PDA

View Full Version : String theory question



hammer40
08-28-2016, 12:59 AM
Whether you use a wound or unwound string for the 3rd string, the "c" string, it is still termed the "c" string, and is the same octave. When one uses a wound string for the 4th, it is termed a low g, and is in fact a lower octave, if I'm using the term correct.

The octave, or pitch, isn't any lower if you use a wound vs unwound string for the c string. So why does using a wound g string make it a lower octave, or pitch? Again, not sure what the correct terminology is. Could you in fact, use a wound 4th string and still have it be re-entrant, or high g?

Hope this question makes sense. Music/string theory is obviously not my strong suit.

Dan Gleibitz
08-28-2016, 01:51 AM
I'm not a scientist, but...

Higher mass makes the string oscillate more slowly. Slower = lower frequency.

There are different ways to add mass. Increase the string diameter, increase the density of the string material, or wrap it in metal.

DownUpDave
08-28-2016, 01:56 AM
I'm not a scientist, but...

Higher mass makes the string oscillate more slowly. Slower = lower frequency.

There are different ways to add mass. Increase the string diameter, increase the density of the string material, or wrap it in metal.

This above has got it, a low G string is thicker. A wound low G is approx. .030" in diameter and a floro high G is. 021". A wound C string and a floro C string are the same diameter at approx. .026"

Dan Gleibitz
08-28-2016, 02:14 AM
This above has got it, a low G string is thicker. A wound low G is approx. .030" in diameter and a floro high G is. 021".

Right, but it's not just diameter. Worth low G fluorocarbons have a .036" diameter. Wound low Gs are thinner because they're denser due to the wound material.

Doc_J
08-28-2016, 02:44 AM
Wound C strings have somewhat higher tension and are less floppy, and less thuddy sounding, but at same basic frequency as unwound C strings.

DownUpDave
08-28-2016, 02:50 AM
Right, but it's not just diameter. Worth low G fluorocarbons have a .036" diameter. Wound low Gs are thinner because they're denser due to the wound material.

Yes I know that I was just making an example.

hammer40
08-28-2016, 06:00 AM
So is there a different frequency for low g vs high g strings?

johnson430
08-28-2016, 06:19 AM
So is there a different frequency for low g vs high g strings?

Hammer, here is a link to the different frequencies and wavelengths for each note:
http://www.phy.mtu.edu/~suits/notefreqs.html

It appears as though frequency doubles and wavelength is halved for each octave increase.

Pier
08-28-2016, 12:22 PM
Could you in fact, use a wound 4th string and still have it be re-entrant, or high g?

no, it's impossible, simply because the high-G is a thin string at an higher pitch (one octave up). if you try to tune a big wound string one octave up, the string snaps.

string "science" is easy to understand: thinner the string, higher the pitch can be. bigger the string, lower the pitch.

when you start going down with the frequencies, however, there are many issues, like a sloppy string that don't vibrate much, or that alters the pitch at the attack of the note.
wound strings are there for this reason, exactly like on the guitar (same strings, actually). you have the first three strings (considering a classican nylon guitar) made of "plain" nylon; then they start going lower, so from the D to the Low E they are wound.

wound strings allow to use a thinner nylon core, reinforced with the metal winding; what happens is that the string is "firm" and not sloppy, and the sound is more focused.

on the ukulele we have the first string very thin, so it doesn't need any "help" to ring. the E string it's still small enough to ring without any help, and then comes the C string, which have to be bigger, due to the short scale of the ukulele (shorter the scale, lower the tension to reach the pitch); when you have a big nylon string, with low tension and a wide rage of vibration, it's easy to lose focus on the fundamental and alter the pitch while picking/strumming.

the fourth string is again very thin and high, but if you want to go one octave lower, you need an enormous mass. look at the difference between a C and an E string.
to make the Low G sound decent, the mass must be increased, but with just plain nylon it can be too sloppy. here it comes the metal :D the winding reinforces the core so that the string is more focused and clear.

now, with the new technologies we have fluorocarbon strings and Aquila Reds: fluorocarbon is a dense material that can have higher tension with less mass (at the same pitch), so fluorcarbon strings are smaller than nylon and with an higher tension at the same pitch.
that means that a Low G can be plain, smaller and still sound good.

Aquila Red are a new concept, with copper mixed to nylon in different dose, so tha strings in a set have almost the same gauge, but they have a different density. the unwound Red LowG became stadard in many Aquila sets like the Super Nylgut or the Lava, being able to make the Low G sound nice without the winding.

Nickie
08-28-2016, 12:32 PM
Hammer, here is a link to the different frequencies and wavelengths for each note:
http://www.phy.mtu.edu/~suits/notefreqs.html

It appears as though frequency and wavelength double for each octave increase.

Thanks for posting this Johnson!

johnson430
08-28-2016, 12:45 PM
Thanks for posting this Johnson!

Glad I could help. I made an error in my post. freq. doubles but wavelength is halved.

Booli
08-29-2016, 10:45 AM
A 'C' string is THE SAME pitch, i.e. a C4 or 'MIDDLE C', whether is is a wound string or UNwound string.

a re-entrant tuning with a HIGH-G has a G4 note, which is in FACT what re-entrant is as opposed to LINEAR tuning in which there is a LOW-G note...

in order to get the LOW-G note which is a G3 in pitch, you need a string with more mass and the correct tension to achieve this pitch and for the string to intonate properly.

The G3 can be a WOUND string or an UNwound string, but you will likely NOT ever find someone using a G4 HIGH-G with a WOUND string, unless they are using the Guadalupe, Magma or Kala 'nylon microwound' strings, which are NOT very popular.

Hope this helps...