Keep up to date on our ReverbNation
You're just saying that his note to note intervals never change. While his tone does.
Your rythmic feel is NOT tone. It's the way you play.
Tone is the sound of the guitar and the sound of the amp.
When I play my peavey classic, I sound like I'm playing a peavey classic. When I'm playing a fender bassman, I sound like I'm playing a fender bassman.
When I'm playing a telecaster I get a country vibe, when I'm playing my kramer I get an 80's hair metal vibe.
Carvin custom strat (P-Rails/hotrails/single - Tuned Eb) -> Pod XT - - 6505+ Halfstack
Ok, I'll do it simple:
Tone is in the fingers? No.
But the fingers influence the sound? Yeah.
I think we agree but the terms and words betrayed us.
Ibanez SZ320 / A2 Pro neck, Screamin' Demon bridge.
AllParts Strat / Toneriders Pure Vintage set
Partscaster #2 / JB-8 bridge.
Egnater Tweaker 15 + DIY 1x12 cab + Eminence Wizard / Roland Cube 60
Zvex Super Duper, EHX Memory Toy, Keeley BD2, Boss GE-7, CE-2, DD-5, Marshall Jackhammer, EHX Metal Muff TB.
For me "tone" is from guitar and amp , and your fingers just transfer YOUR emotions, and because they are YOUR you can express yourself through any rig.
Yeah , you'll sound different when playing a strat through fender amp and a les paul through marshall but only in terms of sound.
That is sound that differs but not your playing or style. It's all my opinion.
and mysterious "YOUR/MINE (or anyone elses) TONE" is his/her feeling,technique,style etc through certain rig he or she likes and thinks he sounds the best with it.
Oh goody!! I love a good "Tone is all in the fingers" debate!
Here's some lighter fluid to throw on the fire:
Do you think many mediocre guitarists are on an endless quest to assemble the ultimate guitar rig, obsessing over pickups, pots, cables, strings, amps, pedals, speakers and so forth because it's all a crutch, to make up for the fact that their playing has no soul, no magic, and no emotion?
If you buy an expensive and cool piece of guitar/band gear, should there be a rule that you're entitled to not have to practice for a week?
I never bought into that. True, fingers do affect tone, but aside from finger-picking playing, if you play with a pick, that's maybe 1% difference. I've recorded my playing multiple times, and which guitar I use affects my sound much more than my fingers, including which pickups I'm using. Case in point, I switched pickups on my ESP a while after I bought it, and people said the difference was huge. (so did the recordings)
Your fingers do determine sound, but I'd wager by only 1% on identical gear.
Last edited by Voxman; 01-30-2007 at 11:53 AM.
I can't believe this thread was dug up....
I guess I'm all alone in my group on this topic -- tone is not "in the fingers" (if by that you mean the fretting hand), it's in the pick, or picking fingers if you're a fingerstyle player.
The touch with the pick and where you it the string (near neck, near bridge, somewhere in between), and what angle you hit the string with said pick, how you hold the pick, and the thickness/shape/flexibility of the pick and the material the pick is made of is crucial. It's why if you gave Jimmy Page a Strat, he would still sound like Jimmy Page, the only difference being he would sound like Jimmy Page playing a Strat. Give EVH an L5 and he'll still sound like EVH, but like EVH on an archtop. (By the way, I've heard EVH is actually pretty decent jazz player.)
Bigger strings will give you a bigger tone as will thicker no-flex picks. Folks trying to nail the SRV tone are constantly frustrated by the fact that he used stock +/-6k Fender pu's, which will sound huge with 11's or 12's, which is what SRV used. But most players are too wimpy to actually try to get used to 11's or 12's on a Strat so they pull their hair out wondering why they can't get his big-a$$ tone with 9's and a flimsy onion-skin pick.
And all this is, of course, leaving aside note choices and phrasing, string bends, blah-blah., which are obviously also crucial for a signature sound, but your signature tone (or timbre or whatever you wanna call it) is determined by how, where, and with what you hit those strings.
I've said it many times but YOUR PICK is by far the most under-rated piece of gear you will ever own. The lack of understanding of what should be an obvious point is a big part of what makes so many potentially good players mediocre. They spend thousands on gear and totally ignore their pick and their picking technique. It's all downstrokes bashing the string as hard as they can, always at the same spot on the string, always at the same angle, whether the passage of the song is supposed to be massive power chords or something subtle and sweet. And they wonder why they can't get a variety of tones and textures.
