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#1
I feel like we say this a lot and it's truly a meaningless phrase. I'd posit that it'd be harder to find a guitar that's so niche that it's not versatile. Can anyone find me a guitar that can only do one single genre?

Quote by EyeNon15
Thats too bad, I was under the impression I was arguing something profound


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#2
A pure classical, perhaps?

(Not that I believe that.)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#3
dannyalcatraz

Yeah, dunno about that. How many Latin, jazz and classical players there are in the world compared to electricheads and steel string players? I've been wondering that for years.

I think that versatility might have more to do with looks than sound. Something with spikes and skull motifs isn't going to sit well in a wide range of genres.
#4
Looks won't stop you from being able to play, though.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#5
OK if we aren't going to take looks into account, how about lap steels and pedal steels in extend tunings? Everything I've heard played on them sounds like one genre to me. But strictly speaking, I think they should be called zithers, not guitars.

It would be hard do shredding or classical on this:




That kind of thing interests me greatly. - Doing a lot with not very much.
Last edited by Tony Done at Nov 16, 2016,
#6
Discounting aesthetics would be wrong since a lot of what we hear and feel in a guitar is dictated by what we see. Aesthetics won't physically stop you from playing a certain style, but psychologically if a guitar doesn't look appropriate for the sort of music you're playing on it then it may as well be physically impossible in the eyes of most people. It would be to me at least since there are several other guitars in my pile that would look a lot more suitable.
Quote by Axelfox
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#7
And yet players can and do overcome that purely psychological- IOW, a limitation not inherent to the GUITAR, but to the PLAYER- barrier all the time.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#8
dannyalcatraz Oh of course, but I don't see how that counters my point.

'Versatility' is as much a personal belief as it is a physical aspect of the guitar. If not more so. That's why the term is pretty meaningless.
Quote by Axelfox
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#9
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE


'Versatility' is as much a personal belief as it is a physical aspect of the guitar.


I don't buy that, though.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#10
Quote by dannyalcatraz
A pure classical, perhaps?

(Not that I believe that.)


Nylon string classicals have been used all over the place though. Many pop and country artists have used them. They're not the popular choice in general, but they offer a different sound that I think can work really well.

I think versatility is more about being optimal for you for different genres. I love my SG and it can go from pop to metal and everything in between without a problem, but my Mayones does everything the SG does and does it better most of the time. So I'd say the Mayones is more versatile. Doesn't mean I can't bust out the latest Metallica riff on my SG and do Slow Dancing In A Burning Room on it the next day.
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#11
I disagree about the lap/pedal steel being a one trick pony. David Gilmour used one on quite a lot on "Dark Side of The Moon" and it worked perfectly. I think any instrument is only limited by the person playing it. I remember in the 80's seeing The Alarm open for The Pretenders and how loud and rockin' the acoustic guitars were through Marshal amps. That was a whole mental shift for my thoughts on acoustics not being used on heavier songs.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Nov 16, 2016,
#12
I K0nijn I like my parenthetical said, I don't really believe that.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#13
Quote by I K0nijn I

I think versatility is more about being optimal for you for different genres. I love my SG and it can go from pop to metal and everything in between without a problem, but my Mayones does everything the SG does and does it better most of the time. So I'd say the Mayones is more versatile. Doesn't mean I can't bust out the latest Metallica riff on my SG and do Slow Dancing In A Burning Room on it the next day.


Yeah, agreed. There's a big difference between "will work at a pinch" and "is ideal/optimal for that musical genre". If you ask me a lot of people are confusing those two things, whether deliberately or not.

Also I think we need to define versatility- for me at least there are at least two different things I think of when I see the term "versatile" (when it relates to guitars, at least).

1) Will work well (i.e. sound good) for a variety of musical genres. E.g. most of the "classics" in the electric guitar world, like a strat, a tele, a les paul, etc. etc.

2) Can get a wide range of tones from a lot of the different "classic" guitars- e.g. things like HSS or HSH superstrats, other guitars with fancy wiring involving coil splits etc. etc.

If you ask me those two things are subtly but noticeably different, yet most of us would use the same word to define them.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#14
No such thing as versatile guitars, Only versatile guitarists
#16
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Discounting aesthetics would be wrong since a lot of what we hear and feel in a guitar is dictated by what we see. Aesthetics won't physically stop you from playing a certain style, but psychologically if a guitar doesn't look appropriate for the sort of music you're playing on it then it may as well be physically impossible in the eyes of most people. It would be to me at least since there are several other guitars in my pile that would look a lot more suitable.


