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The old nobody's hear the difference at a gig thing.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Larry F, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    I do what I do. People like it, or they don't. Most people do. I can handle that.:lol:

    I played the other night, and deliberately did not take my Bad Bob. People loved it, I was in hell.:cool:
     
  2. fauxsuper

    fauxsuper Tele-Afflicted

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    That's quite a task. I bet he works hard. Whoever has to play bass while Paul is playing guitar would have a tough job, as well. He's even a decent drummer and keyboard player.
     
  3. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    I don't believe no one will notice changes, gear differences, in the audience. Many will not of course. Others do, though not always in quite the same way you might.

    I've had people come up to me after shows, talking about how good a particular guitar sounded. Played at a club in the fall, used an old ES-335 and my orange partscaster tele. A guy came up to me afterwords talking about how good the tele sounded. I said "I was really loving that 335 sound." He said "Oh, me too, but that tele is just you. It's perfect." This guy is not a musician, which makes the exchange all the more remarkable.

    Some people do notice these things.
    MD
     
  4. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It is not that the audience does not notice something that sounds good or not. But they are generally not going to hear the difference between a Victoria amp and a Fender RI. They are not going to hear the same thing that the musician is hearing on stage out in the hall whether they are hearing the amp direct or through a PA. Unless they are practically on stage they are removed from the nearfield sound and something will get lost.
     
  5. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Funny, after reading through everyones posts, we all seem to be saying the same thing...

    The guy playing the guitar can tell the difference and it does matter to him, and probably his band.

    Other guitar players in the room will notice. That's half the reason they came to the show anyway. They will notice that you changed speakers (because they looked at the back of your amp, or can see the new metallic dust caps through the speaker grill. They will comment on it in their blog, discuss it to death on TDPRI. And, try to buy the same exact speakers, tubes, wires, pinky rings, etc.

    The gear head in the audience might notice. They will make comments on the different amp you played this week as compared to last. But they probably won't notice that you put new tubes in or swapped speakers.

    The fat chicks in the audience will notice if you have a good groove, a decent voice and a not bad sound. But probably don't care which amp you're playing through and certainly not which tubes you've installed. They just hope they can find a nice guy who doesn't drink too much... in a bar.

    The skinny chicks are probably at someone else's show. Or getting hit on by some drunk while you're up on stage playing....

    And I'll admit that realistically, there will be a few guitar players at my shows, but just because they're my friends and hoped I'd invite them up to play, and they won't discuss much about my gear, except with me. There's probably a good collection of fat chicks in the audience (just because of demographics of the town I live in). There might be a few skinny chicks around, but I'll probably be too shy to talk to them. And, last but not least, I'm married, so even if I do talk to them it won't be for long. And I STILL will play better, be more comfortable and happiest with a rig that I like and enjoy more than that Dr. Z that made me so concerned about how I sounded.
     
  6. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    You forgot the guy drinking the fat chick skinny.
     
  7. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    No need to know the innards & guts of something - if you can simply find it gorgeous.

    My simple requirement for a gig are:

    1. I have to have a gorgeous tone
    2. I can't have a bad night

    Ususally it works (but not always - as for any musician).

    When I have a gorgeous tone, people know. They can tell. It's what they hear. We play simple music, where instruments are clearly audible.

    The magma of the Hammond B3, the Fender clean reverb tone, the controlled break-up, woman tone when you hit that overdrive - set up with taste...the tightness of the groove, drum & bass, etc...

    That's what we do. And that's what bring people back. It's not rocket science.

    We are in the ear-pleasing business... Some things are so obvious, how could it be any other way?
     
  8. Tonemaster

    Tonemaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Not true,,,I had a drummer who was watching us come up on a break, and tell me how good my tone was, and then proceded to tell HIS guitarplayer what he should sound like. :cool:


    T.
     
  9. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    how about this... words are algebra.

    what people say and what they mean are not the same EVEN WHEN THEY USE THE SAME PHRASE FROM THE SAME PERSON.

    There are several reasons to say "it doesn't matter because whatever you use will sound the same" means:
    1) I play the same tired stuff that even I'm tired of and I don't believe that anyone could sound great because I haven't experienced it myself.
    2) good enough is good enough because I have a peavey budget and kind of hate what I would have to do to get more (money, skill, discerning ears etc) essentially it is class warfare
    3) neophyte or unpracticed players attempt to offload their skill shortcomings onto gear and it is way to tell them, practice your art more and the sound will come faster than just buying a different amp which may or may not make you sound better
    4) I want to fit in with the 'smart' internet guys who always say that rich guys who spend money on stuff are stupid. it is just another way of saying "a fool and his money" of course a fool with no money is usually banging on an agile through a used peavey and reminding everyone that skynyrd played crap amps or that they once saw a guy with crummy gear who ruled... missing the whole anecdote + anecdote ≠ data.

