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  #1  
Old 09-29-2023, 08:48 PM
eyesore eyesore is offline
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Default high E and B string volume

I played a gig tonight at a loud brewery . Now that it's getting to the cooler months and gigs are indoors , it's noisier! I fingerpick ; so when I play some lead stuff [think "Pride and Joy" type of blues] the E and B strings are played with my middle and index fingers. I do play with a thumbpick which helps for the bass notes ;but trying to play anything with nails or flesh or a little of both gets lost ; that's what I feel like it sounds ;to me anyway... any ideas to boost the high notes ? ..probably a stupid topic but ;just asking ,thanks .
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Old 09-29-2023, 11:05 PM
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tinnitus tinnitus is online now
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Just thinking out loud here...

Have you tried different gauge B & E strings? As a rock/blues flat-picker, I find that some plain strings can actually be too loud, shrill and strident. Different gauge plain strings help me balance my sound, especially for arpeggios, intervals, etc.

It won't be expensive to experiment with just the plain strings and find louder ones. I frequent a few guitar shops where they keep boxes of loose strings behind the front counters and sell individuals for a buck apiece.

From my own experience, I'm guessing you'll get more volume out of B & E if you go up a gauge or maybe two.

Can we assume you're amplified where you play? Whether plugged in or mic'd, you might try adjusting your EQ a bit.

Anxious to hear about what you discover!

Last edited by tinnitus; 09-29-2023 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 09-30-2023, 04:30 AM
therbulus therbulus is offline
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Haven't tried them, but DR has the Veritas set which includes an extra B and E -- what they call Xenon Power Plain for "increased output to balance with the wound strings."
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Old 09-30-2023, 04:41 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyesore View Post
I played a gig tonight at a loud brewery . Now that it's getting to the cooler months and gigs are indoors , it's noisier! I fingerpick ; so when I play some lead stuff [think "Pride and Joy" type of blues] the E and B strings are played with my middle and index fingers. I do play with a thumbpick which helps for the bass notes ;but trying to play anything with nails or flesh or a little of both gets lost ; that's what I feel like it sounds ;to me anyway... any ideas to boost the high notes ? ..probably a stupid topic but ;just asking ,thanks .
You have described what metal fingerpicks were designed to do way back in the 20s/30s. And still do today. I use thumb pick and metal fingerpicks to gig. And I play mic'd. They give me plenty of volume from my guitar.

If you've not tried a set then it will feel like you are wearing boxing gloves to play guitar....for a week. Then you'll forget you have them on.
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Old 09-30-2023, 05:36 AM
fregly fregly is offline
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Usually smaller body guitars have a high mid orientation, so you don't have to fight so much to get presence there. Then with tonewood choice you can have more or less of that.
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Old 09-30-2023, 06:02 AM
Nymuso Nymuso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
You have described what metal fingerpicks were designed to do way back in the 20s/30s. And still do today . . .

If you've not tried a set then it will feel like you are wearing boxing gloves to play guitar....for a week. Then you'll forget you have them on.
You saved me a lot of typing, Robin. But I would suggest brass rather than metal finger picks. Just smoother on the attack.
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Old 09-30-2023, 06:09 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by Nymuso View Post
You saved me a lot of typing, Robin. But I would suggest brass rather than metal finger picks. Just smoother on the attack.
Yes! Brass!

Finger picks are, of course, the answer, and brass finger picks are they way to go. Heavy ones. After years with steel finger picks, I switched to Acri's brass finger picks. They've transformed my playing.

Not only are they louder and have a nicer sound: Most importantly, they stay on! No more shaking picks out of the soundhole or getting them stuck on a string.

I got my Acri's at www.BanjoBenClark.com. Be sure to click on Store.

Eyesore, either wear a thumb pick and two finger picks or don't wear anything at all. With a thumbpick and bare fingers, it's physically impossible to get balance. Finger picks feel awkward at first, but after just a couple of weeks, you'll feel naked without them.

Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 09-30-2023 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 09-30-2023, 09:47 AM
eyesore eyesore is offline
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Well I figured you guys would suggest fingerpicks ... maybe I 'll give em a try once more .. they are clumsy... and yes I do play amplified ;I wish there was an electronic fix ;especially when ya break a nail.
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Old 09-30-2023, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyesore View Post
I played a gig tonight at a loud brewery . Now that it's getting to the cooler months and gigs are indoors , it's noisier! I fingerpick ; so when I play some lead stuff [think "Pride and Joy" type of blues] the E and B strings are played with my middle and index fingers. I do play with a thumbpick which helps for the bass notes ;but trying to play anything with nails or flesh or a little of both gets lost ; that's what I feel like it sounds ;to me anyway... any ideas to boost the high notes ? ..probably a stupid topic but ;just asking ,thanks .
Hi es…
Are you playing amplified?

An obvious solution is to play amplified and turn up.

Also, is there someone in attendence who you trust their opinions on sound, volume, etc? If so, ask them how it sounds out front.

If not, I'd invite someone to attend solely for that purpose.




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  #10  
Old 10-01-2023, 12:57 AM
mercy mercy is offline
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finger picks will give more volume but more noise so I reject them in favor to natural nails. I use a Speed Pick which balances well with my nails. They are hard but I have read that some dont have hard nails. Pharmacy plastic nails with glue dots are the next best option, just press them on to play and pull them off when your done. I thought you ought to know what comes with metal volume
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Old 10-01-2023, 10:44 AM
jimi junior jimi junior is offline
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Good topic

I also play fingerstyle with a thumb pick and bare fingers and getting nice loud trebble strings is a constant battle, particularly for traditional Celtic /folk style where all the melody is often on the trebbles and good note separation is key.

I've learnt:

- keeping long nails helps a lot, but I routinely fail
- higher gauge plain strings helps a tiny bit
- smaller guitars a more honky / mid-range focussed so have much stronger trebble strings. I'm always hunting for larger guitars with very fat and loud trebbles... stil hunting but some are better than others. E.g. Fylde and Brook very good for this, as it really what they've been designed for (trad English folk sound).
- mahogany (etc) better than rosewood(etc) for the same reason that they have more pronounced midrange and better note separation imo. Again, still hunting for a guitar with more lich overtones and depth a la rosewood but also very fat trebbles.
- I'm yet to try finger picks but have just bought a selection to try out.
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  #12  
Old 10-01-2023, 10:49 AM
schoolie schoolie is offline
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I think the Piedmont style, with thumb and index finger only, produces a lot more volume to the E and B. I also use heavier strings for the E, B, and low E.
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Old 10-01-2023, 12:15 PM
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Preamp EQ/treble boost? Boost pedal? Wah pedal run wide open to boost the treble?
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Old 10-01-2023, 12:32 PM
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I don't own one of these (yet), but it has a unique feature I like a lot, full time EQ even when the boost is off.

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Old 10-02-2023, 09:29 PM
moosedog moosedog is offline
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Is your pickup balanced across the strings. Under saddle (UST) pickups are notorious for an unbalanced volume - string to string. I find a sound hole pickup to be very balanced and most have poles you can adjust. Might be worth a try. I have had the same issue when playing finger style and this is my fix.
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