Chord definition question

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EtherealWidow
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Chord definition question

Post by EtherealWidow » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:48 pm

When playing guitar, acoustic or electric, you'll notice that chords played on the low side of the neck have considerably less definition than the same chord shapes played higher on the neck, especially with a capo. Why is this? Is it scale length? Or is it just that the guitars physical dimensions, designed to enhance bass, make the lower notes, particularly chords, more prone to muddiness? Either way, the solution seems to be buying a child's guitar. :/
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stephen sawall
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Re: Chord definition question

Post by stephen sawall » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:06 pm

I look for brighter guitars with a full sound. The strings and set up also are very important. When looking for a guitar I play hundreds of guitars unplugged looking for the tone & definition I want.

It really does not matter who built them or the price. It is the sound that matters. Most guitars do not sound very good to me. It often takes me years to find one I like.
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elvis
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Re: Chord definition question

Post by elvis » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:18 pm

A big part of it is that Human hearing is very sensitive to 1kHz and much less sensitive to other frequencies. You can hear them , but they sound less distinct.

For low frequencies, you lose the fundamental and hear all the overtones that sit around 1kHz very well.

In addition, low notes on stringed instruments have a lot of energy, so they have a lot of sustain. Higher tones, strings, positions, etc have less sustain, so are much more percussive.
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Markedman
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Re: Chord definition question

Post by Markedman » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:56 pm

Scale length does effect the tone of a guitar in that longer string length will be deeper sounding as will string diameter. Think bass guitar verses a "regular" guitar, same notes only deeper. What happens is, when you dampen the string by pressing down behind the fret, you also dampen the whole string somewhat more than when it is able to extend down to the nut without the impedance of a fret. This dampening will shorten the duration of the notes vibration considerably thereby giving more definition to the notes, making them sound clearer. The higher up the neck, the more dampening, shortening the vibration time, the clearer the note(s). A smaller guitar or ukulele will have the same effect as a baritone guitar or double bass to some extent as you play further up the neck. When I play at church all the other guitar players use capos but I like B flat with out a capo.
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