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Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

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Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:11 am
by DC-Choppah
Sam Spoons wrote:It may be that the difference between the electric and acoustic WRT noise is the frequency response, acoustics produce much more high frequencies than electrics?

Thanks for that. I can hear that the high frequency squeak just never makes it through the cord and out of the speaker for the electric. I think that is the key difference. So if you use technique based on electric it can create audible squeaks on the acoustic.

I think I can make this adjustment to the technique. I am starting to get it.

You pick up your fingers on the wound string to shift, but still use legato, connected notes on the unwound strings. THAT is making the sounds I want.

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:30 am
by CS70
Do not discount the dryness of your fingers. It can be a factor - simply washing your hands before playing cures it.

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:35 pm
by adrian_k
Just thinking back to the Acoustic Guitar sample set on my old W30 it had a couple of different string squeaks so that you could make it sound more realistic...

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:08 pm
by Sam Spoons
Ok, now I've been alerted to it I am noticing some squeaking playing the Gypsy Jazz box, it is less evident when 'Pomping' than when playing other styles but I don't think it excessive IMO. I don't notice it when listening to recordings of my playing other than the usual occasional noise. As Adrian_K says that just adds realism.

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:05 am
by DC-Choppah
CS70 wrote:Do not discount the dryness of your fingers. It can be a factor - simply washing your hands before playing cures it.

Thanks for this.

This is very practical for recording. You can wet your hands and get a few minutes of playing. It doesn't last very long. But this definitely works. You just dip your fingers in a bowl of water.

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:10 am
by DC-Choppah
Ok starting to see what the problem is.

Basically if you play a legato line on a wound string, you will get squeak.

Meanwhile playing legato on the unwound strings has no squeak.

The other thing is when you play a chord form, and then try to slide the whole chord. That squeaks. Basically the same as playing legato on multiple wound strings simultaneously.


It does seem that when you need to do this, a legato line on a wound string, you can't lift your fingers. That yields the wrong sound. The two solutions seem to be:

- wet your fingers
-Push down (considerably harder)

Really, pushing down quite hard while you slide the wound string really does reduce the squeak.

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:32 pm
by CS70
DC-Choppah wrote:
CS70 wrote:Do not discount the dryness of your fingers. It can be a factor - simply washing your hands before playing cures it.

Thanks for this.

This is very practical for recording. You can wet your hands and get a few minutes of playing. It doesn't last very long. But this definitely works. You just dip your fingers in a bowl of water.

Exactly! I learned that trick from another guy one the first times I played a session, some 30 years ago. It works for a short time but perfect for recording

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:32 pm
by DC-Choppah
Distilling this down, when I want to play legato on a wound string, either in a single melody line, or by sliding a chord form, I can get away with this on an electric jazz box and the string does squeak but the squeak does not read much out of the amp.

Do the same thing on acoustic (any acoustic does this, classical, folk, classical, gypsy jazz ... ) and I get a squeak.

Lifting the finger doesn't work because I am trying to play legato.

Wet the finger AND push very hard while sliding and the squeak is greatly reduced.

Combining these two Wet finger and hard push) leads to a nice sound I am after without excessive squeak.

You have to think about if you are making a slide on a wound string and push down much harder.

The finger sort of 'skids' if you don't push down hard enough.

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:15 am
by Sam Spoons
Somebody up-thread suggest ground wound/flat top strings. May well be worth a try (I don't think flat wound's would sound great on a Selmer style but would definitely have them on your jazz box).

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:38 pm
by DC-Choppah
Doing dishes for a while in warm soapy water, my hands became very soft and wrinkly and water logged. I could play without squeaks for 5 minutes.

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:54 pm
by blinddrew
Are we adding Fairy Liquid to the list of boring studio essentials?
;)

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:54 pm
by Sam Spoons
I hate playing with damp hands, even more after washing up, my fingers feel sticky and soft and it makes for a very unpleasant experience. I'll live with the odd squeak thanks and leave it 10 or 15 minutes after washing up before playing.....

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:30 pm
by adrian_k
Agree about the wet hands.

There is a moisturising cream my partner uses that helps quiet the squeaks. Apply to the fingertips and leave for a bit. I don’t know which one it is, probably any ‘non-greasy’ one would do.

Re: Advice on guitar technique to reduce string squeak

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:31 pm
by CS70
Sam Spoons wrote:I hate playing with damp hands, even more after washing up, my fingers feel sticky and soft and it makes for a very unpleasant experience. I'll live with the odd squeak thanks and leave it 10 or 15 minutes after washing up before playing.....

A little pedantic, but they don't need to be damp (yikes!), they just not be dry like in dry skin. You skin need to be hydrated. Making sure you drink plenty of water is usually good enough, but in case you'd a beer or two the night before a recording, a quick wash and drying up gives a little hydration for a couple takes. As mentioned, a good hand cream also can do - you just have to wait it's absorbed. But manly guitarists usually don't go around with hand creams.. :-D