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dc.contributor.authorKemp, Jonathan A.
dc.identifier.citationKemp , J A 2020 , ' On inharmonicity in bass guitar strings with application to tapered and lumped constructions ' , SN Applied Sciences , vol. 2 , 636 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 266739834
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: ff2bea19-b781-474d-8c0a-3ac7b350aa97
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-3861-4863/work/70919996
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000532826500124
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85100801093
dc.description.abstractIn this study, the inharmonicity of bass guitar strings with and without areas of lowered and raised mass near the saddle is studied. Using a very high sample rate of over 900 kHz enabled finite difference time domain simulation to be applied for strings that simultaneously have nonzero stiffness and linear density which varies along the length of the string. Results are compared to experiments on specially constructed strings. Perturbation theory is demonstrated to be sufficiently accurate (and much more computationally efficient) for practical design purposes in reducing inharmonicity. The subject of inharmonicity is well known in pianos but has not been studied extensively in bass guitar strings. Here, the inharmonicity is found to be low in the lowest (open string) pitch on the five string bass guitar (B0) given typical standard construction. Conversely, the inharmonicity is high (around 100 cents at the 10th partial) when that string is sounded when stopped at the 12th fret and very high (around 100 cents at the 6th partial) when that string is stopped at the 21st fret. Bass guitar strings were constructed with three different constructions (standard, tapered and lumped) in order to demonstrate how incorporating a lump of raised mass near the saddle can achieve close to zero inharmonicity for the lower frequency partials. This also has potential in terms of improving the use of higher fret numbers for musical harmony (reducing beating) and also in controlling pitch glide that has, with some exceptions, often been attributed solely to nonlinear behaviour.
dc.relation.ispartofSN Applied Sciencesen
dc.rightsCopyright © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
dc.subjectBass guitaren
dc.subjectFinite differenceen
dc.subjectM Musicen
dc.titleOn inharmonicity in bass guitar strings with application to tapered and lumped constructionsen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Music Centreen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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