Do you sound like your guitar …

P-Nutz

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… or does your guitar sound like you?

At one point I had 20, and have owned over 150. I am down to five electrics and a couple of acoustics. I am sorta GAS-ing for another I’ve found … but that’s the problem …

After 50+ years of playing, no matter what I play, it’s me playing it.

Yeah, my Tele sounds like a Tele, and the LP a Gibson, my Nighthawk is Strat-like, but they still sound like me. I can dial in all the amps and settings I want (did I mention 50+ amps over the years?), yet … me …

I’ve played live for 40+ years, and I’m sure my tone has changed. Went entirely digital live a coupla months back. It’s not my preferred sound, but the crowds don’t care, and I still sound like me.

What say you?
 

JL_LI

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I have a personal tone. I get it on my Tele, both of my Strats, my SG and my Annie. The tone derives from my finger styles more than from a guitar and amp. There are sounds particular to each of my guitars for sure, but I can get the tone I use for vocal accompaniment from any of them. There are specific tones I prefer for certain songs but I’d be surprised if someone hearing me play the song on a different guitar would notice or care.

So that’s it in a nutshell. I can get my tone on any of my guitars. There are differences between guitars that make a difference to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a lot of us like this. It’s probably the best explanation for why one guitar isn’t enough.
 
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Killing Floor

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I think I sound like me whatever I play. Even different amps, a Tele or a LP still sounds like me. I just think we have habits that make us each sound a little unique, hopefully.
 

mfguitar

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I pretty much sound like me all the time.

When I buy an amp I look for a particular sound and with guitars, I go for feel knowing that it will sound like me. I don't think you are alone.
 

Festofish

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100% every time, all the time. I deleted a bunch of stuff off my TC Wiretap. Stuf from over a year ago. Sounded just like me today only not as good. ;D
 

nojazzhere

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… or does your guitar sound like you?

At one point I had 20, and have owned over 150. I am down to five electrics and a couple of acoustics. I am sorta GAS-ing for another I’ve found … but that’s the problem …

After 50+ years of playing, no matter what I play, it’s me playing it.

Yeah, my Tele sounds like a Tele, and the LP a Gibson, my Nighthawk is Strat-like, but they still sound like me. I can dial in all the amps and settings I want (did I mention 50+ amps over the years?), yet … me …

I’ve played live for 40+ years, and I’m sure my tone has changed. Went entirely digital live a coupla months back. It’s not my preferred sound, but the crowds don’t care, and I still sound like me.

What say you?
I think your question should be.....like they say a husband and wife, over time, begin to look like each other, do we and our guitars start to LOOK alike? ;)
 

Chiogtr4x

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I would say,
'all my guitars sound like me,'

as I only bring one guitar to a gig ( be it electric, or acoustic), and play pretty much the same ( or big portion) set of songs ( a lot of variety) with that one guitar.

Plus when it comes to my electrics, I think my main tone comes more from pickup or pickup combinations.I chose for song X, more than the 'this guitar is for playing that kind of music' thing...

I just pick a guitar for my own kicks, and just look forward to how everything is going to come out with it
 

Viking_Hillbilly

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My main instrument for any band job is a Tele, but to occasionally mix things up I also bring a Strat and some humbucker equipped guitar, and there are some differences, but tone-wise I still sound like myself. I've noticed this to be true with all of the other guitarists with whom I have played.

I tested this once when I was playing a country gig at a local VFW back in the 90s and both me and my buddy played 52 reissue Teles through Fender Deluxe Reverb amps. I played most of the time on the bridge pickup. When I played in the middle position it had a "Ping" kind of sound to it that was annoying. My buddy he played most of the time in the middle position and sounded great. But if he used the bridge pickup it was the "ice pick to the ears" tone, regardless of tone control settings. Just for fun after a break, I went back up and grabbed his Tele (through his amp) and had him play mine. I left his Tele in the middle position for the first tune and it made the "Ping" sound again, so I switched to the bridge pickup after that and sounded like I usually did. He left my Tele on the bridge pickup for the first tune and it was "ice pick to the ears", so he switched to the middle position and sounded just like he usually did.

So a Tele sounds like a Tele, or whatever guitar you are playing, but the player is a big part of the final sound.
 

