how can i tell a bandmate his tone sucks?


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Blind In 1 Ear
12-29-2009, 02:36 PM
well ve been playing with this band. its actually my step dads band with his friends and they brought me into it. its fun and all, but the other guitar players tone is terrible. he seems to use too much treble. half the time i cant even hear what hes playing because it just sounds like a wall of treble.

is there a nice way to tell him to maybe boost his mids and cut the treble a bit? i know each guitar player has their sound but its actually hurting my ears. i dont mean to brag, but i have a pretty warm, thick, inviting tone. kinda cream era clapton or joe bonamassa type of thing. hes always told me i had a nice sound. i thought maybe it would rub off on him or something but it hasnt.

quAck91
12-29-2009, 02:41 PM
just ask if he could boost his mids and cut the treble...it isn't that hard

Gakbez
12-29-2009, 02:42 PM
Ask him "How do you get such a trebly sound?"
Then lead the conversation over to the pain in your ears.

ChucklesMginty
12-29-2009, 02:42 PM
Do the other guys in the band feel the same way?

MetalGuitarest
12-29-2009, 02:45 PM
what kinda music yeh going for?

Jammy Pige
12-29-2009, 02:48 PM
well ve been playing with this band. its actually my step dads band with his friends and they brought me into it. its fun and all, but the other guitar players tone is terrible. he seems to use too much treble. half the time i cant even hear what hes playing because it just sounds like a wall of treble.

is there a nice way to tell him to maybe boost his mids and cut the treble a bit? i know each guitar player has their sound but its actually hurting my ears. i dont mean to brag, but i have a pretty warm, thick, inviting tone. kinda cream era clapton or joe bonamassa type of thing. hes always told me i had a nice sound. i thought maybe it would rub off on him or something but it hasnt.

Depends on what kind of gear he has... if it's cheap then it's no wonder he sounds bad at jam levels... if it's nice gear then maybe he likes the sting.

You might ask him if you can play on his rig just to see what it's like and adjust the eq and everything to see what you can get out of it... if you get a nice warm sound and he takes it back the other way then just realize you have different tastes. If you have trouble getting it to sound good then buy him an EQ and hope for the best.

You may have a nice warm tone, but he cuts right through it when he turns up the treble... He may be trying to cut through your nice tone. So turn up the treble on yours and get ready for the volume wars... Introduce him to some bluesbreakers!

Blind In 1 Ear
12-29-2009, 02:53 PM
well im not sure if the other guys feel the same way. they havent said anything but im usualy right between my amp and his. yeah i know, im right by his amp, but im closer to mine and it doesnt bother me, only his.

i dunno, i just dont wanna hurt his feelings or get him upset or anything. i mean, if it were me, id be glad to hear someone crit my tone. but im not sure about him. everyone's different. sometimes he sounds alright though. he has this big footboard and all these effects. its not all the time he sounds that way. but even his good tone is pretty thin. but i can stand it, its just not my taste.

and the music we are going for is mostly classic rock tunes and some blues.

Depends on what kind of gear he has... if it's cheap then it's no wonder he sounds bad at jam levels... if it's nice gear then maybe he likes the sting.

You might ask him if you can play on his rig just to see what it's like and adjust the eq and everything to see what you can get out of it... if you get a nice warm sound and he takes it back the other way then just realize you have different tastes. If you have trouble getting it to sound good then buy him an EQ and hope for the best.

You may have a nice warm tone, but he cuts right through it when he turns up the treble... did you ever think of that? So turn up the treble on yours and get ready for the volume wars... Introduce him to some bluesbreakers!
well warm doesnt mean it doesnt cut through. when you go louder you are actually supposed to boost the mids and low end, not treble. treble seems to take care of itself.

i mean, im all for cutting through the mix. but when he does it you cant even hear the notes most of the time. i find with more of the tone in the mids, you get a more clear sound instead of "noise". you might be right about the gear though. hes using some peavey solid state amp. i know he builds a lot of effects though so im not sure if they are good or not. the fuzz he built is nice though.

i remember i played through his amp and with his guitar and it sounded alright. maybe its just him? it was also at low volume though. perhaps his amp just isnt great for playing loud.

B455GU174R
12-29-2009, 02:56 PM
learn to appreciate his tone













:no:

Blind In 1 Ear
12-29-2009, 03:02 PM
learn to appreciate his tone













:no:
yeah i know....but its actually hurting my ears. i can stand different tones, i encourage it actually, but not when it becomes painful. plus, like i said, i cant hear what hes playing.

B455GU174R
12-29-2009, 03:06 PM
yeah i know....but its actually hurting my ears. i can stand different tones, i encourage it actually, but not when it becomes painful. plus, like i said, i cant hear what hes playing.
you cant hear what he is playing, but did you have someone listen to the full band from a audience perspective?