I don't have those psychological blocks. And in fact, I have a great time hauling guitars across genres just...because it's fun to be a bit contrarian.
I routinely haul a pair of basses to P&W (one is black with a huge skull and crossbones graphic, the other is bright red and pointy) groups. I've also got a white LP-style guitar with gold hardware that was enthusiastically received -- I was then told that white guitars are just wonderful. So then I took in my white V220 (sorta star-shaped with a flying V headstock). Oops .

"Visually suitable" in guitar terms really doesn't make sense to me, though I understand the sentiment that guitar fashion is going for. I've ended up with a lot more black guitars than I care to over the years only because it was difficult to find the same model guitar in good condition in another finish. But most aren't "metal" nor are they intended to be.
#17
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Discounting aesthetics would be wrong since a lot of what we hear and feel in a guitar is dictated by what we see. Aesthetics won't physically stop you from playing a certain style, but psychologically if a guitar doesn't look appropriate for the sort of music you're playing on it then it may as well be physically impossible in the eyes of most people. It would be to me at least since there are several other guitars in my pile that would look a lot more suitable.


sorry but can't go for this either. you don't "see" a guitar when listening to a song on the radio or in many other situations. you hear it. other than guitar players how many people care about this, what do they know. I went to a blues fest a few years back and one of the bands had a guitar player playing a Parker Fly. not exactly a 'blues" approved guitar by any stretch. he sounded fantastic and I thought better than the guys with the standard "blues" gear. for that matter I use a BC Rich Eagle in place of a LP for blues playing. while it's perhaps BC Rich's tamest original design it's still far from traditional. sure you get an odd look form other guitar players but the people in the crowd don't care as long as the music is good.
#18
I think when people ask for a "versatile" guitar, they aren't really going to use every possible sound. They want more options thinking it'll give them better odds of finding the one sound they like.
#19
Quote by Dave_Mc
Yeah, agreed. There's a big difference between "will work at a pinch" and "is ideal/optimal for that musical genre". If you ask me a lot of people are confusing those two things, whether deliberately or not.

Also I think we need to define versatility- for me at least there are at least two different things I think of when I see the term "versatile" (when it relates to guitars, at least).

1) Will work well (i.e. sound good) for a variety of musical genres. E.g. most of the "classics" in the electric guitar world, like a strat, a tele, a les paul, etc. etc.

2) Can get a wide range of tones from a lot of the different "classic" guitars- e.g. things like HSS or HSH superstrats, other guitars with fancy wiring involving coil splits etc. etc.

If you ask me those two things are subtly but noticeably different, yet most of us would use the same word to define them.
Absolutely. On pretty much any electric you can play pretty much any genre. However, traditional singlecoil pickups aren't ideal for high gain, and Super Distortions aren't ideal for sparkling scooped cleans. A soft V profile neck with a 7.25" radius and vintage frets isn't going to be the easiest thing to shred on. A baseball bat Les Paul or an Ibanez Wizard neck won't usually be the first choice of a guy who's always putting his thumb over the top for muting or chording. Someone who needs to change tunings a lot might favour a hardtail, or someone who needs various kinds of vibrato and such might want a Floyd on there.

So yeah, in the vast majority of cases there's no meaningful argument that a given guitar won't be at all viable for a given style, but there's absolutely a meaningful argument that certain guitars are better suited - in very real, practical ways - to different genres. A versatile guitar, then, is a relatively neutral one. Say, a flatter radius fretboard, a C-profile neck that isn't too chunky or too flat, and an array of pickups that can do cleans and high gain without being noisy or muddy or ice-picky or whatever. The question is of doing things well rather than being able to do things at all. And it's a total misdirection to talk about guitars that can only do one genre. I don't think anyone's implying that - just plenty of guitars aren't ideal for certain styles. I totally agree that that concept's often taken way further than it needs to be, but I don't think it's meaningless by any means. If you had a Variax, mind you...
#20
Quote by monwobobbo
sorry but can't go for this either. you don't "see" a guitar when listening to a song on the radio or in many other situations. you hear it. other than guitar players how many people care about this, what do they know. I went to a blues fest a few years back and one of the bands had a guitar player playing a Parker Fly. not exactly a 'blues" approved guitar by any stretch. he sounded fantastic and I thought better than the guys with the standard "blues" gear. for that matter I use a BC Rich Eagle in place of a LP for blues playing. while it's perhaps BC Rich's tamest original design it's still far from traditional. sure you get an odd look form other guitar players but the people in the crowd don't care as long as the music is good.

Looks like we have to agree to disagree.

