Kimock atricle in GP - how do Peterson and Feiten feel?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by John_M, Nov 9, 2005.


  1. John_M

    John_M Supporting Member

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    Just got the new GP (Garcia) and was reading the mater class with Steve Kimock. The gist is how your guitar will never be in tune no matter what due to equal temperment and the ways to adjust using bends and pushes and pulls to make chords sound right.

    I thought it was really interesting then wondered how the full page ad buying Peterson Strobostomp and Buzz Feiten felt about this kind of material. :)

    oooops!
     
  2. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, all kidding aside, Kimock is kind of on the periphery, so I really don't think he's going to impact sales on either count, ya know...?
     
  3. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    I thought the examples of out of tune intervals he gave were *really* dramatic and illustrated the problem very well. You can tell Kimock has experimented with many things besides gear....;)
     
  4. John_M

    John_M Supporting Member

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    hehe - yeah - well when you're Jerry Garcias fave guitar player at the time, I guess it goes with the territory.

    Kimock is "avante guard" and on the periphery, but this was in their "Master Class" inferring this is the dude who knows the most.

    Just kinda funny.
     
  5. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't think either Feiten or Peterson would dispute the limitations of equal temperment, and their respective products were never meant to address that issue.

    As for Kimock being "avant garde" :confused:

    /rick
     
  6. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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    He's right though. The guitar is inherently flawed. It will never be in perfect tune because it is a fretted instrument. If someone wants perfect intonation, they might look into a Cello though!
     
  7. Memorex

    Memorex Member

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    Even a cellist with perfect pitch plays notes out of tune occasionally. That's a physical limitation of the human body. The only instruments for which it is possible to tune them to perfect pitch and keep them that way are electronic. And when you tune to perfect pitch, you can't play most tunes and have it sound any good, unless the tune stays in exactly one chord mode. Tuning is at best a compromise, and as long as an instrument is not so badly out of tune that it offends the ears, it's OK.
     
  8. screamingduck

    screamingduck Member

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    I also read the article and though you cannot argue with
    his points, the fact is that we guitar and keyboard players
    use a tempered tuning and our ears accept this as being
    in tune (necessary to play in the 12 major keys without
    having to retune before any key change).
    Ignorance must be bliss because I am more than happy to
    play within this system. In a way I kinda feel a bit sad for
    Mr. Kimock since it must be a source of perpetual frustration
    to be plagued by the very slight inconsistencies in the tempered
    tuning system.:p I'm just kidding of course...I think...:confused:
     
  9. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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    Yeah, Cellists are in fact human. But at least they have control over their own intonation. I wish it was easier for guitarists!
     
  10. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    John Entwistle supposedly suffered from the same affliction. He trained on french horn, which is a bear to play in tune and requires a strong ear. He said he found the intonation on electric guitars and basses almost unbearable.

    /rick
     
  11. John_M

    John_M Supporting Member

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    Kimock makes reference that he prefers to play lap steel as he's in control of intonation and that he busts his ass to play fretted guitar as he constantly pushes and pulls and bends strings to get the "resonance".
     
  12. Memorex

    Memorex Member

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    Now that I think about it, even if your guitar is so out of tune that it offends the ears, that may also be OK, it just depends on the kind of music you're into.
     
  13. Richard Guy

    Richard Guy Member

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    Steve Kimock and Eric Johnson have some similar traits when it comes to Guitar Playing and Musicianship as a 'System'. I do not mean this with any disrespect for either. I think it's great! Each are very fussy, Kimock possibly even more so. I would love to attend a workshop with both of them at the same time....Whew!!!
     
  14. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    food for thought: in doing some web surfing on the subject of temperament, I came across an article re equal temperament as it relates to clavichord (this was in regards to speculation as to what sort of temperament Bach may have been using when he wrote the "Well Tempered Clavier").

