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> Let's Talk About Tone, how do you get yours?
Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 14 2011, 07:33 AM
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Tone - such an important thing. Every guitar player legend has to have it's own recognizable tone.

Getting the tone is very hard, it takes a lot of practice, the way you actually fret the strings, and pick them, the way guitar is built, other gear, like amps, cabs, effects..


How do you get your tone, what does it sound like (if you can compare it with something), and what type of gear you use for it?


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 14 2011, 07:41 AM
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Every day that passes I'm more convinced of the fact that tone source is our body and fingers... you won't sound good if you don't start from there. I have seen lots of players with bad guitars and bad amps sounding good and lots of guitar players with great equipment sounding bad or without personality.
I think that it would be a great experiment to take many guitarists and record them playing the same guitar & the same amp with the same settings. I'm sure that the results would be very interesting...


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 14 2011, 08:28 AM
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I have living proof around me, in players that can't afford expensive gear. Instead they proved time and time again that tone is a concept shaped by the hands and attitude biggrin.gif you are what you play - NOTHING IS MORE TRUE THAN THAT tongue.gif


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Daniel Realpe
post Jul 14 2011, 12:42 PM
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Dude, one really good thing to do that helped me tons is to listen to isolated guitars on my favorite records like for instance, listen to the intro of Dark eternal night by Dream Theater if you want a rhythm tone like John Petrucci's

Loop that and start tweaking your equipment until you get it as close as possible



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JamesT
post Jul 15 2011, 02:51 AM
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I think that if you play a lot and work on your skills regularly, then your tone will be heavily influenced by the music you listen to and the way your favorite guitarists also sound. We hear and adopt the way our favorite artists sustain notes, apply palm muting, bend notes, etc., and other techniques. The same also applies to how we will tend to select our equipment, how much gain we use, what guitar, and what we set the pickup selector switch to. Even though it isn't through direct immitation, it's just that we do try to sound "good" and our own measure of "good" is basically what we like to hear from others when they play. It just rubs off on our playing in all ways. So to me, I guess it would have to be your ears in the end that are the most influential. biggrin.gif mellow.gif The originality/uniqueness of our tone comes from the combination of all the influences we hear with our ears.


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 15 2011, 09:21 AM
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QUOTE (JamesT @ Jul 15 2011, 02:51 AM) *
I think that if you play a lot and work on your skills regularly, then your tone will be heavily influenced by the music you listen to and the way your favorite guitarists also sound. We hear and adopt the way our favorite artists sustain notes, apply palm muting, bend notes, etc., and other techniques. The same also applies to how we will tend to select our equipment, how much gain we use, what guitar, and what we set the pickup selector switch to. Even though it isn't through direct immitation, it's just that we do try to sound "good" and our own measure of "good" is basically what we like to hear from others when they play. It just rubs off on our playing in all ways. So to me, I guess it would have to be your ears in the end that are the most influential. biggrin.gif mellow.gif The originality/uniqueness of our tone comes from the combination of all the influences we hear with our ears.


Excellent post.. couldn't have said it better myself smile.gif

Talking about specifics though, I like as much sustain as possible as I need to be able to play fluid legato or I'm not happy. I roll off a lot of bass because for lead guitar I don't it to be be boomy and I want it to cut through. For that same reason I use plenty of mid.. somewhere in between 12 or 1 o clock on my Marshall. Treble on about 1 o clock..

It changes slightly between recording purposes and live purposes. For live I turn the resononce knob to 12 o clock which gives more bottom end over the whole amp/speaker which I need for chuggy riffs etc.. but I back it off to about 10 o clock for recording/video chats.

Generally I try to get a balanced, creamy, fluid tone that isn't boomy and isn't too harsh and shrill at the top end.. I guess similar to Marty Friedman's early Megadeth era tone but perhaps with a bit more harmonic overtones then him.

Joe Satriani influenced me very much early on with his fluidity of sound. smile.gif


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Kristofer Dahl
post Jul 15 2011, 09:21 AM
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QUOTE (Daniel Realpe @ Jul 14 2011, 01:42 PM) *
Dude, one really good thing to do that helped me tons is to listen to isolated guitars on my favorite records like for instance, listen to the intro of Dark eternal night by Dream Theater if you want a rhythm tone like John Petrucci's

Loop that and start tweaking your equipment until you get it as close as possible



Interesting advice - you're right it's of course much easier if you can find the guitar sound isolated!


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The Uncreator
post Jul 15 2011, 12:45 PM
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https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=39829

Ironic how I just made that. My sound is pretty much derived by three major factors

1. Equipment Limitation (plays a huge part that I dont have my dream Engl head! laugh.gif )
2. Experimentation
3. Atmosphere of Song

After the first one, 2 and 3 play into each other really. I have plenty of ways that I will configure my setup so I can jam and hash out ideas, but when it comes to the song, the music - then I just sit down with the lyrics, or music, or both - and just try to immerse myself in it, I usually imagine some fictitious movie being played out, and the soundtrack I imagine is some awesome song (of course), and whatever I hear there, I try to emulate.

