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Thread: I really hate my guitar tone

  1. #11
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    As the existence of our entire species doesn't even register a blip in the cosmos, in the carving of canyons and evolution of species, the indifference of space and the endless millennia that grind all known and unknown universes into dust gazillions of times over, you will be pleased to know your guitar tone (and everyone who's ever heard it) will be quickly forgotten.
    History has a way of deleting anachronisms. -PKD

  2. #12
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    Everyone says "your tone comes from your fingers"...but that's not really true.
    It's really your style that comes from your fingers...but your tone is primarily the guitar-pickups-amp-cab...and how you mic it when you record it.

    Also...without more details about the gear and how you record your guitar...and/or some sound clips as examples...this discussion is pointless.

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    Here's an odd idea: drop the electricity for a while and sentence yourself to a month or so of acoustic fat camp. It will transform you fingers, reduce them to nubs, and most likely alter you baked-in notions of tone. When you plug in again and go back to screaming leads, you may have a different perspective. Perhaps the problem will disappear or you'll have new insights into the relationship between fingers and tone. You may also come to the realization that playing an electric guitar seems really easy compared to the old acoustic battle axe. You could also give up and take up slide. The world needs another Duane Allman and slide will eliminate your fingers as a variable.

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    A: Record guitar. B: Fire up the eq and locate the offending frequency. C: Use an eq pedal with that frequency cut in your chain.
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2019 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

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    Your picking attack, pics used, where you grip your pic (how much you choke up on it) have a lot to do with it.

    You say youve changed many things. Amp, mic, guitars, etc? If so, what is the one constant? YOU.

    Try this experiment. For one month play WITHOUT a pick.
    Play with fingers, thumb, sometimes use the back of your fingernail. You'll notice how different the sound or tone is depending on how and with what part of your hand is being used.

    Hey, in worst case, it'll still make you a better player.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFR View Post

    Try this experiment. For one month play WITHOUT a pick.
    Play with fingers, thumb, sometimes use the back of your fingernail. You'll notice how different the sound or tone is depending on how and with what part of your hand is being used.
    I've been doing that more and more lately...no pick.
    There's some things that are easier with the pick, real fast runs...but then without the pick, there's a way you can transition between the strings that's actually smoother and it lets you get a different feel to the playing...and yes, your finger or nail will sound different than any pick, especially when you use all the different parts of your finger, like you said.
    I REALLY enjoy playing without a pick...but I have to remember to use it every so often, just so I don't lose that feel.
    It's funny, right about the time I transitioned over to the small Jazz III red picks...is when I started also getting more and more into not using a pick...but those Jazz III picks have their own interesting effect on your picking. Between them and using my fingers, I can't ever go back to the standard size picks, especially for leads.

    So in that regard, I think you can say that the tone IS in your fingers...your picking fingers!

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    The difference in sound and tone can be quite dramatic. Say you're strunning a chord using your nail (s) with a down stroke where your nails are gliding off the strings, then you're doing an upstroke with your fingertips (just flesh).
    Lots of difference in tone.

    I've never seen Jeff Beck use a pick, and everytime I've seen him play, I've left with confusion......how the hell does he get those sounds???

    Well, he's just a master......with both hands.

    Toy Caldwell from the Marshall Tucker Band is an interesting case study too.
    He'll do quite intricate solos using only his thumb.

    Anyway, its a worhwhile experiment to try to learn using one's hands. It definately takes most people out of their comfort jone. Which is good.

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