    Check out this sentence:

    "Equal temperament sounds OK on a modern piano, because it has a very thick sound which masks slight tuning errors. But you don't use it on harpsichords or clavichords, because it sounds slightly "off", but at the same time bland and boring."

    /rick
     
  15. elctmist

    elctmist Guest

    Well they hardly invented tempered tuning did they? Richard lloyd has an interesting discussion about this in Musical Q&A section under the question:

    "Hello Richard,
    I was having a discussion with some colleagues about why it's such a pain in the ass tuning the g string and keeping it in tune. Any insight?"

    http://www.richardlloyd.com/lessons/index.htm
     
  16. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    ...as in gear tastes, too... cmon the dood unplugs effects boxes mid gig when he's not using them... :rolleyes:

    makes Eric J look like a slacker...

    i appreciate Kimock as a great player, but honestly, anything gear related that comes outta him i take with a HUUUUUUUGE lump o' salt.
     
  17. Re: Entwistle's annoyance with poor intonation - that's a different issue than what Kimock's on about, I think. Entwistle's (and many other people's, including I think Feiten's) beef is with the fact that the guitar frequently won't give you the notes you want to hear; Kimock's is with what notes you want to hear in the first place.

    I'm not familiar with Kimock's playing (though I was aware of who he is), but when I skimmed the article in a bookstore, my basic reaction was: "He's right, but so what?" For one thing, the out-of-tune-ness in question is almost always a matter of a few (5 to 15 or so?) cents. Now, perhaps our modern tuning system is historically responsible for the fact that we expect to hear vibrato from stringed instruments, but I'd wager that lots, maybe most, guitar players' vibrato is going to encompass that many cents, which means they'll be swinging in and out of "tune" anyway, regardless of whether they're playing in equal temperament or if they're busting their ass a la Kimock to get the pure intervals. (Does his playing utilize no/very tight vibrato?) I also began to wonder about the musicians he plays with, especially if he plays with keyboardists. And for another thing, tuning systems *require* compromise. A guitarist or cellist could train their ears/fingers to always play the "pure" intervals relative to context, but that's not an option for every instrument; this, I believe, was the original point of, say, The Well Tempered Clavier. In Bach's time, a "well-tempered" instrument sounded different in different keys, and he wrote those pieces to accentuate/accomodate key differences; unlike today, a listener would've been able to tell if the C Major Prelude was played in Db. I think it was around Chopin's time that a new compromise was arrived at because of the growing interest in complex harmony and key changes; all things being equal, I'm happier with our system. And how far can you take this concept of Kimock's anyway? If you play an E followed by a G#, do you play the same G# against an E chord vs. a Cmaj#5 vs. Ebsus? If you froze each musical instant and attempted to achieve the "pure" intervals for the particular moment, those differences would matter. And drive you insane.
     
  18. marklyn

    marklyn Member

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    It would be easier for me to take it with a grain of salt if he didn't have such consistently great tone. Among the very best, for my tastes.
     
  19. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    To be honest....and no dis intended (this is just personal taste), after reading the article my first thought was:

    " ah-hah....so THAT's why I find his music so boring. He's so hung up with the minutae of intonation and "tone" that he's sucked the danger and EXCITEMENT out of the guitar".

    Again, just my opinion. I like some of the stuff he's played on, and he's obviously a talented musician, but his solo stuff just lacks life.

    -jim
     
  20. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Well since 99.999974 will not obsess over tuning as much as Kimock, I don't think Peterson/Feiten have any problems. Especially since every time you attack a note it goes sharp then settles on the pitch. In other words, intonation changes constantly. It also sounds more human, listen to Bill FrisellÂ… Peterson/Feiten simply came up with ways for mere mortals to take the imperfect system AND MAKE IT BETTER. Buzz Feiten simply patented a temperment and movement of the nut closer to the bridge. Both concepts that've been around for a long time. Actually, PRS has a patent on the nut placement...

    Since I'm not going to spend years modifying my playing style, I'll keep my Peterson tuner... its not a placebo either.;)
     

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