Blind In 1 Ear
12-29-2009, 03:08 PM
you cant hear what he is playing, but did you have someone listen to the full band from a audience perspective?
yeah we had a bunch of people over the other day for a jam. i didn really think of that. i should ask someone i guess. it might just be the way our amps re facing and what not.

SomeoneYouKnew
12-29-2009, 03:21 PM
Show him this pic:

http://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/flashpoints/theater/images/clockwork_big.jpg

"Yo, dude. This is what your tone is doing to my brain."




Srsly, maybe the guy has high frequency loss in his hearing. He's older, right?
A lot of old guys have wrecked their hearing from loud concerts and shiz.

isabiggles
12-29-2009, 03:49 PM
You could always sneak over and change it while he's not looking :haha:

But seriously, just tell him "hey, do you think it would be a good idea to turn down the treble/turn up the bass etc. because the tone sounds kind of thin to me, what do you think?"

He may agree with you or he may not. If not then just go with plan 1.

LastBaron
12-29-2009, 03:55 PM
when hes not in the room turn his knobs.

Jammy Pige
12-29-2009, 04:06 PM
i mean, im all for cutting through the mix. but when he does it you cant even hear the notes most of the time. i find with more of the tone in the mids, you get a more clear sound instead of "noise". you might be right about the gear though. hes using some peavey solid state amp. i know he builds a lot of effects though so im not sure if they are good or not. the fuzz he built is nice though.

i remember i played through his amp and with his guitar and it sounded alright. maybe its just him? it was also at low volume though. perhaps his amp just isnt great for playing loud.

Hate to say it, but some solid state amps get thin, brittle, and harsh sounding when turned up to loud jam levels and no matter how much eq you play with won't help much; the same amp can sound very VERY good at lower volumes.

dullsilver_mike
12-29-2009, 04:16 PM
Srsly, maybe the guy has high frequency loss in his hearing. He's older, right?
A lot of old guys have wrecked their hearing from loud concerts and shiz.

This was my first thought; I've met a few old fellas over the years that used way too much treble and happened to have some hearing loss.

Blind In 1 Ear
12-29-2009, 04:56 PM
Hate to say it, but some solid state amps get thin, brittle, and harsh sounding when turned up to loud jam levels and no matter how much eq you play with won't help much; the same amp can sound very VERY good at lower volumes.
you might be right. im starting to think that might be the problem. also, he might be boosting the treble due to his hearing like others said. he is older. i dunno. i asked my mom who watched us all play and she said he was pretty trebley with his tone. im thinking the amp might be most of the problem now. i havent really asked why he uses that. he seems to be a gear head. he might not just want to bring his amp to the jams all the time.

toyboxmonster
12-29-2009, 05:32 PM
Jammy Pige's suggestion is probably best.

It's likely that he likes it that way... I tend to use a pretty good amount of treble when I play. A trebly tone (as long as it's not too thin) really appeals to me, whereas a lot of bassy/midd-ish blues tones really don't.

SKAtastic7770
12-29-2009, 11:13 PM
Get someone more respectable to criticize his tone, like a sound engineer or someone he musically respects.

sword shredder
12-30-2009, 09:34 AM
Tell him to turn the distortion way down..

Lurcher
12-30-2009, 10:54 AM
My guess is it may be an age thing. If he's old enough to have played on the rubbish gear of the sixties and seventies (obfiously not good gear) he would have needed to boost his top to be heard, Even AC30 users needed a top boost with a Les Paul or SG to cut it. It may have become a hard habit to break.
Another thing is that he may be doing this to balance your tone if it sounds too deep and growly to his ear. In the end there is nothing like having an experienced person just listen to your band and make unbiased comments - as long as you all agree to listen to them beforehand.

Blind In 1 Ear
12-31-2009, 02:34 AM
My guess is it may be an age thing. If he's old enough to have played on the rubbish gear of the sixties and seventies (obfiously not good gear) he would have needed to boost his top to be heard, Even AC30 users needed a top boost with a Les Paul or SG to cut it. It may have become a hard habit to break.
Another thing is that he may be doing this to balance your tone if it sounds too deep and growly to his ear. In the end there is nothing like having an experienced person just listen to your band and make unbiased comments - as long as you all agree to listen to them beforehand.
yeah he might be used to boosting it. i know he built a treble booster. im thinking he probably would sound better on a tube amp. maybe he habits just arent working on this solid state.

i dont think he's doing it to balance out my tone. we never met until e first jammed and he just plugged in and played and that was his tone. i think ill just let it be for now. i guess its cool to have two very diverse tones. ill just get some ear plugs lol. i have to anyways because we play loud (is there any other way?).

kyle62
12-31-2009, 11:51 AM
If he's an older fella who's been playing for a while, there's a good chance his hearing is damaged, so he can't actually judge how much treble he's using.

