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Thread: General Tone Tips

  1. #101
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    1) Try picking/strumming at various points along the length of the strings, as extra tone control. Towards the bridge is more treble, towards the neck is more bass. But you should also discover some thrilling options just around where the neck joins the body. You'll have to see how this works on open strings as well as adjusting it's position when you fret at various positions along the neck. Right beside the bridge is fine for extreme twang, more like a sound effect for a solo than for regular use, but it's one of many using this trick alone. Try fretting the normal three-finger E-chord and strum right beside the left hand! See!

    2) Alternate tunings will affect your perceived tone by accentuating certain combinations of notes. You'll be able to play around with tone there too.

    3) Try out the extremes available via your tone controls alone.

    4) Dynamics affect tone, so get used to different thicknesses of picks for different effects, different attack angles of the pick, picking with your fingers, partial dampening of the strings with your palm, etc. If you strike a string with the back of your hand, being your fingernails, the tone is harder than if you picked it using your fingertip. So consider the hardness and impact style of the picks, hand features and other things used to contact the strings. Try using a drumstick for a 6-string instant impact chord! Works well if the radius sets the strings close to linear. More curved necks will make that trick sloppy.

    5) Experiment with reasonable techniques and insane techniques. You'll learn. What are you using for a slide? Use two picks at once, holding one normally and the other in the next finger, which creates a 12-string effect. Try using fingerpicks of various types, like the banjo-players do. Different thicknesses and different materials with sanded or smooth surfaces. Sanded makes a nice tone! Smooth is fat-producing.

    6) Practice your vibrato like it was the only way to save your family's life! Tonal properties can be coaxed out of the strings with vibrato that can't be produced by non-vibrato, tremolo or all the juiced up fine-tuned pickups and effects boxes in the world.

    7) For live bands, be sure the house turns down the bass overall, in a carefully selected range, since rooms of all sizes with audiences in them carry bass far better than treble, and MOST pubs and venues have a boosted bass problem that your average attendee on stage or at the perfectly placed engineer's box won't detect. Meanwhile, everyone else takes a bath in very muddy sound and the whole show basically sucks and refunds are in order.

    8) If you're using a PA system with a dynamic mic in it, expect to roll off the bass of the mic more than usual to compensate for it's bass-boosting (most stage mics have this hassle), which means, don't expect the guitar's to be tuned through a PA. Stay separate from the mic system.

    9) Take up sports instead if the places to play live at in your area aren't yet smoke-free!

  2. #102
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Try to make everything in time & in tune.

    Call me a crazy, but practice to a metronome, once that's easy -- experiment with playing on top or behind the beat with it. Get a good solid hardtail guitar with good tuning machines & a Korg rack tuner or Peterson strobe. & for godsakes, PLEASE have your intonation & setup dialed in with whatever tuning your using for that axe (& don't change it unless you have to).

    Practice, record, listen..,repeat.

  3. #103
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    & try plugging your guitar into a good clean treble booster & then into the low gain input of your amp & cranking it.

  4. #104
    KatyPerryologist astrozombie's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    For A cool scooped metal sound, follow this advice.

    Scoop the mids.
    turn up as much gain as you can, without making the sound mushy.
    turn up the bass as high as you can without the amp "farting"
    set the treble for just enough high cut.

    this produces an awesome tone.

  5. #105
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    dont scoop for a live setting, because you will be doing just that, scooping your sound away, the guitar will disapear.

  6. #106
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Don't sound like me! :-D

  7. #107
    ReelItInologist danglybanger's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    I can't read all these posts to figure out what folks are already doing... but if it takes my word to push someone over the edge to actually try something then I'll be impressed with myself

    anyway...

    -when stuck in a rut in terms of songwriting or your playing always sounding the same, assume you don't know enough tricks and focus on learning more technique.

    -to get things to pop more easily into your head... try sitting down at a piano, messing around and then translating the sounds and intervals onto the guitar. This'll make you do things more unorthodox... you'll learn what intervals sound good to add onto a chord or in a solo... or try an altered tuning, see where that leads you, and translate it into standard.

    -copy the greats seriously... study people's playing styles and figure out what makes them sound like they do. IE Frusciante using a bunch of laid back bossa nova style chords or scratchy chords on the high strings, weird intervals like 10ths and such, Cantrell playing lots of minor 3rds in solos and box pattern stuff, Deleo using lots of clashing open strings, open chords etc. Steal things, add them to your own style

    -play plugged in and clean. You don't have the response of an amp when playing unplugged, and lots of distortion makes it hard to tell what you're doing, and where you're ****ing things

    -force yourself to play in keys and modes you aren't used to, try to make something good of it. It usually forces you to find something new.

    (I have avatars and sigs turned off. Do you?)

  8. #108
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Listen!
    There's Only One Way!!!
    Fender American Fat Strat Deluxe, SH-6 Bridge
    '65 Fender Twin Reverb,Modded
    70's Fender VibroChamp,Modded

  9. #109
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarist View Post
    A GOOD guitarist can make anything sound GOOD.
    Could he make a washing machine or a toilet sound good? I am very curious.

