Do you have a signature sound?

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by JL_LI, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    279
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Location:
    Central FL
    Same here, nothing but original songs. My pedalboard and amps provide me with great tone (according to my ears), not sure if it's the most unique tone but I sound like me, which is a very good thing. Hoping to gig quite a bit more this coming year. Excellent thread!

    GDR
     
    JL_LI and bftfender like this.
  2. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    881
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain, EU
    Me either

    Not frustrating to me once you accept it... this is me, so, live with it
     
  3. Bella_Caster

    Bella_Caster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    129
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2018
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    ^This
     
    JL_LI likes this.
  4. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    2,114
    Joined:
    May 21, 2017
    Location:
    Near Philly
    It was good enough for BB and Clapton - I’d just say learn to mix the major and minor pentatonic rather than just playing one or the other - that’ll take you a long way!
     
    JustABluesGuy and JL_LI like this.
  5. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    4,148
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    I sound like myself within five minutes no matter what guitar I pick up. It's taken me many decades but yes, I have a sound. I don't sound like most of the great guitar players I admire, and don't try to.

    Is it a good sound? Meh. It's me, for better or worse
     
  6. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,456
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Near Athens GA USA
    My wife says I sound like I'm strangling cats when I play slide.

    The most common reaction I seem to get in the challenge backing tracks is something like "sweet but sad" or, when I apply fuzz/distortion, "synth-like".
     
    JustABluesGuy and JL_LI like this.
  7. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,478
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I have not tried to "create" a signature sound . It changes and evolves with amps , pickups & pedals .
     
    JL_LI likes this.
  8. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    755
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Location:
    Luton UK
    I think that is great i know when i started my tone and style must have been very limited and sometimes must of sounded bad.

    But gradually i learnt about finding tones and using my pick or fingers in your case to create and add more to the tone and style with the playing. Then this gave more confidence to experiment with learning other things.

    But playing in bands here in the uk is very limited yet alone the styles i like to play and with the freedom, so like yourself i have fun entertaining the the neighbours mainly.

    So yes i think a signature sound and tone is great for any guitarist personally.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
    JL_LI likes this.
  9. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    3,181
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2018
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    This is more of what I was thinking in terms of signature sound.

    First thing in the morning is the only time you'll hear mine, but it's reliable, if not endearing.
     
    JL_LI likes this.
  10. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    3,181
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2018
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Along with trying to find things that sound unique or interesting rather than fast.

    I've never heard someone say "I wish BB would've played a lot more notes. I'd have liked it a lot better".

    I like drills and dexterity, but back in my days of actual gigging, aside from the first glares when you start playing and it "sounds like the actual song", most people want something that sounds good, not a demonstration of how good you are.
     
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    16,385
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Haha yeah it's actually a good thing to have a sound!

    The frustration is more about all the gear I've bought trying to get different sounds...

    But part of the reason I seem to have "one sound" is that I learned to play with no effects, and had to get all my tonal variation with my picking and muting technique.
    Now when I plug in to a different pedal or amp, I seem to pick and mute it into the same sound as all the other pedals and amps.

    Since I recognized this though, I'm trying to get more of a range of sounds from the gear, just because it's possible.
     
    JustABluesGuy, Jim622 and JL_LI like this.
  12. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    2,589
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I sound like me, regardless of the guitar I'm torturing, or the amp I'm using to make it "far too loud".
     
    JustABluesGuy and JL_LI like this.
  13. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,146
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    It's not for me to say but I suspect those who know me would recognize my playing. I've got some general knowledge combined with a few decades of influences, licks, and tricks I've accumulated. I also seem to go for certain sounds regardless of what I'm playing through. Could be...
     
    JustABluesGuy and JL_LI like this.
  14. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    2,114
    Joined:
    May 21, 2017
    Location:
    Near Philly
    When I was jamming and playing out in my yoot, I was always the one saying, "its a song, not a race".

    BB is pretty much my oracle. When I get frustrated with my limitations, I often remind myself that I can play the same notes at the same speed and with the same dexterity BB always did. I have all the tools I need to play great music. So just lean into each note more, make it cry, make it laugh, make sure you're saying something with it, work that vibrato and those bends. And I'll never be near as good as him, but every time I remind myself to approach it more like he did, I'm better than I was before that reminder.

    And, honestly, I know my limitations more intimately than anyone, so I'm probably harder on myself than I need to be. Back when I was playing out a lot, a few players who I considered to be a LOT better than I ever came close to being used to call me to get together pretty often. They thought there was something unique / different about my playing and they liked it despite how limited my range was. So maybe I do have a signature sound. Or did then. I don't know. I don't really hear one, but that may be because to me, it's the frustrations I feel that define it.

    I once heard Pete Townsend talking about his frustration at his inability to play the music he heard in his head, but he came to realize over time that it was exactly that frustration that fueled his playing and the fury and intensity in it. He definitely had a signature sound - it may not have been the one he was after, but it ended up being a really identifiable way of approaching the guitar.

    -Ray
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
    JustABluesGuy, JL_LI and Jim622 like this.
  15. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    3,181
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2018
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I could summarize what I learned even more simply. The more my band tried to show how musical we were, the smaller the girl percentage in the audience and the faster they got up and walked away if the venue had anything else to do.

    As for Pete, I think one of the unfortunate realities is that we all do more when something is making us miserable in a way that drives us (vs. a way that causes us to give up). The idea of being comfortable and driven at the same time is probably not a normal human trait.
     
    raysachs and JL_LI like this.
  16. mitchfinck

    mitchfinck Tele-Holic

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    844
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    I believe that I have a pretty recognizable sound for original music with either of my bands. Each each is vastly different in sound, but my playing remains recognizable in either (alternative country/rock or punk). My rhythm playing is very bombastic - very loose, big sustained chords, little arpeggio stabs. My lead playing is very impressionistic - conveys more mood and motion, shades, than virtuosity... I'm not a wildly technical player, so I try to use my leads to evoke the lyrical feeling - I like to attempt sounds evoking pedal steel (while not sounding like it at all) and riding all the way to searing fuzz solos.
    I clearly cannot describe how I sound, but everyone I know can tell it's me as soon as they hear it.
     
    JustABluesGuy, JL_LI and Bella_Caster like this.
  17. mitchfinck

    mitchfinck Tele-Holic

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    844
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    If we're talking from a gear perspective, my go-to signal chain is something like:

    Rickenbacker 330 >> Tuner >> Delay >> Light OD >> Fuzz >> Reverb >> Fuzz >> Pitch Modulation >> Tremolo >> Boost >> Traynor Iron Horse/Homemade 5 watt.

    The pedals change a lot, but the reverb, light od, and boost are always on.
     
    JL_LI likes this.
  18. picknfool

    picknfool Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    556
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    Oakland, Ca.
    Me too...
     
    JL_LI likes this.
  19. Rasmuth

    Rasmuth Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,452
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Location:
    Churchville, NY
    I've written and recorded 4 albums of original rock music...released 3 of them and even sold a handful. When I was more into the indie online music thing people always told me I had a very distinct sound and style.

    I always regarded it with disdain...felt it hampered me musically, but more than one person told me that they were jealous that I had such a personal defined sound...so I suppose it was okay.
     
    JustABluesGuy, Jim622 and JL_LI like this.
  20. Tobias

    Tobias Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    238
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2015
    Location:
    Amersfoort
    What model? Clean? Spring or hall reverb?

    (Own a cube 80xl, fairy recently got a gretsch...)
     
    JL_LI and brookdalebill like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.