Sustain?

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Sustain?

Postby Steve Sanders » Fri May 16, 2014 2:39 pm

O.K. boys and girls, I'm about to lay bare my total ignerts and extremely finite knowledge. It's about SUSTAIN. What is it......really? I've always thought it was how long a note would keep on sounding AFTER plucked or played. I keep hearing or reading about this or that guitar has great "sustain", or certain pickups "sustain" better than others, or some bridges made of various materials "sustain" better. I don't know about the rest of ya but I don't hang on the notes I play but for a fraction of a second so "sustain" really wouldn't matter. Now, on a Del Vecchio or other guitar played slowly where you might hang on a note a little longer it might be important. Most of the Chet tunes I play just don't seem to figure into the "sustain" scenario. I just ain't hearin' it!! But hey, I'm willing to learn new things! That is why I come here with all my dumb questions. What am I missing (besides a brain?) WHERE COULD I GO BUT UNTO THE BOARD (that is a joak!!!!) Thanks, Steve
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Re: Sustain?

Postby GaryL » Fri May 16, 2014 5:59 pm

Hi Steve,
Not knowing what guitars you have tried, I'll give an example of sustain. If you've tried the Gibson nylon strings guitars there is a big difference in sustain between the classic electric and the studio classic electric. On the classic solid body (not studio version) the strings ring and ring and ring...... Sometimes that is good and sometimes you would want them to not ring so long - less sustain. That's one of the reasons Chet liked the studio version a lot. I do too.
Another example, a Martin D28 versus a very cheap acoustic. The Martin would most likely have nicer sustain.
I hope others can help with your question. It's a good one.
GaryL
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Re: Sustain?

Postby George Beasley » Fri May 16, 2014 9:43 pm

Sustain is desirable. Much nicer to have it, and control it, than try to add it. It is ALL over Chet's playing..but you might not recognize it for what it is. Think back to the opening of "Liza"...the bass is staccato, but the melody is sustained. Also. "Baby's Coming Home"......bom bom bom booommmmmmmm.

The only person I've heard complain about sustain was Brad "Buster B" Jones, who once posted on this site that the reason he went with the Godin over the Gibson CES was that the CES sustained too much....but then again, he played fasted than mere mortals, so it was probably more of an issue for him than most others.
Thanks,
George
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Re: Sustain?

Postby John Knowles » Fri May 16, 2014 11:14 pm

Steve, I think George said pretty much what I would say. I would add that want a guitar to have even sustain… so that some notes don't die out quicker than others. The way the notes die out is part of the voice of a guitar. If all is right, it's up to me to manage the sustain… to help the song breathe. John
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