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  #16  
Old 09-07-2017, 10:19 PM
Denny B Denny B is offline
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I wouldn't mind hearing a song or instrumental demonstrating the practical use or need of these particular harmonics in actually playing music on the guitar...
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  #17  
Old 09-07-2017, 10:43 PM
interyeti interyeti is offline
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I wouldn't mind hearing a song or instrumental demonstrating the practical use or need of these particular harmonics in actually playing music on the guitar...
I PM'ed you.
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  #18  
Old 09-08-2017, 03:59 PM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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For example, believe it or not, I had the audacity of applying to a fairly prestigious post-graduate program using the clips above as the sole basis for my application material (I did this mostly as a lark, to see what would happen) and, whether you think rightly or wrongly, I just found out that I got in. However, if you've already mastered every harmonic (up to the eighth or higher) at every nodal position on the string as shown on the diagram, it makes sense if you're interpreting this as a trivial and/or inconsequential matter and my comments are likely irrelevant to you.
Congratulations! I think you're going to do some really interesting work with this! We have some pretty cool/weird/esoteric/academic stuff happening at my university. We have Thomas DeLio. Your stuff is more accessible than that.

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  #19  
Old 09-09-2017, 10:10 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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I'm not trying to say it's hard (or harder than any other skill on the instrument), my point is actually to the contrary; as with anything else, it's simply a matter of practice and technique, I'm sure you'd agree. But other experienced players I have talked to have indeed expressed the sentiment that, forgetting about utility, it's simply impractical (to my surprise at the time). Maybe a good way of putting it would be that they perceived the usefulness to practicality ratio to be too low to warrant pursuit (it seems like you would agree with this even though you'd be coming at it from the other side).
I would agree with that myself. It's obviously why you've found limited interest in your demo.

It's not useless, but - for the music I play (and want to play) - it's of negligible value.
Certainly harmonics up to the 5th are useful, although rarely on the 1st string. Of course, skill at getting them on the 1st string should make it easier to get them on other strings.
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I, on one level, just wanted to show definitively that, at least as far as practicality is concerned, it's perfectly reasonable to be able to strike the higher harmonics with the same level of clarity as the lower ones.
I wouldn't say you get them all with the "same level of clarity", exactly, but I'm impressed how consistently clear the highest ones are.
I can do it myself (I've experimented with harmonics for decades), easily getting up the 9th or 10th harmonic on the low E, but my experience is that the relative volume of each one decreases - unless of course you pick the string harder, which I guess you're doing, some of the time anyway. (In fact, the series you play in order at the end of your first clip, beginning with the open string, shows a regular decrease in volume, as I would expect from a fairly consistent attack.)
Have you used any form of compression on the recording?

The 11th harmonic is the most impressive achievement, but I had to check with software that that was the pitch being produced (after the clunk). I couldn't hear it clearly myself. As you may know, that note is significantly out of tune, midway between a tempered A and A# (slightly nearer A). And even if it was in tune, I see no musical use for it, given the difficulty and poor audibility. (How often do pianists employ the "clink" of their top A?)
I guess this the harmonic you refer to as the "tritone" in your diagram - which it isn't, quite, of course.
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Originally Posted by interyeti View Post
More generally, the attitude of "why bother?," while understandable, is unsatisfactory to me. Whether the reason people don't pursue this area is because they find it not to be useful or because they find it too impractical/difficult is not the important point (in my opinion). It's not necessarily about the tones themselves but more about the knowledge that remains obscure if the effort is not made to access them. As an analogy, there's a lot of pure math that at first seems useless in the real world but proves to be vital downstream in physics years later.
The knowledge is hardly obscure. If one wanted to compose a piece using these harmonics - as an exercise in just intonation maybe - these pitches are extremely easy to create in a synth (from samples or from scratch), or even - if we want the appeal of an acoustic instrument - on a specially adjusted percussion instrument, such as a glockenspiel or thumb piano. To attempt to play them on guitar 1st string - or as upper harmonics on any string instrument - seems like an exercise in difficulty for the sake of it. It's kind of "wow" (technically) "...but so what?" (musically).

