Does your guitar dictate what you play?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Steve Ouimette, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. Steve Ouimette

    Steve Ouimette Member

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    Have you noticed that each guitar, having a personality and feel of its own, tends to "tell" you what it wants you to play? Probably sounds a little odd but the longer I play and the more instruments I touch it seems each of them has a way of making me play differently each time.

    For instance I hadn't played Tele's until the last few years (was a die-hard Les Paul guy), and ever since picking it up it continues to push me more toward Country and chick'n pick'n. Les Pauls tend to lean more toward rock, classic rock, etc. And the oddball guitars...well, make me play more oddball material.

    This isn't necessarily while being plugged in either, just in picking them up. Of course they all have their own personalities but it's rather interesting to feel like 8 different guitars can lead to 8 very different sessions.

    Anyone else have this experience? I don't think I'm alone...
     
  2. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    To a certain extent. The different sounds they make are typically associated with specific artists and styles. It's only natural we gravitate toward those to a degree.
    Additionally, if you know your instruments well, you have a good ear for what they do and do not like to do. We all try to bring out our best and if you know you're playing a guitar that excels at screaming leads, fat power chords or twang, we'll use that to our advantage.
    Not much point in trying to out-twang Buck Owens with an Ibanez 8 string and a Diezel amp or trying to play Satriani on your 46 Silvertone archtop acoustic.
     
  3. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    How, perhaps, but not what.

    Different guitars will cause me to alter my technique or play certain ways, but I know the music I know.
     
  4. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val Member

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  5. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    Then you hear Page playing Dazed and Confused on a telecaster and everything goes out the window...
     
  6. pattste

    pattste Member

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    You're not alone. I think it works like that for most of us, to a certain extent at least. A guitar will influence the way you play in multiple ways from more or less conscious association with famous guitarists to how they look, sound or feel to you.
     
  7. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    Even big time pros will have their guitars set up for specific songs/sounds.
    That's why we have more than one isn't it?
     
  8. oldtelefart

    oldtelefart Member

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    I never used to have an interest in pedal steel bends............
     
  9. dubdub

    dubdub Member

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    Playing banjo in a metal band just wont sound right. I dont play country music though so my banjo only sees action when I do middle eastern sounding music to emulate a rubab
     
  10. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    you're making boundaries for yourself based on some expectation of what the "proper" guitar is for a certain type of music

    there's any number of classic records where the "wrong" guitar is used

    ie keef > acoustic > cassette recorder
     
  11. JPF

    JPF Member

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    Mine don't dictate, but they often make suggestions
     
  12. Zexcoil

    Zexcoil Gold Supporting Member Vendor

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    I let the music dictate which guitar I play, or more specifically: how it is configured.
     
  13. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    This is exactly what I was about to post. The OPs concept is reversed.
    The music drives the style and therefore the guitar. Not the other way around.
     
  14. thrashmetl

    thrashmetl Member

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    My 2 main guitars are a Tele and a Les Paul. Though I hybrid pick all the time on both guitars, I play each guitar very differently. The Tele twangs so I play twangier stuff on it, the LP doesn't twang, it's meaty and it rocks so I rock on the LP. If I roll back the tone knob on the Tele and up the gain a bit, I can definitely rock on the Tele too. I also find that I play faster on the Tele as well.
     
  15. monty

    monty Member

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    I tend to play the same stuff, regardless of what axe I have in my hands unless it is a acoustic.
     
  16. Steve Ouimette

    Steve Ouimette Member

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    Good points as well. I guess it depends on where you're coming from.
     
  17. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    Not sure what that means. What I mean is that if I have a jazz gig, I would probably take my Sweet 16 archtop. As opposed to playing my Sweet 16 making me play jazz.

    If I had an all around gig I'd probably use my Prospect. If it was more of a straight ahead rock gig, then I use a Strat.

    If I need to pound a nail into the wall I use a hammer. If I have to remove a screw I use a screwdriver. :D
     
  18. Steve Ouimette

    Steve Ouimette Member

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    Brian, what I meant is sometimes I come from the place where the Tele pushes me into a more Keef or country style whereas the Les Paul doesn't do that...it feels like it wants to rock a certain way.

    I see your point and do that as well. I mean, sure, if I'm looking for a certain sound or style I pick the appropriate guitar. It's just sometimes it's harder to get a style out of a guitar.

    Then again sometimes if all I have is a screwdriver to pound a nail into a wall I'll use it, lol. I come from the school of the mechanically declined though :)
     
  19. jota

    jota Member

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    I always find guitars sound similar in my hands but they make me play different.
    I notice that rosewood boards make play more rock than maple! But I think I play the same things on both.
     
  20. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    I tend to learn and work on material starting on acoustic. When I prepare to put that material on a stage, I decide which guitar will sound most appropriate. The ergonomics do come into play, but not much in terms of what right and left hand techniques do. I can accomplish anything that gets called for me to play any any guitar I use, but I would tend to prefer the tone equation of one over the other.
     

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