Classical Guitar Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… The six open strings and the first string, twelfth fret note are shown.

When the guitar is played the fundamental and the harmonics present are perceived by the ear as a single tone but it is the relative amplitude of the fundamental plus the harmonic frequencies that contribute to the timbre of the instrument (TA212 Block 3:1, section 5.2.4 page22). Further colouring of the sound is determined by the construction of the body; its dimensions, materials used, size of the sound-hole and all the internal bracing. The type of strings used i.e. nylon or animal gut, also affect this colouration.

When playing the guitar different techniques also produce different tones. By plucking the strings closer to the bridge then a more harsh, thinner sound is produced as the higher harmonics are accentuated, whereas a softer warm sound is heard when strings are plucked near to the sound-hole where lower harmonics are produced (TA212 Block 3:1, section 4.2.3 page
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It has been interesting to discover that there is as much creative artistry in the processes going into building the finished instrument. There are small differences between each, of the same model type, guitar made due in part to the grain of the woods used, they can never be the same in different guitars. Other differences are the slight variations the luthier makes when cutting, planing or shaping the woods, how the wood has dried before construction and the actual moisture content of the wood, this can be different in each one even though all the same processes have been followed. Serious players inspect many guitars before choosing their

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