The left hand controls not only pitch, but also timbre.  A pitch played on the A string can be played higher up the fingerboard on the D string, and even higher on the G and C strings.  Shorter, thicker strings (high positions on the G and C strings) have fewer overtones and shorter decay.  The reduced decay time is particularly noticeable for pizzicato, as shown in the video below.


C4 is plucked on each string, with a similar force and plucking direction. The overtone content is weaker and decay time is shorter on the lower strings. I dampened all of the strings that I wasn’t playing (firstly with the chin, then with the fingers of the left hand) to prevent resonance from the other strings interfering with the impression of decay time.

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