Does playing modeling amp make you a worse player?

rippingrudy

Senior Member
Messages
1,126
So I noticed that when I play my Line 6 Spider IV practice amp that it's REALLY EASY to play pretty much anything. All the compression and gain make it super easy to pull off all my fancy licks.

When I turn off my Line 6 and fire up my Bogner Shiva or Ecstasy it's almost like I need to learn to play all over again. The Bogner (or Marshall, or any other tube amp) react in a different way. They don't have the same sustain or compression - you have to fight for all the glory that comes with hammer on's and pull offs and arpeggios and fast picking.

I believe that playing a modeling amp most of the time will degrade your technical skill.

Anyone else notice this?
 

Kitten Cannon

Member
Messages
4,697
If playing a Line 6 Spyder makes you sound worse on a real amp, I hope I never hear anyone from Guitar Center plug into a real amp.
 

Turbo Gerbil

Member
Messages
5,378
I think the problem is more that you don't know how to set the modeling amp up to react more like a real one. You can turn the saturation knob "down" you know.
 

burningyen

Member
Messages
14,746
Not all modeling amps are created equal, and there may be ways to dial down the "forgiveness" that you have missed. Without my modeler I'd have no way to practice guitar at all. So I'd say having a modeler has made me a better player than I would be otherwise.
 

Pat Healy

Senior Member
Messages
10,952
Not all modeling amps are created equal, and there may be ways to dial down the "forgiveness" that you have missed. .
Dialing down the forgiveness is a great way to put it. The OP makes a good point....on first look at the title, I was like, "No," but it is easy to "dial up the forgiveness" on a modeler. I have a JCM800 patch on my Axe-FX that's pure liquid legato bliss, and it's lots of fun to play, but it doesn't behave like a real amp and it allows me to be sloppier. I do know how to dial it down, but it's not as much fun.
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,222
So I noticed that when I play my Line 6 Spider IV practice amp that it's REALLY EASY to play pretty much anything. All the compression and gain make it super easy to pull off all my fancy licks.

When I turn off my Line 6 and fire up my Bogner Shiva or Ecstasy it's almost like I need to learn to play all over again. The Bogner (or Marshall, or any other tube amp) react in a different way. They don't have the same sustain or compression - you have to fight for all the glory that comes with hammer on's and pull offs and arpeggios and fast picking.

I believe that playing a modeling amp most of the time will degrade your technical skill.

Anyone else notice this?
It's not the modeling. It's all the distortion, compression and gain. And that's only a negative if a player becomes dependent on it.
 

badhorsie551

Member
Messages
2,142
I practice with a spider amp most of the time and when I switch to my tube amp I can't say I have that problem.

Play with less gain,fiddle with eq, and play with some of the other channel settings.
I try to play with a sound that's close to my regular tube amp as much as possible when volume is an issue for practice.
 

rippingrudy

Senior Member
Messages
1,126
All you guys that disagree - can you post links to video of you shredding cleanly on a tube amp with low gain? That way I know who is a troll and who I should actually discuss this with. Hahaha
 

Zingeroo

Member
Messages
4,348
I have a JCM800 patch on my Axe-FX that's pure liquid legato bliss, and it's lots of fun to play, but it doesn't behave like a real amp and it allows me to be sloppier. I do know how to dial it down, but it's not as much fun.
Makes me question how accurate those models are. I've never played a JCM800 that has that liquidy legato sound without at least an overdrive goosing it.
 

Zingeroo

Member
Messages
4,348
I practice with a spider amp most of the time and when I switch to my tube amp I can't say I have that problem.

Play with less gain,fiddle with eq, and play with some of the other channel settings.
I try to play with a sound that's close to my regular tube amp as much as possible when volume is an issue for practice.

Yeah, I think the point of a modeling practice amp is to get as close to the sound of your gig rig, so you can, you know, PRACTICE.

Yeah, super compressed liquid legato stuff is truly fun, greasy kid stuff, but it rarely cuts through well on stage, and lacks dynamics that you need playing live.
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,222
All you guys that disagree - can you post links to video of you shredding cleanly on a tube amp with low gain? That way I know who is a troll and who I should actually discuss this with. Hahaha
I disagreed on the general "modeling amp" reference.

There's a lot of modeling that's low gain or no gain. It's all the gain that usually doesn't come from a tube amp unless it's really being pushed by something.

Actually I often model a Hammond B-3 and other keyboard instruments. Those models require that your technique be much more strict to avoid a lot of noise and ghost notes. Practicing them makes you play better.

So like I said...it ain't the model, it's the excessive gain.
 

GhostMan

Senior Member
Messages
155
Modellers are like autopilots and gps. A tool for some, a crutch for others. I don't need a modeler but a line 6 pocket pod is easier to throw into a suitcase on my way to China then a Marshall Stack. LOL.
 

EricPeterson

Senior Member
Messages
49,016
Modellers are like autopilots and gps. A tool for some, a crutch for others. I don't need a modeler but a line 6 pocket pod is easier to throw into a suitcase on my way to China then a Marshall Stack. LOL.
I guess if you like FAKE things, modelers are alright.










(no offense to modelers, this is a joke on old bobbyjoe here, carry on). :)
 

ksandvik

Member
Messages
6,328
The only drawback I could think of is that when someone finally plays a good tube amp they will be confused about all the nuances and dynamic level changes that will change the tone of their guitar.
 

Pitar

Member
Messages
1,858
So I noticed that when I play my Line 6 Spider IV practice amp that it's REALLY EASY to play pretty much anything. All the compression and gain make it super easy to pull off all my fancy licks.

When I turn off my Line 6 and fire up my Bogner Shiva or Ecstasy it's almost like I need to learn to play all over again. The Bogner (or Marshall, or any other tube amp) react in a different way. They don't have the same sustain or compression - you have to fight for all the glory that comes with hammer on's and pull offs and arpeggios and fast picking.

I believe that playing a modeling amp most of the time will degrade your technical skill.

Anyone else notice this?
Depends on the person. if you have the chops nothing will degrade them. Nothing. But, you can get lazy. I've been seeing a lot of looping live acts at my venue and have to admit I think of it as glorified karaoke. The audience is less prone to give it up to someone who waltzes the looper all night. If you're good you don't need loopers or modeling amps. You may think you need it but when someone comes along who knows really good players who don't use it your notions don't hold up. So, yes, you have to be really good to be able to use any embellishments correctly and if you can nothing of the likes of them will degrade your skills.
 




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