I’ve been listening to lots of acoustic folky singer-songwriter stuff as is my wont, and am increasingly struck by huge amount of guitar squeak on it. Looking up the problem online I’ve read about special oiled strings to avoid it and also using the technique of lifting your hands off after playing a chord instead of sliding them along. It is possible to eliminate it – for instance you never hear any squeaking on Gillian Welch and David Rawlings songs. If I was a music producer I would operate a zero-tolerance squeak policy in my studio. I can’t understand why musicians who take so much trouble writing, singing and making a record are seemingly blind to the issue. Maybe singers are playing the guitar themselves and would be better hiring in more skilled performers. Perhaps more sophisticated and sensitive microphones tracked to every instrument exposes it whereas on older recordings you cannot hear it.
Either way it really gets to me like a high-pitched “chalk down a blackboard”, only worse, and I find myself awaiting the squeaks with growing intolerance. Does any one else notice it as much as I do? Also the guitarists among you, how do you tackle it?