    If you can hear, you can hear the difference. That is why guitarist's guitarists (like Knopfler) have complex backlines... they choose amps that get them the sounds they hear in their heads and they know if they hear it, a chunk of their audiences will too...

    Yes, Eddie Van Halen will sound like Eddie Van Halen... but, he has settled on a sound and has a specific technique because HE WANTS TO.

    A guy like Kevin Dukes can sound like anyone and really nail it... his gear is extensive and needs to be to cop all those sounds and techniques...

    cool thread as usual Larry.
     
  10. Daddy Hojo

    Daddy Hojo Friend of Leo's

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    Lol... My peavey and bad monkey setup is crushed by this...
     
  11. Setyaback

    Setyaback Tele-Holic

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    I think a big part of having a successful gig is confidence and the ability to feel natural up there. When you can hear yourself well on stage and you're confident that all the gear is dialed in and ready to give up the goods, you can proceed without thinking about it again for the rest of the night. You can let the tools work for you.

    The average audience member might not tell Vox vs Fender vs Marshall, but I think the crowd notices when you're comfortable, confident, and natural on stage. And you're not going to be any of those things if you're not satisfied with your tone.
     
  12. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thank you for putting it in such an elegant, concise & accurate description. You've said it all, & there's not much to add after that.
     
  13. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    You know, one thread in this thread is about the existence at a gig of another guitar who can appreciate more about your playing and sound than the guy getting girls drunk. It seems that the notion that one might play more for the one guy who actually knows what is going on than playing for the average punter is viewed as a bad thing. Well, few bad things are as bad as that previous sentence. Even I can't sort that one out. But it did fulfill my goal of using the word "punter." Brits and Aussies use that word all the time, but I still can't tell if there is at least a hint of a put-down in it. True/not true?

    A good 40 years ago, a guitarist in a rival band (yes, bands had rivals back then) said something that I can still hear and see him saying. It hit me very hard and I have never forgotten it. He said, "you and I play for other guitar players, and don't think too much about the other listeners." Bingo, the moment he said, I instantly knew that that was true for me. All I care about are listeners that share my values. I switched careers about 30-40 years ago, and became a classical composer in an academic setting. Believe me, that I could care less what someone who hasn't heard a lot this kind of music thinks. For example, I love my mom and sibs, but I stopped even playing my new works for them decades ago. There is nothing like hearing praise from someone who knows the field. I'm sorry for the bragging, but I was a guest composer at a university in New York some years ago, and a soloist was running through one of my new pieces the day before the concert. When she finished, a pianist sitting in the hall called out to me, "you're a wild man." I can now die and go to heaven. I can think of few compliments that have meant as much as that one.
     
  14. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    One thing about comfort. I have always been sensitive about how my hands feel. Ideally, before a gig, I will have soaked my hands in alternatively hot and cold water. They feel loose, stretched, nimble, and look bright red. I have to watch out for the calluses, though, which I address very carefully. If my hands are cold and stiff, I feel that my playing is crap. Listening to a recording the next day, I sound fine, even good. But it is almost impossible to shake the feeling that my playing is cold and stiff. In terms of sound, in my single note blues solos (my raison d'etre), all I need is a teeny bit of OD/sustain, enough to get a kind of vocal sound. Boy, am I a happy camper then. However, it is so easy for me to cross the line into gaininess. Danger, Will Robinson, danger.
     
  15. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's all about obtaining the right amount of gain - so true. It's that narrow window , & when you're there, you're in heaven - whatever the way to achieve it

    It's a narrow window for everybody, great bluesmen, not so great players, etc..
     
  16. StarliteDeVille

    StarliteDeVille Tele-Meister

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    That's one way to make your amp sound the way you want it.
     
  17. fauxsuper

    fauxsuper Tele-Afflicted

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    I know it's only Rock & Roll---------But I LIKE it.

    I've never considered myself as an "artist", it's not what I do. Nor, have I ever been a "guitarists guitarist". I've never strayed very far from Chuck Berry and am quite happy with that little piece of turf. When I was playing in bars, rhythm guitar was always WAY more important to me that playing solos, although I love to do so.

    I don't consider myself as pandering to anyone as it's the general audience that's paying my bills. If the crowd doesn't like you and get up and dance, you're not too likely to come back. I'm a little uncomfortable playing to people in seats or eating dinner, and I've only been in that situation less than ten times over my adult life.

