guitar-cable-amp=better playing?

pedalbored

Member
Messages
540
All these years I've been playing a Strat Deluxe to a Boss pedalboard full of pedals,(compressor, delay, etc) then to my amp, usually a Fender Twin or a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 3.
I've always been really happy with my sounds and have gotten a few compliments on it. Lately, out of just being lazy, I just take my Strat to practice where the Drummer had an old Crate solid state amp with a 10" speaker I could use. So there I am at practice playing new country and rock with no effects and no amp I'm used to. Honestly, I've been liking the sounds I'm getting out of that simple setup. I've also noticed this setup has forced me to play better and making me more aware of what I'm playing, not having the crutch of the pedals. Keeping it simple-maybe thats the answer.
 

rollyfoster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,437
All these years I've been playing a Strat Deluxe to a Boss pedalboard full of pedals,(compressor, delay, etc) then to my amp, usually a Fender Twin or a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 3.
I've always been really happy with my sounds and have gotten a few compliments on it. Lately, out of just being lazy, I just take my Strat to practice where the Drummer had an old Crate solid state amp with a 10" speaker I could use. So there I am at practice playing new country and rock with no effects and no amp I'm used to. Honestly, I've been liking the sounds I'm getting out of that simple setup. I've also noticed this setup has forced me to play better and making me more aware of what I'm playing, not having the crutch of the pedals. Keeping it simple-maybe thats the answer.

Appropriate user name!
 

gtrdave

Member
Messages
6,052
Congrats! You've stumbled onto one of the bigger 'secrets' to playing the guitar: that what and how you play...your technique...is so much more important than your gear. The gear is only a means to communicate and meant to be a compliment to you, but too many people think that the gear will make them a better player. Better playing makes people better players. :)
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,714
Works for me with semi hollow and hollow playing jazz lines. But I play a Brunetti Singleman because I love the clean platform. When I want some dirt, no way I can get it without going crazy loud, then its pedal time. And so far I haven't figured out how to do delay or Vibe with my fingers ;). So gotta add a pedal when I want those things :)
 

rollyfoster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,437
I think a lot of people don't realize the importance of knowing your amp and guitar really well before adding the spice...drives and gain primarily.

I've done it myself in both directions (that's what she said) when getting an amp and plugging my existing board into it and chasing my tail trying to figure out how to make it work....or getting a new drive pedal and just shoving it into the chain and expecting results.

You aren't gonna make it work very quickly if you don't know what needs to be addressed. Spend time with the amp and guitar and figure out what they need.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,029
Disagree completely. Pedals allow you to add textures and color to you sound. They let you get more creative and do things you couldn't otherwise do. They're not a substitute for good playing, they're an enhancement to it.
 

twoheadedboy

Member
Messages
14,658
I don't think anything about keeping your rig simple directly translates to better playing. However, I think it's possible to get distracted by a complicated rig in such a way that you don't pay enough attention the the specifics of your playing. In those cases, a simpler rig can indirectly lead to better playing by eliminating distraction.
 

27sauce

Member
Messages
37,193
I think monitoring, however you want to take that, is more important.

I play best when I can hear what I'm doing, in context, and I like what I hear.

I don't play so well when I can't hear myself, or when I can only hear myself.
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,714
There often seems to be this tension between amount of gear versus simplicity. And that seems to bleed over into associating simplicity with things being "better", whether it be tone or playing ability.

But there are so many great players that have lots of effects in their chain, Gilmour, Holdsworth, Metheny would just be a few well known examples. At the same time there are great players with very simple rigs, for example Julian Lage.

I guess to be fair, it's reasonable to say that most great players likely got really good with simpler rigs long before they became famous and had complicated rigs.

Regardless of simple or complicated, being a better player involves practice. If simplification makes that practice time more fruitful, then it's all good.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
25,061
Disagree completely. Pedals allow you to add textures and color to you sound. They let you get more creative and do things you couldn't otherwise do. They're not a substitute for good playing, they're an enhancement to it.

On one hand, yeah.

On the other hand, I listen to pre-electric Miles or Coltrane and think "How many textures and colors did they need for the gig?"

For personal reasons, I try to play with basically two sounds for the evening. My base sound, and a sound with additional "warble".
 

neastguy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,229
I haven't brought my pedalboard to my last several gigs and its great.. play better when I'm not looking at pedals to step on
 
Messages
1,686
I go back and forth. I actually prefer straight into the amp (sans a loop pedal because I usually play by myself) most of the time, but I do like to do some really creative things with delay, hall reverb, and vibe from time to time. I like the psychedelic nature of these effects when pushed a little harder than what most people do, but 90% of the time is pure clean. I use OD less an less these days but sometimes a little OD is great too.
 

27sauce

Member
Messages
37,193
in which scenario will I play better?

Clean one channel, non master volume amp with OD pedal.

Or

2 channel amp with master volume and no pedals.
 

Crowder

Dang Twangler
Messages
19,089
Mix it up, no problem with that. Playing straight into the amp can cause you to pay more attention to your hands, your sound, how you use the controls on your guitar, etc. It doesn't mean you have to neglect pedals forever.
 

clarkram

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,164
Disagree completely. Pedals allow you to add textures and color to you sound. They let you get more creative and do things you couldn't otherwise do. They're not a substitute for good playing, they're an enhancement to it.

I agree, but most people I encounter (think typical bar band) use them as a crutch and frankly use them too much to the detriment of their sound.
Someone who uses pedals tastefully, musically, can be a joy to listen to.

I am biased, I prefer to plug n play my amp, typically a Komet Constellation........on that platform pedals are a waste.
 




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