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General Tone Tips

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  • d2718
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    The last post in this thread was more than a year ago, but I've just read them all, and thought I'd add my own collection. Most of these have been touched on before, but, y'know, I can't not elaborate!

    1) Set up your guitar. If your guitar doesn't need any "destructive editing" (like filing nut slots or levelling the frets), this is super easy to do yourself with just a couple of allen wrenches (or maybe a screwdriver) and a strobe tuner. Peterson sells a strobe stomp box tuner for only slightly more than a new Boss tuning pedal (and less than the Boss Waza one). Get those strings up off the frets. If you play metal with heaps of distortion and lots of fast leads up high, this might not matter as much, but if you do anything else, your guitar will only ever produce one kind of tone: that weak, plinky sound of the strings spanking against the frets that's reminiscent of a cigar box and rubber bands.

    2) Record yourself. Until you've listened to a recording of yourself, there's no way you can divorce the perception of the sound coming out of your amplifier from the feeling of excitement and satisfaction you get in the moment of playing. It is vitally important to be able to experience your music like the audience will, and you'll never realize how bad your timing and tone are, how uneven your dynamics and articulation are, until you do. Also, recording forces you to work out all those transitions and nail down all those lead lines that you've been flubbing your way through or putting off finalizing. Use recording to figure out what you need to work on, and practice, practice, practice. All those little nuances that make you bite your bottom lip when you listen to great players are only possible when you have command of the instrument.

    3) Keep your signal chain simple. This one has been mentioned a lot in this thread, but I'd like to elaborate. Subtle tonal and timbral variations just aren't noticeable in a live situation. Your audience can't tell the difference between your fancy Strymon flanger and your MXR Phase-90, and when the rest of your band is playing, neither can you. Leave one (the expensive one) at home. Do you need a delay and a reverb? Do you even need either of them, or do they just clutter up the mix? Pick a few pedals that each make a unique, noticeable change that adds to what you're doing. As I'm sure you've heard, too many buffered (or unbuffered--they can both cause their own problems) pedals in your chain can attenuate and alter the frequency response of your signal in undesirable ways ("suck the life out of your tone"). Furthermore, fewer pedals means less stuff to haul around, fewer points of failure in your signal chain, less noise (unless you want to add a noise gate--oh, look, another pedal), fewer pieces of gear whose levels and settings need to be tweaked, less stuff to distract you from playing during your performance, less chance of losing or damaging your nice pedals, and there are probably more, but I think I've made my point. The one possible downside is that you won't dazzle the other guitar dudes in the audience with your collection of cool, obscure pedals. (I will be dazzled, too, but I'll be conflicted because I'm also judging you for having too many pedals.)

    4) Do not point your amp at your shins; that is not where your ears are. If your amp sounds good to you while it's sitting on the floor, pointed at your shins, it'll be an icepick in the faces of the audience. Point your amp at least somewhat at your head: Tilt your amp back a little (like with one of those purpose-made stands), get a cabinet with an angled baffle, or raise your amp up off the stage (grab a chair from the audience). This last option is particularly helpful for the sound guy if he's reinforcing your amp, because there's more rumble thumping around right down there by the floor.

    5) Turn that bass knob down. Those frequencies will just have you fighting with the kick drum and the bass player on their turf, where you are going to lose; the collateral damage from that battle is going to be a bunch more mud that makes the whole band sound loud but inarticulate. It takes a lot of energy to move air down there; let your amp use that energy where it will get a lot more mileage (y'know, the midrange).

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  • LLL
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    Practicing is imperative if you want good tone... time spent on guitar forums socializing with your online friends all day and night, when one should be practicing, is detrimental to your tone.

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  • alex222
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    Originally posted by Kommerzbassist View Post
    Where can I get those and hpw do theylook like?



    At least if they don't have a true-bypass switch more info here (a switch that takes the effect completely out of the line by bypassing it physically)
    Thanks, it good idea

    Leave a comment:


  • Lennystyle
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    Hola friends, need advise. I connected my guitar to a computer and I want to find a cool game like the Hero of a Guitar. There is something in mind, but I do not know what to download. Thank you in advance)Click image for larger version

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  • timtheshredder
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    I had the pleasure of talking with Steve Lukather at NAMM last year. I asked him about what he thinks makes great tone and he said it all comes from your fingers. I doesn't matter what rig you play, tone starts with the player. If you put Eddie on your rig, he will sound like Eddie. I tend to agree. 90% of tone comes from you and your playing style.

    Leave a comment:


  • Francois
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    I noticed that when playing with the extreme distortion a fuzz gives you, the single coils may sound better to me than the humbuckers (with more definition.)
    But it also depends on the guitar.

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  • Gtrjunior
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    Originally posted by LLL View Post
    When playing through a plexi Marshall circuit, you'll probably find that turning the bass down to 1 or 2 works very well... and even with the bass completely off.
    With my JCM 800 I turn the treble all the way off and bring in the high end with the presence control!!

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  • LLL
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    When playing through a plexi Marshall circuit, you'll probably find that turning the bass down to 1 or 2 works very well... and even with the bass completely off.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cynical
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    -- Most people over-fetishize power-amp distortion. It's not the end-all be-all people think it is, and very few gigging artists have ever turned their 5150s, 2203s, or Rectos high enough to clip the power tubes. If the tone you're chasing wasn't done on an unmodded Plexi or a little Fender combo, don't worry about getting an attenuator or a super-low wattage amp; speaker involvement is the only volume thing that matters.

    -- Your pickups are probably too high. Lower them.

    -- The real purpose of the treble knob on an FMV tonestack is to adjust the mid-scoop. Treble knob higher = mid scoop lower = more upper-mid emphasis; treble knob lower = mid scoop higher = more lower-mid emphasis. Try using the treble knob primarily to sculpt your midrange, either raising it to find and notch out the "cardboard box" or lowering it to get rid of the "quack", and then using the presence knob primarily to control your high end.
    Last edited by Cynical; 09-26-2018, 05:41 PM.

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  • Gtrjunior
    replied
    General Tone Tips

    Originally posted by Chistopher View Post
    Don't be afraid to have a knob hard to one end of its rotation. Unseasoned players who go overboard give coming controls a bad rep, but sometimes you need as much (or sometimes more) of what that control has to offer.
    Yeah, I agree. I used to play in a band with a guy that always set his tone controls by “sight”. You know, Bass should be about here, mids about here....he would always say “man, I wish I could get a little more bass out of this amp” and I’d look at his controls and the bass would be on “5”.
    You have to set the knobs with your ears and not your eyes.

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  • Slartibartfast
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    Good advice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chistopher
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    Don't be afraid to have a knob hard to one end of its rotation. Unseasoned players who go overboard give coming controls a bad rep, but sometimes you need as much (or sometimes more) of what that control has to offer.

    Leave a comment:


  • emilzd
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    I should have practised more.

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  • lehymib
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    its gonna sound the same as your old one, well almost, so buy a nice amp first, then pickups or a new guitar

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  • astrozombie
    replied
    Re: General Tone Tips

    Worry more about the sound of your hands- it dictates everything else!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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