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Guitar technique: Subharmonics?


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While those low harmonics are definitely there, and scientifically befuddling; I really don't see the musical significance. Her violin tone is amazing, then she does the subharmonic and it sounds like a little kid at his first lesson. It just has a terrible tone. I would rather just have a Cello play that note and have her stay within the range of the instrument than have her play it and sound like {censored}e.

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UPDATE

 

The chick emailed me back:

 

Hi


Sorry for the delay. Thank you very much for your interest!


I had received such an inquiry asking if subharmonics is possible on the guitar. In order to generate such a forced vibration, one needs to sustain the string oscillation I think. So if you use something like E-bow ?? it might be possible! Try it!! The attack has very little to do with it, I think.


About the bow position question, it is a bit YES, it does depend on the where you put your bow. BUT, when you put rosin, or a new string, that 'magic location' changes. SO it's all relative which makes it very difficult to perform on demand.


The "twisted strings" is something entirely different---I had done an experiment taking off the string out of the violin, twisting it, then putting them back on, and the result on my subharmonics was quite extraordinary getting more strange intervals. I had published about it --- I should really update my subharmonics links shortly....


I wrote an article on STRINGS magazine aug/sept 2000, and if you have access to a library there is an article about the 'twisted string' on a discontinued publication called Journal of New Music Research. If you go to my website you can find the links.


Again thank you for your note and best of luck
:)
cheers

mk

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yeah, I listened to the clip... is this really something that astounding?

 

I take it you've never been involved in the world of string music :lol: People tend to go really crazy over stuff like that.

 

------

 

This definitely is not possible with an e-bow because the e-bow doesn't apply pressure to the string. Choking the string is what is helping make the low notes. You can also apply the same principle and play very high notes with the bow... often by mistake.

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Jon Catler, a Just Intonation guitarist out of NYC (plays w/ LaMonte Young), does this w/ distortion. He'll play notes up high on the neck and bend them, and a rudimentary bass line pops out underneath it.

 

VERY cool to hear, but musical? Not so sure.

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OK. I has theory:

Pressing extra hard prevents the string from vibrating at pitch but the bow keeps motivating the string to vibrate so the default string physics is for it to jump down to the closest resonance; perhaps even generating combinations of topless and bottomless waves. Possible too that these are not sub harmonics (other than mathematically) but new fundamentals.

Please fact check. Inquiring minds want to know.

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