They also have the pick hanging so far out of their thumb and finger that it's wonder it doesn't fly across the room on every other stroke. They never learn to tuck the pick in deeper into their fingers with maybe at most 20% of it showing or how to hold it right (most hold it like they're holding up a dead rat by the tail). So they have no leverage and have to wear their picking hand out to the point of carpal tunnel syndrome trying to get enough pressure to drive the amp the way the want and so they despair of bothering with learning alternate picking, cross picking, string skipping, etc., all techniques that would allow them to really fly.
Don't get me wrong, gear very much does matter, but no amount of gear would make Al DiMeola sound like Marty Friedman, or vice versa.
I suppose I'm literally getting "picky" but seriously folks, please pay attention to your PICKS and how you use them. If you think I'm a little over the top, think about how rare it is to see a thread about picks here or in almost any guitar-oriented forum. The color of a pickguard gets way more attention than picks in here. There is no gear in the world that will fix a bad choice of pick -- or worse -- a lousy picking technique.
In 1861 as the Confederate forces were about to fire on Fort Sumter, the blue and gray had infinitely more in common than the blue and red today. What fellowship can "the truth shall set you free" ever have with "there is no truth, only points of view", or "what is truth?"
Secession would be a horror. But barring a major national crisis like a Black Death magnitude epidemic or nuclear attack to erase once and for all the myth that truth is negotiable, it is coming.
Wow, can't believe someone dug out this thread...
I still think that tone is not in the fingers. SRV on a Bassman doesn't sound like SRV on a Twin... You know it's SRV because he got his signature licks.
I think you recognize people by what they atre trying to say on the guitar and not by the way it sounds... you probably can recognize them by the tone that they are trying to get - tone is in the mind... EVH had a vision of the tone he wanted to get- with any kind of set up. That's more powerful then using the same gear, technique or anything to get a signature tone...
When EVH wanted to get different tones, well, he didn't have the same tone on a Strat type (Finish what ya started...). He did have the same phrasing.
I heard Clapton playing Layla one a Strat and then on a LES Paul, It was a show about his guitar collection. The tone was totaly different... same song, same player, famous for his touch...
One more thing, I think I can now recognize the parts in my playing that are me. My tone changes between guitars, but yes there's always my touch, no matter what I'm trying to do (I might need to get rid of it one day ).
Zhangliqun is on the money with the pick technique, but I think people have too difficult of a time disassociating tone and style. All the greats have their own signature style, and that's what makes their playing recognizable. Picking technique is what is responsible for getting that string moving, and the rest of the tone happens between the pickup turning that vibration into an electrical signal and the speaker turning that electrical signal into audible sound. Beyond that, the hands define the player's style, not the player's tone.
Three players playing the same riff on the same rig will have different tones, but their tones would be much closer than a single guitarist playing the same riff on three different rigs.
Ultimately, though, I will concede that tone is in the hands for one reason: it's very hard to dial in amp settings with your toes.
Duncan Pickups in currently in use: '59 (rewound to PATB-3)/'59, Custom 5/AP2H, Tapped QP set for Tele, Duncan Distortion, SP90-1/SP90-2
I couldn't really said it better...
Players who use the same picking technique all of the time do get their own certain effect, no doubt about it- finding your "spot" to pick is important. Of course that if you go from picking to pick harmonics to tapping... etc... saying that tone is in your hands would not work with this logic.
The problem every one seems to have is that there is this weird expectation that all this is somehow a totally cut and dried, one-or-the-other deal.
Yes, tone is in the fingers. Anyone who has sat down with a friend and played the same lines through the same gear knows this. And I've heard certain players retain their essential character through all kind of different gear. Personally, I've played through several different amps this touring season: Mesa, fender, Vox, Victoria. And for better or worse, I've pretty much sounded like me.
...and yes, players sound different through different gear. Compare 60s Clapton to 90s Clapton. Or anyone who has switched gear. Can be subtle, can be huge.
...and what's more, tweaking and changing gear can improve your ability to express yourself, whether it's an action job or upgrading from a practice amp to a Bogner Shiva.
All these things happen. It's not like one disproves another. Life is complex.
So what are you afraid of:
-being called a soulless gearhead simply for having the experience of new gear improving how you personally percieve your playing?
-or being called a cop-out artist and a snob for simply stating the obvious: that to some degree or other, every player is blessed with a sonic signature that is unique to them?
It's better to accept both as realities and leave the fight for the moral high ground to folks who don't need to practice guitar more.