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Thread: Feedback Trouble

  1. #1
    Registered User The Pecker's Avatar
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    Feedback Trouble

    Hey everyone,

    I've been having some serious problems with feeback lately and was wondering if anyone could offer me some advice. I searched for a similar topic but didn't find anything very related...

    I play mainly on an SG, and used to pick with my hand anchored on the bridge. Within the last few months, I changed my picking hand to resting my fingers on the body below the strings and floating my wrist. I play a decent amount of high-gain stuff and solo quite often. When soloing, I will be playing and the strings that I am not playing will start to vibrate a little and feedback alot. For example, I'll be playing on the B and high E strings and the E, A, D and sometimes G strings will ring out and feedback horribly. It is sometimes hard to hear what I'm soloing when the other strings are feedbacking so much, and I can't change my picking hand placement because I can't play nearly as good when my hand is anchored to the bridge. I'm using a Boss GT-10 that has 2 noise suppressors built in which I use. It doesn't help much at all. Of course it does when I turn the threshold way up, but then my tone turns to s**t and everything sounds like crap.

    I'm starting to play alot more live and do much more recording, so I really need to fix this. Has anyone else encountered this problem? How do you guys stop feedback when soloing at high gain?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Muting! You need to mute any strings you're not playing. You can use either hand. If your right hand technique doesn't permit it at the bridge end, you need to use your left hand, using any spare fingers.
    This is fundamental technique. You need to be doing this automatically before you start improvising with high distortion and/or compression. That guitar is going to make its own noises if you do nothing! So you need to stop those noises first before you make your own. It may mean a whole new fretting technique for you, but that's what you need to do.
    Beyond that, if you're clever, you can incorporate the feedback into your creative style - you can learn to control it by allowing only wanted strings or notes to feedback. But it still begins from a solid fret-muting technique as foundation.

  3. #3
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    sounds like you need to invest in a noise gate or something similar. Just about every pedal company makes em. You can get em rack mounted too. PM for more info. Gear talk isn't allowed in the forums.

  4. #4
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metaljustice83
    sounds like you need to invest in a noise gate or something similar. Just about every pedal company makes em. You can get em rack mounted too. PM for more info. Gear talk isn't allowed in the forums.
    Like he said, he has noise suppressors in his gear, but they don't help (enough).
    Noise gates are part of the answer - will inhibit background buzzes and hums - but they're not designed to cut out unmuted strings or feedback. (As he says, you can turn them way up, but then you lose essential qualities of the sound, esp sustain.)

    The truth is, high gain is a tricky area to master. It's all about manual control - stopping what you don't want as well as playing what you do.

  5. #5
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    true, every different suppressors responds differently. You may have to eq a little differently.

  6. #6
    He's dark. He's a man. Darkman's Avatar
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    Muting

  7. #7
    Registered User The Pecker's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your replies. I'm not really sure if a noise gate would do much - I'm already using one noise suppressor and could use a second if I wanted to, but they don't seem to help enough and they destroy my tone when I turn em way up.
    I agree with the fact that the left hand should try and mute strings if my right hand can't, but how do I mute the low E string when playing on the B or high E? The low E rings out and feedbacks the most when I'm playing other strings. I just don't know how I could be playing higher strings and mute the low E also with my left hand.

  8. #8
    He's dark. He's a man. Darkman's Avatar
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    Your left hand can mute some strings by resting your fretting finger lightly against the string next to it. But the other lower strings will still have to be muted by your right hand. There's no escaping it. You must rest (or lightly touch) your right palm on the lower strings.

    Arguably you could use your thumb to mute the sixth string, but that would give you incorrect hand position for 3nps and fast playing.

    Half the work of playing an electric guitar is keeping the damn thing quiet

  9. #9
    Registered User The Pecker's Avatar
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    Thanks Darkman. But if one must rest or touch his right palm on the strings, how do high-gain floaters like Paul Gilbert or Zakk Wylde seem to play with no noise? I know that he palm mutes when on the lower three strings, but by watching "Intense Rock" multiple times it seems that when hes playing the higher three strings, hes not muting the lower three but still doesn't get any feedback. I could be wrong, but it just looks that by the way his hand is positioned.
    Last edited by The Pecker; 03-25-2009 at 06:37 AM.

  10. #10
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pecker
    Thanks Darkman. But if one must rest or touch his right palm on the strings, how do high-gain floaters like Paul Gilbert or Zakk Wylde seem to play with no noise? I know that he palm mutes when on the lower three strings, but by watching "Intense Rock" multiple times it seems that when hes playing the higher three strings, hes not muting the lower three but still doesn't get any feedback. I could be wrong, but it just looks that by the way his hand is positioned.
    Looking at this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPlSWK8_F-U
    I'd say for most of the time his right hand is touching the lower strings (when he isn't playing them) - palm muting as you say. There's hardly any time when he lifts his hand out of that position.
    If he does, it's not for long enough to allow feedback to build - and there are other points, perhaps:
    Your position relative to the amp is important. If you face the amp, you'll get feedback. Face away from the amp, with your body between, it's much less likely.
    Your technique in general needs to be precise. Are you sure you're not occasionally hitting the other open strings (with left or right)?
    You could also try turning down the gain a little (I don't think PG is using a tremendous amount on that video).

  11. #11
    Registered User The Pecker's Avatar
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    Oh man... every time I see that intro solo it still kills me! PG really rips it up.

    I do see what you're saying about PG's hand position. I just thought since he was floating he wouldn't haven't his hand actually muting the strings all the time.

    As far as the position of me vs. the amp, I'm always facing away from the amp. I've noticed though, that on my other guitars, the other strings don't ring out as bad as they do on my SG. When I'm soloing on my strat its not nearly as bad, although it still happens a little bit. I can solo aggressively on the high E and B strings without the low E vibrating very much, unlike my SG. I can't figure out what to make of that. Any ideas?

  12. #12
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    I always figured a bit of a palm mute in the "floating style" was acceptable. I figured that just as long as you don't "anchor" your good. Sorry kinda off/on topic.

  13. #13
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pecker
    Oh man... every time I see that intro solo it still kills me! PG really rips it up.

    I do see what you're saying about PG's hand position. I just thought since he was floating he wouldn't haven't his hand actually muting the strings all the time.

    As far as the position of me vs. the amp, I'm always facing away from the amp. I've noticed though, that on my other guitars, the other strings don't ring out as bad as they do on my SG. When I'm soloing on my strat its not nearly as bad, although it still happens a little bit. I can solo aggressively on the high E and B strings without the low E vibrating very much, unlike my SG. I can't figure out what to make of that. Any ideas?
    Only that the SGs pickups (humbuckers) are more powerful than a Strat's. Higher output means more gain, even before you start raising the gain on the amp.

    These links may contain other hints or tips:
    http://www.guitarsite.com/discussion...es/23765.shtml
    http://music-electronics-forum.com/s...ead.php?t=6242
    http://homerecording.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=183481
    http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...php?p=29691340

  14. #14
    Registered User The Pecker's Avatar
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    Thanks JonR for the links. I noticed on one of those somewhat stated that lower action can cause more feedback. The action on my SG is quite low, the lowest of all my guitars... Has anyone else confirmed that there is a relationship between feedback and action? I might try that out....

  15. #15
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pecker
    Thanks JonR for the links. I noticed on one of those somewhat stated that lower action can cause more feedback. The action on my SG is quite low, the lowest of all my guitars... Has anyone else confirmed that there is a relationship between feedback and action? I might try that out....
    Hmm, I didn't read that bit. I suspect it's to do with how close the strings are to the pickups, not to the frets. (Just guessing, mind...)

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