Experimentation: Strings and Nails
Nice and sunny this morning, though.
The Glissentar has given me an idea. Well, actually, I have been thinking about this for years, but my experience with the Glissentar made me reach the tipping point, and I finally decided to try it on a six-string. What I'm talking about is a metal-wound G string: The glissentar sets use them, and I like the sound a lot. But there's more to it than just the sound.
As you know, the lower four strings on a guitar are tuned in fourths: E, A, D, G, low to high. Then there is the skip of a major third between G and B, and the final high E is another fourth up. Traditional nylon string sets have used metal wound strings for the lower three strings, and plain nylon for the "trebles." This causes a problem with the G and B strings: While the low E, A, and D strings and the high E strings all test out at about sixteen pounds of tension in a high tension set tuned to A= 440Hz at sea level, the G and B strings weigh in at only about twelve pounds of tension. This is particularly problematic with the G, because its diameter and mass make it sound quite weak in comparison to the other strings, and it's also the first string to feed back if the axe is amplified.
This entire mess can be corrected if you simply replace the unwound nylon G with a steel wound one: Then all of the lower strings which are tuned in fourths are circa sixteen pounds, and the high E is in the same ballpark. Only the B is then in the twelve pound class, and it is not nearly as problematic as the G due to it's pitch, thinness, and lack of mass to generate feedback loops with.
So, why hasn't this been done all along? Tradition is one reason, and many Flamenco players DO use wound G's (Which is how I was able to find them), but one of the problems is string life: The windings are very, very thin and have a tendency to wear through quite quickly.
We'll see how these last, but as far as the playability and tone is concerned, they... ahem... totally rock, dude.
I have, for quite some time now, used nylon nails on my p, a, and c fingers. I didn't use them on my i and m fingers because all of the nylon nails I found were overly curved, and my nails on those fingers are almost totally flat: They hurt! Well, I found a flatter set that are also thicker, and therefore less prone to cracking.
I don't care what the traditionalists say, natural nails suck. First of all, nylon against nylon produces a superior tone, and nylon nails are of a consistent shape, so the finger-to-finger balance is, for all practical purposes, perfect. Furthermore, maintaining nails for a guy is a major PITA. Especially for someone like myself who does "guy things," like working on motorcycles or shooting traditional recurve bows. If I want to do those things, I don't worry about damaging my nails. In fact, I just remove them so that they don't get in the way.
I love it.
"Encore" by DeCelle
I love how these off-center and far-away views give additional insight into the fractal generation process. The generating Mandelbrot set is to the right, and the structure on the left is like a re-generation from the thinest thread coming back into a confluence. Really, really, cool.
I've always loved archery.