Obsessed

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Except for my horrific timing issue, I would say no. I play completely different on each guitar, mainly because most of them are in different tunings, and are completely different guitars … playing totally different stuff. I have my sound, but I only play it on one or two guitars. I use different techniques, use a slide on some and flat pick or finger style on others. I am always pursuing taking advantage of a particular guitar’s characteristics. Unfortunately, if I am noodling in standard tuning, I probably do sound the same regardless of guitar, but I don’t do that.
 

Jakedog

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My “playing style” is always me. No matter what kind of music or guitar or amp I’m playing. I’m not a chameleon/musical mechanic. I’ve never tried to cop exact parts or sounds from other players. I respect that for a lot of people that’s a thing that they really enjoy both doing and hearing, but it was never a fun endeavor for me.

I do enjoy it when it happens by accident. I’ve even bought gear because of it. I do (I think) sound like an amalgam of my heroes and influences. So when I plug into something that immediately sounds like one of them I get tickled, and usually buy it. But I don’t usually keep it long. Weird? Maybe. But I like sounding like me.

That said, I always sound like me. *I* can hear the tonal differences between my Strat and Les Paul, and between my Strat and my Silver Sky, and my Silver Sky and my ESP. But my playing styles don’t drastically change with what instrument I’m playing, and mostly my audience can’t tell at all. They comment more on how my guitars look than how they sound. “You guys sounded great again tonite. Is that a new guitar? It’s really pretty!”. I half wish I was joking.

This is what causes some people to say “the audience doesn’t know the difference, so spending $XXX on gear is a waste”. I disagree on that point, though.

Who cares whether or not the audience can tell the difference? Why would we expect them to? They aren’t players. They don’t know anything about this stuff or how it works, so why would anybody base decisions on what gear to buy or play on what they (the audience) are able to sus out?

So yeah, maybe they can’t tell the difference. And maybe I always sound like me to them no matter what I use. But as long as I can tell the difference, I’m gonna use whatever makes me happy. And as many different varieties as I please. And have the best stuff I can possibly afford. Because doing that? That’s fun.
 

tomasz

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So yeah, maybe they can’t tell the difference. And maybe I always sound like me to them no matter what I use.

I guess the audience listened to music and enjoys the performance rather than caring about the nuances, that inspires you as a player. That's probably the biggest difference, everybody sees the same view, but rides a different wave :)

To the OPs question.. yes, sounds like me and I believe the why is, that I am always looking for the same specific sound that sits in my head and I will dial in the gear and adjust my playing to get close to it.

I remember reading something on Robben Ford, who was accused of sounding like him whatever amp he got on stage. The more I played over the years, the more I understood it.

Still, that does not excuse you of owning as much gear as you find necessary ;)
 
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telemnemonics

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I'm tormented by my own presence every time I touch a guitar.
Clean or distorted or fuzz, every sound I play, there I am again!
 

bottlenecker

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… or does your guitar sound like you?

At one point I had 20, and have owned over 150. I am down to five electrics and a couple of acoustics. I am sorta GAS-ing for another I’ve found … but that’s the problem …

After 50+ years of playing, no matter what I play, it’s me playing it.

Yeah, my Tele sounds like a Tele, and the LP a Gibson, my Nighthawk is Strat-like, but they still sound like me. I can dial in all the amps and settings I want (did I mention 50+ amps over the years?), yet … me …

I’ve played live for 40+ years, and I’m sure my tone has changed. Went entirely digital live a coupla months back. It’s not my preferred sound, but the crowds don’t care, and I still sound like me.

What say you?


You can always say a crowd doesn't care, because you can't measure such a thing.
Music can move people more or less, so I never think a group of people just liked something or they didn't. I always wonder how much better it could've been for the individuals who were moved the most, and the least.
This doesn't usually come back to gear.
But sometimes it does.
I won't use modelling amps or acoustics with piezo pickups, for this reason.
I can sound like me on whatever guitar, but I can sound like a better me on a guitar I like better.
 

Cesspit

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Took me a long long time to accept and eventually quite like how I sound and boy, I fought it for about forty years. Different amps/guitars/effects, until I gave up trying. So now I just play. Strat, Tele and a Blues Jr and you know what. I'm happy.
 




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