The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-16-2019, 11:26 AM
wguitar wguitar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 341
Default Is there a right or wrong place to strum? Over the sound hole (or not) ?

Hi,

Is there a right or wrong place to strum ? Some say over the sound hole, while I've seen players all over the place. Where do some of the great players strum ? Is it personal preference ? Is it where you naturally fall ? And again, is there a Right or Wrong place to strum -- or is it more a case of whatever works for each player ? What about 12 vs 14 fretters?

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-16-2019, 11:35 AM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Kirkland, WA USA
Posts: 964
Default

The great players strum in both places, depending on the particular tone quality they desire.

Some of the rest of us also do this. I have been known to strum over the bottom of the fretboard, by the bridge, and everywhere in between. It's kind of like having a tone control on an acoustic guitar,.

I find the sound hole gives a pretty balanced and round tone, so it is my starting point.
__________________
-Gordon

1978 Larrivee L-26 cutaway | 1988 Larrivee L-28 cutaway | 2006 Larrivee L03-R | 2009 Larrivee LV03-R | 2016 Irvin SJ cutaway
K+K, Dazzo, Schatten/ToneDexter


Notable Journey website
Facebook page
CD Baby

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art." -Leonardo Da Vinci
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-16-2019, 11:39 AM
rick-slo's Avatar
rick-slo rick-slo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 13,056
Default

Strum where you get the sound you want. You will get more clarity and brightness towards the bridge and a softer and more blended sound away from the bridge.
__________________
Derek Coombs
Website -> Music -> Tabs -> CDs and Youtube
Guitars by Mark Blanchard, Albert&Mueller, Paul Woolson, Collings, Composite Acoustics, and Derek Coombs
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-16-2019, 11:49 AM
guitar george guitar george is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: 49th parallel north
Posts: 3,453
Default

There is no "right" place to strum. Most strumming is usually done over the soundhole, often nearer the bridge. You get different sounds by strumming in different places. Its all about technique to get the sound you want for a particular song.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-16-2019, 11:52 AM
L20A L20A is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Roy Utah
Posts: 5,139
Default

Guitars vary as to where they sound best when strummed.
Most for me sound best when strummed just behind or at the back of the sound hole.

Now finding the best sounding pick is a whole other story.
__________________
Happiness Is A New Set Of Strings
L-20A
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-16-2019, 12:11 PM
fazool's Avatar
fazool fazool is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 14,759
Default

if you are going to be a musician, artist or creator of anything you must eliminate the phrase "right or wrong" from your vocabulary.
__________________
Fazool "The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter"
Taylor GC7 | Taylor GA3-12 | Taylor SB2-S |Taylor SB1-X |Ibanez AC-240
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-16-2019, 12:18 PM
mcduffnw mcduffnw is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,746
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wguitar View Post
Hi,

Is there a right or wrong place to strum ? Some say over the sound hole, while I've seen players all over the place. Where do some of the great players strum ? Is it personal preference ? Is it where you naturally fall ? And again, is there a Right or Wrong place to strum -- or is it more a case of whatever works for each player ? What about 12 vs 14 fretters?

Thanks!

Just like the old Outback Steakhouse ad saying:

"No Rules...Just Right"

So really, whatever sounds the best and feels best to you is the proper position and technique.

There are no hard and fast rules in the world of guitar tone and playing technique. If it works for you, and sounds how you want it to, then it is just fine!

duff
Be A Player...Not A Polisher
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-16-2019, 12:30 PM
Nama Ensou Nama Ensou is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 752
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wguitar View Post
Is there a right or wrong place to strum? Some say over the sound hole, while I've seen players all over the place.

Is it personal preference? Is it where you naturally fall?
No right or wrong place and where someone strums can be due to where their arm and habit leads them to, or to where they get the tonality they're after. Most important thing is that you're happy with the sound you're getting, but a couple things to experiment with is noticing the natural sound differences and also how dynamics will affect it too.

