Think we take this tone thing a little too far?

TrippyStormtrooper

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Do you guys ever feel like you're chasing the tone a little too hard, and that it negatively effects your playing?

I feel that a lot of the classic tones we're chasing after were created simply because an artist picked up a guitar, plugged into an amp, and went "That sounds good. Cool" and played on.

I feel like sometimes I can't enjoy my guitar because I'm chasing some phantom sound that doesn't exist instead of just dialing in something that sounds good and just playing.

I feel like the road to tonal happiness is shorter when you stop chasing, pick what you think sounds good, and just enjoy playing.

Also, if anyone can help me get the Woman Tone I'd appreciate it. I do it the way Clapton said. Volumes 10, Treble tone max, Rhythm tone 0 or 1-1.5. Doesn't ever sound right. Marshall dimed. Endlesssly frustrated.
 

smk506

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Absolutely yes. I’ve reached a point where

A. I sound like me. Fiddle a few knobs, and I sound Like myself.

B. I like sounding like myself.

C. I’m more focused on how I actually sound than how I want to sound.

Most of the times I’ve been playing something and thought ‘this doesn’t sound quite right’ it wasn’t the mids, or a different kind of overdrive, I needed to practice is all.
 

Deftone

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Never really wanted to sound like anyone else, just wanted the tone in my head. I got there a long time ago and I've been happy with it. Now I just tweak on it from time to time for fun.
 

wildschwein

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Tone should inspire you to play. The search for perfect tone shouldn't get in the way of actaully playing. You may find your taste changes over time too.

Woman tone for me is treble pickup alone with tone completely rolled off in front of an overdriven amp.

There are plenty of tones just in the LP by itself. Joe uses front pickup for woman tone here:
 
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Kaicho8888

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Unfortunately, I spent more time on the hardware than creating music. With the advent of forums like this, I got swept away on searching for "da tone" and I still don't know what tone everybody's talking about. Although, I do enjoy tweaking and trying out the physical aspect of guitar build.

Looking back some 50+ years of playing, I was initially more into playing and giging the first 15 years or more. Most of the guys were into playing. The sixties "tone" was just more volume! Then as usual, life evolved in having a career and a family. Having more $ to spend on equipment accidentally made me a collector instead of a player.

Now trying to get back to practice and playing as it was more satisfying than the misguided accumulation of "things". I got reel-to-reel tapes of how my tone use to be, and realize that I've spent too much time chasing hardware and not maintaining my "finger of tone"... so I'm trying to get back by using one guitar and one small amp.

Sorry for the long answer; but "yes, taking the tone thing too far". Play the darn thing, already!
 

musicmaniac

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I picked the equipment the hero's of my youth used and that's the sound for me. I've tried a few new things but always go back to what sounds good to me. And fortunately get compliments on my tone all the time. Maybe I'm lucky or maybe I picked the right equipment. :hmm:
 

efstop

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I don't chase tones, I just chase different amps to hear what they sound like. Problem is I have all these amps but never get the urge to try all my guitars into all the amps.

And then there's all my pedals, looking pretty in their cubby holes...
 

ARandall

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I'm always looking to make my bedroom volume tone sound more like the cranked amps you hear on recordings......which is a more or less futile pursuit of course, but I try nonetheless.

At the moment I'm waiting on some new tubes for one of my amps in the stereo setup (its been suddenly cutting out) so rather than dial in tones, I've just been picking up the guitar and playing unplugged. Certainly nowhere to hide there
 

spitfire

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Tone matters a lot. The best guitar players work hard to get the tone they want. As mentioned, it can be inspiring to the player, even if the audience or band members wouldn't notice.

But, I think a lot of amateur players spend more time playing around with gear than they do actually playing and practicing. And worse still, I think some think that it's the "bad" tone holding them back. Sort of like the golfer who thinks if he just had the new Wizmo 5000 driver he'd be able to turn pro.

While certainly ALL tone is not in the fingers, a very large amount of it is. More so if not running high gain distortion. This too is a reason to practice and play more.

If someone wants to spend more time chasing tone and gear than practicing, that's fine of course. For most of us, this is something to do for fun. And for many playing with gear is really what the hobby is to them. So no one is wrong to be chasing tone, unless of course your goal is to become a master musician. Then the tone chasing can become a distraction or excuse from the real goal.
 

Guitaraxe

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Woman tone for me is treble pickup alone with tone completely rolled off in front of an overdriven amp.
Mmm... That's what I thought as well. IIRC, there was/is a Youtube clip of Cream era Clapton demonstrating it with his SG and Marshall stack.
 

wildschwein

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Mmm... That's what I thought as well. IIRC, there was/is a Youtube clip of Cream era Clapton demonstrating it with his SG and Marshall stack.
:
Yeah -- I remember that. Just looked it up. He says it here at 2.03 that it's either the bass pickup or the lead pickup "with the bass off" or both pickups with "all the bass off on the tone control". In short it's any pickup with tone rolled off probably to varying degrees. For me I like the lead pickup with tone rolled right off. Some people get caught up in the cap vaules but I don't think the subtle differences are worth all the bother. If I'm upgrading the electronics of a guitar I might put a lower value (0.015uf) on the bass pickup.
 

TrippyStormtrooper

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Yeah -- I remember that. Just looked it up. He says it here at 2.03 that it's either the bass pickup or the lead pickup "with the bass off" or both pickups with "all the bass off on the tone control". In short it's any pickup with tone rolled off probably to varying degrees. For me I like the lead pickup with tone rolled right off. Some people get caught up in the cap vaules but I don't think the subtle differences are worth all the bother. If I'm upgrading the electronics of a guitar I might put a lower value (0.015uf) on the bass pickup.
Funny. That's the video I go off of. I always interpreted this as only middle position, volumes maxed and the tone on the neck pickup rolled off. I thought the combination of the bright, sharp bridge pickup and the fuzzy muffled bridge was the trick. But it never sounded right.
 

Guitaraxe

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Yep that's the vid!

Within the 30-42-ish seconds ,(imo) he demonstrates a good example of his "woman tone" textures. You can see him roll off the bridge tone and raise it's volume.....
 

MooCheng

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I'm easy to please
if it don't sound horrible, I'm happy

there are days when the planets align and you think to ya'self hey, that sounds good. Other days not so much.
Strange thing is, the only one that notices is yourself

perception does wild things
 

jaycoyoyo

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For me, the chase is part of the fun, and I frequently get to tone spots (or "destinations"?) where I feel inspired to play a certain way. I do think that people can go down too deep of rabbit holes in some respects. For example going thru 5 different Klone pedals to try and find the best one, or Tubescreamer variants, or Fuzz Face variants, or wah pedals. When I chase a sound, I go for a general category of effect, like I recently put a Tremolo pedal back on my board. I don't really care what make or model it is - I just want that effect - and when I kick it on, I'm inspired to play the way that I'm trying to achieve in my current songwriting scenario.

-Jay
 

goldtop0

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Yes it's a fad for sure...........chasing the holy grail.......that's pointless.
Mind you, you learn an awful lot about gear in the process of looking and buying this and that, especially old vintage pieces.
Never affected my playing.......I'll always be a mediocre lead guitarist, but some of the good old equipment I've got now and some reissue amps etc are really great things..........never would have thought or considered I'd be able to get good stuff like this 15 years ago.
Without the internet a lot of what I have bought would never have happened.
 




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