Skip to content
Change in pitch on ...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Change in pitch on the low E string

13 Posts
8 Users
0 Likes
2,490 Views
 Long
(@long)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 28
Topic starter  

Whenever I let my low E string drone, it seems to drop in pitch. Not initially, but after a few seconds. It gets really bad and creates this terrible dissonance, especially when I'm playing on the high E string. Does this happen to anybody else?


   
Quote
(@beaner)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 122
 

I haven't had that problem. Most people will suggest to get a setup done.

Regards,
Paul


   
ReplyQuote
(@smokehouse)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 525
 

may be the string needs changing or the winder at the head is a bit loose? best i can offer...smoke

:WHO INVENTED WORK SHOULD COME BACK AND FINISH THE JOB OFF: http://www.soundclick.com/bartin


   
ReplyQuote
(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

First thing I'd try is a new set of strings

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
ReplyQuote
(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Do you have a floating bridge? Possibly you are resting your hand on it and pressing it forward. This will cause all strings to detune, maybe the bass E is more noticeable.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

It happens to everyone, but some cloth-eared players don't notice it. :lol:

An ideal string would hold a steady pitch at any volume. A real string will not. In addition to the ideal factors of mass and elasticity, a real string has stiffness. That is most noticeable in strings that are relatively slack, which for most of us means the sixth string. When first plucked, the string is swinging through a wide range of motion, and near the extremes of its vibrational swing the motion stretches the string tighter, making the pitch of the string go sharper. As the range of the vibration decays, the average tension of the string becomes less, and the pitch goes flatter. Watch the pitch on your tuner as you pluck the string and let it decay for a while. It always starts sharp and goes flatter. Some tuners show it better than others, as some react more instantaneously, while others average the pitch over a longer period.

Like I said, this happens with EVERY string, but it's a much less noticeable effect with strings that are stretched tightly. The nearer to the breaking point a string is stretched, the more nearly it behaves like an ideal string. That's one reason some like the sound of heavy gauge strings better. They stay on pitch more precisely.
:D

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

Tune a string very low, loosely strung. It will accentuate this effect. Ric is correct, what's new?

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
ReplyQuote
 Long
(@long)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 28
Topic starter  

Thanks. I guess I just never noticed it before. I think I noticed it this time because of the dissonance between the bass note and the note two octaves above.


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

That does bring it out pointedly. :shock:

A popular song I've always noticed this phenomenon very strongly in is Queen's Fat Bottom Girls, on the last note of the main riff. I think it's probably deliberately emphasized there for effect. :lol:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

An ideal string would hold a steady pitch at any volume. A real string will not. In addition to the ideal factors of mass and elasticity, a real string has stiffness. That is most noticeable in strings that are relatively slack, which for most of us means the sixth string.... etc.

Could I please borrow your ears and your audio knowledge one weekend Ric? :) I've been impressed and baffled in equal measure by some of your posts on the technical side of audio. Are you a bit of a buff on the subject, or just a squirrel for knowledge of any kind?

Cheers,

Chris


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

Mostly the latter.

Sometimes I'm a squirrel, more often I'm a nut.
:lol:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Sometimes I'm a squirrel, more often I'm a nut.
:lol:

:D :D :D


   
ReplyQuote
(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Probably the best example ever of a bass E string being sharp when first picked is Helter Skelter. John Lennon deliberately struck the string very hard causing it to go noticeably sharp. Fantastic effect in this song.

Give it a listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM9KRpEkGfY

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
ReplyQuote