The secret to good tone is...

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Panama_Jack666Panama_Jack666 Frets: 2715
edited April 2014 in Guitar
A hollow body guitar! That and good technique... I'm in the 'tone is all in the fingers' camp I'm afraid. I don't really get on with pedal boards and try to keep it as minimal as possible. On the back of that though, I think a decent amp is an integral part of the perfect setup and a fairly large part of the overall tone.

So my secret to good tone is...

1. Player/Technique
2. Hollow body guitars (Although not if Ted Nugent is playing one)

Pick your top 2 ingredients for good tone. I'm sure there will be varying opinions depending on person/genre...
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  • vizviz Frets: 6675
    edited April 2014

    Human ability (musical sense, fingers, etc)

    Analogue signal management (wood, strings, pickups, cables, analogue pedals, valves, speaker cones, magnets, etc)

    "Misogyny ... enforces sexism by punishing those who reject an inferior status for women and rewards those who accept it." - a great quote from Guitartango
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  • monquixotemonquixote Frets: 11429
    Number one is technique. Just been watching the Paul Jackson Jr video and by adjusting his technique he makes a Les Paul sound like a jazz guitar then a funk guitar without changing any settings.

    Number two is knowing how to get the best out of your gear like not using too much gain. Understanding how to use EQ etc. 

    You can't get good tone out of bad gear, but anything reasonably professional quality is going to sound phenominal in the hands of someone who understands the first two.
    Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
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  • ROOGROOG Frets: 475
    This explains a lot. :0(

     

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  • guitargeek62guitargeek62 Frets: 2122
    edited April 2014
    Phrasing & space. 

    And fuzz;

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  • Number one is technique. Just been watching the Paul Jackson Jr video and by adjusting his technique he makes a Les Paul sound like a jazz guitar then a funk guitar without changing any settings.
    What vid is this? I would like to see!
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  • monquixotemonquixote Frets: 11429
    The Science of Rhythm Guitar. 

    It's awesome.
    Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
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  • The Science of Rhythm Guitar. 

    It's awesome.
    Cheers for the recommendation, going to take a look at that!
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  • Number one is technique. Just been watching the Paul Jackson Jr video and by adjusting his technique he makes a Les Paul sound like a jazz guitar then a funk guitar without changing any settings.

    Number two is knowing how to get the best out of your gear like not using too much gain. Understanding how to use EQ etc. 

    You can't get good tone out of bad gear, but anything reasonably professional quality is going to sound phenominal in the hands of someone who understands the first two.
    A wisdom for this, sir.



    One thing I found improved my tone - and this was after a good 20-odd years of playing - was a stronger left hand. Really working those vibratos and bends rather than just bending to pitch and wondering why it didn' sound the same as when, for example, SRV did it or BB King.

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  • JDEJDE Frets: 1088
    Touch. I don't agree that you can't get good tone without good gear. Your touch is what makes you sound like you. I watched that Knopfler doc about his 6 or 7 guitars that were most important to him. He started off playing some cheap (and probably awful) Strat-style copy. He plugged in and... sounded exactly like Mark Knopfler. That's all touch. I play through a lot of different gear because I'm lucky enough to know a lot of people that own far nicer shit than me - give or take 10% (if you can quantify "mojo" lol) and I nearly always sound like me. I have a knack of making a 4K Les Paul sound substantially cheaper ;). It's not the secret to tone, it just is tone.

    Theory/musical understanding. Some people have "the knack of the tunesmith" others like me have to work on the mechanics of it. Technique allows you to get from A to B faster and in a wider variety of ways, but as they say in the jazz world - if you don't have the vocabulary, nobody wants to hear you talk bollocks really nicely.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 49401

    Panama_Jack666 said:

    The secret to good tone is…

    Listening to how it fits into the mix.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • SkippedSkipped Frets: 2238
    edited April 2014
    First of all it is the fingers. But accepting that fingers on their own  are silent....

    I think great tone can be an accident. Gibson in the fifties may well have been a happy coming together of:
    A nice wood stash.
    Very competent builders who developed their skills making high quality jazz guitars.
    Ted McCarty and Seth Lover.

    I think you can go through 50 guitars, cheap guitars, Mexico Fenders, and find one which is outstanding because of an accident. Maybe a refret with tall wire "just works" with that guitar, and importantly....... in your hands. It is yet another reason why I regret the ongoing replacement (by ebay) of second hand guitar shops.