  10. #110
    GlossesForNothin' StrangeSound's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    If your tone is a tad too boomy, try a lighter/thinner pick and vica versa.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarist
    Honestly, I like Scott's words. "There is a rhythm to life. Ride the waves."

    And keep in mind that while nothing lasts forever, nothing is lost.
    http://soundcloud.com/adrian-czarnecki/tracks

  11. #111
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by bjeans79 View Post
    Could he make a washing machine or a toilet sound good? I am very curious.
    You should have heard EVH go at it in the washroom . . . really nailed that brown sound. And I hear that SRV used 18 guage paper napkins rather than toilet paper to get his 'authentic/muscular' bathroom sound.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  12. #112
    Senior Member Malicious Matt's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by kmcguitars View Post
    Practice as much as you can WITHOUT A AMP !! This helps you develop
    a feel for the natural resonance of the Instrument .This in turn will help
    you develop the tone in your hands.(This is what you wanna hear when
    you ampilify yourself) Even for pinched harmonices and fast runs it's
    good to practice w/o a amp. When you finally do plug in and add some
    gain you'll be amazed how the notes jump out/off the fret board.
    I'd concur with that. Its good to remember that equipment and settings etc is just an enhancement of what your fingers are doing. The sound is 90% in the hands IMO. Work on phrasing... How you pick, how hard or how soft, what kind of pick you use or if you pick with your fingers, how close to or far away from the bridge you pick, working on bends and vibrato. Those simple techniques are worth spending some time on.

    Its easy to get too hung up on equipment and settings. I'm as guilty of that as anyone. Not that its not important, but it should come second to actual playing style.

  13. #113
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Meh. We could probably argue back and forth on it, but fingers and style account for nuance more than basic tone. Without the right touch you won't go all the way to where you want to be, but you have to be working with the right equipment or you won't get in the ball park.

  14. #114
    GlossesForNothin' StrangeSound's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    I use 1/4 less gain now. Makes the tone less buzzy and clear.

    Ok, you have to play better but that's why I'm practising
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarist
    Honestly, I like Scott's words. "There is a rhythm to life. Ride the waves."

    And keep in mind that while nothing lasts forever, nothing is lost.
    http://soundcloud.com/adrian-czarnecki/tracks

  15. #115
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Well even after over 20 years of playing, I am still trying to log as much time in as possible.
    Always trying new stuff to play over, otherwise I think that I would be bored to death by now??!

  16. #116
    GlossesForNothin' StrangeSound's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Once again..I decrease the gain on my amp..and I'm proud of it :->

    Don't buy high-output pups
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarist
    Honestly, I like Scott's words. "There is a rhythm to life. Ride the waves."

    And keep in mind that while nothing lasts forever, nothing is lost.
    http://soundcloud.com/adrian-czarnecki/tracks

  17. #117
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    can anybody tell me what the best kind of tubes for a peavey 6505 head would be? i still have the stock ruby reds in mine and i hate them. any suggestions?

  18. #118
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Iron Horse's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Less gain and more mids, no overly-effected tones, no muddy high-output pickups, low output PAFs and a modern metal amp in the vein of 3NGL and Mesa/Boogie sound better, cause you can crank the amplifier a tad more.

    Don't cut the bass too much, cause your tone becómes very thin, nor the treble, cause it'll make the sound mushy and not defined.
    Start equalizer's setting from something like (o'clock) B: 1 M:3 T:1-2 , Of course depends on your amplifiers sound, pickups, guitar, and personal preferences.
    Remember: Scooped metal sounds heard on albums by for example Metallica are heavily tweaked by a post-preamp equalizer, or at the mix board
    Try different string cauges, and tunings (and I mean Eb, perhaps even D + dropped C#, -//- D), BUT don't tune too low! Basses are built for low freq. range, and it will only sound mushy if guitar is in the bass-range.
    Use clean tones (or, even better, slightly crunchy, bluesy, break-up) when practising, so you'll hear your mistakes and become a better player.
    Use distorted tones (not overly distorted, keep gain under 2 o'clock position) to improve your palm muting and tight rhythms. For solos, don't add more distortion, but mids and (very slightly) volume.
    And, oh yeah, use good cords and minimal amount of pedals, bad cables and pedals are real tonerobbers.

  19. #119
    Toneologist carpfishy's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Advice I have learned:

    Don't sell your tube head short if you dont like the tone, sometimes putting different tubes in it will give you the tone your looking for.

    Mixing the Head with different cabs is a good thing, and can give it a better tone.

    Pedals can be good and bad. They can make a old crappy head sound good, or can make a new head sound bad. Mess with your head first, sometimes you wont even need pedals because the tone your looking for is right in your head, remember that too much is bad.
    Peavy Valve King head + Peavy 6505 4x12 cab
    Spider II halfstack
    Ibanez AXS
    Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Sunburst
    Schector Omen6 Diamond Series
    Digitech metal master, digitech RP300
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Morrison
    There are things known and there are things unknown, and inbetween them are THE DOORS.

  20. #120
    HeadBanginologist \m/(00)\m/'s Avatar
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    Default Re: General Tone Tips

    Raise the action of your strings. Don't have them so low that the guitar sounds like a box and strings but don't have them so high that you can't play comfortably.

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