But I guess, to be fair, I'm personally not too interested in the kind of music I can imagine being created in this way. YMMV obviously. Good luck in your endeavour to build some creativity out of your technique.
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Also, I wouldn't at all say that I'm experiencing resistance or lack of interest. Most people are usually very interested when I explain things properly. It's more that the topic is somewhat confusing at first because it has to do with things most people aren't used to. For example, believe it or not, I had the audacity of applying to a fairly prestigious post-graduate program using the clips above as the sole basis for my application material (I did this mostly as a lark, to see what would happen) and, whether you think rightly or wrongly, I just found out that I got in.
Details please! (I believe you, and I'm not surprised - it would just be nice to know what establishment - and course - welcomed such a quirky, left-field application.)
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Originally Posted by interyeti View Post
However, if you've already mastered every harmonic (up to the eighth or higher) at every nodal position on the string as shown on the diagram, it makes sense if you're interpreting this as a trivial and/or inconsequential matter and my comments are likely irrelevant to you.
I think I've "mastered" harmonics up to the 9th, to the level I consider either useful or interesting, but I see no need to employ nodes for those above the 5th besides those nearest the nut. And I've never felt moved to demonstrate my mastery (such as it is) as if it was some amazing new discovery... Maybe if you become famous, then I'll kick myself...
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  #20  
Old 09-09-2017, 01:48 PM
Denny B Denny B is offline
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Last edited by Denny B; 09-09-2017 at 02:11 PM. Reason: Self edited: Rule #1
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  #21  
Old 09-10-2017, 05:25 AM
interyeti interyeti is offline
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Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
I would agree with that myself. It's obviously why you've found limited interest in your demo.

It's not useless, but - for the music I play (and want to play) - it's of negligible value.
Certainly harmonics up to the 5th are useful, although rarely on the 1st string. Of course, skill at getting them on the 1st string should make it easier to get them on other strings.

I wouldn't say you get them all with the "same level of clarity", exactly, but I'm impressed how consistently clear the highest ones are.
I can do it myself (I've experimented with harmonics for decades), easily getting up the 9th or 10th harmonic on the low E, but my experience is that the relative volume of each one decreases - unless of course you pick the string harder, which I guess you're doing, some of the time anyway. (In fact, the series you play in order at the end of your first clip, beginning with the open string, shows a regular decrease in volume, as I would expect from a fairly consistent attack.)
Have you used any form of compression on the recording?

The 11th harmonic is the most impressive achievement, but I had to check with software that that was the pitch being produced (after the clunk). I couldn't hear it clearly myself. As you may know, that note is significantly out of tune, midway between a tempered A and A# (slightly nearer A). And even if it was in tune, I see no musical use for it, given the difficulty and poor audibility. (How often do pianists employ the "clink" of their top A?)
I guess this the harmonic you refer to as the "tritone" in your diagram - which it isn't, quite, of course.
The knowledge is hardly obscure. If one wanted to compose a piece using these harmonics - as an exercise in just intonation maybe - these pitches are extremely easy to create in a synth (from samples or from scratch), or even - if we want the appeal of an acoustic instrument - on a specially adjusted percussion instrument, such as a glockenspiel or thumb piano. To attempt to play them on guitar 1st string - or as upper harmonics on any string instrument - seems like an exercise in difficulty for the sake of it. It's kind of "wow" (technically) "...but so what?" (musically).

But I guess, to be fair, I'm personally not too interested in the kind of music I can imagine being created in this way. YMMV obviously. Good luck in your endeavour to build some creativity out of your technique.
Details please! (I believe you, and I'm not surprised - it would just be nice to know what establishment - and course - welcomed such a quirky, left-field application.)
I think I've "mastered" harmonics up to the 9th, to the level I consider either useful or interesting, but I see no need to employ nodes for those above the 5th besides those nearest the nut. And I've never felt moved to demonstrate my mastery (such as it is) as if it was some amazing new discovery... Maybe if you become famous, then I'll kick myself...
No compression was used on that recording.

Fair enough about your opinion about "equal clarity," there's always room to improve. But my attack is fairly consistent at all points in that demonstration. There was probably technically a decrease in volume as I went higher in the series throughout that clip but since the pitches are getting so high (and thus penetrating) while attaining/maintaining relative clarity that a decrease in volume may be being cognitively negated. I guess you could say that's one advantage of getting them on the highest string. As to why you were able to notice the volume decrease particularly prominently in the last sequence, it was probably just "operator error" on my part, my apologies for that.

You are, of course, right about the 11th harmonic as far as it not being exactly the tritone used in equal temperament. I didn't make that diagram, it's from another site, and I chose to use it for its detail. You're entitled to your opinion as far as its usability, I don't want to go down an intonation rabbit-hole on this thread.

About the obscured knowledge point...I was referring specifically to the act of physically accessing the tones on the first string of acoustic guitar (even if you see that as pointless). Note that I repeatedly specified that I was only concerned with the first string; the lower stings are not in any way a part of what my initial post was about. Just getting them "at all" is not what I care about, I'm only concerned with getting them clearly under the restrictions/limitations imposed specifically by the highest string. And of course I know that we can easily use and arrange the specific pitch values with synths and computers; furthermore, anyone can find and read some Harry Partch if they are so inclined, haha.

Finally, this is not amazing, and I was not intentionally trying to "spin" it as such. It's just the basis of other applications I'm developing and I was curious if people would be interested in a purely technical discussion.

As to the rest of your points/questions, I emailed you. Thanks for thinking clearly about this topic.

Last edited by interyeti; 09-11-2017 at 05:29 PM.
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