Believe me, I have a mate with hearing damage who owns a Marshall JVM but EQs it so badly it sounds like a toy, simply can't hear the upper mrange well so turns it right up to painful levels!
I recently did a tone test with a drummer mate who's been playing in bands for 40 years, and he can't hear anything past 9kHz...


I agree with your plight though - you have to think abut the overall mix.
I love the whole Bonamassa-style warm balanced rock tone, but our other guitarist prefers a harsher, brighter sound. The two generally work very well together in a band context, mcuh better than twop of the same tone, but he used to be painfully bright (I'm talking ripped-speaker-cone levels of fizz here).
I had a word with him, not saying 'your tone sucks' but simply that it didn't work well in the context of the band, and explained that in my recording experience sometimes a guitar tone that sounds crap on its own will sound great in the mix (or vice versa). He agreed to let me slightly adjust his tone 'for the sake of the overall mix' and it all sounds much better now.

Use that approach, rather than 'your tone sucks', and there'll be no problems.

nugiboy
01-02-2010, 09:10 AM
Cmon man. It's not like you're insulting his family or anything. Just tell him that his tone could do with a bit of adjustment.

SomeoneYouKnew
01-02-2010, 05:41 PM
Cmon man. It's not like you're insulting his family or anything. Just tell him that his tone could do with a bit of adjustment.Jeez, if you aren't gonna go the whole route and have some fun with it, why bother?

nugiboy
01-02-2010, 07:42 PM
Jeez, if you aren't gonna go the whole route and have some fun with it, why bother?

Sorry?

isaac_bandits
01-02-2010, 09:48 PM
Why not just say "I think our tones are kinda clashing, do you think that we could try to adjust them to work better together?", and see how it goes. Don't tell him his sucks, just say it doesn't work great with yours. Then he'd probably say why he has his tone how he has it.

SomeoneYouKnew
01-03-2010, 01:12 AM
Why not just say "I think our tones are kinda clashing, do you think that we could try to adjust them to work better together?", and see how it goes. If some dude said that to me, I'd insist they drop trou to make sure their balls hadn't fallen off. Then I'd ask them what the hell they were on about.

Tones "clashing"? Wtf? There is absolutely no problem with two guitar having radically different tones. In fact, it usually works great that way. The problem isn't that the tones don't work together because they're different, the problem is this guy's tone just sucks. Granted, he doesn't need to say "it sucks". He could just ask the guy to throttle back the icepick-in-the-forehead treble, or something. Smooth bright tones can be awesome, but when they become edgy and brittle it's just annoying. And it doesn't matter what you play that up against. Even if he was the only guitar, it still wouldn't sound good.

chokmool
01-03-2010, 01:48 AM
I was in one band with two guitars. It was my first band. I've never done it again. Now I remember why. :haha:

SomeoneYouKnew
01-03-2010, 12:47 PM
I was in one band with two guitars. It was my first band. I've never done it again. Now I remember why. :haha:Best band I was ever in had THREE guitars, bass, and drums. No keys, no horns.
Totally awesome.

chokmool
01-03-2010, 08:25 PM
Best band I was ever in had THREE guitars, bass, and drums. No keys, no horns.
Totally awesome.

I believe you. It was a silly comment I should have kept to myself. It has just turned out that the bands I've been in were usually trios, or 4-piece with keys instead of another guitar.

We've always been able to discuss anything having to do with our music, without worrying about it. If someone has something to say, they just say it, no hard feelings.

SomeoneYouKnew
01-03-2010, 11:02 PM
It was a silly comment I should have kept to myself.nah. not silly at all. More than one guitar makes it more difficult to hear what you're doing unless you have different timbral identities. Often in the effort to be different, it goes bad.

We've always been able to discuss anything having to do with our music, without worrying about it. If someone has something to say, they just say it, no hard feelings.Always a good approach. I imagine TS is in a situation he's less comfortable with. These guys are older. So naturally he'll be a little hesitant to criticize someone older and supposedly musically wiser. But it really does come back to that. Just say what's on your mind.

HailSlaytan
01-03-2010, 11:56 PM
Just say "dude, could you use a little less treble? your tone doesn't exactly fit with the rest of the bands. it's not a big deal, it just needs a little adjusting." Then help him figure out another tone he likes.

Blind In 1 Ear
01-04-2010, 12:13 AM
so we played again today. either im used to it now, or he has changed something. he didnt sound too bad today. a few times he got a little too bittle but for the most part it wasnt too bad. still not my cup of tea tone wise though.

i think maybe ill learn to like it. at least you can tell exactly whos playing if we record anything. i think it might be his hearing. the tone seems to get brighter the longer we play. i think hes boosting it as we go. i almost did it too today. my tone sounded fine at first but as we went on it almost sounded a little dull to me. even though i didnt change anything. i think we just played louder that usual and it impared my high end hearing. im gunna get some hear plugs so i dont do any real damage.