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Old 10-03-2015, 12:56 AM
Sarasin Sarasin is offline
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Default Guitar Sound Projection

Interesting thing I realized today (new guitar arrived) I really wanted to hear how the guitar sounds like so I strum it and turn the sound hole towards me, yes I'm strange.

Often, I like to sit on the floor when playing, and I happen to be near my balcony where there is a glass sliding door. It's a nice view so playing guitar there is rather pleasant. It hit me that if I scoot closer to the glass the guitar will project and bounce back.

It was really eye, or ear opening, to hear more of the tone, texture of the sound of the guitar. I noticed when I turned away and direct the guitar away it's still nice but not as full.

This is now my favorite playing spot, yes I'm slightly mad, but give it a try sometime. It's kinda neat.

I'm having a blast!
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:29 AM
Gobo Gobo is offline
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I often play sat on the floor. If you have iron radiators try sitting with your back to one and touching the the very back of the body against it when you sit
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Old 10-03-2015, 03:17 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Sarasin, I don't think you are strange at all, at least no more strange than me ....OK we're both strange, BUT... as performers most would agree that the point of a guitar/mandolin/any chordophone etc., is to project the sound to our audience, but many prefer to enjoy their instruments at home, alone etc.

I have a large antique mirror in my lounge and find it to be a great sound reflector as well as meeting our narcissistic aspects.

I have discovered that some guitars can project well but give the player little feedback, whereas some give a significant feeling/impression of volume and tone to the player but don't project that well.

Also some are VERY directional -
Mando Bobs newest mandolin is a fine instrument , as long as you are right in front of it , whether close or distant, but I have trouble hearing him when we play because as we are both playing right-handedly, he tends to point away from me.

Whilst the best way to understand projection is to ask another musician to play your instrument for you so you can witness it as an audience, but that isn't always possible so a hard reflective surface is a pretty good alternative.

I'd like to read some feedback from luthiers as to why some loud guitars don't project and vice versa.
Silly Moustache,
Elderly singer, guitarist, dobrolist and mandolinist.
I'm here to help and advise only

By request, I offer one to one lessons/meetings/mentoring via Zoom! See:
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:19 AM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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Default projection

It is always a treat to hear someone good play your guitars. Never quite like you thought. You can learn a lot about your instruments that way but when someone else is with you that plays, you are usually playing yourself and not just listening to them.

The trick about playing close to a hard surface to get some reflectivity is one I have employed when testing new guitars, especially in an unquiet environment.
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Old 10-03-2015, 07:30 AM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
I'd like to read some feedback from luthiers as to why some loud guitars don't project and vice versa.
Not a luthier, don't think I will ever call myself one. But I recently made a guitar with both the top and the back made of softwood. It has a live back and seems to vibrate much more than if it were a heavier hardwood (which makes sense). A fair of sound comes off the back and playing it gives you a lot of feedback but with a drop in projection and sound output in front of the guitar.

Another variable is the vibration pattern of the top. In the higher frequencies portions of the top vibrate in phase and out of phase with each other. If the areas are the same they can cancel themselves out giving less sound. A different pattern might create more sound area that does not cancel and if the area is large compared to the wavelength of the frequency the sound beams out from the top.
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:36 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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Generally speaking, the fundamentals of the lowest notes on the guitar (say, below the open G string pitch) go out more or less equally in all directions. As you go higher in pitch the sound becomes more and more directional. Most of what you hear of the high end tends to come from room reflections, unless you have a 'port' that you can see into. Playing into a corner will reflect sound back at you, just as looking into two mirrors that are at right angles to each other will show you an image of yourself that follows you around.
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