The fact that the audience don't care is irrelevant. But it's relevant to me because I am a guitar player and I prefer guitars that look fit for purpose over ones that don't for the style of music I'm playing. There might be an exception such as if I'm deliberately playing a certain guitar to be ironic or contrarian, but that's different.
Quote by Axelfox
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#21
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Looks like we have to agree to disagree.

The fact the that audience don't care is irrelevant. But it's relevant to me because I am a guitar player and I prefer guitars that look fit for purpose over ones that don't for the style of music I'm playing.


well that's fine however I'd be careful in how I present my personal hang ups on a board like this as it will lead to discussion and more often than not disagreement. you're assertion only is based a feeling you have with no real validation past "well that's how I think" . clearly others don't "think" like that so again I'd take care in how I presented that idea. it's not "fact". by the same token it is your opinion and you are entitled to it. for you it has validity which is fine. in the end you can just say fuck you guys if you don't agree
#22
Quote by monwobobbo
well that's fine however I'd be careful in how I present my personal hang ups on a board like this as it will lead to discussion and more often than not disagreement. you're assertion only is based a feeling you have with no real validation past "well that's how I think" . clearly others don't "think" like that so again I'd take care in how I presented that idea. it's not "fact". by the same token it is your opinion and you are entitled to it. for you it has validity which is fine. in the end you can just say fuck you guys if you don't agree

This entire discussion was subjective in nature and based on feelings from the very beginning, so what you've just said works both ways. I embrace other people's views but don't feel the need to apologize for my own just because it so happens to be the less popular opinion on this forum.
Quote by Axelfox
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#24
I have to say that T00DEEPBLUE has a point, guys. Half of the boutique pedal industry wouldn't exist without great visuals.

Quote by EyeNon15
Thats too bad, I was under the impression I was arguing something profound


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#25
Quote by JustRooster
I have to say that T00DEEPBLUE has a point, guys. Half of the boutique pedal industry wouldn't exist without great visuals.
And I'd suck that shit up with no apology if I could afford it
#26
I'd say that when somebody asks for a 'versatile guitar' they are usually a beginner or atleast someone who has only owned maybe one guitar.I think anyone who's been playing a while knows that in practical terms you can play almost anything on any guitar.'versatile' to me practically would boil down to probably solely pickup configuration and switching options i.e can you get a single coil and a humbucker sound so you can get closer to the tone you need.
However like TOODEEPBLUE i have to admit that i am a sucker for aesthetics.I just don't feel right playing Led Zep or Freddie King or BB King on a Strat.I'll pickup a certain guitar depending on what music i'm playing and it definitely helps me get into the vibe of whatever genre I'm playing at the time.Could i make do with one say single coil guitar for everything?Yes if i had to.However i don't want to just make do...I want feel as at home as i can playing whatever genre i choose at the time.
2016 Gibson Les Paul Traditional T in Light Burst
'77 Hardtail Strat
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Last edited by EyeballPaul at Nov 16, 2016,
#27
Quote by EyeballPaul
I'd say that when somebody asks for a 'versatile guitar' they are usually a beginner or atleast someone who has only owned maybe one guitar.I think anyone who's been playing a while knows that in practical terms you can play almost anything on any guitar.'versatile' to me practically would boil down to probably solely pickup configuration and switching options i.e can you get a single coil and a humbucker sound so you can get closer to the tone you need.
However like TOODEEPBLUE i have to admit that i am a sucker for aesthetics.I just don't feel right playing Led Zep or Freddie King or BB King on a Strat.I'll pickup a certain guitar depending on what music i'm playing and it definitely helps me get into the vibe of whatever genre I'm playing at the time.Could i make do with one say single coil guitar for everything?Yes if i had to.However i don't want to just make do...I want feel as at home as i can playing whatever genre i choose at the time.


what if you were playing Led Zeps song In The Evening? sorry just had to say that since it's played on a strat.
#28
Quote by JustRooster
I feel like we say this a lot and it's truly a meaningless phrase. I'd posit that it'd be harder to find a guitar that's so niche that it's not versatile. Can anyone find me a guitar that can only do one single genre?


I kinda think this has more to do with the notion that there are genre specific guitars. how many threads ask for a "metal" guitar for instance. it's a common misconception. granted some guitars do lend themselves to being good for more genres that others. a guitar that just works for one though nope can't think of any.
#29
It's more about the relationship and dynamic between the individual musician and his instrument than it is about the guitar itself, in my opinion. Perhaps I like my classical music to be played strictly on a classical guitar; in that case, that closes an avenue of "versatility" for all of my guitars that are not classical guitars. I may find a Stratocaster and SSS configuration to be very limiting (I truly do), but another musician may find that it's incredibly versatile.

