Does this make me a lazy guitar player?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Austin_Taunt, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. jamester

    jamester Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't know how hard or easy Kempers and the like are to use, because I function more like you do. So I have a couple single channel amps for my base tone and a ten pedal board that, along with my two main guitars, covers all my gigs and playing situations like jazz cocktail hours, blues jams, 80's/90's covers, and roots/country.

    I don't do hard rock or metal; I do a lot of covers, but they are not tributes to the point of authentic recreations of album tones and effects for every song. Rather, I've got a chorus pedal that covers The Police/Cure, Pink Floyd, John Scofield, and jazz/blues organ sounds.

    But the OP seems to be saying he needs that next level of authenticity...so to me if that's the case, rather than have some huge rig of amps and a giant pedalboard, just get a Kemper (or whatever modeller suits you) plus maybe a few choice pedals and be able to sculpt those exact tones as presets for your live set. Added bonus of having easy options for going direct, using IEM's, silent stages etc.. Those types of gigs are not my world, but if they were and it was my living I would go full modelling personally.
     
  2. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    This ^^^
    I made my living playing in "era" bands - a 50s/60s band, a surf band, played with some Elvi . Done a ton of cover bands where it was anything from Nail it note for note to play it whatever way you want. Plus original bands where I was playing my parts, or someone else's. You want to get it as close as you can, within reason. Yea, I'm playing Scotty Moore licks on a Strat or Brent Mason licks on a strat. Cause that is what I was playing. I've done surf stuff with a reverb pedal cause I didn't have an outboard tank. Something versatile, you are going to need to cover more than a few sounds, but again, you aren't going to nail all of them exactly anyway, just get as close as you can.

    And as for it being fun, well, I was doing it for the money, but the worst gig was still way more fun than the best day job. :)

    (Note:I recently did a gig with a guy I played with 40 years ago, bunch of original stuff. I went back and re-learned the songs, but I didn't learn the parts NFN, lol. I couldn't see spending a bunch of time learning to play like a 20 yr. old me. I was playing a LP back then. I did it on a strat now. Close enough, he was happy)
     
  3. Ejay

    Ejay Member

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    To me Kemper wasnt a rabbit hole at all...instead a great sounding solution that provides for many scenarios. Recording, light weight, “my sounds” in a box, cost efficiënt solutions..etc.

    That said...there’s no gig you cant do with an amp and a bunch of pedals....

    So..go for your sound...and maybe your desired logistics.
     
  4. soldersucker

    soldersucker Member

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    Don't leave home without a Cowboy hat and Tele and you will be fine.
     
  5. ChampReverb

    ChampReverb Silver Supporting Member

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    What would Tommy Tedeschi do?

    -bEn r.
     
  6. Wyatt Martin

    Wyatt Martin Member

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    In my opinion I wouldn't worry about it too much because all the tones you'll be chasing are generic for the most part. At least you aren't mimicking an iconic guitarist.

    Rich Eckhardt who plays for Toby Keith uses a Boss multi effects pedal (can't remember the model) but it used to be his sound regardless of what amp he'd run it into.

    Besides it's not like you're actually playing for Gretchen, Miranda and Carrie. My guess is whoever is singing isn't going to sound exactly like them either. And I'd remind them of that if it came down to it.
     
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  7. suparsonic

    suparsonic Member

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    At one stage I went AxeFx in my cover band. Tweaked and tweaked, the sound guy said he couldn’t keep up mixing all the different guitar tones. Long story short I’m back playing a 3 channel valve amp. You should be able to get ballpark tones with a handful of different drive pedals etc.
     
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  8. bobcs71

    bobcs71 Member

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    If you are trying to hit 18-20 songs spot on then I would go with a PRS (HB & coil tap) or Strat HSS guitar then a modeler. For the modeler I would suggest something like the Helix. To set it I would try to research the amp & effects used on the original recording. I would model the amp and effects for that song. Keep the modeling simple that way. The trick will be to have all your levels right.
     
  9. LqdSndDist

    LqdSndDist Member

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    I don’t get the point of note for note covers.... might as well just listen to the CD if I want to hear the artists version.

    I think live music should be a unique and different take on the song, it’s what makes a song I’ve heard hundreds of times interesting.
     
  10. Austin_Taunt

    Austin_Taunt Supporting Member

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    Yeah I get that. How I’ve always played covers. I would get the solos close by doing the signature parts but everything in between was my take. The main benefit of learning note for note is the break from my norm. I am forced to duplicate the nuances of another player. We all have our go to techniques we repeat more than we think. This does help me learn new ways to transition between licks. Im way more interested in playing solid than I am the tone. After suggestions here and speaking with friends that run the Fractal and Kemper modelers I’m going to pass on that nightmare. I also have nice tube amps that cost a lot of money. I can afford the digital stuff but knowing my luck the band will breakup in 4mo and I have stuff I don’t want to use and will take a huge hit on resale.
     
  11. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer New Mods On The Block Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    OP asks a question. Then, queue up the TGP "I'm way above playing in a tribute band" gang, and we're off to the races.

    I have a good friend back in Chicago (my home town). He's 60. GREAT guitar player and a heck of a vocalist. We used to be in bitchin' a band together 20 years ago. He's been in and out of bands for 40 years - once being this/close to being signed by a MAJOR label until the wheels fell off the project he was in.

