How important is the actual guitar to your overall tone?

metropolis_4

Member
Messages
4,650
After playing for many many years, I've come to a realization that I really could care less about what solid body electric guitar I'm using. I basically have three criteria for a solid body electric guitar:

1. tuning stability
2. Solid Intonation
3. No fret issues

That's it. I've played so many different solid body's over the years, from just about every price range, and I've found that it really doesn't make any difference which one I'm using; I still just end up sounding like myself no matter what.

Overall, I think this is about what contributes to my overall tone (gear only, no 'player', 'hands', or other factors):

amp = 70%
pedals = 25%
guitar = 4.75%
cables/picks/tubes/strings/etc. = 0.25%

**I realize this will look entirely different for acoustic instruments, and even hollow body electrics**
 

Coldacre

Member
Messages
9,857
After playing for many many years, I've come to a realization that I really could care less about what solid body electric guitar I'm using.
going by what you've just said in your post, you really COULDN'T care less about what guitar you're playing.

:huh
 

Blix

Supporting Member
Messages
24,908
Nah, the guitar being just 4.75% is plain silly, it's at least 4.8%.

To be serious, there's monster difference in sound from say a strat to a Les Paul, so I think you are selling the guitars a bit short here.

I agree the amp might the most important part though, but it's all a system where every part is important.
 

Stratburst70

Member
Messages
5,488
After nearly 30 years of playing, I've come to the conclusion that I prefer a 25.5" scale with a fat neck and a relatively flat fretboard. I mostly go with single coil pickups or SC-sized humbuckers (I group so-called "noiseless" pickups in the latter category).

Everything else is negotiable. :cool:
 

Valtyr

Member
Messages
572
I find some designs far more comfortable than others. If it doesn't feel right, I don't want to play it. It is a balance though, if the guitar sounds bad then it doesn't matter how stable or comfortable it is.
 

59Bassman

Plank Cranker
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,841
I find that different guitars drive me to approach music differently. I'll agree that most folks don't give the amp enough credit, but I would put the guitar higher than the pedals, unless you're doing ambient stuff where the reverb/delay/phase wash is a significant part of your tone.
 

cclhuzhou

Member
Messages
4
I agree the amp might the most important part though, but it's all a system where every part is important.
 

Mr Analog

Member
Messages
693
That sounds about right if you're using a modeling amp or a ton of gain. Solid body electrics definitely lose their individual character if you crush the original tone and dynamics out of them.

For me, it breaks down to about 1/3 amp, 1/3 pedals and 1/3 guitar.
 

JPF

Member
Messages
8,715
The guitar makes a huge difference to me. I couldn't tell you how much is due to its inherent tones and how much is due to its feel, but my approach tends to vary depending on the instrument at the time.
 

Bluplirst

Supporting Member
Messages
1,466
That sounds about right if you're using a modeling amp or a ton of gain. Solid body electrics definitely lose their individual character if you crush the original tone and dynamics out of them.

For me, it breaks down to about 1/3 amp, 1/3 pedals and 1/3 guitar.

Truth. Wonder if the op uses a pod or something similar?
 

H. Mac

Member
Messages
2,115
For me the guitar is far more important than the amp, and music is far more important than tone. I can get by with almost any amp (I don't use pedals), but I can play my best only if the guitar inspires.

If a guitar doesn't impress me when I play it unamplified, there's nothing to gain by plugging it in.
 

Multicellular

Member
Messages
7,884
Guitar is probably more like 50% for me, but I use very little overdrive. If I used more, I'd drop that % a lot.
 

C-4

Member
Messages
13,347
I believe that every link in the chain means something. Change one link, and you change your tone. It may not be by a lot, but it changes.

The guitar means a lot to me. If I am not happy playing it, I cannot do my best. The amp means a lot to me as even if I love the guitar I am playing, without good amp tone, I fight it all night.

Foot toys can go either way, but I enjoy a few of them, and make sure they add something inspiring to my playing.

While I cannot break down into percentages each part, I know that if I am not 100% happy with all of my gear on a given night, that I can try to give 100%, but I'm not sure it is received as being 100% by the listener.
 

twitch

Member
Messages
641
I find some designs far more comfortable than others. If it doesn't feel right, I don't want to play it. It is a balance though, if the guitar sounds bad then it doesn't matter how stable or comfortable it is.
Yep, feel is super important to me. of course it needs to have a good sounds, stay in tune etc, and with the, the feel is huge. While it may not effect the "sound", if I am inot the feel of the guitar, I will play much better.
 

Serenity

Member
Messages
3,506
I prefer humbuckers to single coils, so as long as the guitar has buckers i'm good with pretty much anything. I can still tell the difference between guitars, but it's not a drastic alteration of my tone.
 




Trending Topics

Top