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Hacks for different guitar sounds.

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posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 03:45 AM
Hi all

As an amateur guitarist, I'm always looking at ways to get different sounds on my acoustic guitar.

I've seen many things stuffed up the underside of the strings to give a different sound, socks, credit cards....but whilst watching a cover of the Last of Us theme tune, I absolutely loved the sound just a simple piece of snipped off wound string gave.....I think it was to mimic the original instrument the song was played on....a Bolivian Ronrocco.

Any other ideas?

edit on 12/6/18 by CX because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 07:30 AM
a reply to: CX
Thank you for bringing back some memories.

"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."

Acoustic & classical guitars players often want an electric sound while electric guitar players sometimes try to find that clean classical/acoustic sound too.

When I was a young fella, before I had an electric guitar (we're talkin' almost 40 years ago), I did a few hacks to make my classical guitar sound like an electric with a distortion effect. I can't remember exactly what it was that I did though as there were a few hacks that I tried. I do recall using one of those thick red 'posty' rubber bands on the strings by the bridge at one stage. Placed in a similar way to the dude in the video you shared.

I also had a 'toy' FM wireless microphone that I'd use by tuning an FM radio into the right frequency. With the rubber band on the strings by the bridge and the microphone inside the body of the guitar I could get an amplified distorted guitar sound about the same volume as the acoustic volume of the guitar. I thought it was great for imitating KISS at the time. Cheers Ace!

Another thing just sprang to mind: I think I had an over hanging bit of the G or B string sticking out from the bridge that I could get to sit against the body of the guitar that would make a buzz too if I wanted it to at one time too. That was more of an accident than by design though.

I've got the right gear that I need to get the sounds I'm looking for these days so those sort of hacks are a thing of the past for me, but I enjoyed the trip down memory lane tonight.

Thank you & Rock on!

posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 08:35 AM
I've heard stories of nashville session guys getting a pack of strings for a twelve string guitar, but only using the higher ones on a six string... seems odd to me, and that is probably more of an electric guitar trick, and I don't ever think it's a good idea to drastically change the tension on your neck.

My dad sometimes weaves a piece of paper through his strings because he think it sounds like a snare drum, he'll put it past the 7th fret and just use first position chords.

I think sonic youth would wrap tinfoil around their guitar necks.

Open/Alternate tunings can be fun, but just don't forget how to play in standard!!! Open Dm (DADFAD is my fave), but if it's too gloomy sounding just tune the F to an F# for D major.

A slide is always fun to play with, you'll get vastly different tones from metal, glass, plastic or porcelain. If you get/have one, try tuning your guitar to DADDAD, it's a pretty safe tuning to go crazy in!

There are a lot of fairly simple finger picking patterns that sound great and don't take too much work to get as well!

Happy picking!

posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 08:52 AM
I used to try to emulate a phaser effect by alternating where I would pick the string. For instance, I might do an eighth note trill, attacking the string on the quarter notes, and move my pick slowly toward the bridge and then back the other way. Kind of an obvious hack, but effective. I've tried placing several items under the strings, but never found just what I was looking for. I wanted something that would just barely come in contact with the string, just to give it that strange buzz.

posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 12:40 PM
a reply to: CX

Try picking over the fretboard. Way up there near where your fretting hand is. Try some quick bending while doing some cool scale like a Phrygian. You can get cool koto-like sounds. That is how Eric Johnson does it.

Play with comb! It sounds weird (probably is) but one of those back pocket black ones. Remove a couple tines (alternate or space out) and you get some strange sounding arpeggios. I don't think one of those big @ss ones for long hair would work too good for this dumb trick!

E-bow. It is supposed to be for electric guitar to mimic a bowed violin sound (with some tone knob adjustments and using the neck pickup). In reality, it is cool to just sustain a note (especially with delay on. Even better if you have a looper and just sample in the note to repeat). It works good with an octave divider and a low string to mimic a keyboard holding a low note.

All the other hacks I have tried have already been mentioned.

I've always wanted a baritone acoustic guitar to try all these hacks on! Might have to wait a bit as I just purchased some equipment recently and am a bit skint at the moment.

posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 01:15 AM

originally posted by: wheresthebody
I've heard stories of nashville session guys getting a pack of strings for a twelve string guitar, but only using the higher ones on a six string... seems odd to me, and that is probably more of an electric guitar trick, and I don't ever think it's a good idea to drastically change the tension on your neck.

You're referring to what's called a "Nashville-strung" guitar (clever name, right?)

Say you're working on a production. You want the shimmering sound of a 12-string guitar. Problem: no 12-string guitar.

Solution: Two rhythm guitar tracks. One guitar in standard tuning, regular strings. One in "Nashville tuning" (i.e., an octave up.) Provided your player(s) have excellent time, if the two play the exact same (chordal) part, the "Nashville tuned" guitar adds a shimmering, chorus-like effect to the part in standard tuning.

Typically a guitar tuned in this fashion is an "installation". The guitar gets a special set-up accounting for the difference in tension.

It's a great technique and I love that it's a great reminder that where there's a will, there's a way. Imagine your sound, then make it with what you have available. It takes for granted that you have a extra/junker guitar laying around--who doesn't?--that you don't mind converting.

Not to be pedantic.....

posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 02:14 AM
a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

This explanation is amazing.


posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 06:18 AM
a reply to: wheresthebody

I could talk guitar, and music generally, for days.

I'm stoked simply for the fact that I was able to make an actual contribution for once here at ATS.

posted on Jun, 27 2018 @ 08:56 PM
a reply to: CX

damn that guitar performance is mesmerizing

(post by OdSod removed for a serious terms and conditions violation)

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