Tone and Technique

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by popsongsmith, Feb 13, 2008.


  1. popsongsmith

    popsongsmith Senior Member

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    When horn players talk about "tone", it's inextricably linked to technique. All good horn players own pro-level horns, but the horn itself is a minor part of the equation. It's the player who creates "tone".

    Why do we guitar players think we can buy "tone"?
     
  2. semi-hollowbody

    semi-hollowbody Member

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    how often do we hear a great famous guitarist play clean and dry...zero effects??
    NEVER...even our guitar-amp heros have some studio effects (bit of reverb or delay, compression) at the very least what we hear on the radio is compressed...so tone is not just in the fingers as a dry clean guitar to amp tone is boring...

    a good amp and a couple effects used subtly can go a long way, but will not make up for bad playing of course...

    technique is in the fingers, tone is in the rig
     
  3. TweedBassman

    TweedBassman Member

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    because there are more options gear-wise, more players overall, and more idolization of so-and-so's tone.

    kinda pickles and peanuts, same shape different size yanno?
     
  4. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

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    Tone is in the fingers, too.

    But collecting gear is FUN! And it does matter, somewhat.
     
  5. iggs

    iggs Member

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    Because I'm yet to figure out a way to create delay, phase, fuzz, distortion, wah, tremolo ...etc. with just my hands into a clean amp.
     
  6. popsongsmith

    popsongsmith Senior Member

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    Your Garcia quote is ironic, since Jerry's tone really WAS in his fingers...
     
  7. Franklin

    Franklin Member

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    YES!

    It is your picking technique that puts tone "in your fingers". Pick (thin, thick, material type), no pick, fingerpicks, angle of stroke, pressure of stroke, etc...

    That is what is meant by "tone is in the fingers"!


    :BEER
     
  8. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    horns have no place in music
    ;)
     
  9. SunnyRollins

    SunnyRollins Member

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    'cause we channel our fetishisms that way.
    Horn players rely only on their horns for that matter...
     
  10. teanett

    teanett Member

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    so you think horn players don't go on and on about certain selmers or kings or whatever there is?
    sax players go through several packs of reeds just to find "the one" fot the night.
    they'll chew yor ear off talking about mouthpieces, too, as do trumpet players.
    drummers can talk about cymbals all day long. i know drummers who own 30+ cymbals, and way too many snare drums for me to imagine any musical purpose.

    it's all the same.
    technique is essential but your gear is part of your sound.
     
  11. anxiousmofo

    anxiousmofo Member

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    That's why I'm trying to buy a horn player.
     
  12. GotGAS?

    GotGAS? Member

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    The tonal palette of horns and players is so small in comparison with what is available on the electric guitar. There isn't as much difference between Kenny G and Clarence Clemons playing different instruments in different registers as there is between Mark Knopfler on Sultans and Hendrix on Foxy Lady. At the end of the day, the only fair comparison is between horns and acoustic guitars--and Michael Hedges certainly showed everyone how far beyond the expected acoustic could go. We use our instruments (including amps and effects) in the service of creating sounds, while most other instruments are primarily about relatively limited variations of sound in service of producing notes. Phenomenally great jazz guitarists rarely change their sound beyond a little tweak of the tone knob, but they'll create much more harmonically complex parts than a hack like me will ever figure out.
     
  13. kldonegan

    kldonegan Member

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    Beware... the above excerpts are purely opinion-based. Not a very good opinion; one that hints at some plausible points, but it falls by the wayside since it must lead to the above statements. I'd say something like:

    Tone is absolutely in the hands. Put my basic rig in somebody else's hands and listen to it change completely. Put someone else's rig in my hands and it'll sound like me. Sounds are what we're creating with all these effects. Sounds are applied to our base tone. Sometimes, those sounds become integral parts of what we're doing. Strip them away, though and your basic tone is still intact.

    We must distinguish between tone and sound.

    We must also not forget that no piece of gear will do us as much good as spending time mastering our instruments. No piece of gear will make you better, but you becoming a better player will make all the difference in the world to your tone... your sounds, too, for that matter.
     
  14. Franklin

    Franklin Member

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    Yes, because of your fingers' technique! :dude
     
  15. opultam

    opultam Member

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    FTW, the reason is math*:

    Exhibit A:
    A good player sounds better than a bad player

    Exhibit B:
    A good guitar sounds better than a bad guitar

    Result:
    A good guitarist with a good guitar sounds better than a bad guitarist on a bad guitar




    *this is not actually math
     
  16. Dave

    Dave Member

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    I remember reading an interview with Dave Evans, aka The Edge, wherein he said, and I'm paraphrasing, that he doesn't fall in love with his guitars like some players do. To him the guitar is an obstacle between the music in his head and what comes out of the amp or goes to tape. Anything that makes that easier is welcome. I kind of feel the same way, not just about guitars, but my gear in general. Maybe it's just because I'm not very talented, but having the best gear I can afford helps. I don't think I can buy tone, I just want every advantage I can find.
     
  17. opultam

    opultam Member

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    I don't see how his FINGERS could make him louder than anyone else. Unless you mean that he used his FINGERS to turn the amp up. Or that he used his FINGERS to fork over the money for a louder amp. Or that he gave the FINGER to the rest of the band when they said "You're way too loud, Jerry"
     
  18. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

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    To continue the irony... Jerry talked a LOT about the need for players to develop a strong and complete sense of dynamics at ALL tempos. He correctly pointed out that most players unconsciously shift their dynamics when playing fast passages... becoming quieter, usually. Listen to Jerry, and he could emphasize individual notes within a long melodic theme at blinding speeds.

    Man, he had TONE FOR DAYS. And it was basically the same whether he played a Strat or an SG or an Alembic, through any old amps or effects. He could afford to be fussy about his tools, and he was, but his hands were magical.
     
  19. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    It might not be as good as a nice pedal, but you CAN make all those sounds with just your guitar hands and a good amp.

    delay - just play the same note just quieter each time
    phase - not easy but im sure you could get some sort of phasing sound out of working the tone knob
    fuzz - turn the amp up or put shove a screwdriver through your speaker
    distortion - turn the amp up
    wah - rock the tone knob on the guitar
    trem - quickly reapply pressure on your fingers with some cello like vibrato
     
  20. djinn1973

    djinn1973 Member

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    You can buy tone. But if you don't have the technique to go with it...
     

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