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Thread: how do you get a better tone? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-28-2010 03:59 AM
IbanezFreak777
Re: how do you get a better tone?

Dude playing the guitar is all about experimenting. Yes you can ask questions and get advise, but in the end you wont get anywhere just copying settings. You need to tweak your own equipment to the best of your abilities and keep on tweaking untill the sound pleases your ears. We all hear minutely different and all have different tastes..

EXPERIMENT its half the fun of playing Electric Guitar
01-28-2010 03:09 AM
jono
Re: how do you get a better tone?

The most important thing has been touched on here but not in detail.

Tone is subjective, what do YOU consider great tone? On man's cutting distortion is anothers fuzzy noise. What is pure, chiming clean tone to one chap sounds soulless and sterile to someone else.

I also believe that style is in the player, tone is in the gear. Taking different players out of the equation help you narrow down to what effect your own style has on your own tone. you might not sound like EVH when you play through his rig, but his gear will still sound the same if anyone picks the open strings withthe same force.

You need to work out how you want to sound first then folks can help you get there.
01-28-2010 01:35 AM
Gilberto99
Re: how do you get a better tone?

There are two things which I believe to be THE most important things in achieving good tone, and improving as a player.

1. HANDS! It really is all in the hands.. a lot of people spend way more time worrying about gear and stuff than actually practicing and working to perfect their craft. I used to think all other amps sucked because when I was away from my home rig I couldn't get good tone.. a couple years later that's changed completely. I can pull a decent tone out of usually any amp I try and recently have been rocking one of those little Fender 15 watt starter amps.. the things not so bad!

Practice and confidence are key. Always play like you mean it too!

2. PICK! You're left hand is the key to good tone right? So you have to think about your right hand. I'm not talking about picking fast either, in the words of Paul Gilbert: "Playing fast is useless." What I AM talking about is the way you pick, and your actual pick itself.. I learned very recently that some people are really just born with the perfect bone structure for fast picking.. (Shawn Lane, Paul, etc.) Unless you're related to one of picking masters chances are your bones and muscles are entirely your own.. so why the hell would you copy the way anyone picks? I started out picking my own way.. which I got great at, but realized it was started to hurt my finger (I was picking kind of like Steve Morse) so I had to change it, I tried to adopt Paul's style and have done so almost ever since. Even using the same picks as him and stuff. I kid you not, no matter how much I practiced for over a year I did not improve my picking speed whatsoever.. even with a metronome every day I seemed to reach the limit of what I could physically do. Just a couple months ago I decided to try picking different ways and find out what was most comfortable for me.. it only took a day for me to figure out what worked for me. Basically overnight my picking improved more than it did in the year before.. and since I decided to try out MANY different picks. Of all different shapes and sizes. I've always used thin picks.. for years. And just over a month ago I tried a pick (by accident) that was 1.40mm thick.. woah! It felt like I wasn't even picking. I compared it to the .60mm dunlops Paul uses and it seemed like I was picking with a piece of paper that gave nothing back and just slowed me down...

The moral of all this, is every way you pick, and every pick you use. Will give you different results. You may be restricting yourself just as I did for so long just because you think you're doing it the best way. Different things work for everyone. If you don't believe a pick is a huge factor in tone then grab an ultex .60/73, tortex .60/73, jazz III, and ultex sharp. And play the same thing over and change picks every time. You should be able to notice some will have more bite, give better attack, sound more fat, etc. You need to find the tone that works for you. It all starts there. If you're not 100% happy with your fingers or picking tone then all the Ibanez guitars in the world won't make you any happier.

Sort of went on.. but I never see people talk about this. And I truly wish I had heard this from someone in the past.

But on the subject of how to get tone from an amp, pedals, etc.. you need to play it all by ear. It's basically trial and error. All these guys are right that it's subjective. I've heard people with the most bitching tone in the world and bought what they're using and haven't been happy AT ALL in the past. You just need to listen and listen hard.. just like picking, amp settings, pedals, etc.. see what other guys are using/doing. But don't copy them, use them as a starting point to find what works for you. Being able to manipulate tone just comes with practice. But like has been said many times over. It all starts in the fingers.

I'm going to go practice now.
01-27-2010 11:38 PM
JohnSykes
Re: how do you get a better tone?

Its true, tone start in the hands. But you also need a good instrument that works with you and not against you: A good guitar, one that feels right, is the one that let you express whats inside of you.
01-27-2010 09:57 PM
toneboy
Re: how do you get a better tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philboski View Post
I agree it's all in the hands, but doing things perfectly cleanly doesn't mean much in terms of tone -- it just means you're doing things cleanly. In fact, much of the personality any one player might have is in the things that they don't do perfectly, or do their own way.
Being able to play cleanly does not preclude one from playing "sloppily". Clean is control and control is doing what you want, when you want and how you want.
01-27-2010 08:47 PM
Magical Muffin
Re: how do you get a better tone?

