Learning Aims:
  • Understanding how to manipulate a string in order to get the required mode of vibration
  • Guitar or other string instrument
Suggestions for use:

In this activity, students apply the knowledge about fundamental frequency and its harmonics to a guitar string.
Harmonics are used to tune the string instrument. The understanding of harmonics is necessary to understand the concept of timbre.

Students watch YouTube video (http://youtu.be/4NFljc5mi-s?hd=1) to understand how to produce harmonics on a guitar string.

In similar way they have to produce harmonics on the real guitar.

In the figure above, some harmonics are represented.

Possible questions:
  • Define other possible positions to touch the string slightly to get the same harmonics as presented here.
  • For the situation in the graphic, at which positions could a frequency of 660 Hz be produced?
  • Can you hear these different modes of vibrations?
  • Which mode of vibration is used in guitar?
  • Is this true for any type of musical instruments?