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A guitar, like any other stringed instrument, uses the vibrations of an excited string to produce an audible sound. The strings of the instrument are fixed at each end. The strings vary in diameter and are put under different amounts of tension so as to produce specific notes. When the strings are excited they oscillate at a specific frequency that is determined by the length, L, of the string, the tension, T, of the string, and the linear density, r, of the string.

ωn =

1 T * ρ 2L

(equation courtesy of D’Addario Strings: www.daddario.com)

All points on the string oscillate at the same frequency, but they oscillate with different amplitudes as shown below:

Because each point on the string oscillates with the same frequency but different amplitudes, the string can be modeled as a collection of n point masses that vibrate back and forth and together form the shape of an oscillating string.

and the length of the string. .5 rad/sec Therefore. and L. m = (mass of the point on the string): ρL m= where n is the number of point masses. We can now model a point mass from the string as a mass attached to a spring. y0 . The amount that a point on the string is determined by the location at which the string is pulled back. An equation can be used to approximate x0 in terms of x p . n For a typical G-string on a guitar: ρ = 0. If part of the string is pulled to one side. x0 = x p sin( In the model for the string.We need to determined the amplitudes of each point mass before we can model the system.627*10^-4 kg for n = 10.6477 m ω n = 1231. the rest of the string is also pulled farther from its rest position.0056 kg/m L = 0. the location of the point on the string which is given by x0 and y0 . pi * y0 ) L Therefore. x0 is the amplitude of the oscillation of a point on the string. given by x p and y p . This will make calculating x0 easier and is equivalent to physically to plucking the string at its midpoint. Let’s assume that y p = ½*L. m=3. L.

The equation for the system is: mx + kx = u Taking the Laplace Transform of the equation gives: ms 2 Χ + kΧ = U The transfer function for the system is thus: Χ 1 G ( s) = = 2 U ms + k .

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