What makes a good guitar demo?

Discussion in 'Guitar Demo Videos and Soundclips' started by GEN DAWG, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. GEN DAWG

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm interested in what folks think makes a good GUITAR demo. I make them from time to time as a hobby, and I have some opinions about what I think makes a demo good. This is meant as a wide-open question, but here are a few concepts I'd like people to address:
    * Talking by the demo maker; is it helpful?
    *How do you make sure you are showing what the GUITAR can do, rather than whatever amps / effects you are using?
    *Backing tracks -- are they helpful, or would you rather just hear a guitar playing on its own?
    *Actual video footage, e.g., of the player playing the guitar, versus a series of still images showing details of the guitar?
    *What annoys you most about certain demos?
    *What do you like most about certain demos?

    Would love to hear what y'all have to say.
     
  2. plaintopper

    plaintopper Member

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    I don't want to hear any effects other than a touch of reverb. A bunch of pedals is a pedal demo, not a guitar demo.

    I don't want much time spent on pure clean tones unless it is guitar likely to be used for jazz, etc.

    I do want to hear a good variety of edge of breakup to mid gain sounds ideally through a familiar type of amp that most people can relate to, with the EQ set neutrally. I would rather hear amp breakup than a pedal, but light OD pedal is fine if that's what it takes. I also appreciate hearing all pickup combinations, tone and volume controls tweaked at least a bit. I like a demo to show if the strings ring out clearly up and down the neck.

    Playing wise just a nice mix of rhythm/chords and some soloing -- preferably soloing that shows how sustained notes sound as opposed to too much shred/speed stuff. I can take or leave a backing track, but it should definitely farther under in the mix than normal.

    I really don't need to hear much if any super high gain sounds in a demo. By the time it gets compressed in a video demo on line it all starts sounding the same anyway.

    Oh, and some reviewer comments on fit/finish/playability/neck size are always good. I would rather watch the reviewer play than see stills of the guitar.
     
  3. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    I do like to hear cleans as well as mild breakup and crunch.

    I hate when demo people talk and talk and talk. And talk.

    Play the damned thing already.

    Through a Fender, a Vox, and a Marshall if possible. Zero effects except lite reverb.

    Some demos are so bad cause dude cant play.

    Just strum a few chords play a few easy licks. No noodling with out of tune bends and whatnot.

    Backing track not helpful.

    Good mic is helpful.

    I know I sound picky, but I hate ****** demos. Pet peeve. The talking and not playing for 5 minutes is a deal breaker.

    If you wanna talk about sounds as you do it thats fine. But microscope description of guitar just gets turned off in favor of next demo.

    I agree super high gain doesnt say much about tone.
     
  4. GEN DAWG

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

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    I absolutely feel ya. I often ask myself, "Why on earth did they post that?" Great feedback.
     
  5. fish78

    fish78 Member

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    What most have said about more playing and less talking...as for the actual playing...play a real song that is familiar to just about everyone...stay away from the screaming over distorted metal crap....concentrate on classic rock sounds...show each PU at various tone and volume settings...remember we are not interested in how fast you can play we are interested in what the guitar sounds like...the fewer effects the better.
     
  6. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    Look at Pete Thorn, Justnick, PGS, Shawn Tubbs,shnobel and Mike Hermans for inspiration, they all do good demos in different styles.

    A few big no-no's to me:

    Long intros
    Hearing the guitar acoustically over the electric sound
    Low volume audio
    Too much room sound (get a lavalier or directional condenser for the talking)
     
  7. GEN DAWG

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

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    Different styles for sure. All of those fellas are really good. Pete makes me want to quit; everything that guy tracks sounds amazing.
     
  8. Dad love mom

    Dad love mom Supporting Member

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    Great clean tones and talent are all I listen for. I can't stand listening to people ripping on over-gained amps.
     
  9. GEN DAWG

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

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    Good point there. You can't tell anything about a guitar's voice if heavily overdriven / distorted
     
  10. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    but, you def can't tell some things about a guitar's voice if those elements of sound are ignored.
     
  11. GEN DAWG

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

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    . . . and there are some things you don't know a guitar can do at all until you put it in Mr. Torn's hands! All true. This is why it's pretty darn hard, in my view, to put together a really useful guitar demo.
     
  12. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    """""Look at Pete Thorn, Justnick, PGS, Shawn Tubbs,shnobel and Mike Hermans for inspiration, they all do good demos in different styles.""""

    True above, but those guys can't cover everything. They might do a couple of vintage, but not the whole gamet. I wish I had the knowledge and time and do one myself. I can't play like the pros, but I can yank a good tone out of an amp and put it through its paces. Many demos are posted by well meaning folks, but they don't have the maturity in their playing. They don't have it yet to yank that tone from the amp, so their video is almost superfluous. I had the hardest time investigating a particular vintage line because of these issues. It is hard to listen through these distractions and cypher the realities of what you are hearing.
     
  13. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    It makes my eyes bug out when I am listening for the amp or guitar and an effect is on.
     
  14. Multicellular

    Multicellular Supporting Member

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    echoing several others above, I want to hear clean tones. Clean means no breakup.

    I can't count how many times I've seen a demo where they say 'Here is the clean tone' and it is crunchy.
     
  15. GEN DAWG

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm with you, there.
     
  16. tommc

    tommc Member

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    Seems obvious but, play all pickup combinations and turn all the knobs, play through a clean amp. I like to hear some overdrive sounds, but please, no Delay pedals!
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
  17. GEN DAWG

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for that thoughtful response. Agree that there is something to maturity in playing.
     
  18. frquent flyer

    frquent flyer Member

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    great clean are essential.
     
  19. rizla

    rizla Member

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    bare feet, crutch shots, out of tune guitars and mono tone off point talking, thats what we need more of. Also, bad playing and blues licks, we need lots more of this stuff.
    All these things are heavily under represented in the world of home made and professional guitar stuff demo's.
    We also need the watchers at home to buy a good monitoring system.
     
  20. GEN DAWG

    GEN DAWG Silver Supporting Member

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    I think you have covered virtually all of my favorite terrible demo features. I would just add in some dude talking for 5 minutes before he plays a note, then having huge amounts of delay, reverb (+1 for chorus), then recording thru an iPhone at levels where you can hear the guitar's unamplified sound above the sound of the amplified signal.:jo:jo
     

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