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Thread: Strings resonating when picking the E...

  1. #1
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    Default Strings resonating when picking the E...

    When I pick the E string I am hearing resonation from all the strings similar to what I hear if I tap the end of the bridge. I have tried placing my palm on the strings behind the bridge and above the nut since I don't have any dampering device there with no luck.

    Is this just signs of a cheap/bad bridge? It's really driving me nuts. No buzzing going on...action is perfect so just not sure what is going on.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Strings resonating when picking the E...

    Is it a high "sizzle" sound?
    If the nut slots are not ramped down from the face of the nut toward the tuners, or if the slots are tight on the strings, the string can make a sizzle when played open, not fretted.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Strings resonating when picking the E...

    No...it simply sounds like I am getting some kind of vibration from all strings. If I literally tap on the end of the bridge...the sound of the strings vibrating and resonating from the mandolin is what I hear.

    It may be what I have seen discussed in another thread...just something my mandolin does and nothing I can do about it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Strings resonating when picking the E...

    If I tap any guitar or mandolin or violin, or bandurria or ... it will make the strings vibrate. You may be noticing the normal vibrancy of the instrument.

    Vibrations go from the strings to the bridge to the soundboard to the air. Vibrations go from the air to the soundboard to the bridge to the strings. Vibrations go from the strings to the air. You can shout at a good instrument and then hear the string ringing. If you sing a G loudly, then you can hear the G string on the mandolin.

    Bob

  5. #5
    Registered User James Rankine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings resonating when picking the E...

    Quote Originally Posted by CedarSlayer View Post
    If I tap any guitar or mandolin or violin, or bandurria or ... it will make the strings vibrate. You may be noticing the normal vibrancy of the instrument.

    Bob
    Old time fiddle players cottoned onto this a long time ago with cross tunings. The drone of the open two strings beefs up the melody played on the other two strings. Maybe you should try cross tuning

  6. #6
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings resonating when picking the E...

    Quote Originally Posted by CedarSlayer View Post
    If I tap any guitar or mandolin or violin, or bandurria or ... it will make the strings vibrate. You may be noticing the normal vibrancy of the instrument.

    Vibrations go from the strings to the bridge to the soundboard to the air. Vibrations go from the air to the soundboard to the bridge to the strings. Vibrations go from the strings to the air. You can shout at a good instrument and then hear the string ringing. If you sing a G loudly, then you can hear the G string on the mandolin.

    Bob
    If I read the OP's description correctly, I would tend to agree that it's what you describe. I noticed the same thing when I upgraded from a mediocre mandolin to a really good one. Suddenly, my instrument was ringing to beat the proverbial band. When I'm tuning up before playing, I have to use my fingers to mute the other strings because they will all ring sympathetically. As I'm playing, I have to consciously dampen certain strings during certain parts, or they'll continue to "play" sympathetic notes that I've moved past. And when my wife plays a note on her mandolin, mine will pick it up and ring. Even talking will cause my mandolin to find a tone that it wants to echo back and sustain for a while.

    So IMHO, this is not a problem at all. It's actually the sign of a well-made mandolin. These are sensitive little beasties that are designed to do this. Of course, getting unpleasant tones from below the bridge and above the nut is undesirable, and can be controlled with felt and grommets and such, but cross-string contamination through the bridge (and indeed the whole body that is vibrating as a system) is somewhat inevitable. If a mandolin isn't doing that, it's probably because it has a poorly-constructed/fitted bridge, too-thick top, or other concerns.

    Or so it seems to me...

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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Strings resonating when picking the E...

    Thanks for all the feedback....really appreciate it.

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