Just because the phrase is difficult or sometimes nebulously defined doesn't mean that it doesn't have merit.

To me, a dreadnought is not a versatile guitar. A cutaway 000 is.
But we little know until tried how much of the uncontrollable there is in us, urging across glaciers and torrents, and up dangerous heights, let the judgment forbid as it may.
#30
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Looks like we have to agree to disagree.

The fact that the audience don't care is irrelevant. But it's relevant to me because I am a guitar player and I prefer guitars that look fit for purpose over ones that don't for the style of music I'm playing. There might be an exception such as if I'm deliberately playing a certain guitar to be ironic or contrarian, but that's different.


I think that's more a costuming issue than a performance or functional one.

I've actually had a bandleader tell me that I had to appear "with a *Gibson* Les Paul -- not one of those cheap clones." That was a costuming issue, too. The functional issue was that I had to have a Floyd Rose and a Sustainer to play the music as intended.
#31
Quote by Dreadnought

To me, a dreadnought is not a versatile guitar. A cutaway 000 is.


I fingerpick a cutaway Jumbo. Kind of a fitting idea for this thread.

Quote by EyeNon15
Thats too bad, I was under the impression I was arguing something profound


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#32
JustRooster I'm not saying visuals don't suck us in and color our perceptions of what should and should not work.

I'm saying visual aesthetics are immaterial as to what actually does or does not work, and as such, have no real impact on "versatility".
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#33
Quote by dannyalcatraz
JustRooster I'm not saying visuals don't suck us in and color our perceptions of what should and should not work.

I'm saying visual aesthetics are immaterial as to what actually does or does not work, and as such, have no real impact on "versatility".



I get that. I think T00DEEPBLUE gets that as well. But we're all humans chasing a passionate hobby. We can't help if we hear with our eyes sometimes.

Quote by EyeNon15
Thats too bad, I was under the impression I was arguing something profound


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#34
Quote by K33nbl4d3
And I'd suck that shit up with no apology if I could afford it


I can and DO. The Little Dipper there? I already got one.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#35
Quote by JustRooster
I get that. I think T00DEEPBLUE gets that as well. But we're all humans chasing a passionate hobby. We can't help if we hear with our eyes sometimes.


That's why I've started telling people to shop with their hands and ears, not their eyes, USE THE FORCE!!!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#36
Oh, and to be 100% clear, I am NOT claiming to be invulnerable to the charms of visual aesthetics. If you came to my house, you'd see visuals "are my jam".
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#37
Quote by JustRooster
I fingerpick a cutaway Jumbo. Kind of a fitting idea for this thread.


That makes sense tho

And my Vox Virage is incredibly versatile
But we little know until tried how much of the uncontrollable there is in us, urging across glaciers and torrents, and up dangerous heights, let the judgment forbid as it may.
#38
Quote by sashki
I think when people ask for a "versatile" guitar, they aren't really going to use every possible sound. They want more options thinking it'll give them better odds of finding the one sound they like.


I'm a bit on the n00b side, but I think this is pretty accurate. Ideally, you want to have a thousand guitars (or more) to address any theoretical situation. Realistically, you can't. This, having a few guitars with attributes leaning towards certain attributes is a lot easier to achieve than a ton of options. Unless you can afford a busload of guitars, at which point why are you even discussing this on an internet forum?
Guitars:
Squire Bullet Strat, Schecter Damien 6, Washburn WG-587 & RX10
Amp/Effects:
Peavy Vypyr 30, ISP Decimator

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Understood- I waste money on amps*, too.
#39
Quote by dspellman
I think that's more a costuming issue than a performance or functional one.

I've actually had a bandleader tell me that I had to appear "with a *Gibson* Les Paul -- not one of those cheap clones." That was a costuming issue, too. The functional issue was that I had to have a Floyd Rose and a Sustainer to play the music as intended.

The costuming of a guitar does to some extent influence how it sounds and feels. I'm merely of the stance that I'm willing to admit it. We absolutely do hear things with our eyes and there's even hard scientific evidence to back it up..



As for that guy who mentioned 'not one of those cheap clones', I suppose it depends on what he counts as being a cheap clone. If he's implying that a Japanese-made LP clone like a Navigator is somehow inferior to a Gibson then he's just plain ignorant. But if he's actually referring to a Chinese Gibson counterfeit, then that's totally fair game. But like you've said if he's ignorant of how good Nav's are, then he may still prefer the Gibsons. Even if he actually played a Nav for himself. Just because quality is there does not necessarily mean it's always perceived.
Quote by Axelfox
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#40
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I can and DO. The Little Dipper there? I already got one.

I know, you bastard
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