and it was just not working out.

Fancying a baritonesque experience but lacking funds I thought it an ideal victim. I put some Rotosound 13-54s on and tuned Db standard. Eased open the nut slots and swapped a different compensated saddle in for the wound 3rd string.

Suddenly it sounds amazing and is indispensable. I mean really seriously dark swampy but cutting tones. Somehow this gauge/pitch combination brings this guitar to life.

I may need another guitar to try .008s tuned up a bit now. Mrs Random is not going to be happy.
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Re: The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by Random Guitarist »

Holy cow! They make .007s, I'm excited. :thumbup:
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Re: The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by zenguitar »

The guitar.

Physically portable. Culturally portable.

As a chordal instrument it isn't quite as good as a piano but it can get remarkably close. As a solo instrument it isn't quite a violin or saxophone but can get remarkably close.

If you insist on being specific; there's always a slightly better instrument than a guitar. But the minute you allow a tiny space for wriggle room it's scary just how much turf, how many bases, you can cover.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by shufflebeat »

Sometimes that sweetspot is tiny but very potent.

It also moves about.
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Re: The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by tea for two »

If you guit on it, it will tar you for life.

I shall get my coat :beamup:
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Re: The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by IAA »

Physically portable. Culturally portable.

As a chordal instrument it isn't quite as good as a piano but it can get remarkably close. As a solo instrument it isn't quite a violin or saxophone but can get remarkably close.

If you insist on being specific; there's always a slightly better instrument than a guitar. But the minute you allow a tiny space for wriggle room it's scary just how much turf, how many bases, you can cover.

:clap::clap: I thought this was fantastically accurate. I’m a pianist by training and have been self learning guitar and it’s a wonderful experience. I’m trying rhythmic things I wouldn’t possibly couldn’t (?) do on piano or synths. It’s like having the best MPE keyboard possible. Only thing is, pedals. How many do you need, it’s like modular but a slightly cheaper rabbit hole!
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Re: The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by Wonks »

Random Guitarist wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 11:57 pm I may need another guitar to try .008s tuned up a bit now. Mrs Random is not going to be happy.

I wouldn’t, not unless it’s a short scale guitar or you want to spend a lot of time changing top E strings. Certainly try it, but I don’t think you’ll do it for long.

The thinner the string, the weaker it is and the less tension it can take. An 0.008” string is surprisingly near its elastic limit at normal tuning (based on the modulus for standard steel). You’ve got enough of a gap to allow string bends, but tune up too much and you’ll reach the elastic limit when bending and the string will stretch and not return to its previous length.

So the string stretches, its pitch drops and the string becomes a little thinner. Which means it needs more tension and because its a bit thinner, it’s a bit weaker.

So you then get into a short cycle of bending, stretching, retuning, thinning and very shortly the tensile strength of the string is exceeded and it snaps.

To demonstrate, if you’ve got a 12-string you’ll know how often the octave G string breaks; which is normally the same gauge string as the top E string but tuned up two semitones. And you don’t normally bend strings on a 12-string, so that’s just what the basic high string tension does to the string.

I did some calcs once and you’ve got a bit more leeway for up-tuning on thicker strings. The downside of that is that the much higher tension makes them almost impossible to play!

I feel that most Teles need at least 10s on to get them sounding right and to come alive. Some will work with 9s, but 10s I feel are better, at least for me.

I tried out 12s or 13s (can’t remember which) on a Squier Strat Mini (a short 22.75” scale) in E to E tuning but the string feel wasn’t right and I went back to 10s on it.

But well done and keep experimenting!
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Re: The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by Random Guitarist »

Good point, I didn't consider the limit of string strengths, thx.

TBH I almost never break strings, maybe three or four times in 40 years of off and on playing.

I have some 7's arriving today, so I may get my fourth or fifth break quite soon.
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Re: The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by shufflebeat »

Wonks wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 8:10 am
The thinner the string, the weaker it is and the less tension it can take. An 0.008” string is surprisingly near its elastic limit

Also good advice when choosing a mankini.

Sorry, just realised this isn't the lounge.
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Re: The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by Wonks »

Random Guitarist wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 2:05 pm I have some 7's arriving today, so I may get my fourth or fifth break quite soon.

Their normal tension is very low. I tried some recently. In normal use they should be fine and you'll find them very easy to bend indeed (not bending them is the main issue :D ). It's only if you try to tune them up too much and then try to bend them that you run into breakage problems.
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Re: The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by arkieboy »

IAA wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 7:37 am Only thing is, pedals. How many do you need, it’s like modular but a slightly cheaper rabbit hole!

I think you have to be pretty disciplined to keep to 'slightly cheaper'!
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Re: The eternal mystery that is guitar

Post by Wonks »

These days I only buy cheap pedals, except when I buy expensive ones.
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