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Influence of the player on the dynamics of the electric guitar

Abstract : The sound of the electric guitar is strongly dependent on the string vibration. Where a mode of the structure coincides with a mode of the fretted string, coupling between the string and structure occurs at that “deadspot.” The coupling significantly lowers decay time, leading to the name [Paté, Le Carrou, and Fabre (2014). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 135(5), 3045–3055]. But how the guitarist affects the dynamic behavior of the structure by grasping the neck, holding the instrument with the strap, or laying the instrument on his/her thigh remains to be investigated. This is the aim of the paper. Two methods are proposed to identify the modal parameters of the electric guitar structure, either by a classical modal analysis in simulated playing configuration, or by an operational modal analysis in real playing configuration. For this latter method, modal parameters are identified from dynamic measurements performed when each string is plucked. Both methods are compared and allow one to quantify the modal frequency modification and the added modal damping, which depend on the player's body-part in contact with the structure and on the modal shape considered. Consequences of these modal parameters on the modeled sound show that the player can increase the decay time close to a deadspot.
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Jean-Loic Le Carrou, Arthur Paté, Baptiste Chomette. Influence of the player on the dynamics of the electric guitar. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Acoustical Society of America, 2019, 146 (5), pp.3123-3130. ⟨10.1121/1.5130894⟩. ⟨hal-02495624⟩

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