    In some circles I was known as "that guy who plays all those Chuck Berry songs" which I didn't mind at all. I LIKE playing Chuck Berry Songs and other 50's rock. I was actually in a band for a while that specialized in that suff, but we didn't do it as "camp", and it was a fun gig. I used to get called up on stage by other bands to come up a play "a couple Rock & Roll tunes" and usually the dance floor would be packed, which I loved. When we'd do solos, the other guitar player would invariably play in his usual style and I'd end up doing the traditional double stops. I can play most of them note for note, but seldom did so, unless it was a signature bit. I'd rather see a full dance floor than have a dozen guitarists praise what I'm doing.

    Not that there's anything wrong with someone having a different priority. Although I've seen plenty of bands where the guitar player is just waiting for a chance to solo, and bored out of his mind when he isn't. Or bands where EACH guitar player takes 24 bars of solo in every song. Unless you're Jeff Beck, you might be boring people who aren't guitar players.

    Part of that is because I've never been the star of the show, or thought of myself in that way. A friend of my once described me as a George Harrison or Mike Campbell type guitar player, which just flattered the heck out of me, and one of the nicest things anyone had ever said to me, and I'm not even sure he meant it the way I took it.

    I find it interesting that blues, at least Chicago Blues was once thought of as dance music and people that went to clubs used to dance to it, it was a "popular" form of music. It always sort of seemed strange for me to go to a "blues" club where everybody sat down and politely listened.

    Some people listen with their minds, others listen with their hearts, and some with their feet. Most people probably listen with all three.

    Whatever floats your boat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  18. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Sure, no prob. But just because it was one way then, doesn't mean that it was the best, purest, most genuine, most anything. I miss Chicago like mad, but when I was out and about in the 80s and 90s, there were a lot of guitar solos, and I mean great ones.

    I'm not sure I dig the phrase "politely listened." There is a lot a negativity in that, and I'm not sure it is anyone's business how people listen, let alone being able to determine if it is done politely or not. In the blues clubs I went to, including the Checkerboard on 43rd Street, most people sat. These places were always packed, shoulder to shoulder. I think I saw dancing once at the Checkerboard. I am a very greedy and selfish listener, and what I want is what I want. And that is guitar solo after guitar solo. Whoever those poor blues jam schmoes are get my sympathy, but I've never been to one. If these guys can't play well, that's their own fault. They should be ashamed for getting up there and wasting people's time and ears. But there are also some really great guitarists out there, too. It was such a charge to hear guys who could really play doing solo after solo. Just because I like this and others don't is neither here no there. But give me a break about polite listening, as I don't even know how to do that, or recognize it in others. Oh, except for movies when the cultural elite are portrayed by screen writers as culturally and artistically bankrupt. Where are these listeners if not in movies?

    I go to a lot of classical music concerts, as that is my job and life. I haven't encountered any polite listeners there, either. I remember that the Lyric Opera in Chicago had something they called a Dress Circle. OK, so it is a bunch of CEOs bored out of their minds and their wives enjoying their moment of style, but that's not music, and has nothing to do with music. Music is just the background noise. But for all other classical music concerts, try talking to people during intermission and you'll see how emotional and passionate the concert experience is for them. It is a real problem for classical music that movies present it in some weird kind of way that is miles from reality.

    Sorry for the diversion. I know where we talking about blues, and now here I am talking about classical music. It's just that the concept of "polite listening" seems so false in my experience. I think people should judge others' taste in music in the most generous possible way and not try to imply snootiness (that is, outside the Dress Circle).
     
  19. fauxsuper

    fauxsuper Tele-Afflicted

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    I didn't mean anything by the phrase "politely listened" but that I find it unusual for people to be just "sitting" to music that makes me want to dance. In an earlier part of my post I even expressed my own dislike of playing in such situations. Just my own preference and I didn't mean to imply anything other than that. I meant no offense. The younger folks in the band I play in can't imagine people dancing to 60's rock, and playing that stuff doesn't make them want to dance

    My whole point was some people might react to music in ways other than intellectual ones and I don't think that means that they aren't listening.

    You mentioned about caring about others who shared your values, all I was trying to do was express the same.
     
  20. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Misunderstanding in progress ... looks like Larry though you meant "politely listening" in a condescending sort of way. I got it the first time, because I started doing gigs way way back when ... when these classic rock and whiteboy blues remakes were on the radio, current. Back then, that was party music.

    When I started working all-black venues (and all-black Baptist churches), I got an education in honest, heartfelt reactions to the music. If the audience liked you, they danced, cheered, and acted out in a good way. If they didn't like you ... well, you had a problem.

    Politely sitting, I think, is more the suburban Austin City Limits, informal concert thing, a watered down, Jazz Club mannerism. I got what you meant right away. It can be disconcerting when you're used to a lively crowd.
     
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