Tons of Tone but No Groove ...

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Scott Auld, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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    This happened to us Friday night. I was really digging the sound my Tele and Amp were creating together, Every pedal sounded so so fine, but ... the band just didn't seem to gel. It seemed like we were just not hitting that point where the music could take over. It kinda had that "pushing a rope uphill" feel to it. I guess it didn't help that the drummer was out of sorts from missing a practice earlier in the week.

    Despite the excellent sounds coming out of the amps, I just was not enjoying the lack of groove. It kind of felt like we were out of gas even from the first song.

    Naturally, best of both worlds is to have both tone and groove rocking. But given a choice of only one, I'll take the groove every time.

    Anyone else have those days sometimes?
     
  2. stratman89

    stratman89 Supporting Member

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    That is exactly it, just one of those days.

    Unfortunately the lack of groove was bad drummer timing for our band. After almost four years of "pushing the rope uphill" we recently replaced our drummer and it has made a world of difference.
     
  3. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    the two usually go hand in hand for me...if my guitar sound is happening it's one less thing for me to worry about and then I can usually lock with most situations...within reason of course:p

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  4. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    Tone is an onanistic, selfish concept. Fun and nice when it's there, but it usually has next to nothing to do with anything that counts in the overall performance.

    Unfortunately, thinking we have "good tone" often makes us want to play more and necessarily involves listening to yourself..... when a band not locking calls for a good musician to play LESS...........simplify and listen deeply to everyone else.
     
  5. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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    Friday night was an exception ... there is usually a point for us where it just locks in and runs away from us with glee. Those are the moments I wait for. It just didn't happen Friday night. :) Head games.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  6. alainguitars

    alainguitars Member

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    I'm as obsessed about tone as anyone, but if you ask me what i like most about music, it's the involuntary need to tap your foot or move your body. In other words groove. If that's not happening go to the library and read a good book.
     
  7. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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    Right, Alain, and it takes two to tango. When the chemistry isn't happening between the parts, when it's not happening ... you can't just walk off stage and go to the library and read a book :D and it is a tough job to keep ploughing on through ... but we do ... sometimes it's bliss, other times a struggle.
     
  8. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Interesting viewpoint.

    I usually find I play better and listen to myself less when I think my tone is good. I know my amps & guitars pretty well, it doesn't take me very long before a gig to get them dialed in. If I sound good, I feel good that I don't have to pay attention to the amp and I can just focus on locking in with my band.

    Once I put my earplugs in, I have to take it on faith that I sound good out front anyway, because nothing kills your tone like solid silicone plugs anyway.

    If I can't get my amp dialed in before the set starts, I'm constantly wondering if I sound like crap, can I do anything about it, should I switch guitars, maybe tweak the treble a little, drop the presence... etc.

    I know the folks in my band will be distracted if I sound like crap, too. Then everybody's paying attention to my crappy sound and not paying attention to what they're supposed to be paying attention to - namely, the song, the performance, etc.

    Jim, I usually get a lot out of your posts and respect what you have to say, but saying that wanting to have good tone is masturbatory and selfish isn't something I agree with.

    --chiba
     
  9. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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    Sup Wes, long time no see :) What I got from Jim's post was simply that when it's not gellin, it's time to play less and listen more. Maybe I missed his point?
     
  10. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Maybe I did.

    --chiba
     
  11. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    thankyou...this nailed it for me...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  12. loofery

    loofery Member

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    Agree with the viewpoint that if your tone is good, you find it easier to lock in with the band and play from the soul.
     
  13. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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    Of course that's true, but isn't it kinda the opposite of what I wrote in teh OP? On Friday, the tone was excellent, but the band chemistry was wacked. Two of the members turned out to be having a very bad weeks. There seemed to be confusion several times on stage.

    My point was that, of course great tone helps everything, but since just I got a feel for what it's like with tone but no groove, given a choice of only one, I'll take the groove.

    IMHO of course.
     
  14. trower

    trower Silver Supporting Member

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    Sounds like it was an issue of irony. Here your groovin' on a sweet tone that for some is hard to find every gig and the band isn't gel'n. I get it. Could have been worse. Your amp could have blew a fuse..or the audience so dead, you could hear a mouse peeing on a cotton ball.
     
  15. Lightningrt

    Lightningrt Member

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    Interesting, and I think I agree.

    I too find that a good tone helps me play "better" - that is I feel good and content and can get inspired easier without worrying about how I sound. In other words it allows me to concentrate on my playing.

    However, the band I'm in rehearse without our regular gear in a rehearsal studio. The sound is poor to say the least -not a tube amp in sight - or a decent cymbal, and I take one guitar - a Strat- to cover all the numbers - even those that are Les Paul songs. It is NOT a representation of our live sound in any shape or form.

    Sometimes the poor tone can affect the rehearsal - usually when an amp,speaker,mic or snare drum is on it's way out. However you still get a groove going, and know when to run through a song again or change something to improve it.

    When a gig comes along after a coupla weeks of rehearsing in the studio, and we use our own gear, it gives us a lift before we start. I know that the drummer and myself really appreciate it, and it helps us- we remark upon it often, and it can make for a good gig.

    BUT... the rehearsal is the key. Even a good tone can't replace the groove you get from playing together and working together. Good tone really shouldn't be an added bonus but sometimes is.

    Sometimes the poor rehearsal room gear can make things a challenge. For example we are doing two new numbers at our next gig on Saturday without ever having played them with our own amps, drums etc. That is a challenge, but again the rehearsals should help us.

    Sorry... another long reply from Mr T
     
  16. Goldie295

    Goldie295 Senior Member

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    I find never plugging in at home has helped me to improve my tone at gigs. Anything sounds better than an unplugged electric so you instantly get an inspiring sound and because you play on a regular basis without relying on the amp your control of the guitars natural tone is much better.

    If the band aren't groovin' it is nearly always the drummers fault. They are the key stone to any great band.

    Cheers,
    Phil
     

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