Thanks Pete Thorn for writing another interesting article for PG ...

Dad love mom

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Did anyone catch this? As Pete states, it's a topic often debated and waxed poetic on forums; frankly, it's a topic I think is absolutely an interesting one, especially in comparison to tone and technique vs. gear when discussing acoustic instruments (guitars included).

Well done, Pete, and thanks for the great read!

http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/23482-tone-tips-hands-vs-gear
 

snow and steel

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Mr. Thorn is spot on.

Of course, he's been around the bock a time or five on this stuff too. Many would do well to heed his advice.
 

Bobby D

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fingers trump gear every time.

I learned this the hard way as a young touring dude. once we were doing a week engagement in some god-forsaken town in north Georgia, I think Douglas GA?

the Friday night show was gonna be different - the club owner had a local band he wanted to "open" for us. no worries.

This rag tag band of dudes and a couple ladies show up, all of them have the crappiest gear imaginable and a pair of Shure Vocalmaster PA columns with the matching Shure powered mixer. Mind you, we have a 20,000 watt PA with full stacks tri-amped and a 24 channel mixer and rack effects and a soundman, etc. I offer to the dudes to use our PA and backline, but they decline and set up on the floor in front of the stage.

they were an all black funk band, and they proceeded to SLAY us six ways from sunday. tight, funky, great vocals, just destroyed our young white a$$es.....

And we had to follow them, whereupon half the crowd just left and we were left wondering "how did this happen"?

Fingers and groove will always trump gear. Gear can give you the tones and inspiration to play BETTER, but they won't MAKE you better.

Only you can make you better. It's called practice and always learning....
 

zenmindbeginner

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1,803
Tone is all in the hands?

Explains why Eddie's tone went from amazing & God-like to generic and uninspiring over the years... Eddie clearly got a hand transplant.
 

supergenius365

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bonamassa is incredible
He is correct, but ignores the point that pedals allow for different sounds - specifically over drives- at a more controlled volume. Not everybody is encouraged to crank their tweed Deluxe to full volume and wail away.
 

TheGuildedAge

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13,068
I still disagree.

Tone, in my opinion, is what the rig sounds like. A blackface Fender has a different tone than a Marshall, as does a tele to a Les Paul or a Rickenbacker into a Vox.

If you give anyone a Tele and Twin and say make this sound like a Les Paul through a Marshall, you can't.

Guitar is an expressive instrument. Your style and technique comes through on whatever you play. There is no doubt you can manipulate the dynamics, frequencies, etc., with your fingers, but the base tone has nothing to do with your hands.
 

Bobby D

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11,821
a better paintbrush ain't gonna make anyone Michelangelo.

YES.....good gear is inspirational. You get inspired by great tones, nice playing guitars, pickups, effects, amps, etc.

a great player can take nearly any amp and guitar and make it sound good. I have done gigs with a $400 mexi strat and a hot rod deluxe and sounded good enough for the gig. perhaps I didn't like it, but the tools can do the job.

in before someone brings up jeff beck :p
 

Blue410

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I suspect by this decade thousands of local heros have insisted that if they simply could have their Marshal head modded with the "secret" mods that a now deceased tech allegedly performed long ago on Eddie's amps their band's music will call to the masses and bring them arena-level fame and fortune (Note that the obsession is not simply to improve their tone to where they like it better, these guys project an entire universe of expectations into their gear search.)
 

rhp52

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1,885
I still disagree.


Guitar is an expressive instrument. Your style and technique comes through on whatever you play. There is no doubt you can manipulate the dynamics, frequencies, etc., with your fingers, but the base tone has nothing to do with your hands.
You might get an argument from Jack Pearson
 

bgh

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6,968
Quoted from his article: "Ive seen plenty of guitarists who start out playing rock and/or metal gradually change their tonal approach with practice and experience. As they hone their technique, they naturally gravitate towards playing with less distortion since a somewhat cleaner tone allows for more expression and uniqueness."

I really like what he said here. This is something that I found to be true in my journey. I started out with a very distorted, fuzz driven sound. Over the years I have cut back more and more and more ...

Quoted from his article: "It’s harder to play without all that overdrive and compression to help smooth out mistakes or sloppy technique, so I’m not suggesting that playing with a completely clean tone is always the way to go."

This one also has a lot of personal meaning to me. My biggest example of this in my life was seen when I bought my Mark IV. Mine is a very "immediate" amp - and a very honest amp. This, coupled with his quote above, caused my mistakes to become very, very glaring. I was immediately forced to work on perfecting my technique. It was one of the best moves I ever made. Getting a good piece of gear caused me to become a better player.

If I read "between the lines" of Pete's article, the word "balance" keeps popping up. He never comes out and uses the word, but it seems to apply to what he is saying. There is a balance between what your gear can provide, and how well you can interact with that gear.

Excellent article, @sinasl1!
 

burner

Member
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3,332
Quoted from his article: "Ive seen plenty of guitarists who start out playing rock and/or metal gradually change their tonal approach with practice and experience. As they hone their technique, they naturally gravitate towards playing with less distortion since a somewhat cleaner tone allows for more expression and uniqueness."

I really like what he said here. This is something that I found to be true in my journey. I started out with a very distorted, fuzz driven sound. Over the years I have cut back more and more and more ...

Quoted from his article: "It’s harder to play without all that overdrive and compression to help smooth out mistakes or sloppy technique, so I’m not suggesting that playing with a completely clean tone is always the way to go."

This one also has a lot of personal meaning to me. My biggest example of this in my life was seen when I bought my Mark IV. Mine is a very "immediate" amp - and a very honest amp. This, coupled with his quote above, caused my mistakes to become very, very glaring. I was immediately forced to work on perfecting my technique. It was one of the best moves I ever made. Getting a good piece of gear caused me to become a better player.

If I read "between the lines" of Pete's article, the word "balance" keeps popping up. He never comes out and uses the word, but it seems to apply to what he is saying. There is a balance between what your gear can provide, and how well you can interact with that gear.

Excellent article, @sinasl1!
Good post....very good post, particularly in reference to "balance".
This would appear to be a fairly obvious concept to grasp although for whatever reasons apparently many do not and continue to portray it as an either/or situation, lol.

Great article from Pete.
 




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