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how to get a good americana or folk sound

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Johanns, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    Easy, Rickenbacker 12-string played thru a Twin Reverb. A Dylan song done by the Byrds, and then you o_O ........... Try it, you'll like it :D
     
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  2. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    I play in an Americana outfit with a Telecaster. Sometimes I just go straight into an amp. For paid gigs, I often use a few pedals (dirt box & reverb, sometimes a compressor).
    Really (to me) its more about phrasing and note selection, and vibrato and space/timing.
    Perhaps think about emulating the tonal variations and inflections that occur from the human voice with just your picking and guitar tones.
    I roll the volume and tone knobs around quite a bit throughout a set. The guitar voice ideally supports the vibe of the lyrics and story being told. Americana is all about the story.
    Listen to Slade Cleeves, James McMurtry, Richard Shindell, Hayes Caarl, etc.
    Have fun!
     
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  3. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That’s not entirely accurate. I’ve seen her play a tele on many occasions. There is ample live show photo evidence as well.

    283148B7-ECC7-478B-88FE-02E5BC6FB4BD.png
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  4. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    I think of Bo Ramsey as mostly playing slide on a Strat. If I'd been paying more attention 30 some years ago I could tell you what kind of amp he was using then. But I'll bet he uses a smaller one now. According to his website his latest solo album was inspired by an old Harmony he picked up in a guitar shop. But there's a picture of him playing a Gibson acoustic.

    Buddy Miller plays a weird cheap Italian guitar with single coil pickups and uses trem, reverb, and vibe (not uni-vibe, the old Boss vibe I think he uses) a lot. He also runs two Swart ASTs in stereo.
     
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  5. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Holic

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    A lot of country players have an always on compressor in their signal chain. Cheers.
     
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  6. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

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    I've seen Lucinda live a few times and all she ever used was what looked like a Mexican Vintage 50's plugged into a tweed Blues Jr.

    I honestly think one of the out of the box sounds a Tele has is the Americana Folk sound and I'm always surprised that you take a Tele, plug it in to a decent amp and you are in the ball park and often in the right section and seat (sports metaphor)
     
  7. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can play any kind of music on any guitar, pretty much.

    The thing is--a guitar is very often a fashion accessory as much as it is a thing for making guitar noises.
     
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  8. jj69

    jj69 Tele-Meister

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    Get a Boss BD2 blues driver and adjust gain to taste .
    You've got the right guitars and amp.
     
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  9. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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    I always liked the sound of my old Gretsch guitars for folk music. I would suggest something close to the County Gentleman, or a 6120 Nashville model. I would think that your Deluxe Reverb would work just fine.
     
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  10. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    You gotta have the right hat and vintage clothing.
     
  11. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know!

    It really is not the gear, it's in the feeling and real knowledge of the music you are trying to play. And that comes with repetition/performance of the music, the 'authentic' sound comes out over time...

    You can't just put on a 'gear uniform' and expect good results to come out.
     
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  12. cigarman513

    cigarman513 Tele-Meister

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    Id say a Tele or Gretsch and a Fender style amp..
     
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  13. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    This seems more like a style/technique issue than a gear issue, though the right shirt and footwear will make a huge difference.
     
  14. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Indeed. A hipster hat will give you the best tone, as long as you have a beard to go with it.

    hipsterfedora.JPG
     
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  15. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    I agree that the gear is not what matters here.

    "Americana" is a broad and inclusive term, as is "folk," but what they have in common, and what is a prominent defining characteristic of each, is tradition -- or a sense of history and connection to the past, if you prefer to call it that.

    A lot of it comes from something like the old apprentice system by which everyone would learn a trade. You get thrown in over your head with a trusted, experienced master to help you learn the ropes, and you learn by doing, by the transmission of generational knowledge, and by exchanges with your peers and betters. Most of that has fallen by the wayside in recent decades. First came The Beatles, ostensibly all-original and unshackled from all that came before, although they were clearly in debt to Tin Pan Alley, English music hall, and some American roots-ish music, especially The Everly Brothers. Suddenly, everyone felt free to invent everything from scratch. A lot of musicians broke from the past. Later came punk's "year zero" attitude, and even more players distanced themselves from what had come before. The result is that a player trying to reverse-engineer the old ways has a hard time finding a mentor. (The apprentice system is still alive and well in jazz and bluegrass, I guess, but that's neither here nor there, even though bluegrass falls squarely into the Americana/folk category.)

    If you need to figure it all out on your own, you have to listen -- not just to a single artist, but to the whole gamut: T-Bone Walker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Leon McAuliffe, Thumbs Carllile, Oscar Moore, Jimmy Bryant, James Burton, Doc Watson, Mississippi John Hurt, Clarence White, John Fahey, Grady Martin, Roy Buchanan, whatever you can clap your ears onto. Yes, you might get a sound that's closer to what you hear in your head with an old tweed amp or repro, but that's the icing on the cake, not a starting point. Better playing comes from a deeper understanding, not from different hardware.

    To the OP: This doesn't necessarily describe you, but you didn't say, "I've got all the licks down, but there's a little something missing in the sound." If that's what you meant, then you are at the "icing" stage, and there are lots of icing recipes here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  16. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    Me too, just another professional who knows what Fender to pick up. It amazes me on the numbers of genres that a Tele is used in:):twisted::D:confused::cool:
     
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  17. droliver

    droliver TDPRI Member

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    luthier, Creston Lee (http://crestonguitars.com) is kind of the king of the Americana genre Tele makers.

    He was kind of 15 yrs ahead of the pine body/P90 trend on T style instruments.
     
  18. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    First of all, you don't need different equipment. You have a perfect guitar and amp. Amp volume up, guitar volume down, put a transparent OD pedal in between if you need more grind. Like a simple Blues Driver, or Timmy which is even better. People are right that humbuckers or P90s will provide more growl because they are hotter than SCs. But you can add that with a pedal. Or swap out the pickups on one of your teles with something fatter/hotter. There are lots of threads on this site about pickup options. People are also right that natural breakup from your amp requires some volume. A smaller amp will break up at lower volume. Lots of good small tube amps out there too, 15w or less.
     
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  19. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Meister

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    Check out the more tweakable rangemaster style pedals out there, a good Ross/dynacomp style compressor, and last but not least - a few mentioned Lovepedal- check out anything based on the Electra Distortion circuit, there are many great variations on that theme. Bearfoot FX Honeybee and it’s many cousins, and of course you can never go wrong with a good ole Boss Blues Driver.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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  20. Captdan61

    Captdan61 TDPRI Member

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    Fender Deluxe Reverb amp probably one of the most popular gigging amps in the history of rock and roll turn your amp up trigger guitar volume knob and tone knob down until you find the sound you're looking for. I use it Tweed Deluxe of vibrolux and kind of a train wreck Style app with EL34s. Back your volume knob off a new guitar just a bit and back you Tylenol boss just a bit you can get such a huge variety of tones with just your amplifier turned up a bit and your guitar. it'll come down to your picking Dynamics how you're hitting it it as far as whether you get sag and compression or not. take a good fuzz face or like one of The Analog Man cuddles any good fuzz I do the same thing with you guitar and Trigger guitar volume knob down until it doesn't sound fussy at sounds clean and you've got every sounding between clean and full on fuzz. And the magic does not lie at the two extremes with everything that's in between
     
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