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Sweet Harmony

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:55 am
by Karl
How did Chet manage to have his 3rds, 6ths and 10ths sound so "sweet"? Mine all play sharp, even with the intonation at
100% perfect. There must be some kind of tweak he did to get that degree of sweetness. I've noticed the same thing about Johnny Smith.

Re: Sweet Harmony

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:45 am
by Richard Hudson
That is hard for us mere mortals to answer or understand. I think it has to be in the hands. Every time we get a chord we are inadvertently stretching the strings a little. Most of the time, some more than others. Sometimes so much so that a particular note will sound sharp. I think the great guitarists, such as Chet and Johnny Smith, had the ability to instantly recognize that note that was not right and make instant adjustments with their fingers to compensate. The other thing that always amazed me about Chet, in particular, was the absence of string squeaks. Those annoying squeaks take away from the beauty of the music, but it is almost impossible to eliminate them altogether, but Chet seemed to be able to do it. The clean-ness of each individual note is one of the things that sets the great guitarists apart from the rest of us, imo.

Re: Sweet Harmony

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:46 am
by Spadaro Paolo
This question I ask myself every time I listen to the music of Chet.
If you want my opinion the guitars played by Chet are all of a high standard, then set to perfection and this justifies the pitch.
Then put these perfect tools in the hands of the best guitarist (musician) in the world and you're done.

The trick is in his hands.

:arrow: I then noticed an interesting fact, in December 2013, I received my getsch 6122-1959, was set perfectly, however, was equipped with a THIRD plain string, it sounded good for the charity but felt a little shrill.
Replaced this with a wound string sound was coming much closer to that of Chet.


Re: Sweet Harmony

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:12 pm
by Norm
If he were still here he would probably attribute it to "practice"

He had some issues with the third string. If you look closely at his personal 6122 you'll see where he has a bit of metal at the zero fret to compensate for something. That would be negated once you fretted the string but there it is for what it's worth

Re: Sweet Harmony

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:14 pm
by Terry Tolley
If you have a guitar that is 100% perfect in its intonation, you better keep it locked away! Ha ha. Seriously, there is no guitar that is perfect. I use a tuner to check tuning on my guitars with open strings, fretted at the 5th fret, and again at either the 7th or 8th fret, depending on the tune. I pick a compromise adjustment even then. If your tuning is good when the string is open, yet the strings note sharp, then your bridge might be too close to the fingerboard and needs to move away from the finger-board.

If the fretted note at the 12th fret and the open string chimed at the 12th fret sounds the same, then the bridge is likely properly positioned. If the fretted note is sharp, the bridge needs to move AWAY from the fingerboard a small amount....probably a 64th of an inch at a time. Conversely, if the fretted note is flat, the bridge would need to move TOWARD the fingerboard. Check the intonation after each adjustment until it is as close to optimum as possible. With the bridge now properly set, if the guitar STILL notes sharp, then either the action is very high, and/or you are bending the string when you are fretting it. It could also possibly need a proper setup by a luthier who can check to see if there are mis-positioned frets, warped/twisted neck, etc.

Re: Sweet Harmony

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:29 am
by Karl
Well, this is all just common sense, isn't it. I can assure that I an not bending any strings, since they are .015, .019, .025, .034, .044, and.056. I couldn't bend those very much even if I wanted to. Also, the intonation is as good as a technician could get it, with the 12th fret harmonics sounding identical to the notes fretted at that fret. I know also that no guitar will play 100% in tune at every position. However, I'm bewildered still. But I thank you for your responses.

Re: Sweet Harmony

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:41 am
by Norm
One of the reasons Chet kept that particular 59 version of the 6122 he used so much was that it was exceptionally well playing fingerboard wise. He used a high action so he had to be referring to its accuracy and function.