You may also notice that players who stay more towards the bridge will be likely to be playing with their hand against the strings a lot, in order to both control the ringing of the strings and also alter the tonality from that position.
__________________
Adamas 1581, 1587, 1881, SMT - PRS Cu22, Ibanez JEM-FP, S540, RG550, Fender Stratocaster
Heil PR-35 : Audio Technica AE-6100, ATM5R : Beyer TG-V90r : Sennheiser 441, 609, 845, 906 : ElectroVoice ND767
JBL Eon One, Bose L1 Model II, QSC K12
Friedman DS40, Marshall 6101, 401, RedPlate Phoenix, Splawn Street Rod, Budda SD18
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-16-2019, 12:33 PM
Axelorox Axelorox is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 78
Default

A helpful trick is to look up YouTube videos of your favorite guitarists and pay attention to their physical technique, such as strumming location.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-16-2019, 12:52 PM
Mbroady's Avatar
Mbroady Mbroady is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Asheville via NYC
Posts: 4,390
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazool View Post
if you are going to be a musician, artist or creator of anything you must eliminate the phrase "right or wrong" from your vocabulary.
great response, and u t applies to many things, not just creative endeavors
__________________
For Sale - Furch Vintage 3 D-SR
MJ Franks OMs, Furch Vintage 3 D-SR, Furch D32-LM, Stonebridge OM33-SR DB. Furch D25-SR
Voyage Air VAD-2, Rainsong H-WS1000N2T, Tacoma Papoose, 72 Fender Strat
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-16-2019, 01:51 PM
dwasifar's Avatar
dwasifar dwasifar is offline
The Birds and The B-Sides
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 731
Default

There's a whole range of different sound characters you can get out of the instrument by varying where you strike the string. None of them are right or wrong; they're all just part of the guitar's capabilities.

The closer to the middle of the string you are, the mellower the tone will be. If you pluck at the 12th fret, which is the middle of an open string, you'll get a round, pure tone almost reminiscent of a clarinet. If you want those pure tones, pick or strum as many frets down from the 12th as your chord is from the nut; e.g. if you're playing an open A, which is two frets down from the nut, you'd pick/strum at the 14th fret (or 13th if you want to strike an average with the open strings).

The closer you move to the bridge, the more the note becomes twangy and trebly. I make use of this when doing instrumental breaks in songs. I strum/pluck near the sound hole while I'm singing, and move down closer to the bridge for the instrumental break, causing the high strings to "cut through" more, and sound more like a solo.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-16-2019, 02:15 PM
Larry Mal Larry Mal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 467
Default

Not only is there no right or wrong, but you can think of where you strum as being your guitar's natural EQ sweep. You can emphasize the treble or bass depending on where you strum, and you should absolutely do that for effect.

It's part of the technique of the instrument- so the wrong thing to do would be to think that there was a right or wrong here.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-16-2019, 02:41 PM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 864
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazool View Post
if you are going to be a musician, artist or creator of anything you must eliminate the phrase "right or wrong" from your vocabulary.
That's, um, accurate.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-16-2019, 02:51 PM
MinorKey MinorKey is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Darlington UK
Posts: 155
Default

Depends on what tone you're after
__________________
You don't stop playing when you get old, you get old when you stop playing!
Fender DG5 natural
Tanglewood Discovery Super Folk DBT SFCE TBL
Tanglewood TU13M ukulele
Deacon A style mandolin
Jose Ferrer Estudiante Classical (bridge is lifting)
Brunswick BU4B baritone ukulele
Valencia VC204H classical
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-16-2019, 02:58 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 7,270
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Mal View Post
Not only is there no right or wrong, but you can think of where you strum as being your guitar's natural EQ sweep. You can emphasize the treble or bass depending on where you strum, and you should absolutely do that for effect.

It's part of the technique of the instrument- so the wrong thing to do would be to think that there was a right or wrong here.
What Larry said.

When you strike a tensioned string, it vibrates in a series of nodes and anti-nodes. Depending WHERE you strike the string you will damp or enhance some of those nodes. Thus suppressing or enhancing certain harmonics.

As an extreme example, if you strummed a string at the 12th fret, you would eliminate all of the even harmonics.

Pianos are designed to have the hammer strike exactly 1/7th of the way down the string, this suppresses the 7th harmonic, and makes a piano sound the way it does.
__________________
Larrivee OM-03RE; O-01
Martin D-35; Guild F-212; Tacoma Roadking
Breedlove American Series C20/SR
Rainsong SFTA-FLE; WS3000; CH-PA
Taylor GA3-12, Guild F-212

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/markhorning
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=