Are You Practicing Or Tone Chasing?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Dirty Dave, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave TDPRI Member

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    I'm very guilty of the latter.
    I convince myself that I'm 'practicing guitar' but in reality, I'm just messing around with sounds, and sometimes checking out aspects of my overall tone - and planning the next pedal I'm going to spend hours and hours investigating on That Pedal Show or Youtube, and then eventually buy the thing.

    I LOVE watching that stuff.
    It's one of my favourite things, but I'm doing very little in the way of focused practice, and honing my chops into shape.

    Do you think there's ever a day where you think, "okay my rig and my sound is perfect" - and start getting on with the job at hand?
     
  2. gitold

    gitold Poster Extraordinaire

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    I practiced a lot when I was young. Ran scales all day and night, got all the books on theory and chords until I was pretty good. Then after the kids were grown and I could afford some gear it was all about messing with old tubes and old tube amps and pickups and effects and.......Now I just pick up my guitar and play.
     
  3. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

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    I use to mess around with my tone alot, but now i just except no matter how i sound i will never be that satisfied, and also that is part of a certain players make up their individual tone i believe.
     
  4. bcorig

    bcorig Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I keep telling myself to structure playing into practice. Stretch and warm up for 15 minutes, Scales for 15 minutes, then riffs I don’t have down, then new song then Open Agenda.
    Mostly it’s Open Agenda.
     
  5. McQ1

    McQ1 TDPRI Member

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    Jeez I hope that day comes soon. I suffer from GAS in exactly the same way. I need more discipline! This industry counts on us having gear acquisition syndrome!
     
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  6. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    Both. I’m definitely guilty of chasing tone. But, I find when I hit the sweet spot with my gear, it motivates me to practice more than I otherwise probably would. :)
     
  7. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

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    I chased tone for 10yrs, hardly improved at actually playing guitar. Now that the $$$ for tone-chasing has dried up, I just play guitar and I've actually gotten better.

    If I had spent HALF the time practicing that I watched pedal reviews, I would be a pretty darn good guitar player by now.

    Nothing wrong with the tone quest though, it's another form of entertainment in my opinion.
     
  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    With 5 electrics, 2 Strats, a Telecaster, SG, and an Annie, and way too much time and money spent trying to make them all sound alike (stupid... I know) I have my tone, or at least all the tones I need. Now I devote about half my playing time to practice, serious practice. I’ll work on a song, solo, or technique. I’ll work on composition. The rest of the time I play for the pure enjoyment of it. And I can tell you that the level of enjoyment is much greater if after practice I’m playing well. I go back to “tone” only if I don’t like how my guitar sounds and it’s almost always due to an improper setting. Chasing tone? I believe in catch and release and with the 5 guitars I own, a Mesa Boogie amp, and a 10 band equalizer, if I can’t find the tone, it’s nowhere to be found.
     
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  9. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    Many are practicing tone chasing.
     
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  10. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I spend my time outside of the music room chasing tone online via my GAS. Spend a lot more time online than I do practicing too. When I'm in there I'm playing, usually working through new material.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  11. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    Practicing.
    Figured out Tone Chasing was/is an endless war you may never win.
     
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  12. Catatafish

    Catatafish TDPRI Member

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    Who says you can't do both!?
     
  13. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    The public don't care about your tone. They just want to have a good time, get wasted, get laid.

    Practice helps that process along.
     
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  14. d barham

    d barham Tele-Holic

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    I have the gear for the sound I want, and then some. I just try not to suck.
     
  15. Elmore

    Elmore Tele-Holic

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    What helped me was to really listen to the acoustic sound of the instrument. And then for the tone quest, change parts based on that. That helped me get my electric guitars where I wanted them so that I could stop the tone quest. And then focus on playing. Yes, there is a point where tinkering and even reading keeps you from playing. And it is a subtle thing.
     
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  16. Guitharley

    Guitharley Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I like what your saying....... gotta put some time aside for gettin wasted, gettin laid practice..
     
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  17. Gene O.

    Gene O. Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Neither. I'll practice new songs when the need arises, but I'm about as good as I'm gonna get so practicing technique or scales isn't something I do often at all. My tone is fine as is. Right now I'm spending my time chasing gig opportunities.
     
  18. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    I just fool around playing old songs I like. After 50 years of this, I've got my very simple gear sounding good to me.
     
  19. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Practicing, these days. Jazz and fingerstyle mostly. Found my tone.
     
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  20. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave TDPRI Member

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    Some diverse perspectives and reasons right here, which is cool.
    I need to feel a good tone in order to feel inspired enough to play more.
    I saw a band in Brighton recently, supporting a rock & roll / punk / soul band.
    They were one of those bands that was still talking about being the loudest band in the world, and all that tired stuff.
    The singer / guitarist's tone was absolutely offensive. Just all deliberate mids and horrible frequency in a small room.
    It was like they were actually trying to injure the audience with volume, which just made me want to leave.
     
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