Low Sustain When Bending On The 13th-16th Frets?
guitaro
Apr 2 2021, 02:26 PM
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Hey guys, I have noticed when bending on the higher strings on the 13th-16th frets, the sustain doesn't last long at all. I am thinking it could be due to those frets being lower compared to the frets ahead of them(ie 17th onwards) because this later frets don't see as much fretting activity.

What is the best was to diagnose this before seeking solutions? I thought about maybe raising the string action to see if it improves the issue but obviously I don't want to sacrifice too much playability also. Could it be simply because of the radius of the guitar(ESP Horizon NT-II) combined with slightly worn frets? I noticed if I do a really wide bend(3 semitones or more) then the note just cuts out in that part of the neck. Frets 17 and above have no issue at all.

Could the neck relief also be suspect? Pick up height? This is very strange as it doesn't happen on any of the frets before the 13th fret at all. Any help would be much appreciated.

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klasaine
Apr 2 2021, 04:02 PM
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Hard to diagnose w/o hearing it.
Make a video.

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Todd Simpson
Apr 2 2021, 04:31 PM
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Could be many things. Has the guitar been set up by a luthier? Id' say that's step 1 if possible. Ken is spot on per usual, make a vid and let us see/hear what is going on?


QUOTE (guitaro @ Apr 2 2021, 09:26 AM) *
Hey guys, I have noticed when bending on the higher strings on the 13th-16th frets, the sustain doesn't last long at all. I am thinking it could be due to those frets being lower compared to the frets ahead of them(ie 17th onwards) because this later frets don't see as much fretting activity.

What is the best was to diagnose this before seeking solutions? I thought about maybe raising the string action to see if it improves the issue but obviously I don't want to sacrifice too much playability also. Could it be simply because of the radius of the guitar(ESP Horizon NT-II) combined with slightly worn frets? I noticed if I do a really wide bend(3 semitones or more) then the note just cuts out in that part of the neck. Frets 17 and above have no issue at all.

Could the neck relief also be suspect? Pick up height? This is very strange as it doesn't happen on any of the frets before the 13th fret at all. Any help would be much appreciated.

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Mertay
Apr 2 2021, 04:45 PM
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Test in detail if its on certain notes or all notes in that area.

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jstcrsn
Apr 3 2021, 01:56 AM
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QUOTE (guitaro @ Apr 2 2021, 02:26 PM) *
Hey guys, I have noticed when bending on the higher strings on the 13th-16th frets, the sustain doesn't last long at all. I am thinking it could be due to those frets being lower compared to the frets ahead of them(ie 17th onwards) because this later frets don't see as much fretting activity.

What is the best was to diagnose this before seeking solutions? I thought about maybe raising the string action to see if it improves the issue but obviously I don't want to sacrifice too much playability also. Could it be simply because of the radius of the guitar(ESP Horizon NT-II) combined with slightly worn frets? I noticed if I do a really wide bend(3 semitones or more) then the note just cuts out in that part of the neck. Frets 17 and above have no issue at all.

Could the neck relief also be suspect? Pick up height? This is very strange as it doesn't happen on any of the frets before the 13th fret at all. Any help would be much appreciated.
see if you can do vibrato to keep those notes sustaining on those frets

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guitaro
Apr 10 2021, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Apr 3 2021, 12:56 AM) *
see if you can do vibrato to keep those notes sustaining on those frets


I can perform virbrato fine on those notes and they don't cut out. It almost seems like the feedback is killing the note rather than the string fretting out.

QUOTE (klasaine @ Apr 2 2021, 03:02 PM) *
Hard to diagnose w/o hearing it.
Make a video.


I'll record a video very soon. I did some more testing and the note definitely 'frets out' if I bend it hard(ie 3 semitones in that area of the neck) as I can hear the note suddenly choke out and even if I pick the string with the note bent, it won't sound. However when it is less than that, it rings perfectly fine, just the sustain isn't there. It's almost like the feedback from the amp is killing the note instead.

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jstcrsn
Apr 10 2021, 05:23 PM
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QUOTE (guitaro @ Apr 10 2021, 04:27 PM) *
I can perform virbrato fine on those notes and they don't cut out. It almost seems like the feedback is killing the note rather than the string fretting out.



