Are You Practicing Or Tone Chasing?

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

  1. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Also part of it with me is just aging- I just don't ( physically, can't) want to carry a bunch of gear to gigs anymore.

    I remember in the late '90's buying my 2nd Wah-Wah ( gave my 1st one away 1980) - then NEVER using on gigs, just because it was a ' metal brick' I didn't feel like carrying-
    plus EVERY local Blues guitar guy ( which I am, or was) would just wail to death ( ear-splitting!) on one.
    Thank God for CL!
     
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  2. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    Recording..bunch of it
     
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  3. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

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    I love playing, I kind of hate trying to dial in a sound.
    Fortunately I rarely have to do that, I know how to get most of what I want out of my gear. I've owned it all for a long time.
    I just plug in and play pretty much - although I have been known to turn some dials while I'm playing at home.
     
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  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I think there are some sounds that require less chasing than others.
    For example if you love Tele or Strat into BF era Fender cleans and also love TS into BF Fender dirty sounds, you can buy a DRRI and a Tube screamer and get your ideal sound in one trip to GC.
    Maybe get bogged down looking for a "better TS but that basic clean sound comes in all sizes and that classic dirt sound works great and doesn't require a Guru on a mountaintop.

    Same with some basic Marshall based Rock sounds, or maybe more modern Rock sounds where you buy a big Rectifier and turn it up.

    Want your PRRI to sound like a Marshall stack and things get shaky, as in it will never happen.

    Get a fuzz obsession and things get spendy but the goals are not complicated.

    Need every great classic recorded guitar sound from the R&R songbook and the tone chase might take decades.

    Seek to replace practice with ultimate gear promises?
    We know where that leads...
     
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  5. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Here's a practice schedule to follow:
    practicing.jpg
     
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  6. stormsedge

    stormsedge Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Neither...I'm posting on TDPRI :oops: .
     
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  7. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm tone chasing. But, to put it in context. I played out consistently for 15 years without changing my tone much. Gibson style with humbuckers into Marshall, then Mesa.

    Right now I don't have a working band, so I'm exploring single coil and other pickup sounds, and trying to nail down my sound precisely, so that when I do start working towards recording / playing live again I can easily dial in exactly what I want, and just focus on get my chops back up.
     
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  8. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Neither. I'm playing.

    My pedalboard is nearly empty, and the few pedals on there either haven't been turned on in over three years (the overdrives), or they're always on (comp, delay). No tweaking.

    I play with circuits to get certain pickup combos in guitars, but that's more about electronics than guitar. Once I tire of it, I rip it all out and use my Teles with three-way switches, nothing more.

    I have four big amps, that all sound different. So, I guess it's tone chasing, same as the choice to play one out of twenty guitars. But ultimately, I'm not spending time doing that. I'm happy to play clean, at home, for myself.
     
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  9. MrClint

    MrClint Tele-Holic

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    Chasing tone has become a pejorative for trying to sound good. Almost all the great bands and players have been and will always be on a quest to sound great. Yes, we all need to practice and develop skills, but understanding tone and finding a sweet spot is pretty important too. The Kinks put slices in a speaker to get a fuzz tone, Brian May uses/used a coin as a pick for his tone, the list is endless. So go ahead and do stuff to make some sounds that you like, it's part of the package. As for tone being in the fingers, amp or whatever, who knows, I just know that groove is in the heart. :)
     
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  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That's no excuse!
    Ever see the bass pedals on a big Hammond?

    Years ago I learned to play bass with my toes.
    Seriously, laid the P bass on the floor and fretted hammer-ons with both big toes.
    Unique sound and a punchy drum like attack you don't normally hear from bass.
    Back then this guy made it hard to ignore the fact that playing a guitar was not really all that taxing!

     
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  11. thankyouguitar

    thankyouguitar Tele-Meister

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    Practicing led me to the tone. As I kept getting better, my tone evolved.
     
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  12. nrand

    nrand Friend of Leo's

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    When I am practicing for a show and under time pressure I do tweak and note the tone settings as I go but I don't spend a lot of time with it.
    I do a lot of covers so the settings do change a lot in a given night.
    I think it is very possible to overthink tone. In any case my fingers are the most important influence on sound.
     
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  13. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    Absolutely true

    Me either
     
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  14. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    For me it's about feel more than tone. When I record myself with my different Strats, amps, and pedals, if I listen back, I can't even tell which ones were used unless I wrote it down. But, when I'm playing, some respond to my touch in a way that's more to my liking than some others do, even though the tones may be indistinguishable. So, it's not the tone I'm chasing, but the responsiveness. However, I don't really practice. Instead I'll record a chord progression into my looper, and then play it back and jam over/along with it, because that's what I enjoy doing. And, when I'm feeling it and I'm in the groove and playing some tasty and imaginative licks, that's what gets me excited, not the tonal quality of my gear. But, when I have the tone and feel that I like dialed in, it helps to bring that inspiration out of me.
     
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  15. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave TDPRI Member

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    I have a basic tone, which is always on.
    Basically just a slightly bitey clean sound.
    A drive set very low, a compressor which is always on, and some reverb.
    The rest comes from the fingers, the pick and Tele pickups.

    I used to play lots of fast metal for years, and it only took 20 years of playing it to realise that there was so much pretending going on that I started to hate it.
    High gain amp, very little actual technique.
    So I sold everything and went as exposed as possible.

    I've spent so much money to realise that I basically like a clean sound.
    I suppose I get hung up on specific sounds, like a delay or tape echo pedal, or a tremolo, so I spend plenty of time looking for the right one, only to find out that I rarely use it.
     
  16. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave TDPRI Member

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    .. but I REALLY enjoy finding out what's out there, and I've learned heaps from checking out pedals and sounds.
     
  17. braveheart

    braveheart Tele-Holic

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    I just practise when I wanna learn a great lick I saw on YT...the rest is playing/chasing tone/checking out gear
     
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  18. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I just pick up a guitar and play. I don't own any pedals or want to sound like anybody else.
     
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  19. teletail

    teletail Tele-Holic

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    A wise man.
     
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  20. teletail

    teletail Tele-Holic

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    I always thought that if you worked on a good, core tone, all of the pedals were just icing on the cake. When I practice, I practice straight into the amp, just my guitar and a cord. My current teacher has really emphasized tone and I've found that as I've really concentrated on developing a really good good tone, my playing has improve significantly. Good technique leads to good tone and clean playing.

    I'm not anti-pedal, I have a pretty substantial pedal board, but I think you should be able to play without them and then add them in sparingly for effect, not for your core tone. Just one man's opinion of course.
     
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