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It's in your hands...

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:13 pm
by ONEbpm
Hi all,

Just for the sake of another thread, we've heard hundreds of times that tone is in your hands. I agree! Two people can pick up the same guitar, play the same lick and have it sound like their own. One point is how hard a person presses down with their fretting hand. One might apply more pressure on certain strings with certain fingers at different parts of the neck. Like a finger print, those little idosyncracies can make your tone.

Thought it might be a good idea to have different posters explain why tone is in your hands.

Re: It's in your hands...

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:05 pm
by TheWannabeMusician
I don't think tone is in your hands. Of course, by playing it with different phrasing - even very slightly - this creates a slightly different sound. But I don't think that could be considered tone. It might change how it sounds slightly, the inherent sound the guitar (and amps, effects etc) makes stays the same. It's a bit different, but not so much that you can say that the hands create the tone. Your gear makes the tone, your hands decide how that tone is going to sound, so to speak

Re: It's in your hands...

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:13 pm
by shredaholic
Some people separate this and call 'tone' anything gear produced, and the 'tone in your hands' is called 'articulation'. Whether you separate them or not, articulation definitely can produce varying sounds between players.

Re: It's in your hands...

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:52 am
by ONEbpm
Hey all,

Well I think if you're talking about a totally distorted amp, then yes, there will be very little differnce in it if two differnt players played the same lick. But if you plugged directly into a class A amp, just before it overdrives, then the amount of pressure you use to attack the string will either give you a clean tone or an overdriven tone.

I also think the amount of muting one uses affects tone greatly along with the location of the pick attack over the strings. I myself don't use a lot of muting, so my pick tends to be closer to the bridge than most guitarists that mute a lot. I've seen some jazz players anchor their elbow and swing the pick between the pickups, giving a more bassy tone.

Then there's that whole vibtato thing. I've come to the conclusion, that if you've been raised on blues and blues players, then fast vibrato is perfectly fine, but if you're influenced by classical music in any way, slow, deliberate vibrato (zakk Wyldes pinch vibtato) seems to be the norm. I saw one Youtube vid on vibrato where the person was saying "I'm not mentioning any names, but there are people that use that type of vibrato (fast vibtrato) and it sounds like crap..." well...I'm just as opinionated about slow vibrato sounding exagerrated at times. I can do both. I don't practice fast vibrato I've been doing it for years. I do practice slow vibtato to a metronome, playing a note and then bending UP to that note from below it, releasing down to normal pitch for that fret, and bending back up..over and over in time. There really is to rules, how you bend notes and use vibrato is a perfect example of tone being in your hands...I mean if you want to split hairs, you can call it technique rather than tone, but either way, your affecting the pitch of the note. Unlike synth vibtato, finger vibrato is not perfect or mechanical sounding no matter which one you use.

Re: It's in your hands...

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:43 pm
by cob
Distortion doesn't affect the way two musicians play a guitar (or maybe I'm so attuned to it that I can hear differences under it). If you want to really hear the individuality in a musicians playing though, definitely listen and play unplugged. All the sound comes from the string vibration, wood resonance, and the playing technique. It's the purest version of a player's sound that there is.