1. #1

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    Hi everyone!
    I've had this issue probably since I started playing the electric guitar..
    Whenever I play something with single notes with distortion, and there are two notes that ring at the same time, it sounds really bad. Even when the distortion is not very strong.
    I want to emphasize that I'm NOT talking about chords or when two notes are supposed to be played at the same time, but rather stuff like solos/ anything else that is played one note at a time. Sometimes a note that comes right after another one keeps ringing and that creates that bad sound.
    Until now I tried to avoid it, usually by lifting the finger from the fretboard before I play the next note. So I wonder, do I have to be that careful and meticulous? cause it takes a lot of attention/practice. Is that just how correct playing should be? (or maybe I should use some technique to stop this sound?) free ringtones
    OR its just that something is very wrong with my settings and tone, and I shouldn't be very careful of playing two consecutive notes at the same time?

    Thanks in advance
    free download instrumental ringtones
    Last edited by HarryJS; 10-05-2021 at 05:13 AM.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryJS
    Hi everyone!
    I've had this issue probably since I started playing the electric guitar..
    Whenever I play something with single notes with distortion, and there are two notes that ring at the same time, it sounds really bad. Even when the distortion is not very strong.
    I want to emphasize that I'm NOT talking about chords or when two notes are supposed to be played at the same time, but rather stuff like solos/ anything else that is played one note at a time. Sometimes a note that comes right after another one keeps ringing and that creates that bad sound.
    Until now I tried to avoid it, usually by lifting the finger from the fretboard before I play the next note. So I wonder, do I have to be that careful and meticulous? cause it takes a lot of attention/practice. Is that just how correct playing should be? (or maybe I should use some technique to stop this sound?)
    OR its just that something is very wrong with my settings and tone, and I shouldn't be very careful of playing two consecutive notes at the same time?


    Thanks in advance
    If you don’t want a note to sound you have to dampen it using whatever left or right hand technique is available to you. It does take attention and practice, like most things musical.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryJS
    Hi everyone!
    I've had this issue probably since I started playing the electric guitar..
    Whenever I play something with single notes with distortion, and there are two notes that ring at the same time, it sounds really bad. Even when the distortion is not very strong.
    I want to emphasize that I'm NOT talking about chords or when two notes are supposed to be played at the same time, but rather stuff like solos/ anything else that is played one note at a time. Sometimes a note that comes right after another one keeps ringing and that creates that bad sound.
    Until now I tried to avoid it, usually by lifting the finger from the fretboard before I play the next note. So I wonder, do I have to be that careful and meticulous? cause it takes a lot of attention/practice. Is that just how correct playing should be? (or maybe I should use some technique to stop this sound?)
    OR its just that something is very wrong with my settings and tone, and I shouldn't be very careful of playing two consecutive notes at the same time?


    Thanks in advance

  5. #4

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    The distortion is making it more noticeable because distorted wave forms contain increased levels of overtones, providing more frequencies among which to produce constructive and destructive wave frequency summation (interference) between the overlapping notes.

    Part of your technique includes suppressing these and other artifacts; you can't just perform a simple series of actions where you contact a finger tip to the string, fret it , and pick the string with the other hand. There are complex mechanical things going on that need to be controlled in order for the resulting sound to be right and other sounds to be absent.

    The good news is that you have heard it, and that is how your hands learn to damp it out. Your hands are always trying to play what you want to hear. It is critical that you listen to your playing and compare what you hear to what you wanted to hear - it is that discrepancy that the hands need to know about. They will figure out how to solve this and other problems by themselves as long as you listen and notice that discrepancy - this is the fundamental element of your quality control. You have to hear the problem (with attention) before your hands can fix it, which they will do (with practice) automatically.

    pcjazz really said it all with "attention and practice"

  6. #5

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    "It depends"...........on what kind of sound you're trying to get and how you're trying to generate it. And it depends on many unanswered questions. Before you can treat a problem, you have to diagnose it correctly.

    So no helpful response is possible without knowing what it is that you're calling distortion and how you're generating the effect. There's a lot of confusion and overlap among overdrive, sustain, and distortion. And there are many kinds of distortion producing effects somewhere between mild buzz and wild fuzz. Let's start with the assumption that you're actually referring to true distortion of your guitar's output signal. Are you doing this by overdriving your amp's input (i.e. gain high, master volume low)? clipping the output by max'ing the volume control on a low wattage amp? using a distortion pedal or effect? What kind of distortion are you adding - pure harmonics, added waveforms (e.g. square), other? Does this bad sound occur with other guitars played through the same rig, or is it only with one in particular? Does everything sound right without the effect or settings you're using to add distortion? Are there any extraneous resonances or other sounds coming from your guitar acoustically when played unplugged (important regardless of consruction)? Does the badness happen more on one string, at or close to one frequency, or within a specific note range?

    I find that a lot of true distortion effects (as opposed to simply overdriving an amplifier's input or output stage, which sound different BTW) are generally irritating. Most can be used effectively for lead in many genres, if that's the sound you want. But even two simultaneous notes with modest distortion added by most effects grate on me, so I've never owned or used a true distortion effect of any kind for this reason. Once two distinct notes are no longer heard when played together, or they're so mired in dissonant distortion products that they become a blurry chord buried in the mud, the effect is overused. If this is what you'e doing and hearing, it's probably the effect itself rather than anything you're doing.

    Reverb and delay effects can cause the problem you describe with some kinds of distortion. Distortion pedals or effects are supposed to be ahead of any delay or reverb in the signal chain. If you're using overdrive of some kind and your equipment is all working fine, you may simply not like the sound of your rig when driven this way. But the answers to the above questions may help me or someone else understand what's causing your concern.
    Last edited by nevershouldhavesoldit; 07-15-2021 at 03:37 PM.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    If you don’t want a note to sound you have to dampen it using whatever left or right hand technique is available to you. It does take attention and practice, like most things musical.
    Great post directly on point.

    This is precisely why electric guitars (especially solid bodies) should be plugged in when you practice! Not saying I never practice unplugged: I do so if my wife is watching TV in the next room, but I'm very aware that I am "cheating" myself of the true playing experience. Another issue that can arise from not plugging in is that you my be causing extraneous artifacts by picking and fretting harder just to clearly hear yourself than you would if playing through an amp.

    As much as I try to be as precise as possible to dampen unwanted sounds, I don't know how the rock n roll guys do keep it "clean" at 100 watt 4x12 SPL.

  8. #7

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    I learned fairly early on that with guitar, what is not played is as, if not more, important than what is played. Proper selective damping is a technique unto itself and takes a while to get a grip on. Speaking of grips, learning "jazz chords" was what hipped me to this. For many (most?) of them, the damping is inherent providing one's action is not too low.

    Also, a lot depends on what interval relationship the two notes you are playing is. Not the interval of each note in the pitch collection, but the interval distance between the two notes. If you consider the lower of the two as a "root," what is their relationship? Major thirds are a mess, and need the top note to be bent up to pitch from the fret below to avoid grating. Minor thirds are naturally flat, so less pitch correction is required. Fifths are a tad flat and correctable with practice. And so on. Only octaves are consonant.

    Also, double-string manual vibrato helps reconcile the pitches by keeping them moving. The ear will sort it out.

    Good luck.