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Playing unplugged.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by degsycaster, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. degsycaster

    degsycaster Tele-Holic

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    I play my Tele a lot unplugged as I have 2 kids under 10 and play mostly in the evenings. I have noticed that this really improves many aspects of my playing for the following reasons:
    1. I now understand the natural tone of my guitar so much better.
    2. I now understand the tone (or lack of!) inherent in my own fingers.
    3. My grasp of playing in a more subtle way is improved.
    Just wondered if anyone else here does the same thing?

    Regards Degsycaster :D
     
  2. ludwig

    ludwig Tele-Holic

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    yeah i play unplugged quite alot although i do have a pod xt with headphones if i feel the need for noise!
    its probably why i also like thinlines............i was really lucky,my rickicaster has a great sound unplugged.
     
  3. gtech

    gtech Friend of Leo's

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    I used to practice unplugged most of the time, and I realised that I had problems when was time to play with an amp...

    It was kind of making my playing sloppy because of some noises I wasn't hearing unplugged. And I also had problems getting a good sound.

    I other words, playing the same guitar with an amp and unplugged was like 2 different things. So I now try to practice with an amp or with headphones these days because of that.

    But what really helps me is practicing with a real acoustic guitar from time to time.

    Gilles
     
  4. hollowman

    hollowman Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    +1

    I try to spend some time on my acoustic daily. It's good for the fingers and good for the soul.
     
  5. all_identaties_taken

    all_identaties_taken Tele-Holic

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    yep I just pick it up and pick
     
  6. stevieboy

    stevieboy Poster Extraordinaire

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    I often play unplugged and agree with the ideas in the original post. But I also agree with Gilles, you have to plug it in to hear and control sounds that you don't really hear when you play unplugged.
     
  7. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Tele-Meister

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    +2

    I play electric and acoustic (started with classical and now play flamenco). They are almost two different instruments. I find that playing through an amp (even through headphones) helps me understand the dynamics of playing electric better. Its easy to get a little sloppy especially when you are going from a flatter (or flat) radius and much wider 2" width down to a 7.25" - 12" radius and narrower electric fretboard. This is especially true in my case if I'm doing a lot of bending and have to be mindful of adjacent strings.

    Keith Richards remarked that Mick Jagger was a decent acoustic player, but Keith didn't want him getting anywhere near an electric (where he termed him hopeless). On the flip side, Keith also stated (same interview) that he really didn't touch any electrics while he was at home and always played acoustic since it kept his chops up.
     
  8. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's what I do most of the time. I have neighbours both below and above me, a wife and three siamese cats, so it's not often that I get a chance to practise with an amp, especially at more than bedroom level. But I AM able to get some great sounds from my Vox VR30 at low volumes - something that is impossible on my Blues Deluxe. (I mean REAL low).
     
  9. RelicStrat

    RelicStrat Tele-Meister

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    +3
     
  10. Cheesehead

    Cheesehead Friend of Leo's

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    To me an unplugged electric guitar is only half an instrument. I play electric blues and so much of it for me is using my fingers to get the right sound coming out of an amplifier. And choosing the right pickup and turning knobs to get the right amount of overdrive, bass, treble, and reverb. All that said I definitely pick up my electrics quite often during the day to noodle around on them unplugged. So on the other hand I guess there's no such thing as too much practice!
     
  11. NewOldStock

    NewOldStock Tele-Holic

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    Yep. I sometimes noodle in my recliner, or figure out licks in front of my computer unplugged.

    When I plug into the amp I can hear all sorts of additional noises being amplified. After recently quiting a life-long habit of nail biting, I now hear all kinds of mistakes being made with them(catching on strings, scraping wound strings, etc) when amplified, though barely noticeable when unplugged.
     
  12. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

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    I noodle away unplugged most of the time, saves rigging an amp up. Yes its different sound and theres something missing, but its nicer than any acoustic.
     
  13. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati R.I.P.

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    I don't normally play unplugged, but I'm a big beleiver in doing it. I think it helps with your technique quite a bit. It helped me a whole lot with my slide playing.

    I know that a large part of the instrument is the amp, and the amplified sound in the room, but that's no reason why you shouldn't concentrate on the part of the instrument that the sound is coming from!

    A lot of old school players are real big on practicing unplugged, and you gotta admit that you can spend more time playing when you don't have to plug in all the time. You can pick up an electric guitar at 3AM when everyone is sleeping, and play.

    I still prefer to plug in anyhow though.

    FWIW, my alder and mahogany guitars sound better than my ash guitars, when it comes to playing without an amp. They have a rounder tone IMO. Depends on the chunk of wood the guitar's made from though I suppose.

    Pete
     
  14. jazzguitar14

    jazzguitar14 Tele-Meister

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    Wes Montgomery refused to play unpluged / even when practicint as he felt the amp to be a part of the instrument...

    Though I do some coutch Jammin unpluged, I tend to agree w/ Wes...
     
  15. MulliganChebichev

    MulliganChebichev Tele-Afflicted

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    I dunno why, but I like the tone of my unplugged tele (except the dreaded buzzing)

    Honestly, I play more unplugged then plugged
     
  16. rootsnblues

    rootsnblues Tele-Meister

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    I practice mostly plugged in. When I play an electric unplugged, I try not to pick or strum any harder than I would into an amplifier.
     
  17. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

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    To me, that would be kinda like praticing Driving...with the Engine not Running.
     
  18. gtech

    gtech Friend of Leo's

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    Just a little addition to my post...

    I realise that I still practice unplugged sometimes, but only to get my fingers moving while watching tv, or when the sound is not important.

    The sound comes both from the fingers and from the head or ears. So both can be trained separately.

    Speed exercices can be done unplugged, but to get the feeling of a song for example, I feel that the guitat must be plugged.

    Gilles
     
  19. Intense Jim

    Intense Jim TDPRI Member

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    Try plugging into the amp but unplugging the amp from the outlet.


    ;)
     
  20. gtech

    gtech Friend of Leo's

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