Why not your own sound

Atmospheric

Member
Messages
3,950
Yup. Maybe it's being HFA. Maybe it's having cut my teeth in the era before effects. But I seek out tones that function the way I need them to, not necessarily tones I've heard someone else use. I like that about myself.
 

tinverse

Member
Messages
203
I see threads all the time of how do I get this certain artists tone. I approached it from the beginning of having my own tone.
In the same way you can study music theory to figure out what the rules are and then break the rules, I think you can do that with your gear to get sounds. So I don't see any harm in learning what's out there.
 

george4908

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,301
I don’t think the wine guy was absolutely right. He was absolutely wrong. It’s easy to make something unique. It’s harder to make something good. And the point of drinking wine or making music is to enjoy yourself, not to congratulate yourself for being different from the masses. The guy sounds like a complete tool.
I found your post to have invigorating cilantro overtones with an oaky roundness and a harmonious aftertaste of Sicilian horseradish with a violent macadamia nut finish coalescing in an easy to miscontrue yet thunderously decadent bouquet of regurgitated barbecue. Two and a half stars.
 

george4908

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,301
A long time ago, in the late 1990s a number of us young guys at a firm I worked at at the time went up to the house of a guy who was one of the Editors of Wine Spectator Magazine because the firm wanted us to learn about wine from him so we wouldn’t look like knuckleheads when out entertaining clients.

This guy had us sitting around the table where he poured bottle after bottle of amazing stuff. Afterwards, we went out for drinks and I asked him, “hey that was truly awesome, but most of that stuff is tough to find, and I’m never going to buy a $500 bottle of wine at home. So what’s some “good” bottles of wine in the $25-30 range.

He looked across the table at me and said, “F- -K YOU! Have you not heard a word I said?? The point is not to find a “good” bottle of wine. The whole point is to find a bottle of wine that tastes like no other - where the taste of land (terroir) where the grapes were grown, and the winemakers personality, and the weather that year, etc combine in the wine to make it like no other. This is art. And you are looking for something unique - not just something pleasing. The concept of ‘good’ wines is for rubes. Leave that to the idiots clapping themselves on the back as they order the Silver Oak. You are better than that. Get it together!!! I don’t want to ever hear you use the phrase ‘good wine’ again. That’s embarrassing.”
If you think tone chasers and wine reviewers are picky, try milk tasters:

 

Fr3shMak3r

Whatever
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
843
In the end it really comes down to what your goals are as a player.

If your goal is to play covers, either just for fun, or professionally, that's cool, and obviously there's value and enjoyment in learning how to get the various sounds appropriate for those songs.

If your goal is primarily to write your own music, or play in bands that are focused on original music, then finding your own sound is a natural part of that. It doesn't mean "find a unique tone that has never been heard before" though that CAN be a legitimate goal, and obviously some people manage to do that. For most, it's more "find a sound that fits you and the music you are creating".

I'm firmly in the latter camp - I was always most interested in writing my own material, and in 30 years of playing, I can count the number of cover songs I've ever learned to completion on two hands. I certainly have influences both in terms of style and tone, and I wouldn't call my sound utterly unique, but I never really spent time with the "how do I sound more like this player", rather "what sound works best for the music I want to create."

I used to be a lot more dismissive of the cover band crowd, but I've mellowed on that over the years. I think both sides need to sort of chill a bit and not be so dismissive of what the other side is trying to do. The more guitar music in the world, the better.
 

supergenius365

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,015
I absolutely suck at playing other people's songs and making them sound like the recorded version. It is the main reason I started writing my own songs from almost the beginning of learning the guitar. (I knew a player who could totally nail other people's sounds regardless of what kind of gear he was running at the time. Truly amazing.) However, every now and then I try to get someone else's tone as a source of (hopefully) inspiration to create a new song. If I could get Clapton's tone on D&D Live at the Filmore, I would most definitely buy a Strat again and go from there writing my own stuff.
 

DonaldDemon

Member
Messages
9,299
Meaning that they are perfect for their bands but they are not known as players that can play with anyone in any context. That said, maybe Josh can? I don't know his music too well. Just going off of what I heard which is minimal. But for example, Edge does the Edge thing very well and just got really good at doing that.
Edit: Example...most guitar players don't look at the Edge and say "wow, I wish I could play like him" when they are picking up guitar. It's more like "Wow, I love U2, great songs. I love the way the guitar sounds." It's not like EVH where some people are like "wow, he is amazing. I want to play like him. I like some Van Halen songs." Does that make sense?
Well ok, but I don’t see how that’s relevant. The Edge and whoever else make sounds that are relevant to their respective bands, and it obviously works. Why would they need to sound like anything else but themselves, for the music they are playing?
 

SonicTonic Seeker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
694
Because people will pay you to play covers
I feel like the OP has heard about or seen cover bands and/or tribute bands.. so maybe "aside from cover band playing" should have been in the OP.

I think Jimi H said something like "let's do an Elmore J type of thing in the intro" or something like that on one recording (?)..
Also to OP, knowing what gear to use to get as close to someone else's sound as possible is likely the best way to intentionally not sound like them right?

