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Book Report: The Responsive Guitar

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  • Book Report: The Responsive Guitar

    This book has been on my wish list for a while, but I could never justify paying $140 for it. BN.com had it on sale for about 1/2 price with a coupon, so I made it my xmas present to myself.



    If you're interested in how guitars work, and you're thinking that you might even try to build one someday, this book is invaluable.

    Somogyi gives you a framework for thinking about guitars. It boils down to this:

    A guitar has 5 main resonances:

    1) The back
    2) The air chamber
    3) The top monopole (the bass pump)
    4) The top cross dipole (mids)
    5) The top long dipole (highs)

    These resonances define the voice of your guitar. They determine the main resonant frequencies, the harmonic content, and how your guitar projects.

    Once you start thinking within this framework, you can more objectively evaluate a guitar's bracing and body shape.

    For example, it will become clear why a jumbo isn't as boomy as a dread, even though a jumbo has a larger lower bout.

    You'll also learn how and why a neck affects sustain. You'll reevaluate your ideas about traditional Martin-style asymmetrical tonebars.

    And you'll see some pretty pictures of guitars.

    Although some of his nuggets are available on the web for free, I think this book is worth the price for the education. There's a high density of information, and it's all foundational. This is not a how-to book.
    Frog Rock Tenor Uke
    Frog Rock 00-12
    The thing with Chinese guitars is that when I play one, half an hour later I want to play it again... -- Knockwood
    If you know who wrote it, it ain't folk music. -- DHone
    Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. -- Richard Feynman
    De recta non tolerandum sunt. -- Monty Python

  • #2
    Very cool!!! Merry Christmas and thanks for the tip.

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    • #3
      That's exactly what I found when I got a jumbo after playing only dreads. I expected it to be boomy, but it's actually less and sweeter.

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      • #4
        I wasn't aware that this was a Guitar forum.

        That should keep you occupied for awhile, have you built one yet? Considering? You should. For a newbie, you do know a bit about guitars.
        ------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.youtube.com/user/MrOddmanout1

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        • #5
          I'd like to build one someday, but these builders have an impressive skill set. Somogyi has a good understanding of music, guitar playing, physics, engineering, woodcraft, and characteristics of glue and finish. He's also an artist.



          I may start by revoicing an old parlor, but I think I'd need another lifetime to develop all of the skills these guys have.
          Frog Rock Tenor Uke
          Frog Rock 00-12
          The thing with Chinese guitars is that when I play one, half an hour later I want to play it again... -- Knockwood
          If you know who wrote it, it ain't folk music. -- DHone
          Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. -- Richard Feynman
          De recta non tolerandum sunt. -- Monty Python

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd like to build one someday, but these builders have an impressive skill set. Somogyi has a good understanding of music, guitar playing, physics, engineering, woodcraft, and characteristics of glue and finish. He's also an artist.



            I may start by revoicing an old parlor, but I think I'd need another lifetime to develop all of the skills these guys have.


            Modern day Da Vinci. Interesting fellow.
            Lon

            Gear:
            More than I need.

            Comment













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