Sound: Changing Pitch – Playing the Guitar

Sound and pitch are explored with different guitars for KS2 music This short clip shows how using different length guitar strings can change the pitch of a sound. It is ideal for use as a lesson starter in KS2 science.

A movie is being made about a man who is trying to track down a bear. The movie director is trying to get the guitarist to produce a low sound that will represent the bear’s heavy footsteps. They experiment with several guitars and discover that different-sized guitars produce notes of different pitches.

The question for pupils is: how can you make higher- or lower-pitched sounds on a guitar?

See the accompanying teachers’ notes by primary science adviser John Stringer for further notes explaining the science behind the problems, and suggested extension activities.

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