Eliminate guitar string squeeks

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rcastp
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2006/08/31 01:26:52 (permalink)

Eliminate guitar string squeeks

When I mic my nylon string guitar, I pick up a lot of string squeeks.

What is the best way to eliminate them?

Thanks,
RC
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32 Replies Related Threads

    Syd
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/08/31 05:29:58 (permalink)
    Why? They're an inherent part of the sound of playing the guitar.

    If you wanted to reduce them you could try a few things such as varying mic placement, learning how to play the guitar less squeekily(!), using fast-fret or similar lubricant, etc.

    I would suggest that EQing should be a last resort.

    Syd.

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    #2
    fooman
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/08/31 07:11:41 (permalink)
    Man anyone remembers Veruca Salt? That band had a great sound of the 90's and I distinctly remember thinking the squeak of their strings was the best part! Nobody else had it so prominent in the mix.
    #3
    rcastp
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/08/31 07:37:39 (permalink)
    Thanks for the replies. I don't want to completely eliminate them, just make them a lot
    less promiment. I don't seem to have this problem with my steel string. Maybe it's part
    of the nature of the nylon strings - but they have always been loud.
    #4
    krizrox
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/08/31 09:41:16 (permalink)
    Yeah - I agree with Syd - try lubricating the strings with fastfret or even some light oil (cooking oil or whatever). It doesn't take much - a very light coating usually works fine. Elixer has these teflon coated strings that might help (there are other brands with similar coatings and things).

    Larry Kriz
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    #5
    uncle meat
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/08/31 09:59:07 (permalink)
    if you have a tunable de-esser you may be able to use that.
    #6
    NW Smith
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/08/31 12:59:09 (permalink)
    Baby powder on your hand helps. I find that playing around with mic positioning helps too.

    I like an occaisional string squeak, but I have heard some recordings where it become distracting - at least for me. It's a personal preference.

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    #7
    yep
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/08/31 13:23:38 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: krizrox

    Yeah - I agree with Syd - try lubricating the strings with fastfret or even some light oil (cooking oil or whatever). It doesn't take much - a very light coating usually works fine. Elixer has these teflon coated strings that might help (there are other brands with similar coatings and things).


    Yeah, exactly. You can buy special string treatments, but wesson oil works just as good in my experience. Just put a little on a paper towel and wipe the strings.
    #8
    jamesg1213
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/01 14:10:27 (permalink)
    I've heard that some people actually ADD IN string squeaks to give them a more 'authentic' sound...........bizarre.

    James
    #9
    fooman
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/01 18:13:32 (permalink)
    Is there any way to stretch this reversed wave in Sonar 5 PE?
    #10
    Sandbox Culture
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/01 18:35:17 (permalink)
    I've always thought the absence of string squeaks were what gave a guitar part that "rompler" sound.
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    krizrox
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/01 21:12:03 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: yep

    ORIGINAL: krizrox

    Yeah - I agree with Syd - try lubricating the strings with fastfret or even some light oil (cooking oil or whatever). It doesn't take much - a very light coating usually works fine. Elixer has these teflon coated strings that might help (there are other brands with similar coatings and things).


    Yeah, exactly. You can buy special string treatments, but wesson oil works just as good in my experience. Just put a little on a paper towel and wipe the strings.


    I love the smell of crisco in the morning

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    Joe Bravo
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/02 12:18:50 (permalink)
    Chet Atkins used to steal a little grease from the corner of his nose or behind his ear and wipe it across the strings. I've been doing that for years too. Doesn't work so well right after a moring shower though. I do it to lubricate the strings though rather than to stop squeaks. If I want to stop squeaks (which I usually don't) I just let up the grip of my fretting hand as it moves along the fretboard.
    #13
    rcastp
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/03 06:36:03 (permalink)
    I don't mind the odd squeak here or there. The problem occurs when I'm running a two note melody line, sliding up and down
    the fretboard when one finger is on a wrapped nylon string. The squeak is almost as loud as the note. I tried some
    finger-ease to no avail. I'll try the cooking oil next.