I'll record a video very soon. I did some more testing and the note definitely 'frets out' if I bend it hard(ie 3 semitones in that area of the neck) as I can hear the note suddenly choke out and even if I pick the string with the note bent, it won't sound. However when it is less than that, it rings perfectly fine, just the sustain isn't there. It's almost like the feedback from the amp is killing the note instead.

raise your bridge a little see if it disappears ( remeber where it was set) if the problem goes away it would lead me to believe there are high spots in your fret and they only interfere when you bend certain notes at certain places.. you can raise the bridge or have a luthier fix the high frets. If a luthier fixes it or says the frets are good it might come down how to play to get the notes to ring properly

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This post has been edited by jstcrsn: Apr 10 2021, 05:24 PM
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guitaro
Apr 11 2021, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Apr 10 2021, 04:23 PM) *
raise your bridge a little see if it disappears ( remeber where it was set) if the problem goes away it would lead me to believe there are high spots in your fret and they only interfere when you bend certain notes at certain places.. you can raise the bridge or have a luthier fix the high frets. If a luthier fixes it or says the frets are good it might come down how to play to get the notes to ring properly


Thanks for that, I will try that also. I'm going to try lowering the pickups. If I have the bridge pickup selected on the guitar, will the neck pickup height have any effect on the strings(magnetic pull etc) even though it isn't 'on'?

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This post has been edited by guitaro: Apr 11 2021, 05:34 PM
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jstcrsn
Apr 11 2021, 09:33 PM
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QUOTE (guitaro @ Apr 11 2021, 05:34 PM) *
Thanks for that, I will try that also. I'm going to try lowering the pickups. If I have the bridge pickup selected on the guitar, will the neck pickup height have any effect on the strings(magnetic pull etc) even though it isn't 'on'?

if I hold down my highest fret , I have 1.5mm clearance between string and nick pick up and a bend in that area last a good 6 seconds before my gate picks it up , there is no dying out due to the frets or pick up. It could be possible the string touches your neck pick up when playing higher notes but it sounds like higher than the 16th fret has no problem

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guitaro
Apr 12 2021, 09:16 AM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Apr 11 2021, 08:33 PM) *
if I hold down my highest fret , I have 1.5mm clearance between string and nick pick up and a bend in that area last a good 6 seconds before my gate picks it up , there is no dying out due to the frets or pick up. It could be possible the string touches your neck pick up when playing higher notes but it sounds like higher than the 16th fret has no problem


just did a proper check, the notes above the 16th(24th included) also lack decent sustain. Could it be a feedback issue?

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jstcrsn
Apr 13 2021, 10:56 PM
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QUOTE (guitaro @ Apr 12 2021, 09:16 AM) *
just did a proper check, the notes above the 16th(24th included) also lack decent sustain. Could it be a feedback issue?

if your amp is too loud in the room it could feedback so just turn it down to avoid that
lower the neck pick up to make sure it is out of the way, slowly raise the bridge till it goes away. If you get the bridge to high and it does not go away ( always remeber haw far you moved to return things) that means it is you and something you need to work on
this is the last collab i did the last 20 seconds I just control the note by vibrato so it continues to ring and mute all unwanted noise/strings. How long can you sustain your note using this technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX0l0OSMoEc

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guitaro
Apr 15 2021, 06:44 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Apr 13 2021, 09:56 PM) *
if your amp is too loud in the room it could feedback so just turn it down to avoid that
lower the neck pick up to make sure it is out of the way, slowly raise the bridge till it goes away. If you get the bridge to high and it does not go away ( always remeber haw far you moved to return things) that means it is you and something you need to work on
this is the last collab i did the last 20 seconds I just control the note by vibrato so it continues to ring and mute all unwanted noise/strings. How long can you sustain your note using this technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX0l0OSMoEc


Thanks for that. I'm playing with a big amp(ENGL e670 el34) in a small room but I don't play with the volume too loud as it is a beast of an amp and I don't want to blow out my eardrums hehe. I'll raise the bridge this weekend and test it out. If the sustain if still low, then it is my technique as you said. I'll also try see how long I can sustain the vibrato like you did in your video. Thanks again.

