Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

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Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby grady » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:08 am

I've been thinking about this all day,

I've always been blessed with two things, a natural sense of time (rhythm) and the ability to get a good tone out of my guitar.
However, the tone that I've always wanted has eluded me for years. I could get "close" to it but, just not quite there.
The past few weeks I've been working with different techniques,etc. and I've finally gotten the tone I've been chasing for years.
and you know what ??
I really do think it's a product of two things, your hands and the setup of your guitar.

I think a lot of people strive for the lowest string height you can get without buzzing without thinking about how string height (and for that matter "buzzing") can affect your tone.
Pickup height,string height,neck bow,string gauge, everything plays a huge part in the equation.
For me, it's been like trying to solve a Rubik's cube.

Now, it seems like no matter which amp I plug into, I'm getting "that" tone.
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby 1dustyeod » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:17 pm

Brother.... You're describing something that has baffelled people for years. How is it... that I can set up my rig and play... and then, without changing anything, hand my strat to someone else, and they can't get the same tones out of the same guitar and rig that I can? Well....The tone is actually in your head and your fingers... I know its weird.... but its true.

But on a different note.... I can make anything sound like crap too.... (ha)

8) :lol: 8)
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby leftyguitarman » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:00 pm

I get "that" tone sometimes. It's just random. I had it last week and everything I was playing was sounding killer. This week it sounds the same as it did 3 weeks ago. Ride with it as long as you can Grady because it might not stick around.
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby bignick » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:57 pm

I always sound like me. It don't matter what I'm playing or what I'm playing through. If it's easier to play I don't screw up as much. :D
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby maxx england » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:02 pm

bignick wrote:I always sound like me. It don't matter what I'm playing or what I'm playing through. If it's easier to play I don't screw up as much. :D


er..ditto
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby ricochet » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:07 pm

I don't believe in "that" tone.
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby grady » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:13 pm

Oh, I'm definitely a believer. I played my regular Tuesday night gig last night with a totally different rig than I use at home. "That" tone was still there.....I believe it's here to stay. A lot of people noticed it to.
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby Troubleman » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:07 pm

Stick around, it may happen to you more than once....*

I hit that revelation with my "old trusty" - my 1961 Strat, years back...
I just figured out how to make the sound in my head get out through my guitar
I also figured out how to set the guitar *and* how/where to to play on it - where to pick along its length, to get what I'm after
It sounds kind of trite, but the experience of same is profound
I came to know my instrument on a different level
I use the full range of the instrument's volume and tone controls, and I pick/strum everywhere along its length, from just ahead of the bridge to somewhere over the fingerboard - again, depending upon what I'm going for sound-wise.
That sense of control - that feeling that I "knew" I could get magical sounds out of my rig, was a big door that opened
I think that result, that was sheer confidence, translated to most other guitars I pick up
I know I can find me

If instrument's set up properly, it really is all in the hands and the attack you place on the strings

*I say this because it happened to me again of sorts on the amplifier end. My pedalboard had.. well - sorta gotten outta control :mrgreen:
I sat in my basement one day a couple weeks ago and marveled at the wonderful palette of sounds I could get out of my guitar, patch cord, and amp - no effects. I'd sort of forgotten how much I like the sound of my amp by itself. I re-discovered it. I played rehearsal that way a couple times. An epiphany. Since then I think I've added a reverb (malekko spring chicken) in the fx loop of my amp, and added a clean boost for "punchy" solos (a compressor that's acting more a limiter when strumming clean parts - think the byrds & roger mcguinn). That's it. No more 35+lbs pedalboard. Go figure. I (by the nature of the songs being played) might be forced to add a wah.
In general - only the reverb is on.
Everything is coming from my fingers.
I couldn't be happier with my sound.


pEAcE,

jb
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby grady » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:38 pm

Thanks for the insight Troubleman.
I understand exactly where you're coming from.
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby songdog » Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:23 pm

Well you're definitely right about the string height and fret buzz.... these are tone killers on any guitar. On my strat, I've found heavier gauge strings equal better tone.... it's harder to bend notes though.

So yeh, there's that fine line between lowering the strings to obtain the nice action and ease of play and lowering them too much and killing the purity of the tone. I generally don't use effects unless absolutely necessary.
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby Troubleman » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:30 pm

songdog wrote:Well you're definitely right about the string height and fret buzz.... these are tone killers on any guitar. On my strat, I've found heavier gauge strings equal better tone.... it's harder to bend notes though.

So yeh, there's that fine line between lowering the strings to obtain the nice action and ease of play and lowering them too much and killing the purity of the tone. I generally don't use effects unless absolutely necessary.


Curious thing about Strats though - sometimes string buzz in present when the guitar is playing the guitar acoustically, but can't be heard through the amp (go figure). :blink:
That type of string buzz never bothered me...

jb
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby The Saint » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:13 pm

Believe it when you hear "The Tone is in the Fingers"

Weather changes and changes your instrument. String height at it lowest possible no buzz position is not the answer. So look to your hands for the tone. The best part is that they just get better with use!!!! Hopefully!!
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby grady » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:26 am

There are many different ways to hit a note or chord.
Yes, it is in the brain & hands.
I've had the biggest break-through in my 25 years of playing these past few weeks.
I've always had a good guitar sound but now, it seems like I can get so much out of my guitars without even touching a knob. Maybe it's been there for a while and I'm just noticing it.

I feel good about this.
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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby ricochet » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:35 pm

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Re: Tone, Where ? When? Why ? How ?

Postby De Ferre » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:44 pm

ricochet wrote:http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/tone-tips-901/

How true.
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