Tone is in the fingers?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by lareplus, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. GeoB

    GeoB Tele-Holic

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    Amps, guitars, & peripheral gear are tools. Get it? Tools.

    The rest is up to you.

    Use those tools well, exercise those tools, apply yourself to maximize what those tools are capable of and see what happens. Magic? Nope. Skill, craftsmanship, knowledge, and experience.

    Wishing is not good enough and hope is not a method.
     
  2. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    When I first read this I thought "might be a little too harsh".
    Second read, +1 :)

    I read a great quote from Keith Richards once... (slight paraphrase) "It doesn't matter what guitar is in my hands - I make them all sound the same"
     
  3. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    My fingers seem to produce a different tone from my Vox AC15 than from my Fender Bandmaster. Maybe I have two tone fingers.
     
  4. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Most people really don't seem to understand the difference between timbre and technique, and lump them both together as "tone". I sound like me playing through my DRRI, and I also sound like me through my Boogie. The technique remains largely the same, but the actual timbre is drastically different between the two amps.
     
  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Bred by lumberjacks no doubt. ;)
     
  6. pmcgee

    pmcgee Tele-Meister

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    Some people can play one note,that says everything, .Others can play for an hour and say nothing.
     
  7. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Of course tone is in the fingers.

    That's exactly where it's gonna stay if you have a cheap guitar or a crummy amp you have to struggle with.

    Some guys are talented enough to overcome anything. Are you one of them?

    Some guys play "cheap" guitars that have had a lot of work done to 'em by skilled setup guys.

    Same with amps. Some combinations are exactly right. "Exactly right" isn't the same for everyone.
     
  8. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's not tone, though. That's technique. That's also the interpretation of the listener. Some people can listen to one note and have a full emotional response to it, but are overwhelmed by a fast and complex passage, where others can listen to a series of fast runs and hear the emotion of the overall choice of notes, and the movement within them.

    Classical music often employs a lot of complex and fast runs and chordal movements to convey an emotion, and most of the better "shredders" utilize this technique in their playing. If you're not somebody who listens to a lot of this stuff, it can easily come out as "a flurry of notes that don't say anything," when in actuality it's saying quite a bit, but in a "language" that you're not as familiar with. It's just like somebody who speaks only English listening to a conversation between two people in, say, Vietnamese. To the English speaker, it just sounds like a flurry of indecipherable sounds, but to the Vietnamese speakers it is quite understandable.
     
  9. bigboyneverleft

    bigboyneverleft TDPRI Member

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    There is this clip of Benson (early) playing LP and he sounds very close to his hollow years. Scary close.
     
  10. sccloser

    sccloser Tele-Meister

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    I'd agree with that. Yes, it takes skill and talent to get a great sound. Yes, you can play through _____ (insert famous big name guitarist name here)'s rig and not sound like him. The technique, nuance, touch, etc is in the fingers. The gear accentuates this.

    But decent gear will help. And it will help you develop your sound.

    Clapton does not have the same tone to me since he switched gear. And the amps seem to make more of a difference than the guitars. He sounded great with the LP through the BB combo, but he also sounded great through the plexi's with a telecaster when he was with blind faith. His tone changed when he switched to strats, but also because he switched from Marshalls.
     
  11. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Friend of Leo's

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    I think that "Tone is in the fingers" advice is doled out most frequently when someone posts a question like "What (pedals/guitars/amps) should I buy to sound like (Guitarist xyz)?"

    I have always taken it as encouragement to practice the techniques employed by the guitarist in question, rather than spend hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars to have their same gear. It's really good advice.
     
  12. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This is definitely important. My old band covered a few Stones tunes, and I spent a LOT of time learning how to mimic Keith's style, which made a much bigger difference than it would if I would have simply cloned his rig (which has varied greatly over the years anyway).
     
  13. pmcgee

    pmcgee Tele-Meister

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    Yes it is tone..and technique ...a combination.
     
  14. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's primarily technique. Technique has been around for centuries, tone is a byproduct of the internet. :p
     
  15. Veebus52

    Veebus52 Tele-Meister

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    I think there is no black and white deviding line between tone and technique. Technique affects tone, but I don't think that tone affects technique, unless it makes you change your technique to get the "sound" that is right or pleasing to you. The tone knob on your guitar or amp only makes the signal more or less bright sounding. Perhaps we need a better word to describe what we are really talking about rather than "tone". What we go on and on about is more than just brightness. It is the search for that "sound" we crave and we get it (if we're lucky or good) by a combination of technique and equipment.
     
  16. unclefred

    unclefred Tele-Meister

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    I'd say the listeners to that note have big imaginations.
     
  17. pmcgee

    pmcgee Tele-Meister

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    Not really.. After years of working music stores and having heard just about everything tone wise.Good and bad . Some guys just have great tone and you know it right away. I know of several people who can play one note and you know they are a special player.. The guys that have it can make anything sound good.. The guys that don't . want to sound like the guys that have the great tone .. They buy this amp ,,,that amp..change speakers weekly,, change pickups constantly.. and on and on. Equipment makes a big difference yes.. but it comes from within..and I ain't talkin soul..thats another thing... Its' about the touch. And you will never convince me otherwise..
     
  18. DocJay

    DocJay Tele-Meister

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    Maybe it's easier to think about using the example of a painter and brushes and paints. The skilled artist can do amazing things with different brushes and colors, but can also make beautiful art with nothing more than a pencil and paper. Someone who can't draw a stick figure won't do any better with the most expensive art supplies in the world.
     
  19. pmcgee

    pmcgee Tele-Meister

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    You said it all man ....right on .... Phil
     
  20. pmcgee

    pmcgee Tele-Meister

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    ..
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
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