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jstcrsn
Apr 15 2021, 11:27 PM
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QUOTE (guitaro @ Apr 15 2021, 06:44 PM) *
Thanks for that. I'm playing with a big amp(ENGL e670 el34) in a small room but I don't play with the volume too loud as it is a beast of an amp and I don't want to blow out my eardrums hehe. I'll raise the bridge this weekend and test it out. If the sustain if still low, then it is my technique as you said. I'll also try see how long I can sustain the vibrato like you did in your video. Thanks again.

anything to help. To sustain a note like that you really need to focus on muting unwanted strings, if you look at my picking hand I am actually moving strings out of the way

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guitaro
Apr 16 2021, 06:32 AM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Apr 15 2021, 10:27 PM) *
anything to help. To sustain a note like that you really need to focus on muting unwanted strings, if you look at my picking hand I am actually moving strings out of the way


Ahhh yes I can see your picking hand moving along with the strings above and beneath the string you are playing vibrato on. I should do this when I play pinch harmonics with vibrato also as with distortion, I can hear the other strings rustling against my fretting fingers. I usually just rest my picking hand fingers on the un-picked strings but I'll try actually moving the strings out the way too.

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guitaro
Apr 18 2021, 11:47 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Apr 2 2021, 03:02 PM) *
Hard to diagnose w/o hearing it.
Make a video.


Attached a video. Hope it will suffice. This is with brand new strings(.010-.046), brand new tail piece, tuned to E Standard. Playing through an ENGL e670 el34 going through a GigRig Pro 14(all pedals deactivated). Standard pickups. Please let me know what you think. Also playing in a small room.

I am playing facing towards the amp, not sure if this could affect sustain. I am sure the guitar is not fretting out as I raised the strings slightly and do some very wide bends and the note did not suddenly cut out. You can see how the sustain varies along the frets, not sure if it is my setup, my technique, my amp settings or something else.

I can post a better video if you need.

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Apr 2 2021, 03:31 PM) *
Could be many things. Has the guitar been set up by a luthier? Id' say that's step 1 if possible. Ken is spot on per usual, make a vid and let us see/hear what is going on?


Attached a video with description of my setup and conditions above. Thanks heaps.

https://youtu.be/DJi7AgOoHLw

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klasaine
Apr 18 2021, 03:47 PM
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Do those notes display the same behavior when you play completely clean and/or unplugged?

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guitaro
Apr 18 2021, 03:57 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Apr 18 2021, 02:47 PM) *
Do those notes display the same behavior when you play completely clean and/or unplugged?


Thanks for the reply, I will check for you tomorrow. Is it safe to say not is not an issue of 'fretting out/worn frets/high frets'? Thanks again.

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klasaine
Apr 18 2021, 04:47 PM
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In the vid it doesn't sound like a fret problem but with distortion it's difficult to tell.
No one can give you a definitive answer without actually playing your guitar.
I have seen a couple of times where certain notes interact with the instrument and either cut them off or sometimes make them louder. *A note that is noticeably louder even has a name - a Wolf Tone.

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jstcrsn
Apr 18 2021, 04:58 PM
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at 10 seconds you hit the 16th fret and it frets out and at 38 you hit the 16th fret and it does not bleed out , at 24 it starts as you start to bring your bend down on the 14 th fret which did not do it the first time you bent the 14th fret.
This leads me to believe ( if you have not raised or lowered your Bridge ) that your technique just needs a little polishing, your sustained notes are about as long as mine when I do the same thing and if you are wanting longer sustained bends , which is very hard because single string die so quickly, just a little work with the previous post and I think you will have what you are after

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guitaro
Apr 18 2021, 06:41 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Apr 18 2021, 03:58 PM) *
at 10 seconds you hit the 16th fret and it frets out and at 38 you hit the 16th fret and it does not bleed out , at 24 it starts as you start to bring your bend down on the 14 th fret which did not do it the first time you bent the 14th fret.
This leads me to believe ( if you have not raised or lowered your Bridge ) that your technique just needs a little polishing, your sustained notes are about as long as mine when I do the same thing and if you are wanting longer sustained bends , which is very hard because single string die so quickly, just a little work with the previous post and I think you will have what you are after


Good observation, I also noticed this when I made the video. Sometimes the sustain is longer, sometimes it is shorter. There were a few times in the video where I fudged up the bends too as you mentioned. The bridge has been raised a bit since I replaced the old tail piece with a brand new one and had to start from scratch in terms of string height.

I'm also thinking it could be if I am directly facing the amplifier or not that could have an affect? I tried to do the vibrato like you did in your video but couldn't get anywhere near as long. That was with the old strings and setup though so I will try again. Any left hand technique tips to gets that long sustain for the vibrato(finger right behind the fret? constant tension on the fret? Pacing of the up and down motion?)? Thanks again.

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