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The Physics Of Acoustic Guitar Essay

1030 words - 5 pages

The Physics of Acoustic Guitar
Everything in the universe involves some type of physics. Even the universe itself does, but have you ever wondered about the physics of simpler items? Physics is vital for all musical instruments, if it wasn’t; they probably wouldn’t produce the beautiful sounds that they do. One of these instruments is acoustic guitar. By looking at the instrument, it doesn’t look very complicated, but if you delve deeper into its composition, you’ll find that it’s very complicated. Physics takes part in the making of acoustic guitars, all the way to how it produces its beautiful music.
Before you can understand the physics of playing the guitar, you must first know the ...view middle of the document...

In a guitar, the most important part to the sound is the strings. They are stretched from the bridge of the guitar, all the way over the body and sound hole. They reach up the neck across the fret board, where they then go past the nut and into the tuners. The strings can be made nylon or steel, nickel, and bronze. What particular kind of string one uses usually depends on the type of chords that are being played. When the strings are plucked and played, the air around them vibrates, hence creating a sound wave. The mass, length, and tension of the strings are what creates the frequency in which the guitar makes. The tuners at the head of the guitar can change the tension of the strings, this in turn, changes the frequency, which is the rate at which the vibration occurs. For example, if the strings are heavier they will vibrate slower and the pitch will be lower. The pitch will be higher if the tension of the strings is tighter. The frequency also depends on the length of the string that is free to vibrate. When playing, you can change this by holding the string firmly against the fret board with a finger (Wolfe).
The strings themselves hardly make any noise when plucked. They disrupt very little air since they make less contact with the other air molecules. However, if the string is attached to a large object, more air is disturbed. In this case, the string forces the larger object to begin vibrating at the same frequency as the string. Now that a larger area is disturbed, this means that more air molecules are being vibrated. When all the molecules are vibrating at the certain frequency of the string, then the sound is produced. The frequency at which these air molecules vibrate is equal to the frequency of vibration of the string. Therefore, the part of the guitar that makes them audible is the body. The body and the sound holes’ job are to amplify the sound that the strings produce. For...

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