This doesn't seem right...

Steve

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While playing my Epi LP, when I strike the strings down they sound good but when doing a upwards pick they sound dulled down, mainly noticeable on the G,B,E strings. Is this normal? Shouldn't the sound be pretty much identical?
 

Tracy Perry

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Depends on the force... odds are you are applying more directly to the strings on the downstroke than the upstroke.
 

Steve

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I am definitely intentionally striking the upward stroke more, sounds really weird and I'm tempted to send this thing back if I don't find a cause.
 

zappaDPJ

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It's hard to say what's going on without hearing it. With strumming, up strokes should sound different because the emphasis is on the higher strings. A down stroke will carry more weight while an upstroke should sound thin and bright. As far a individual notes are concerned they should sound more or less the same if the pick is applied with the same force and angle.

I've played hundreds, maybe even thousands of guitars and I don't recall encountering a fault that would explain what you've described.
 

Steve

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I'll try and get a recording of it. Google doesn't turn up much of anything but maybe I'm using the wrong terms.
 

Steve

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Alright I did a bit of testing, when striking the string up I was basically pulling it away from the pickups which of course is going to be detrimental to the sound. ;)

I'm working alternate picking so adjusting to a slant is taking a bit of time which helps keep from pulling the string away from the pickups.
 

Tracy Perry

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Yeah, strumming is what I'm working on now (up/down) and it's not natural for some reason on the upstroke.
 

zappaDPJ

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A few tips...

  • Forget about playing chords, use open strings or just mute them with your other hand.
  • Try and keep your elbow fixed, most of the movement should come from your wrist.
  • Generally you don't want to hit all six strings on the up stroke, the top three to five will do. It's a lot easier and it'll sound better later on.
  • Try and relax your hand. Your pick has a tendency to want to fly off and embed itself in your neighbor's eye so you'll natually be holding on to it with an iron grip. This is wrong, it needs to be held in a relaxed manner and micromanaged as it will move around so you need to adjust it on the fly. You will drop it, it happens. When I play live I ensure I have a handful of spare picks in my back pocket.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
 

Tracy Perry

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I'm sure they have a reason but I'm not sure what it would be. It's an essential learning technique, even at a profession level.
Right now we are working on the basic essentials. Gotta get the foundation laid before you can start on the roof! :)
 

zappaDPJ

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Right now we are working on the basic essentials. Gotta get the foundation laid before you can start on the roof! :)
I can appreciate that but (there's always a but!) I am intrigued. In the dim and distant past I used to teach stringed instruments on a regular basis to supplement my meager income from royalties. More recently I offer professional grade music lessons to established musicians. My point being I think I have a reasonable grasp of teaching methods.

I'm genuinly interested in why your tutor would not be happy teaching strumming or presumably any other main handed skill in isolation. I'm not for one minute suggesting they are wrong, I'm just interested in hearing different view points :)
 

Tracy Perry

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He does teach in segments, but he tries to incorporate a little of all of it at the beginning. The issue is more concentration on the basics (notes, reading, timing, etc). It really depends on which course election you take with him.... I'm taking the one that also encompasses music theory, so we concentrate (currently) more on that aspect along with the way it interacts with both playing the lead aspect and strumming.

As an aside, I find it much easier to strum on the 00-17SE than say the 000-18 or OM-28. I think that honestly has more to do with the guitar size than anything. It's why I'm curious how the parlor size will feel.
 

Steve

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Just for own sanity and keeping me from going to a store (where I’d likely buy something) could anyone try and replicate this for me?

Using a pick (flat), pick the strings down and up on any electric guitar to see if the up pick sounds “dead” compared to the down pick? Maybe try a Les Paul since that is what I’m on...

Then try slightly slanted doing the same.
 

zappaDPJ

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You're in luck, I had a Custom Shop Les Paul sitting on my lap when I read this. The attached file is that guitar going straight into my mixing desk so there is no amplification or effects present.

The sequence on the audio file is flat down, flat up, slanted down, slanted up, all on open strings. Any changes in sound is probably more due to the awkwardness of adjusting the pick angle than anything else.

If for any reason you can't extract the file try adding .wav to the attachment file type list and I'll try again.
 

Attachments

Steve

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Thanks zappaDPJ zappaDPJ , I’m on my phone at the moment but just so you’re aware the media gallery here accepts audio files ;)
 

Steve

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Your audio seems pretty consistent so I’m a bit puzzled and will likely need to have someone look at mine unfortunately.
 

Tracy Perry

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About to head to the Dr's for an appointment but will try it on the LP, the Tele's and the Strat when I get back.
 
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