    The last ten years or so, he's played in a couple bro-country bands. And he is currently in one of the (if not THE) top country bands in Chicago. They pack their gigs.

    That same band does a Kenny Chesney tribute. Nothing but KC. They'll do casino and theater gigs, and easily draw 1,000 screaming fans to their shows. When they do a show on the road, they actually do a small tour bus, get their rooms and food comped, etc. At the end of the gig, each member walks with $500 - $1,000.

    He has a blast - a bunch of screaming fans; excellent players in the band, and they get some nice pizza money for their efforts.

    To each their own, I guess.....

    Back to the OP - Get the songs down; correct keys, chops, stops, breaks, timing, etc. Play it note-for-note, or close to it. While your gear is secondary, sounds like your BadCat can get you where you need to go.

    My friend uses a Z Prescription Junior at smaller gigs and a Z Stang Ray for larger shows. He uses Strats and a LP -- and the band loves his tone. The other guitar player is a straight Tele guy. Thus, it's a good mix of sounds.

    On top of the chops and tone for your audition, make certain you are on time, easy to work with and a generally "good hang" before and after the audition. Good luck and have fun!
     
  12. Austin_Taunt

    Austin_Taunt Supporting Member

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    Great information thank you! You summed up the main reason I’m interested. This style group does get paid more. I don’t need the money as much as I would like to feed the ego. Getting paid $300 each 90min show and being done before midnight instead of the typical $100 a man and playing 10pm - 2am in a bar. This sounds way more appealing than the latter. It’s not about the money as much as maximizing your ability to work at the top of you profession in the cover scene.
     
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  13. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer New Mods On The Block Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Zactly. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, if that is what you desire to do. If you are covering other peoples' music, the worst case (if you don't get the gig) is that you have just learned a bunch more songs.

    My friend is having a blast with it.
     
  14. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    I would really want to explore what they meant in terms of matching exact gear. This can sometimes be silly and result in crazy expense for no reason.

    I just get a little suspicious when someone who plays very little guitar starts lecturing me about what gear I need. People start demanding things the original artists themselves would have no part of. Nobody exactly recreates tone, in real life. People get in the ballpark, with exceptions. I think musically, about what is musically necessary. But that is different from being OCD about trivial minutia.

    Just depends what they mean. Not every tribute band is the same.
     
  15. HeavyCream

    HeavyCream Member

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    One of the biggest parts of tone matching is using the right guitar/pup. If something is played on a Tele bridge, set your amp up as close as you can and play it on a Tele bridge pup. It makes a world of difference. You don’t need a Kemper.

    Sympathy for the Devil used to drive me nuts. Everywhere I looked, people said LP bridge. It’s very bright but it never sounded right on the bridge. Finally one day I realized It sounds more like the neck pup. I switched my LP to neck and there it was.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  16. Pelagic

    Pelagic Supporting Member

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    Some of this planet's finest musicians play in cover bands without ridicule. Symphony Orchestras...have fun!
     
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  17. Austin_Taunt

    Austin_Taunt Supporting Member

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    That is a great point!! Permission to use that next time some guy acts like I’m a lesser musician bc I don’t play all original?
     
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  18. guitarbilly74

    guitarbilly74 Supporting Member

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    I haven't done tributes but I've done a lot of sideman gigs and they usually ask you to match the tones of their records.

    First, I would avoid modeling if you are not familiar with it. There is definitely a learning curve and a larger margin for error. It's also very difficult to dial in a modeler at home and have it sit in the mix correctly right away, specially when you're new to them. Modeling is great when you have time to do pre-production with the band and preferably the FOH sound engineer. If the band is not using their own PA/engineer, then modeling can be even more challenging.

    I'd get an amp that is a clean platform and fairly neutral, a multi-fx unit with loops for analog pedals and good time-based, modulation effects and overdrives, like say the MS-3 or HXFX . Or you could it with pedals and a loop switching system, but that's going to be more expensive.
    Then use a few "amp in a box" pedals... for example a Tech 21 Blonde for Fender tones, a Tech 21 Liverpool for Vox tones and Carl martin Plexitone for Marshall tones (these are just example, use the ones you have or like).
    Set the "amp" pedals for an edge of breakup/light crunch tone so you can easily augment them with drives or clean them up with your guitar's volume or a negative boost (you can use an eq pedal for that by lowering the "level" slider to clean up and using the Eq section for any tone correction/compensation).
    Guitar-wise, a strat, tele and a solidbody Gibson should take care of most of your needs but again, that depends on the set list.

    That aside, learning tones is pretty much like learning songs. Listen to the songs closely and try to dial in your rig as close as possible. Make notes and save patches as you go, then go back and revise them a few times. Watch live performances and try to see what gear they are using live... that's especially helpful when it comes to choosing the right guitars. It's a fair amount of prep work but definitely doable if you really want the gig. The tones will never be 100% exact, but it's not hard to tell who did their homework and who didn't.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  19. Austin_Taunt

    Austin_Taunt Supporting Member

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    Heck yeah!! Thank you! After talking with a couple friends who use Kemper and Fractal they told me it wasn’t worth it for what I’m wanting to do. They said it would probably do it the best but the time needed to program would be huge. They play in an all original band and have a lot of time dialing their rigs in for their sound. Also said they are having issues with soundmen not being consistent bc they are always changing and they can’t get good monitor mixes.
     
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  20. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    Ftr, Tommy Tedesco, the studio guitarist.
     

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