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Unread 07-26-2006, 02:14 PM   #1
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Myth: Best equipment = best tone

Fact: While the equipment does help in good tone, the fingers make up the majority of it.

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Unread 07-26-2006, 05:09 PM   #2
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the fingers seriously ? then how do you know if you have good fingers or bad fingers????
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Unread 07-26-2006, 05:11 PM   #3
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Are you serious, or joking?

Im being serious...
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Unread 07-26-2006, 06:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RipVanWinkle View Post
Are you serious, or joking?

Im being serious...
I think he's being serious too.

while experienced guitarists seem to agree that "tone is from the fingers", often we throw that phrase out there and assume everryone knows that we're referring to style and technique. for a guitar novice, to hear the phrase "tone is in the fingers" may conjure up ideas that tone literally comes from the physical features of your fingers. This is akin to asking a 6 year-old, "do you want Jesus in your heart?" (whch is often thrown around as the salvation question) and getting the response, "no...it's not big enough for him."

furthermore, while ability is the ultimate determinant of whether or not a person can sound good, often I think that we use the "tone is in the fingers" argument superfluously. Whether or not a person has ability is "in the fingers" (maybe this isn't as obvious as it seems), however to say that "tone" is in the fingers strikes me as an entirely different thing.

Now maybe I'm arguing semantics here, but what I'm wondering, is what kind of fingers does Clapton have, and why are their tone so much different than James Hetfield's, which is entirely different than Dick Dale's.
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Unread 07-26-2006, 08:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesteve;
furthermore, while ability is the ultimate determinant of whether or not a person can sound good, often I think that we use the "tone is in the fingers" argument superfluously. Whether or not a person has ability is "in the fingers" (maybe this isn't as obvious as it seems), however to say that "tone" is in the fingers strikes me as an entirely different thing.
i agree 100%
i think we ought to start calling amp/equipment sound as "tone," and player sound as "skill." and collectively refer to both as a guitarist's "sound." when i was starting playing guitar, the statement "tone is in the fingers" threw me for a loop, and i ended up with some crappy gear. let's start to clearly define what we're talking about/
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Unread 07-26-2006, 08:41 PM   #6
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Along those same lines, "tone is in the fingers" sometimes gets added along with "Oh, they can even make a crappy guitar/amp/pedal/rig sound great". There's only one problem with that statement. If the gear in question is crappy, it likely will be crappy sounding, whether you play like the most beginning novice, or Pat Metheny.
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Unread 07-26-2006, 08:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ_Avalanche View Post
Along those same lines, "tone is in the fingers" sometimes gets added along with "Oh, they can even make a crappy guitar/amp/pedal/rig sound great". There's only one problem with that statement. If the gear in question is crappy, it likely will be crappy sounding, whether you play like the most beginning novice, or Pat Metheny.
Not so fast.
Even supposedly "crappy" gear can sometimes be made to sound fairly acceptable. It just takes a set of ears to hear and a pair of hands to manipulate.

Jimi Hendrix playing "Hear My Train a' Comin'" on a semi-out-of-tune 12 string acoustic still sounds as cool as only Hendrix could.
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Unread 07-26-2006, 09:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gtrdave View Post
Not so fast.
Even supposedly "crappy" gear can sometimes be made to sound fairly acceptable. It just takes a set of ears to hear and a pair of hands to manipulate.

Jimi Hendrix playing "Hear My Train a' Comin'" on a semi-out-of-tune 12 string acoustic still sounds as cool as only Hendrix could.
but see, to me that's a showcase of his skill, the noises the guitar is making are not as nice as those from better gear.
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Unread 07-26-2006, 10:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by What5647 View Post
but see, to me that's a showcase of his skill, the noises the guitar is making are not as nice as those from better gear.
Maybe so, maybe not.
I feel much like the original poster of the thread; "tone" is more in the fingers than some people believe.
It's actually more in the technique of the player than the fingers themselves.

That said, a Squier Strat through a Rage 158 is not tone heaven, fo' sho', but a skilled player can probably get acceptable "tone" through that setup.

On the contrary, buying a Tyler to play through a Bad Cat is not going to insure the best tone or even good tone if the one handling the gear is a little under par with their technique.

Some of the best "tone" I've ever heard is a player with killer chops playing through a mutt guitar and a well-tuned run-of-the-mill tube amp. You know that guy; he's in the house band at some club and his gear is nothing to look at but he makes it sound great?
His "tone" is the result of putting in the time on his instrument.
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Unread 07-26-2006, 10:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrdave View Post
It's actually more in the technique of the player than the fingers themselves.
Excuse me for my incorrect usage of words. This is what I meant...
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Unread 07-26-2006, 11:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RipVanWinkle View Post
Myth: Best equipment = best tone

Fact: While the equipment does help in good tone, the fingers make up the majority of it.
So very true. I mean the tone is almost always in your fingers but it isn't in something like "i'll use a hollowbody for the greatest metal tone". In that case the tine is in the guitar and not in your fingers.
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Unread 07-26-2006, 11:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaspg70 View Post
So very true. I mean the tone is almost always in your fingers but it isn't in something like "i'll use a hollowbody for the greatest metal tone". In that case the tine is in the guitar and not in your fingers.
Ted Nugent...?
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Unread 07-26-2006, 11:54 PM   #13
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My hollowbody does metal awesomely. I use 12s on it, it downtunes like none of my other guitars can.

I can make any of my guitars sound metal if I want. I can make any of them sound folky, I can make any of them sound bluesy. It's my technique that makes 'em sound like that, not any inherent property of the guitar.
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Unread 07-27-2006, 01:45 AM   #14
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I don't think this is 100% true. I mean, I've known some awesome guitarists who could rip it up, but had crap for gear. They played awesome, but their tone makes me want to throw up.

It's true that knowledgeable guitarists can use mediocre gear and get a good sound out of it, but crappy gear = crappy tone no matter how good you are.

But don't worry. I still think crappy technique + awesome gear = still crap.
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Unread 07-27-2006, 08:18 AM   #15
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Ok so maybe the new myth is "It's all in your fingers."
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