    Thanks
    #14
    krizrox
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/04 12:31:45 (permalink)
    There's one last comment I'd like to make - that you won't like

    technique

    I mean I've seen guitarists play acoustic guitars with no lubricants and zero finger squeeks on regular strings and nonfancy guitars. In the same room. Sitting right in front of them. How do they do it? If it's a problem for one person it should be a problem for everyone right? I mean, all things being equal, if you drag your fingers across the string it should squeek right? I've never thought to ask about it before because in my world, the problem is very rare. In fact, I can't remember the last time I was recording an acoustic guitarist and finger squeeks were an issue. Lot's of other issues but not finger squeeks.

    I might suggest - that if the vegatable oil trick still doesn't work, try different strings or even a different guitar or try changing your technique somehow. Good luck!
    post edited by krizrox - 2006/09/04 21:21:11

    Larry Kriz
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    NW Smith
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/05 13:01:42 (permalink)
    Out of curiosity -
    How does the wesson oil effect the sound and the life of the strings?






    ORIGINAL: yep

    ORIGINAL: krizrox

    Yeah - I agree with Syd - try lubricating the strings with fastfret or even some light oil (cooking oil or whatever). It doesn't take much - a very light coating usually works fine. Elixer has these teflon coated strings that might help (there are other brands with similar coatings and things).


    Yeah, exactly. You can buy special string treatments, but wesson oil works just as good in my experience. Just put a little on a paper towel and wipe the strings.

    My Website:
    http://www.marwoodwilliams.com
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    http://marwoodwilliams.bandcamp.com

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    #16
    daverich
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/05 13:12:35 (permalink)
    Use a multiband compressor and tone down the frequency those sqweeks are most prominent.

    Kind regards

    Dave Rich

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    #17
    yep
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/05 13:26:59 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: NW Smith

    Out of curiosity -
    How does the wesson oil effect the sound and the life of the strings?


    The strings basically sound identical, except with less squeak, and maybe a slightly less "stringy" sound. New strings will sound clear, bright, and transparent, older strings will sound tubby and mellow.

    I haven't found any significant decrease in the life of strings with oil if you keep your hands and the strings clean. In fact, I have even heard theories that a little oil can prolong the life of the string, but I haven't experienced that.

    I have tried almost everything I can think of to extend the life of strings and have not come up with much (other than cleaning) that will allow a set of strings to last more than a week or so before going dead, with or without oil.

    As has been said above, I find a certain amount of string squeak tolerable, even desireable sometimes. Ususally, I only oil the strings if they must be recorded brand-new with no break-in, or if something about the material or the player's technique calls for a squeak-free recording.

    Cheers.
    #18
    krizrox
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/05 13:40:12 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: yep

    older strings will sound tubby and mellow.

    Cheers.


    Or just plain dull and lifeless I've never liked the sound of brand new strings on a guitar. I like the sound of strings after they've been broken in a little bit. I don't know, maybe after a half hour of practice or something.

    We're not talking about a thick coating of oil here. A thin coating is all you need actually. FingerEase, I think, is too thin to start with and wears off quickly. Cooking oil is a tad thicker. Maybe that is the key.

    I was reading something a long while ago about convicts at some prison. These guys had access to a practice room with instruments. They basically had one guitar and if they were lucky, they'd get a fresh set of strings once a year. They kept the strings as fresh as possible by wiping the strings down after each session and using cooking oil from the cafeteria. Apparently, they were able to keep the strings sounding good for longer than normal. I don't remember if they were boiling them too. They might have.

    Larry Kriz
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    jacktheexcynic
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/05 19:38:13 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: krizrox

    There's one last comment I'd like to make - that you won't like

    technique


    there it is. well, someone alluded to this before but anyway... it's in the left hand. if you are sliding the note you have to press firmly. if you are transitioning (not sliding) then your finger does not touch the string. you look at where your hand must go before it has to go there and practice until you get it right.

    you can typically get away with quite a bit on non-wound strings but wound ones require good technique. i usually allow some squeaking when i play but it has been a long time since it's been a recording issue for me. i've never used oil but i do use elixir strings (steel) on my acoustic. when i took classical guitar it was never a problem since my technique was fairly decent.

