Strings and string noise/ screech!

Posted by Andy on 22nd March 2018

Here's a message from a student and my response, hopefully helps some of your guys out! 


Hi Andy, I really enjoy the lessons. I am still very much a beginner, still at the guitar tormenting stage. As I have hands very much modeled on bunches of bananas, I much prefer using power chords. However, I experience a lot of string screech, like something rubbing along a cheese grater. I have tried different strings and string lubrication to no avail. Reducing pressure before sliding does not improve things either. is it something you have come across and is there a solution? Kind regards, Graham Thomas
2 days ago
Well, these are the strings I use. If it still happens with those then it has to be your technique, or just something you;ve noticed that you now can't stop noticing. Can't think of anything else sorry. Andy


Thanks, it is very kind of you to reply. I think it is a bit of each. Strings, technique and over-analysing. I shall keep working at it.

By Andy

By Martin on 24th March 2018 at 18:21

Hi Graham, I use D'Addario phosphor bronze extra light strings on my acoustic and don't get much screeching compared to the strings that were on the guitar when I bought it. Hope they have the same effect for you too!

By Martin on 26th March 2018 at 09:25

So many variables and a lot of it is so subjective but two things you might not have considered would be your playing dynamics and your listening environment.

If you're picking/plucking/strumming lightly but still getting there with chord changes / fretting /left hand accuracy you might have less dynamic range between the sounds you're trying to play and all of the peripheral noise that comes from working with noisy resonant bits of wood!

Also where you play can make a big difference to the sounds and frequencies you perceive. If you're getting a lot of reflections from high frequencies or high midrange because your playing environment has lots of hard / reflective surfaces - this could add to your perception of some of these extraneous noises. I still think they'll go away with practice though :)