Which of the following will most improve tone?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by AgaveBlueCaster, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, thanks for the lecture, but I've been around music a day or two. I stand by my statements.
     
  2. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Banned

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    So textural guitarists aren't real guitaists then?

    Okay.
     
  3. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    Excuse me? I don't remember saying that in any of my posts.

    I do remember saying something about guys who don't play music, but just noodle. Ring a bell?
     
  4. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    8 and 1
     
  5. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Banned

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    It was certaintly the implication here -

    Of course it always helps arguments be more coherent and mature when all points are properly dealth with and not met with "Whoa cool lecture bro."

    It might not be what you meant to say, but it is something that follows on from what you said. If you think tone is so unimportant and are sick of people focusing on it, then you cannot hold textural guitarists in high regard. You didn't make any exceptions.

    Saying "I stand by my statements" while ignoring an argument challenging those statements is pretty arrogant and certainly poor debating.

    People need to stop judging guitar by the way they like to play it. There are many approaches to the instrument, which is why it remains interesting even after being the most overexposed one.

    Another example of tone vs. technique would be early electronic music didn't have much room for "techinique", it was all about tricks with the tone and effects, working with filters, gates, etc. getting the right sounds to go together may be a fuzzier science but still important.
     
  6. Bill  Hullett

    Bill Hullett Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    The Tone

    Your list doesn't have the solution....improving your tone only comes from improving your ears....listen intently to great records and take the time to reason why people did what they did on your favorite records...Chances are they didn't just stumble on it...
    Bill Hullett
     
  7. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    Woah, take it easy. I'm not talking about "textural guitarists", you, or any of your heroes. The OP is a beginning guitarist asking for input on improving his tone. HE listed lessons as an option. And no, I don't think that tone should be a MAJOR focus for a beginning guitarist.

    Sheesh, this reminds me of a girlfriend I had once who would sometimes forget to take her medication.
     
  8. vedran

    vedran TDPRI Member

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    Improving your playing is always a first advice. Other than that, new pickups - or rewounding stock pickups - is the solution. MIM standard are just crap owerwounded pickups. I have classic series Esquire, and its pickup was the same, until I had it rewounded. Now it sings :)
     
  9. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    Okay. I'm confused. Is it in the fingers or the ears? Or is it your finger in your ears?
     
  10. ScatMan

    ScatMan Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for posting. That helps us to know where you're coming from.

    I personally think your clean tones are fine (to my ears), feel free to tweak away though.

    After having listened to your playing on Yesterday, I think you're off to a great start!

    Keep it up and remember to practice, practice, practice. :)
     
  11. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Practise is the only thing that will improve tone, everything else just makes it different, right?

    A good guitarist will sound good on any guitar he/she plays, and they will still sound like themselves to people listiening. The guitarist on the other hand, will be able to tell a greater difference between guitars, gear, and mods. Its just one of those things. Listien to chet atkins play a Gibson, Tele, or Gretsch. To just listien, without looking at the guitar we would all say, "that sounds like Chet Atkins. Man, can chet atkins pick or what?" I bet Chet Atkins could tell a difference in his particular sound when his fingernails were .001 inch longer or shorter, but I bet we couldn't.


    I will say that my guitar playing skills drastically improved when I got a good amp. I was more inspired to learn to play, I just loved the sounds coming out of it. I could get sounds like I heard on the radio or my fav cds. Notice I said sounds, because I couldn't come close to their playing abillity, but those little tid bits of sounds I was getting drove my playing to several new levels.

    Good equipment does make a difference, but it doesn't make any difference if you don't practice.

    Good luck, and remember to always keep pickin'.
     
  12. AgaveBlueCaster

    AgaveBlueCaster TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the tip. I converted my files to MP3 and posted them on soundclick:
    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=893935
     
  13. Leoisgod

    Leoisgod TDPRI Member

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    I wish this was true, but I had an experience a few years back that disturbed me. Joe Bonamassa came though town on a drive by stop on the way to a blues fest in FL. I saw him in a very small club and approached him at the break and complimented him on his playing. All he did was walk by me, no eye contact, and mumbled that his amp sucked. I had my then teenage son who also plays guitar with me and I have to say Mr. Bonamassa did not impress either of us being essentially rude and putting down his gear. I am sure he would not remember even the gig but we certainly do and it has tainted our opinion of him since. Sorry Ron as I am in awe of your work and fine posts on this site. True story and felt I needed to get it off my chest.
     
