The older I get the cleaner I like my sounds...why?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by NeckP90, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. NBS2005

    NBS2005 TDPRI Member

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    Mostly clean here (hear) as well. Still like an occasional Tweed overdrive sound and can get that when I need it out of my amp at reasonable volume. But clean is better for my ears; distortion aggravates my tinnitus.
     
  2. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Afflicted

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    I do play cleaner overall. The biggest change though is that when I was younger I had exactly 2 default tone settings -- squeaky clean and gain on 11. Probably has as much to do as the era (80's - 90's) as anything. Now I like everything in between those two extremes - my clean has to have a touch of hair on it and I need my crunchy sounds to be clean enough to get clarity between the notes. Either way I like big guitar sounds and I find that super clean and super heavy tones both seem to squeeze everything down instead of opening it up.
     
  3. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    When you're young, you don't know much, so you're content to simply "make noise"; however, as you develop an understanding of the nuances of music, you begin to cultivate an affinity to "making music". What was once a tight, nondescript bud on the end of a stem, explodes into a beautiful, multifaceted flower!
     
  4. soundcloset

    soundcloset TDPRI Member

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    Watch Rick Beato analyze Larry Carleton's playing, go back and listen through the long versions of Whipping Post, that huge puff of air at the start of Stan Getz solo in Girl from Ipanema, and you realize that touch and really tasteful playing will stay with you while sludge and grind are fun in the moment but it doesn't feel as timeless. To me, anyway. And yeah, our ability to hear high frequencies diminishes, so we want nuance and clarity so we can hear what's really happening.
     
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  5. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    It's part of growing up!
    People use too much distortion. Actually, if you really listen to guitar parts you like, there is usually not nearly as much distortion as people sometimes think.
     
  6. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Because it’s what you like now.

    Squeaky clean sound is not inherently better.

    It is not proof of better technique or touch.

    It is just ... cleaner.

    Squeaky clean is often far less audible in a band than crunch. And often leads to excess volume and painful transients.

    So there’s that.
     
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  7. Jason_

    Jason_ TDPRI Member

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    I’ve always played crunchy rhythm, then searing drive for leads. Clean was a dull, lifeless sound in all the amps I had owned. Then I got a Twin Reverb, and my whole world changed. And I’m getting older as well, but I think it’s more to do with having a clean sound that is full and juicy with harmonic content and sustain, similar to what the distortion was doing for me before. I was playing last night and trying to dial in my OCD with the Twin, and eventually I just shut it off and played clean. There were certain frequencies with the overdrive that felt like they were getting inside my ear and drilling around in there. Especially on double stop bends that create that lower beat overtone. So I’m also enjoying clean more these days. Mind you, I’m goosing it with some compression and a boost, but it’s still a clean tone.
     
  8. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    Maturity. Wisdom. Taste. Enhanced skill. Hearing loss. Better gear. Refined choice of material.

    Delete any which are not applicable......:lol::D:rolleyes::)
     
  9. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Hey, Johnny Marr did it when he was still young!!

    I've gotten cleaner as I've gotten older too, but more because my tastes have shifted from rock and Texas blues to jazz, ambient and funk. I still like to crank my tweed champ clone though (usually after inserting some good musician's earplugs...or maybe I just stand in the other room). Nothing like the glory of a cranked tweed.

    Ironically, where I use overdrive the most (and the main reason I have pedals for it) is...worship band! Yes, I often need to provide texture for the keys and acoustic, colors for the different sections of the song...and sometimes just need it to be heard over the band and drums. Worship band is responsible for me becoming a delay, reverb and tremolo addict too. Once I got all these pedals, I started experimenting with ambient stuff and loops.

    Really want to get a DigiTech FreqOut so I can get some cool feedback effects without killing everyone's ears (and my own). Also planning to try the Danelectro Breakdown soon to. Anyone use either of these pedals (especially in worship)?
     
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  10. teletail

    teletail Tele-Holic

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    For me it's simply a matter of the music I'm playing. I listen to a lot of country, Rockabilly and even the blues I listen to is mostly more overdrive than outright distortion. You listen to Stevie Ray and he plays more things cleaner than you would think.

    I also have a Les Paul and Marshall half stack for when I play with a band that really requires balls to the walls overdrive. These days though, it's mostly clean with a Doc Fisher Tele into a DRRI with a little dirt added by various pedals only when required.

    When I practice, it's the Doc Fisher directly into a Princeton. It sets my ear for that clean sound and I find that I use much less distortion and overdrive as my ear gets acclimated to that clean sound.
     
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  11. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I’ve cleaned up, too.
    I’m old, seasoned, experienced, mature, considerate, and, ahem, skilled.
    I don’t “do” distortion sounds unless it’s requested/required.
    I’m more Born To Be Mild, than Wild.
    However, some things, like the aforementioned Steppenwolf nugget, can’t be done clean, IMO.
    Anyways, I don’t miss the distortion sound much.
    The volume levels my employers require are indeed polite.
     
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  12. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    really good melodies sound so much nicer when they're not laced with fuzz.
     
  13. GuitarGeorge

    GuitarGeorge Tele-Meister

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    Not only cleaner, but a whole lot less trebly also.
     
  14. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree ... nothing like a good clean tone ... I think our hearing does change as we age...
     
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  15. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    As I get (much) older I find myself going to both extremes.
    For most of my music I have come to like having as clean a lead tone as I can bear (lately a medium overdrive) and using higher volume on the amps to provide the sustain, thump and dynamics. It’s forced me to clean up my playing because it’s very unforgiving but it’s that ‘singing’ and expressive thing.
    On the other extreme I have been fascinated with fuzz lately. I’m not very good at using it yet but I find that glitchy, amp-coming-apart thing very inspiring.
     
  16. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    your not kdding..every year. since i switched to guitar 5 years ago, cleaner & cleaner..now its edge of breakup land with as lil as gain needed. It records so much fuller. If i can get set on 4-6ish clean..then start to crunch till about 8 then dime for leads. Its the zone that i tend to live in. So simple for gigging..lil bost here & there fuzz but mostly those 3 sounds & am good to go
     
  17. mjstamos

    mjstamos Tele-Meister

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    The best set ups I have ever played always have great clean tones somewhere in there and they react to the guitar. You can always add distortion, fuzz, OD etc to any set up but you can't add crystal clear clean tone that has to be achieved holistically with amp, speaker guitar working together unless you just go direct but then you loose amp interaction.
     
  18. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    I play cleaner, but the dirt pedals are still at my toes when I want me
     
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  19. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    The other thing that teaches you to play cleaner is playing with other people. All by yourself it sounds great. But in a mix, the cleaner the better, usually. A little bit of distortion goes a long way. Too much just gets lost, and gets you buried. Most of the time, what people mistake for distortion is just a clean amp REALLY LOUD. That thick crunch. Even heavy stuff, AC/DC or something, is actually pretty clean.
     
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  20. NeckP90

    NeckP90 Tele-Meister

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    Townshend's live sound is a great example of that. You think it's all crunchy and distorted but actually it's very clean.
     
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