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gtrcat

E String Sounds Weird

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gtrcat    0

Hi!

My daughter is brand new to guitar and trying to teach herself. She has an acoustic guitar and is having a problem with the E string.

We are trying to figure out if it is the way she is playing or is it an actual problem with the guitar or string itself.

It sounds fine and is in tune if you play it as an open string but if you hold the string down anywhere along the fretboard it sounds weird. I'm not sure how to describe it but it just makes a really short sound (like "plunk") instead of ringing or resonating.

Thank you!

Cat

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JessThrasher    10

It could perhaps be that she is not fretting (holding) the string all the way down. Fretting does take a bit of getting used to at first, especially since she's new but you build up finger strength pretty fast.

What guitar is it? Some cheap guitars come factory set up with a high action (meaning the strings are higher up off the fretboard) and therefore take more strength to hold down. Nylon strings tend to have a higher action. Is it a nylon string?

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karcey    42

That's a good answer Jess. Could be that the lass is damping the string instead of pressing it behind the wire.

We'll have to wait for more information to see how close you were.

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mset3    158

gtrcat,

As mentioned above by Jess and Karcey, it could be a fretting problem. You may also want to take the guitar to a guitar store and have it checked out. There is a possibility the set up could be off and causing the problem.

Mike

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karcey    42

Well Catherine, it's easier to understand how a guitar works than it is to actually play it.

The strings are stretched tight (you know that already) and the different notes are sounded by adjusting the effective length of the strings and letting them vibrate freely. If we press a string down so it is suspended by the bridge at the blunt end and one of the fret wires, and nothing touches the string, it will be able to vibrate freely and make a musical note. If we choose a different fret wire to press down on, we are effectively altering the free length of the string, so we'll get a different note. And for starting off, that's about all we need to know.

If we let a finger press right over the top of the fret wire, then part of the finger will be touching that part of the string that should be allowed to vibrate, and we'll get a "plunk". The idea is to press down near the wire but not on it.

If we armchair experts have the correct take on this, a bit of experimenting should see you fix the issue. If it doesn't get any better, then you'll have to get back to us with a bit more information.

That Taylor is a fine guitar and I can't see it having any structural problem to cause the issue you're experiencing.

Keep in touch.

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mset3    158

Catherine,

i have an 814CE Taylor guitar and it always seems to change with the weather even though I keep it in the case with a humidity pack. It the problem is just on the low E string, it is more than likely the set up. Do not try to adjust the tension rod yourself if you don't know what you are doing. Take it to a music store where they sell guitars and have them readjust it for you. If all the other strings sound good when you fret the strings, this is probably the problem.

Mike

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mattz196    15

If you have or can borrow a capo try putting it on and see if the weird sound is replicated , if so the guitar would need to go to the shop, if not it may just be the way it is being played.

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