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Tone vs. skill....

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Boreas, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    This thread is getting tedious to read. I think I'll go practice.
     
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  2. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't know - nobody can deny he was a beast on the guitar, but that icepick tone (at least on the CD I had) was enough for me to give it away.
     
  3. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I see no reason why a guitarist shouldn't be able to develop playing skills AND tweak guitars for tone - given the time to do so.

    The only thing that might prevent that is not having enough time. And in that case, I say the individual should pursue whichever avenue he, personally, feels most compelled to explore.
     
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  4. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    @Collin D Plonker
    Billy F Gibbons comes to mind when I read this statement.
     
  5. JoesTele

    JoesTele Tele-Holic

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    I agree. Brian Setzer has a hole in his Gretsch because he snipped out the tone switch. John Lennon cut the connections to his middle pickup on his Ric 325.

    But those guys are stars. The average Joe always seems to complicate their gear. Come on, music stores just aren't selling instruments, you know? There is so much aftermarket doodads available...and we all seem to buy them.
     
  6. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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    Agree 100%. But there is also a crowd that gets stuck in that rut of tweaking and wondering "what if" and spend more time worrying, tweaking and acquiring gear and less time actually playing. Nothing wrong with that either if thats what brings you happiness, just dont expect neglecting actually playing to make you better.
     
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  7. Johnnyjbj

    Johnnyjbj TDPRI Member

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    Practice practice practice, and when your good enough that those guitars start paying for themselves then buy all the nice stuff you want...
     
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  8. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    I somewhat agree, I can listen but will not make it straight through the CD , a little bit at a time.

    And in spite of what many people say, the tone has nothing to do with his fingers, it's a Joe Barden with the tone wide open.
     
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  9. Injam

    Injam Tele-Meister

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    Practice does make you better, but there is also talent.
    It is said that Brian Jones could play any musical instrument within thirty minutes, even if he has never seen or heard it before. Now that is talent.
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Bardens can sound fatter, warmer, less shrill, and without using the tone knob on the guitar.
    My feeling is he had poor high frequency hearing and it didn't sound shrill to his ear.

    I play Esquires with low wind pickups and no tone control.
    When I hand one of my plugged in Esquires to another player, they sound way more shrill and harsh than I did on the same guitar/ amp/ settings.
    My sense is that guitar players tend to depend on electronics to get their tone.
    That's the main advantage of the electric guitar!

    I used to play saxes violin and cello.
    No knobs on those instruments!
    Yet players get varied tones.
    You can cut treble on an electric guitar using your fingers if you practice doing that.
    Or using knobs.
     
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  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    583CE55F-112E-4358-9383-3F8386D33D1A.jpeg
    From 1980-1990 I added more and more parts to my electrics.
    It started to bother me that I needed to switch sounds to change sounds, and none of the sounds were dead on what i wanted.
    Dial in the amp for a good Strat neck tone and the bridge is bright and thin.
    Dial in the amp for a fat Strat bridge tone and the neck is dark and muddy.
    Dial in a compromise tone and neither pickup sounds great, not even the middle.
    That's how I heard those sounds anyhow.

    Around 1990 I picked up a new swamp ash Telel body and an old Tele bridge pickup, then found a used Tele bridge and plate to assemble my first Esquire, though without ever seeing an actual Esquire or knowing it was an actual model.

    Essentially I spent ten years playing and modding experimentally, then discovered that off the shelf guitars had way too many parts and I needed to reduce part counts, not increase.
    Too many pickups, too many knobs, too many saddles.
    Fewer parts means the parts have to be right though.
    Never was there a time when I shopped and modded more than playing.
    Really there was no market or modding community, so I was on my own and not a recreational modder.
    Growing as a player requires growing a sound, cultivating control of our tone.
    But IMO we need to choose new parts because we know what's wrong with the parts we have, and know what different parts will solve the problems. If we have problem free guitars, no need to mod.

    Guitars all have problems to me, until I get them dialed in with the right very simple combo of parts and adjustment. This one is perfect and has no problems.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
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  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I never practice my guitar.
    From time to time I just open the case and throw in a piece of raw meat.
     
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  13. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    bad headstock tuners can ruin your day

    good intonation makes the notes sound sweeter, so bridges and saddles are worth it

    strings, too

    then there's the pickups, and that's a big can of worms -- though it's smaller than you might expect

    all the signal processing is cool -- after all, sounds can suggest things

    one thing that bugs me more is how the purposes of music have changed more and faster than gear and technique
     
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  14. cocoboudin

    cocoboudin Tele-Holic

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    It’s been a while I didn’t post! A decent guitar, decent amp(something your comfy to play whit) and lots of practice you will get you both
     
  15. Dik Ellis

    Dik Ellis Tele-Meister

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    The key is using the gear that you have, and learning how to get the best out of that gear. I have a number of fine guitars, and they are all stock, save one. The only thing I change are the strings.
     
  16. pippoman

    pippoman Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I can relate. I feel like I have to play more when I get new gear, if for nothing more than to justify the purchase. I’m slowing down on acquisitions lately. I guess at 68 reality has hit hard and maybe I should just enjoy what I have. I have more than I deserve, and that’s not false humility. I haven’t reached my peak, but as this thread has so clearly indicated, new gear won’t get me there. Only practice can do that.
     
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  17. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I practice a lot. I still suck. But, my tone is to die for.

    /thread
     
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  18. BrazHog

    BrazHog Tele-Meister

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    And by that time all the nice stuff will be tax deductible too!
     
  19. Doctor Blue

    Doctor Blue TDPRI Member

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    Absolutely, although I'd rephrase it to
    a - Determination (which includes practice practice practice)
    b - natural talent (as a footnote: my many years as a teacher have shown that, on its own, talent ain't enough! I've seen loads of very talented kids who simply couldn't be bothered to put in the work.)
    c - nice gear. A playable guitar is essential, as a "musical" result is a great motivator, but a beginner doesn't need a Collings. As one's skill evolves, so can the quality of the instrument.
     
  20. Mgeek

    Mgeek TDPRI Member

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    Playing the guitar is different things do different people.

    1/ To some it's a hobby. People with hobbies love obsessing over the details, it's the same as having a train set, or collecting stamps. Something to involve your brain, so playing around with types of pickups, dreaming about bumble bee capacitors being the one thing stopping you from attaining musical valhalla is fine.

    2/ Making music/art. I'm not sure practicing even is the thing here as much as coming up with novel ideas. I'm probably no better, technically on the guitar than I was when I was 16, but I keep on trying to come up with new sounds and songs that excite me

    Most people it's a combination of the two, but outside of a couple of specific genres, I don't think technical perfection is really that interesting a thing to pursue.
     
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