    - jack the ex-cynic
    #20
    Junski
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/06 02:31:19 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Joe Bravo

    Chet Atkins used to steal a little grease from the corner of his nose or behind his ear and wipe it across the strings. I've been doing that for years too. Doesn't work so well right after a moring shower though. I do it to lubricate the strings though rather than to stop squeaks. If I want to stop squeaks (which I usually don't) I just let up the grip of my fretting hand as it moves along the fretboard.


    The grease from your hair/hairbottom/scalp is maybe even better ... just rub your scalp w/ finger-tips ...

    Junski


    #21
    jacktheexcynic
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/06 10:34:24 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Junski

    ORIGINAL: Joe Bravo

    Chet Atkins used to steal a little grease from the corner of his nose or behind his ear and wipe it across the strings. I've been doing that for years too. Doesn't work so well right after a moring shower though. I do it to lubricate the strings though rather than to stop squeaks. If I want to stop squeaks (which I usually don't) I just let up the grip of my fretting hand as it moves along the fretboard.


    The grease from your hair/hairbottom/scalp is maybe even better ... just rub your scalp w/ finger-tips ...


    another benefit is if you tell people that right away they won't ask if they can play your guitar...

    - jack the ex-cynic
    #22
    rbowser
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/07 18:13:29 (permalink)
    I remember hearing a fantastic acoustic guitar player on NPR, and the host commented on how there weren't any squeeks from his strings. The player humbly replied that with the best playing techniques, there aren't squeeks.

    MEAnwhile, out here in the Real World--!

    James said:

    "...I've heard that some people actually ADD IN string squeaks to give them a more 'authentic' sound...........bizarre."

    You bet. Us keyboard players do that all the time. In fact, "fret noise" is a Standard Midi sound! Judicious use of a good fret noise sample really helps authenticate a keyboard guitar part.

    rbowser

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    GPM
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/08 23:07:30 (permalink)
    Error posting - see below.
    post edited by GPM - 2006/09/08 23:27:04
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    GPM
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/08 23:13:01 (permalink)
    I used to live in a very humid climate and performed almost nightly. I used a little corn starch on my hands. It absorbs all of the moisture and makes it feel very smooth. It doesn't smell and it's inexpensive. Then there's good old Finger Ease for about $4.00. That stuff has been around forever. I used to use it sometimes and had a fretless bass player that used it all the time. Here's a link: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FingerEase/
    #25
    fooman
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/09/08 23:58:40 (permalink)
    This is my opinion, so feel free to make fun haha.

    I think Joe Blow listening to the tune will not notice the squeaks unless you point them out or unless the person is musically inclined. I have never heard my gf say "gee, that tune has too much highs on the hihats. And man that guitar player needs to use corn oil on his strings!" haha. I know overly squeaky strings can be annoying if not wanted, but for the most part it's part of the guitar sound.
    #26
    gnie
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/10/08 01:41:24 (permalink)
    Have you tried La Bella Golden Superior strings?
    #27
    bbdude
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/10/09 09:25:24 (permalink)
    One technique for squeak elimination, I have been meaning to try, is multiband compression (as daverich suggested). The one thing I would add to this is split the track, to segregate the squeaks into their own clips, then apply the multiband compression only to the squeak clips. Then crossfade between squeak clips and the non-squeak clips, so the compression will be even less noticable.

    Bob the bbdude

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    Mr.Music
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/10/09 18:05:02 (permalink)
    You can lubricate the strings if you don't mind getting that odd smelling chemical on your fingers and strings but I have had excellent luck using a DeEsser.

    .
    My music is best understood by children and animals.

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    portesham
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    RE: Eliminate guitar string squeeks 2006/10/11 13:29:52 (permalink)

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