+1 315 320 3808 contact@bestmusically.com

Have you ever heard of an acoustic phenomenon called phase cancellation? Unless you are a recording engineer you probably haven't heard about phase cancellation and are wondering what it has to do with playing guitar.

Essentially phase cancellation is like an audio 'black hole' or 'blind spot' where sound actually disappears, understanding how phase cancellation works can help you understand how to get the best sound from your group or recording project.

Here's a very simplified explanation of how it works on the guitar and then I'll give you some musical examples on how to avoid this problem, I certainly wish I knew this stuff when I started it would have saved me thousands of dollars and countless hours of frustrated guitar playing.

When two guitarist play the same chord in the exact same position on the guitar using the same chord voicing the resulting effect is similar to phase cancellation whereby the sound actually gets smaller! The result to the ears is a very thin and unnatural, hollow, sound.

Most guitarists are not aware of this issue, once you know what you are listen for you can spot the problem immediately. Anyone how has ever heard a room full of guitarists will know that twenty guitars are not necessarily better than one.

I initially discovered the phase cancellation problem when I bought my first four track recorder, naturally I thought four tracks of guitar would be much better than one track … wrong!

At first I thought I was losing my hearing or certain frequencies in my hearing at least; long story short, I ending up solving my problem (or so I thought) by trading in my four track and buying an eight track recorder; unfortunately my musical problems where only more obvious … the sounds became smaller and thinner despite substantial amounts of electronic outboard effects and numerous additional guitar tracks.

In hindsight it's obvious that my lack of understanding of how basic acoustics principle work was the problem not lack of musical knowledge.

Here's some practical ideas for you to try:

The following Chord progression could be played a number of ways here are just some of the possible ways to create interesting, full guitar chords for group playing or recording projects.

Chord progression

E /// | A2 /// |

Guitar 1: E

E
-0-
-0-
-1.
-2-
-2-
-0-

Guitar 2: E

E
-0-
-0-
-9-
-9-
-7-
-0-

Guitar 1: A2

A2
-0-
-0-
-2-
-2-
-0-
-x-

Guitar 2: A2

A2
-0-
-0-
-9-
-7-
-0-
-x-

If you are using two guitars the idea is have each guitar play a chord voicing (chord shape) that is not too close to the other guitar.

In the examples above I have the two guitar playing shapes that are far apart you could use many other versions that have the guitars playing closer together for a tighter sound.



Source by Mike P Hayes

Share And Help!

shares