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  #1  
Old 01-08-2012, 10:25 PM
J_Wong92 J_Wong92 is offline
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Default Handkerchief on Headstock?

Title pretty much says it, I've seen some guitarists wrap a handkerchief around the headstock of their guitars. I've heard some people say that it actually does do improve something on the guitar but I wasn't sure. Anyone mind helping me out? I've looked around the net quite a lot and it I find nothing :X Thanks

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Old 01-08-2012, 10:29 PM
Judson Judson is offline
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Maybe they want to keep one handy to wipe sweaty hands or brow with? Other than that, I can't imagine what it would be for. Personally never seen an example of a handkerschief covering a headstock.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:36 PM
JoeCharter JoeCharter is offline
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I know Antoine Dufour does it and I think there's some damping theory behind it. I find it quirky at best.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeNewbie View Post
I know Antoine Dufour does it and I think there's some damping theory behind it. I find it quirky at best.
I guess this is what we're talking about. I'd never seen it before ... weird!

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Old 01-08-2012, 10:59 PM
BF1618 BF1618 is offline
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I believe that it's supposed to cancel out any weird sounds that may resonate the strings above the nut.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:02 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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For a brief period in my callow youth I would tie a red bandanna on the end of my guitar peghead, which I would swirl around for dramatic effect during my (deeply heartfelt) performances.

After a while, I decided that it looked dorky rather than dramatic, and stopped doing it. I did continue to keep a bandanna handy when I played, to wipe either my forehead or the strings, as needed. But I no longer felt the need to tie one on. (And, yes, I mean that in every sense of the term...)

As for a scarf or piece of cloth having any sort of tonal effect on the instrument when tied onto it, I have trouble seeing where it could . The only way I can see it as possible would be if the player leaves the string ends unclipped at the tuner posts, leaving them to rattle and buzz against each other as the guitar is played. I suppose tying a piece of cloth over them would eliminate some of the rattles (probably not all, though,) but it would be much simpler all the way around to simply cut off the excess string ends.

So I suspect anyone who ties a cloth of any sort to their guitar headstock is doing it mostly for visual reasons, whatever the circular reasoning about "improving the tone" that they might claim.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller

Last edited by Wade Hampton; 01-08-2012 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:11 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BF1618 View Post
I believe that it's supposed to cancel out any weird sounds that may resonate the strings above the nut.
Ah, okay, now that makes sense, in a limited way.

Limited, because as anyone can see, there's far more cloth there than is strictly needed to eliminate excess string vibrations:



So he's taking a cure for a basic, easily solved problem, and expanding it to use as an excuse for a dramatic visual flourish.

More power to him. It doesn't appear as though he's doing scissors kicks while he plays, or spitting blood onstage like this guy:



so if hanging a little drapery from his guitar works for him, I don't have a problem with it.

But you can get the same overtone canceling effect from strips of leather or felt woven in between the strings, without calling attention to it. It just depends how you want to address the problem, I guess.


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Old 01-09-2012, 01:33 AM
cmds cmds is offline
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o2XK...0&feature=plcp

He covers this and gives you a very good example @ 8:39.

Actually quite interesting.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:54 AM
GibbyPrague GibbyPrague is offline
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Probably about as appealing as a tuner on the headstock ...
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:41 AM
Sticky_fingers Sticky_fingers is offline
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Ive been using this on electric guitars when recording solos in the studio. I tied it loosely over the first fret, to eliminate noise that might occur on the open strings. I did this after seeing this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHTOgUFfmHQ and it helped out alot to kill unforseen "buzzing".
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:56 AM
Eric_M Eric_M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
But you can get the same overtone canceling effect from strips of leather or felt woven in between the strings, without calling attention to it. It just depends how you want to address the problem, I guess.
True. I've also seen players use a hair scrunchie; particularly electric players who do a lot of fretboard tapping and need to dampen strings after the nut. I imagine a scrunchie might do the trick, too, for the application being discussed here, depending on where on the headstock one needs the dampening? But like you said, nothing wrong with a little dramatic flourish, though ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GibbyPrague View Post
Probably about as appealing as a tuner on the headstock ...
Now the important question: cotton or silk?
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:37 AM
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murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_M View Post
Now the important question: cotton or silk?
For blues, cotton gives the most authentic tone.

Silk for classical, without a doubt.

But for the authentic Celtic sound, you need wool, ideally a piece of an old kilt, in the tartan of your choice ...
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:45 AM
JosephE JosephE is offline
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Yeah, whenever you strike the strings pretty hard and then mute it quickly, you hear this faint ringing for a second. I think it's just the strings vibrating a little behind the nut. And once you do notice it, it gets kind of annoying. So tying the scarf on it cuts out the ringing.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:59 AM
steveyam steveyam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephE View Post
Yeah, whenever you strike the strings pretty hard and then mute it quickly, you hear this faint ringing for a second. I think it's just the strings vibrating a little behind the nut. And once you do notice it, it gets kind of annoying. So tying the scarf on it cuts out the ringing.
I agree with the theory, and partly, the solution. But you don't need two feet of trailing cotton to do the job. A neat wedge of sponge or something would do the same thing. I suspect that it is either (alternatively) being used for him to wipe his hands on, or a combination of both ie damping and to wipe hands on. Nonetheless looks cool though!
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:03 AM
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murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephE View Post
Yeah, whenever you strike the strings pretty hard and then mute it quickly, you hear this faint ringing for a second. I think it's just the strings vibrating a little behind the nut. And once you do notice it, it gets kind of annoying. So tying the scarf on it cuts out the ringing.
If that were in fact the case, you would think that Monsieur Dufour would also have an additional piece of cloth wrapped on the neck behind the capo, just in case he was getting any annoying vibrations in that area as well ...

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