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Wim VD1

String squeaks

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Someone mentionned to me that my recording of St. James Infirmary sounds a little squeaky.

i have to agree that those squeaky strings bother me as well. Before recording that song, I changed strings from Elexir Polyweb to Elexir Nanoweb and I think it got worse. The callouses on my fingertips don't help either.

So could anyone give me some advice on how to avoid or reduce string squeaks?

Wim.

Edited by Wim VD1
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@Wim VD1 I noticed the string noise too, but your playing was as good or better than ever so I didnt mention it... I tried those strings and took them off because I didnt like the feel or the noise. I found Martin Sp much better on acoustic. I actually like Flat Wound strings (like D'Addario Chrome jazz light) the best on my archtop acoustic /electric because of the mellow warm tone, smooth feel and NO string noise!  There are some products like Tone Finger Ease Lubricant that could help (i havent tried it.)

Otherwise just experimenting with different strings is about all i think you can do.

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I'm no expert, but I think finding the right strings will help.  I can't recommend any strings as I play nylon, but I'm sure your local friendly music store will help.  Another tip to try would be to practice some classical guitar techniques ( if you haven't already) because I haven't heard  many "squeaks" from classical players 😊

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If you listen you'll hear string squeaks from master like Tommy Emmanuel and even our own Steve does.

Depends on the piece they're playing 

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Thanks for your replies. @NeilES335, I consider trying Fingerease Guitar String Lubricant.

@Steve Krenz and @Greg Voros, could you give some advice on how to avoid or reduce string squeaks?

Wim

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Ahhh.... String Squeaks - the curse of playing wound strings.

WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?

When you rub your fingers along the wound strings (usually the 2nd-6th strings), the ridges on your finger rubs against the ridges on the wound string and it causes the squeak.

Notice how your fingers don't produce a squeak on the 1st or 2nd string because those are not wound strings.

HOW CAN I MINIMIZE IT?

Avoid sliding your fingers across the strings when you change chords. 

When you play a chord put the pressure down onto the fretboard to get the note or chord and then, after the note or chord, remove the pressure straight up without shifting one way or the other.

You have to be much more careful when you shift between chords.  Don't keep your fingers against the strings when you shift.  Make sure they are not touching the strings as you shift.

So, why doesn't Tommy Emmanuel squeak as much? Because he's Tommy Emmanuel and he is VERY good at not rubbing his fingers on the strings when he shifts between chords.

Practice shifting between chords by moving your fingers completely off the fretboard and not letting them still touch as you shift between chords.

OTHER FACTORS

Certain types of strings can certainly make squeaking more pronounced.  But, overall, the issue is more about paying more attention when you are shifting between chords to not have your fingers make contact with the strings.

You can always use flatwound strings and you will not squeak at all.  BUT, your sound will sound very muffled because it is the winding on the strings that makes the strings sound sparkly from the higher frequencies.

I hope this helps.

It takes practice.  You'll get better at it.

 

 

 

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Well- that sucked all the air out of the room! 😇 P....P.....P

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20 hours ago, Steve Krenz said:

Ahhh.... String Squeaks - the curse of playing wound strings.

WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?

When you rub your fingers along the wound strings (usually the 2nd-6th strings), the ridges on your finger rubs against the ridges on the wound string and it causes the squeak.

Notice how your fingers don't produce a squeak on the 1st or 2nd string because those are not wound strings.

HOW CAN I MINIMIZE IT?

Avoid sliding your fingers across the strings when you change chords. 

When you play a chord put the pressure down onto the fretboard to get the note or chord and then, after the note or chord, remove the pressure straight up without shifting one way or the other.

You have to be much more careful when you shift between chords.  Don't keep your fingers against the strings when you shift.  Make sure they are not touching the strings as you shift.

So, why doesn't Tommy Emmanuel squeak as much? Because he's Tommy Emmanuel and he is VERY good at not rubbing his fingers on the strings when he shifts between chords.

Practice shifting between chords by moving your fingers completely off the fretboard and not letting them still touch as you shift between chords.

OTHER FACTORS

Certain types of strings can certainly make squeaking more pronounced.  But, overall, the issue is more about paying more attention when you are shifting between chords to not have your fingers make contact with the strings.

You can always use flatwound strings and you will not squeak at all.  BUT, your sound will sound very muffled because it is the winding on the strings that makes the strings sound sparkly from the higher frequencies.

I hope this helps.

It takes practice.  You'll get better at it.

 

 

 

Thanks, Steve.

I thought I could buy the solution (other strings, lubricant), but realize now that I will have to work it out in the practice room 😀

Wim.

 

 

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You held the secret in your hands all along.

Back to the woodshed for you. 🎸

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4 hours ago, Randy120 said:

You held the secret in your hands all along.

Back to the woodshed for you. 🎸

Back to my favourite place 🎼🏠🎼

Wim.

Edited by Wim VD1

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Let me mention something on string lubricants and oils...

While their marketing may make claims to "improve your speed" and "reduce string noise", I have not found any of that to be true.

-Steve

 

 

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Following @Steve Krenz advice, I have started to pay much more attention to moving my fingers off the fretboard and trying not to let them touch when schifting between chords. This gets me a long way already trying to avoid string squeaks.

Today, I also bought an old fashioned pumice stone to reduce the callouses on my fingertips. I know this does not sound very rock and roll, but I noticed after the pumice stone treatment a further reduction of unwanted squeaks when playing. My problem is getting solved.

 

Wim.

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