Some general tips for keeping a useable tone:

1)Don't swamp out your guitar sound with effects. Cranking the delay, reverb, chorus and flanger all at once might sound cool for a few minutes but for a useable sound all you really need is distortion. Even players that seem like they use a lot of effects usually don't. I only use delay for leads and reverb for cleans.

2)In general if you don't know what do with your EQ keeping it somewhat flat near the 12'o clock range will always do. You don't need as extreme settings as you may think. Generally all my settings are in within 3-7 range, and I could probably go a little flatter than that.

3)Use less gain. Depending on your amp/tone you want this suggestion may be null and void, but you probably need less than your maxed out setting. A great example is Slayer, they're some heavy stuff but they use a surprisingly little amount of gain, at least I think. To set it, what you can do is put the knob to 0, and very slowly turn it up until you get a rock crunch, then a little more until that it's saturated to get the point that you want, then maybe lower it just a tad. I personally only do this to get less excess noise from the amp, but whatever gets you what you want. Unless you have a low gain amp or your just playing around there's really no point in cranking the gain, even it's for drop-heavy metalcore riffage.

So overall, less is more! Less pedals, less effects, less gain, less garbage.
01-12-2010 02:54 PM
MattyG
Re: how do you get a better tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philboski View Post
I agree it's all in the hands, but doing things perfectly cleanly doesn't mean much in terms of tone -- it just means you're doing things cleanly. In fact, much of the personality any one player might have is in the things that they don't do perfectly, or do their own way.

To the original poster, tone is 100 percent subjective. What sounds good to me, might sound lousy to others. You can have a lot of high end gear, and have it sound like you are emitting bad gas, and you can have cheap stuff sound awesome.

A lot of great players spend their lives chasing tone. Let's start with asking what gear you have, and go from there.

excellent post
01-12-2010 02:51 PM
Philboski
Re: how do you get a better tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toneboy View Post
"Tone" starts in your hands. It's the angle of pick attack, muting (both hands) ,etc. If your technique is not as clean as it can be then all the gear in the world won't make you sound good.
I agree it's all in the hands, but doing things perfectly cleanly doesn't mean much in terms of tone -- it just means you're doing things cleanly. In fact, much of the personality any one player might have is in the things that they don't do perfectly, or do their own way.

To the original poster, tone is 100 percent subjective. What sounds good to me, might sound lousy to others. You can have a lot of high end gear, and have it sound like you are emitting bad gas, and you can have cheap stuff sound awesome.

A lot of great players spend their lives chasing tone. Let's start with asking what gear you have, and go from there.
01-12-2010 02:51 PM
MattyG
Re: how do you get a better tone?

A very difficult question to answer. In fact there really is no answer that will work for everybody.
Like others have said, tone is strongly associated with technique but this is not a very helpful answer IMO. You may not play music that is heavily reliant on technique, though you should strive to play well, whatever or however you play.

I am by no means a tone expert, having still yet to discover my own 'true' sound, in fact I'm super-unqualified to talk about gear to be honest.
There are some things I'd suggest.

Figure out what you are looking for in terms of sound. Listen to players you like and investigate what gear they used on that particular recording, or what gear they generally use. Have a look round and buy either the same gear or similar - of course only if you have the money to do this.



You get two extremes, and everything in between when it comes to tone and equipment. One end of the spectrum you have the very basic guitar staright into the amp setup. On the other end the guys with stacks of fx units etc.

IMHO a half decent amplifier and a good guitar with nice pickups should be able to sound good.

EQ-wise I usually set the treble, mid and bass to between 5 and 7 for each. (out of 10)
Some amps are more bright, others are more boomy so again it's a case of time and patience.

There are hundreds of ways to hook up your fx into the chain.
I am terrible in this area too, so have a read around the forums and elsewhere online to find the information you need.

Tone is a hugely individual thing. There a many, many styles of music out there and many styles of guitar playing. We all have different tastes and influences and it would be hard to get a room of guitarists to agree on a good tone. Much easier to agree on a bad one perhaps!

Try being a little more specific about what tone you want to achieve and I think that you'll get better answers!
01-12-2010 10:47 AM
toneboy
Re: how do you get a better tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyMetal4Ever View Post
how do you get a better tone? - Well, you can improve your technique
"Tone" starts in your hands. It's the angle of pick attack, muting (both hands) ,etc. If your technique is not as clean as it can be then all the gear in the world won't make you sound good.
01-12-2010 10:34 AM
HeavyMetal4Ever
Re: how do you get a better tone?

how do you get a better tone? - Well, you can improve your technique, get better gear or learn to use the gear you have better.

As for setting all your gear up to get the sound you want, that just takes time and patience, lots of time and patience.

Good luck.

Rock on!
01-12-2010 08:55 AM
andrewsfury
Re: how do you get a better tone?

Wow that's a loaded question . Either get exactly what the artist you like has for gear , or spend a day at guitar center trying everything.
01-12-2010 08:31 AM
jrpalomo
how do you get a better tone?

how do you get a better tone? whats the best method for getting good amp settings and how do you sync the settings of your amp and your other pedals to get the sound you want?

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