  14. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Banned

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    That's not really what tone is. A cheap, shoddy guitar and amp won't have as good tone, but any good musician can still put them to use.
     
  15. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I had a colleague who did the no eye contact thing for a few years. It is so de-humanizing to be on the receiving end of that. It only became more bearable when I learned that he did that to everyone. He stopped a while ago, and it really changed everything for the better.

    Joe B. sounds like an immature jerk for doing what he did. Even when things are off the rails, one can respond to people in a human way. It wouldn't hurt him to say what the problem was while looking at you.
     
  16. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think you got Ron's post backward. Guitarist always complain about their gear, but the people in the crowd won't, especially when they got the chops. You saw him and complimented him on his playing. You didn't say his gear sucked.
     
  17. Nicky B

    Nicky B Tele-Meister

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    I'm gonna address the tone here, because your tone and you skill are two different things. Yes there are techniques to produce a new sound, but we are talking about the equipment, and completely eliminating the human factor here.
    We are talking what he can do to improve TONE, not skill/technique. #8 should be in another question, as it encompasses all of these, and is a different subject in itself.

    So heres my advice/answer for changing your tone.

    ------Most simple changes for slight tone alteration.

    Changing string gauge or type, for example...going from 9's to 10's or 10's to 11's or switching from nickel/steel to pure nickel strings.
    Changing string saddles to a type made from a different material.

    ------Changes needing a few basic skills and tools, soldering, wire cutters, etc.

    Changing pickups can result in a huge change in tone.
    Changing the tone and volume pots to a different value.
    Adding extra switching options to the guitars circuit.
    Taking the tone pot out of the circuit.
    _____________________________________________________________

    I really don't like this whole tone is in the hands/fingers you hear often (not just you China, im not trying to single you out). 99.99999% of the time when someone is asking a question about tone, they are talking about what the gear produces. We have to realize that duplicating a player's gear won't give us that player's skill, touch, or the other subtle nuances. But if you like a player's tone and you get very similar gear, you can get a similar tone — at least by the dictionary definition.

    The word tone has been used incorrectly by guitarists for ages (including me). Nowhere in the dictionary definition of the word is there a distinction made between the sound the gear makes and the additional individuality the player adds to that sound. What I see most frequently are these definitions:

    Tone: The quality or character of sound. The characteristic quality or timbre of a particular instrument or voice.

    Hmmmm. That suggests that tone isn't in the fingers after all.

    Contrast that with the dictionary definition of

    Sound: Music. A distinctive style, as of an orchestra or a singer.

    So if we go by those dictionary definitions and extrapolate for guitarists:

    Tone = sound produced by the gear

    Sound = sound produced by the artist (hands/fingers) + the instrument (gear)

    I've frequently heard guitarists make this very distinction exactly backwards. i.e. sound is what the gear produces.

    Personally, I believe that the hands and fingers bring the individuality to the equation. The tone already exists. Don't believe me? Try creating your tone with your hands and NO gear.

    Jeff Beck will still play like Jeff Beck through a Hondo Strat through a Pignose. You'll hear his individuality, his touch, and he can play brilliantly and distinctively. But his tone will be crap.
    Or put another way: I own Wolf Hoffmann's guitar and amp. I certainly don't play as well as Hoffmann, but I play well enough so that if I play an Accept song with that rig, you can bet I have Hoffmann's tone. If he plays an open A chord with that rig, and then I play an open A chord with the same rig, any difference in tone will be infinitesimal.
     
  18. Rena Rune

    Rena Rune Banned

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    I remember reading that before :)

    And I still agree with it as much as the first time.
     
  19. WrapAround

    WrapAround Tele-Holic

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    This one is the most overlooked and under appreciated but takes you the farthest.
     
  20. Nicky B

    Nicky B Tele-Meister

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    But its dosnt affect the tone...thats chops/skill your talking about!!!

    I said this above, but ill put it in a more tele-related way...

    If a player who played for 1 month strums his tele/amp and strums a G chord, and then Gatton himself comes in with the same tele/amp and strums a G chord, there will be no tonal deference, despite Gatton being able to stop an Abrams tank with his solos!

    SKILL =/= TONE


    As for advice, another swap i forgot to list before is a new nut made of different material and with cuts for your guage, but you should get a tech for that.
     
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