    For me -  tone that I feel happy with came from: experience, listening, ditching all effects except delay, and a couple of guitars that have something. To find these - all you have to do is pick up 500 guitars and put back the 498 that don't have something.

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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 8156
    1. Listening to what you are playing
    2. Technique
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  • impmannimpmann Frets: 9050
    1) Listen to the song
    2) Listen to what you play
    3) Adjust
    4) Repeat
    Never Ever Bloody Anything Ever.

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  • "Tone"? That's ANTHONY to you, have some respect.

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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 10279
    ICBM said:

    Panama_Jack666 said:

    The secret to good tone is…

    Listening to how it fits into the mix.

    It's entirely about context.


    When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die. 
    Jean-Paul Sartre 
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  • ICBM said:

    Panama_Jack666 said:

    The secret to good tone is…

    Listening to how it fits into the mix.

    What if it isn't in a mix and it's a guitar on it's own? Does 'tone' then not exist?
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  • blueskunkblueskunk Frets: 2546
    MDP's special jaws like nut
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 49401
    What if it isn't in a mix and it's a guitar on it's own? Does 'tone' then not exist?
    It's the sound of one hand clapping…

    :)




    No, in that case the guitar sound *is* the mix, so it's still possible to have a good tone.

    This is exactly why - in general, although not always - when playing by yourself you need a fuller, broader tone with more bottom end and probably less midrange and treble. When you're playing with a band you generally want less bass, more mid and possibly more treble.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • ICBM said:
    What if it isn't in a mix and it's a guitar on it's own? Does 'tone' then not exist?
    It's the sound of one hand clapping…

    :)




    No, in that case the guitar sound *is* the mix, so it's still possible to have a good tone.

    This is exactly why - in general, although not always - when playing by yourself you need a fuller, broader tone with more bottom end and probably less midrange and treble. When you're playing with a band you generally want less bass, more mid and possibly more treble.
    ONE HAND CLAPPING?! That sounds like something a none guitarist would say! Good job it was in jest! ;)

    Some interesting points you've made there. I have to admit I haven't made a conceited effort to see how differently I have set my amp in a band setting compared to playing at home. However, thinking about it I always to turn the bass up on my amp...
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 6963
    ...dynamics and application
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • frankusfrankus Frets: 4711
    1) Lists
    2) Exceptions to the rule.
    A sig-nat-eur? What am I meant to use this for ffs?! Is this thing recording?
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 28181
    ... secret sauce.
    Want to know what it is?
    Can't tell you- it is a secret.
    http://uptheoctave.com
    Audio Production Reviews and Technique.
    Latest article for Production Expert: Mixing with guitar pedals. https://bit.ly/3hCtIHF
    Latest article for Pro Tools Expert: Why I bought an Avid MTRX. https://bit.ly/30HGqPv
    Click here for all my articles.
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  • ...

    Distortion

    ALL OF THE FUCKING GAIN YOU CAN MUSTER

    And delay.  And modulation.  Any kind - phaser, chorus, flanger... Or a combintation.  In front of dirt.  

    And gain.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 49401
    You forgot volume.

    Volume IS tone. Ask Eddie Van Halen.

    Or Ted Nugent.

    On second thoughts, perhaps best not to ask Ted.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • ...

    Distortion

    ALL OF THE FUCKING GAIN YOU CAN MUSTER

    And delay.  And modulation.  Any kind - phaser, chorus, flanger... Or a combintation.  In front of dirt.  

    And gain.
    You sound like the guitarist from my old band!
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 28181
    http://uptheoctave.com
    Audio Production Reviews and Technique.
    Latest article for Production Expert: Mixing with guitar pedals. https://bit.ly/3hCtIHF
    Latest article for Pro Tools Expert: Why I bought an Avid MTRX. https://bit.ly/30HGqPv
    Click here for all my articles.
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  • chrispy108chrispy108 Frets: 2334
    Left-hand/palm muting
    EQing where the 'gap' in the band is.
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  • ElectroDanElectroDan Frets: 549

    1. Great technique - Most importantly in-tune bending, and vocal like vibrato.

    2. Playing interesting notes/rhythms - The guitarists I think of as having great tone, often have something of a swing to their playing.

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  • matt1973matt1973 Frets: 332
    1. Talent
    2. Hard work
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  • LastMantraLastMantra Frets: 1106
    Good old fashioned spunk.
    MYMUSIC

    I wanna be a door
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