Just avoid Les Pauls, Stratocasters, Telecasters, SGs, PRSs, Marshalls, Fender amps, Hiwatts, Roland Jazz Choruses, Mesa Rectifiers, FuzzFaces, TubeScreamers, Phase90s, ElectricMistresses, MemoryMans, Bluesbreakers, Klon/es, and TGP and you should be 100% original tonin'. :aok
 

coltranemi2012

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,539
Well ok, but I don’t see how that’s relevant. The Edge and whoever else make sounds that are relevant to their respective bands, and it obviously works. Why would they need to sound like anything else but themselves, for the music they are playing?
Because not everybody wants to be the best guy for their band. Some people want to be the best possible player and adjust accordingly. Which also means sometimes learning to do what the Edge does. I guess I would like to know more of a player's player so to speak who has unique tone. Like guys who really focused on playing vs just their band/project.
 

DonaldDemon

Member
Messages
9,299
Because not everybody wants to be the best guy for their band. Some people want to be the best possible player and adjust accordingly. Which also means sometimes learning to do what the Edge does. I guess I would like to know more of a player's player so to speak who has unique tone. Like guys who really focused on playing vs just their band/project.
Sounds like you are talking more about studio session guitarists like Tim Pierce, Tom Bukovac, and the like.
 

RichCollector

Member
Messages
208
I never learned cover tunes except at the verrrrry beginning when I was learning, I never tried to copy anyone's tone, and I actually suck at playing/learning cover tunes or copying tone.
 

coltranemi2012

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,539
Sounds like you are talking more about studio session guitarists like Tim Pierce, Tom Bukovac, and the like.
Yea to a degree. But even I guess a guy like Hendrix or Clapton would fit the bill. Like Clapton went through so many tone changes based on what was going on musically. I don't know why I am having such a hard time explaining this properly LOL. But I really don't mean it as a diss though.
 

lakersrock

Member
Messages
1,203
I don’t have a tone and never will. I search until I’m satisfied, stay there until I’m not and then keep looking.
 

Sacrifice

Member
Messages
1,438
It's not a case of collecting gear to sound like somebody else. I could sit down with Gilmour's actual rig and I would sound NOTHING like him. OK, maybe a little bit, depends on the judge.

But when I am inspired by a certain player's tone, I like to have access to the same tools in my toolbox to use in the shaping of my own tone. Or tones, because why are we limited to one?

Isn't a player's "own tone" just the culmination of everything you've ever played?
 
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1,866
Firstly, you’re the one who began the personal attacks. My intention was to answer the OP, and in the course of my multiple posts, I suggested a few different perspectives, ‘confessed’ that I have been/still am a rabid tone chaser, and also included some self-deprecating comments. I also talked about how I learn techniques by trying to match what other players are doing.... All toward discussing a Concept. Which, of course, was too grand a notion for your small-minded, puerile sensibilities. You couldn’t just disagree with some civil thoughts. You had to throw out your trite buzzword. And then you posted some ridiculous diatribe in which you went against published information about a slew of artists. And now you’re doubling down on the nonsense, but you need to move the goalposts to do so. Now, it’s a matter of how old those guys were.... And even so, you ignore the fact that a great number of ‘original’ artists still sometimes play covers. You ignore/dismiss the scores of talented musicians that play covers for a living. You can’t see far enough past your own arrogance to recognize that talented original artists play other people’s music, even if they don’t try to precisely mimic a tone, but somehow learning someone else’s music is different for you than learning how they produce that tone in a signal chain. I incidentally just saw Gary Clark Jr playing Hendrix. I recently saw John Mayer playing Van Halen. SRV played Hendrix.... Keith Richards was trying to play American blues. The Edge was in a cover band. EvH used to play Clapton note for note. They don’t count, though.

Apparently, you know what all these musicians you revere do when they’re not on stage or recording. They can’t possibly still play songs they love but didn’t write. But most obvious is the simpleminded ignoring that people can do more than one thing. They can chase tones and they can create their own.

But, whatever. It‘s lovely that you’re out there creating. And have no inspirations that move you far enough toward mimicry. I don’t envy that attitude, though. I enjoy that aspect of music.

Peace and Meow.
pedantic and obtuse it is, then.

thanks anyway.
 

saddletramp77

Member
Messages
232
No better path to true originality than learning everything that’s already been done before you. Call us when you’re ready.
 
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stoob0t

Member
Messages
468
I kind of separate things into "tone" and "sound" with some subtle difference between the two.

Sound being the output from the gear and rig someone uses.

Tone being the sound from the rig PLUS the sound from their technique: harmonic overtones from.how the player frets, how they pick, how they vary their attack etc.

For covers and just for starting out with a sound platform I can totally see the value in starting out with a sound that you like, or using another artist's sound as a platform - but you'll never 100% match their tone - which means one way or another every player ends up with their own tone in the end anyways

David Gilmour could hand me his guitar ready to go on stage, dialled in, and I could play something I've rehearsed to death for years - but I guarantee I would still sound like ME playing through Gilmour's gear... and not like David Gilmour

EDIT: Just noticed that someone above me has said pretty much the same! So in your head just swap David Gilmour for Adam Jones!
 




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