#1
Hi Everyone,

I have playing guitar for about 1 year. I try to practice almost an hour everyday. I generally play with distortion because I love 80's rock. And so I am studying varies scales, etc.

But I notice that I can play so much faster with distortion. I can get out a flurry of notes and it sounds pretty good.

However when I switch to a clean channel I can't seem to play nearly as fast. Is it because of the distortion effects that I can play so much faster or is it just me.

Any suggestions.

Thanks in advance.
#2
Distortion can cover up many mistakes, which is probably what you are noticing when playing with a clean sound.

I'd advocate using both in your practice. Clean practice is very important because it forces you to work on many aspects of your playing that are not as distinct when playing with a lot of distortion. Like articulation, dynamics, etc. Same in reverse for distortion, playing with distortion forces you to keep your muting in check so notes don't ring into each other.

My rule of thumb is always that i can only say "I am able to play this" when i can play it both cleanly and with distortion. So yeah, the distortion is fooling you a bit, you need to start practicing with a clean tone as well (Yes, even the 80's rock stuff).
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#4
you probably need to ease up on the distortion when you do use it. Sickz has it right so follow that advice. chances are that you are using to much distortion which covers up sloppy playing but often sounds "awesome" to an untrained ear. try to work on playing the notes clearly not just fast. playing sloppy fast is easy playing fast with good note definition and making it sound musical isn't.
#5
This is why I tend to practice on a acoustic guitar. What more cleaner sound can you get besides acoustic? Plus everything that comes out of is you, YOU ARE THE DYNAMICS.
Last edited by Black_devils at Jun 26, 2015,
#6
Quote by Sickz
Distortion can cover up many mistakes, which is probably what you are noticing when playing with a clean sound.

I'd advocate using both in your practice. Clean practice is very important because it forces you to work on many aspects of your playing that are not as distinct when playing with a lot of distortion. Like articulation, dynamics, etc. Same in reverse for distortion, playing with distortion forces you to keep your muting in check so notes don't ring into each other.


All this, but I'll add that playing clean covers mistakes as well, particularly with muting. If your playing sounds bad clean, it's probably related to picking related things like not having a strong enough attack at high speeds. If it sounds bad with distortion but good clean, probaly muting problems. The important thing to take away is that each hides a different set of mistakes so practice both like Sickz said.

Also I would like to add that sometimes you don't sound as good as you think you do. Playing at higher volumes helps to notice certain mistakes, especially when playing with distortion. Also remember the old cliche of recording yourself and listening back to identify flaws.
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#7
distortion normally adds compression, which can make it feel like the guitar is almost "playing itself".

What they're all saying- practice both clean and distorted since both have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to hiding or revealing mistakes and poor technique.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#8
Quote by Black_devils
This is why I tend to practice on a acoustic guitar. What more cleaner sound can you get besides acoustic? Plus everything that comes out of is you, YOU ARE THE DYNAMICS.


agree. playing on an acoustic will really show you what you can or can't do precisely. of course acoustics tend to be harder to play and rarely have action that feels like an electric. i've found that after playing on an acoustic for a while that when i switch to electric i can really fly as it is easier.
#9
I agree, distortion covers up mistakes. I often practice on acoustic, when I use electric it's always clean. I don't worry about distortion until I get with the band in the practice room and even then I usually play clean until we have the song in good shape, then I add overdrive and make sure everything is good.

I've been practicing on electric a lot the last few days since I just got a tremendous deal on a Fender Pro Jr, under $50, have to get the feel of the amp and find out what it will do so when I put it onstage I won't be in for any surprises. The only effect I use at home is a delay occasionally, set to one light echo. The Pro Jr so far is doing really well, have to clean up the tube socket contacts a bit more, otherwise it's doing fine, I'm pretty impressed, and it looks almost brand new. Sounds good too but the EL84 tubes have a different character from the 6L6 amps I've always used.

I almost always learn songs on acoustic. Once I can play it on acoustic I switch to electric and work out the kinks, often with a hollow body unplugged. Then I plug into an amp and concentrate on sound and getting it smoothed out. I don't want choppy notes onstage, muffled chords or any of that. I want every note clear as I can get it and smooth as possible too.

Always practice clean, don't worry about distortion/overdrive until you can play it well clean with no mistakes, then worry about sound.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#10
^ Nice score for $50!
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
Oh yeah...and UNDER $50...well under...

So far all I've found is it needs some tube socket cleaning, maybe retensioning, sounds good. I'll have to get used to the difference between 6L6 tubes and the EL84 ones this amp uses. I've heard they have different character but this is the first time I've had them side by side...still need to hook up to the A/B switch, but by itself I can tell a difference. I'm liking it so far...and for what I paid, if I decide not to keep it, I can sell it for a nice profit. $150 would be easy, $200 if I want to wait a little while, and it looks like almost new, that'll help.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#12
wow, under $50?

Just bear in mind the power tubes aren't the only thing affecting the tone. if it sounds different it might be the power tubes... or it might be something else, the circuit etc.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?