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An Analysis Of Guitar Sounds

802 words - 4 pages

Sound is defined as areas of high and low pressure that move outward to form a longitudinal wave. The amplitude and pitch of the sound is dependent on the source and amount of energy produced. Sound is produced by vibrating objects, the vibrations cause disturbances in the surrounding air molecules. When the vibrating object moves outward it causes the air molecules around it to compress and create a high pressure region. As the object moves inward the air molecules expand and create a low pressure region. The high pressure regions are called compressions and the low pressure regions rarefactions. The equation of sound waves is speed = wavelength x frequency or v = f x .

The instrument that will be analysed in this report is the acoustic guitar. An acoustic guitar is any guitar that uses acoustics as a means to transmit the strings vibrational energy to the air to produce a sound. The sound from an acoustic guitar is initiated by the strings. When plucked with the fingers or a plectrum it creates vibrational energy which is then transferred to the soundboard or soundbox. Without the soundboard the string alone would not be able to produce much sound as it would just cut through the air without causing much disturbance, but since the soundboard is large and flat it moves the air easier, this process is called mechanical impedance matching. This increases the systems energy transfer efficiency and produces a much louder sound.
All of an acoustic guitars components have a purpose and in some way contribute to the overall sound produced by the guitar. The headstock holds the tuning machines, which are geared mechanisms used to raise and lower the tension of the strings. A string with a higher tension will produce a sharper pitch while a string with low tension will produce a flatter pitch. The nut is a grooved piece of nylon or other synthetic material which the strings pass through. This stops the vibrations from the string from reaching beyond the neck. The neck is the long piece of wood that connects the body to the headstock. The fingerboard or fretboard is the thin piece of wood that sits atop the neck and holds the frets in place. The frets are thin metal wires or bars that run perpendicular to the strings that shorten the vibrating...

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