Sounds cheesy, but its really what I do laugh.gif

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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 15 2011, 12:57 PM
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There are some valuable and interesting responses here, great thoughts guys! smile.gif

For me, the quest of tone is very connected with everything else, technique, experience, influences. When we hear a tone color that we like, we try to emulate it, with gear, then with fingers. In the end, a complex sum of all those factors creates something unique for every player. Sometimes if you are under heavy influence of couple of players, you can dissolve the tone of one player to those influences. So we can say that each tone represents the mix of different tones. Smoothness of one player, roundness of other player, sustain of another etc, each component is taken from somewhere. smile.gif


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DreamForge
post Jul 15 2011, 09:23 PM
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For me, i started with Rp100 when i bought my very first guitar to learn which effect does what. After that i slowly became obsessive about my tone from gear and not just me some people i met also. I sold my RP100 then bought some analogs but they didnt satisfied me so i sold them. After these things got a bit funny. I didnt have enough money to buy anything like POD xt or Gt8 so i was using Guitar Rig with my sound card called M-audio Ozone. i couldnt find rig controller at my town but i also had a band and we had to give some concerts so i made a usb footswitch from an old keyboard and went stage with a laptop, soundcard and usb footswitch that i made. At these times getting a good sound was more important than playing good. At last i bought a POD xt live and still using it and its good for me. I realzied that getting a good tone not just about with my gear or guitar also realted with my playing.

To get a good tone for me from my POD XT live i done some reaserch about my favorite guitarist and bands like Andre from Blind Guardian and Mikael from Opeth, i knew that they are using very expensive gear for me. after a lot of practicing with my POD finally i cought my tone but i know that its not over, it never ends biggrin.gif
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Mudbone
post Jul 15 2011, 10:19 PM
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I really didn't learn about playing dynamics until I got a Strat with single coils. Up until that time I had been playing a guitar with EMG humbuckers, and without a voltage mod they aren't that dynamic, especially when used with mega distortion.

Passive single coils are fussy and unforgiving, but the range of sounds you can get out of them is enormous. Its really up to you, the player, to make them sing. Its funny, a Strat won't really sound like a Strat until you squeeze that characteristic sound out of it. You have to hit the strings with authority and bend the notes with gusto; that's what makes the Strat sound. Its you, not the instrument.

After playing on the Strat, I'll pick up the LTD and play the same licks. And whatever limitations I thought the EMG's had seem to disappear. I'm not saying it sounds like the Strat, but the vibe and feel to what I was playing is still there.

So is tone in the hands or in the equipment? Without a doubt its in the hands, but having the right equipment certainly helps.

This post has been edited by Mudbone: Jul 15 2011, 10:20 PM


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Bear Rose
post Jul 16 2011, 12:36 AM
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To get my tone, for the most part I just try to copy John Mayer biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Bear Rose: Jul 17 2011, 11:52 PM


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Michael AC
post Jul 16 2011, 01:11 AM
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Really good posts. I agree with many of them. I have seen so many times great tone come from crappy equipment or even my own when I hand it to a seasoned player.

My quest is to realize the tone that is inside me and let it come out...I think you see that in players when you see them get lost in their playing and singing the notes along...they become the instrument.

Influences for what you like, the sounds in your head all meshed together down to your fingers...
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thefireball
post Jul 16 2011, 06:30 AM
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I use POD Farm for my tone. I have used it a lot lately ... for everything. I can certainly say that tone is from a person's fingers. (But I sure would like to try it out for myself with a friend and their guitar whenever that opportunity arises. Just to satisfy my doubts. biggrin.gif ) Of course, different equipment does shape your sound. But I know this... I used to play through my little Ibanez amp when I first started out with electric guitar. I watch the videos and they were horrible. The sound, tone, and playing stunk. One day, about a year later, I played some metal through it. I was like...WHAT?! THIS AMP SOUNDS GOOD! So it was not the amp, it was my fingers.

I listen to instructors here on GMC and marvel at their "perfect tone." It's the way they play - even in the video chat were retakes do not exist - you can hear the control they have. I know this is what I will sound like some day. I will have much better control to what I am wanting to play. The overall sound will be better.

Talking about matching tone and stuff, I tried to match the tone to these bands in the video below. I matched it as close as possible. But you know what I found? I switched back and forth between the three tones and found they were all basically the same kind of sound. Sure, they sounded totally different in their own way. But I could hear my signature tone in each of them. Haha! That's funny to think about. We all have a signature tone. Nobody in the world has it. Oh sure, some of us can sound like others, but we will never come to the perfect tone of our fellow guitarist. smile.gif



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