#1
My tone is awful. With this in mind, my guitar is terrible and i usually just blame that. However i've been playing through my friends amp for a little while now(Vox AD30VT) and his new epi les paul and my tone is still awful. Is it truly all in the hands? What can i do to help my sound be less harsh and more musical? I've been playing for about a year now, so i can play some decent stuff but i can't get it to sound nearly as good as other people's tone.
#2
are you playing staccato? muting notes right after you play them sometimes gives bad tone.
Gear-
Cherry Epiphone SG Special
Vox AD30
Boss DS-1
#4
uh... well i just have a peavey rage and a greg bennett strat, plus a ds-1. and i love the tone that i can get from my rig, so yea i guess it is all in the fingers. (although i'm sure i could get a better tone if i upgraded my gear a little bit)
#5
Quote by Cosmicstar
are you playing staccato? muting notes right after you play them sometimes gives bad tone.


no just playing normally... i usually play mid-gain or high-gain stuff like hard rock or anything with heavy distortion... idk if that makes a big difference but no matter what pickup i use or what my equalizer knobs are at it still sounds bad.
#7
Tone is really more in the pedals, amp, and guitar/pickups IMO.
Quote by Pikka Bird
Go pikka yourself!
#8
If a beginner player and an advanced player playing the same thing out of the same equipment the advanced player will sound better. However, if the advanced player is playing a crap solid state and crap guitar and the beginner is playing a ridiculously high-end tube amp and great guitar , the beginner will sound better. Hands make up some of the tone but can only go so far before your gear limits you.
#9
pay attention to your picking hand and chording hand coordination... also experiment with how hard you play and how you hold the pick. I've noticed I actually get better tone when I back off how hard I play and concentrate on accuracy and being articulate with my picking and chording.
#11
a lot of your tone comes from your head, hands and fingers. having said that if you play the exact same thing, once on a squire strat through a 10 watt amp and once on a Les Paul through a 5150 with the gain cranked the tone is obviously going to be different.

your gear could very well be the main problem but with what youve got you should be able to dial it in to get at least a very reasonable tone. If not then our playing could be at fault.

EDIT: also even after saying all of that tone is very much a subjective thing, you might prefer one tone over another and someone else might hate them both and prefer something completely different to you that you hate. your tone should be pleasing to your ear and thats it IMO.
Last edited by Diamond Dave at Sep 4, 2007,
#12
My opinion on the tone issue...

The ability to write good music, or play accurately, fluidly, and show emotion is completely different from sounding good, having that desired tone, whether it be bass heavy grind, searing distortion, fat bottomed cleans etc...

If someone truly posesses a great tone but plays powerchords for 4 minutes straight doesn't actually take away from the tone. No, it's not going to be fun to listen to, but it would sound good to the ears.

If that makes any sense to you, well, I dunno, I hope you can view my point, and if you don't, I'm sorry I coudln't explain it better.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#13
I'll have something to say as well, even though these other guys above probably know more about tone and stuff like that then me.

When I got my Vox AD30VT I played a lot of things and for the most part I liked my sound but I had not subjected myself to listening to it without actually playing and I recorded it and HOLY COW it was some of the worst sounding crap I've EVER EVER heard tonally wise.

Now that I've had the amp for about a year and I've been practicing a lot the tone now is as close to AMAZING as I can think. All I can think of is if you play high gain stuff is that'll you'll have the problem I had because for some reason my speaker didn't take it well but now it sounds better so maybe your speaker needs to warm up and really get used to the playing so it'll warm up and produce good tone.

Also it does depend on the guitar, my squier sounds like a cow raping a gerbil raping a bird biting an electrical wire. So check your pickups maybe bring it in to a shop and try it out on some supposed "great" sounding tone amps or have someone else play it.

Good luck on improving you're tone.
My Rig:
Ibanez RVX 220DX
Vox Valvetronix 30watt
#14
Quote by Sirlancelot42
I'll have something to say as well, even though these other guys above probably know more about tone and stuff like that then me.

When I got my Vox AD30VT I played a lot of things and for the most part I liked my sound but I had not subjected myself to listening to it without actually playing and I recorded it and HOLY COW it was some of the worst sounding crap I've EVER EVER heard tonally wise.

Now that I've had the amp for about a year and I've been practicing a lot the tone now is as close to AMAZING as I can think. All I can think of is if you play high gain stuff is that'll you'll have the problem I had because for some reason my speaker didn't take it well but now it sounds better so maybe your speaker needs to warm up and really get used to the playing so it'll warm up and produce good tone.

Also it does depend on the guitar, my squier sounds like a cow raping a gerbil raping a bird biting an electrical wire. So check your pickups maybe bring it in to a shop and try it out on some supposed "great" sounding tone amps or have someone else play it.

Good luck on improving you're tone.

i'm really tempted to sig that last part... yep, i'm sigging it.
anyhoo, how you play does have an effect. especially how you pick. dynamics, accent variations, etc. fretting style has less of an effect. it's not a huge part of your tone, but it is important to your overall sound.
#15
I had this problem when I was first starting learning scales and making crude songs from the scales. Maybe because I had a spider II, but I started applying a bit of vibrato to my playing, and it started to sound so much better. But... how good can you sound with a spider?
I think your gear makes a more noticeable change than playing dynamics. I recently upgraded to a peavey classic 50 tube combo, and any piece of crap stock squier can sound decent with it. Plug in an american strat w/ bareknuckles, and you can't put it down.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#16
The basis of what differentiates one player from another is undeniably in the fingertips. I've got recordings of me playing my main solo on one of my bands songs using 3 different guitars: Ibanez GRG170DX (with Swinesheads), Fender Stratocaster and Fender Telecaster, through 2 different amps: Orange Rocker 30 and Marshall JCM2000. All these recordings essentially sound the same. Obviously there are tonal variances but you can tell it's me playing everytime.
Ibanez PGM301
Ibanez GRG170DX
Fender Telecaster MiJ - 1986
Swing T-Through

Ibanez TS9DX
Sovtek Small Stone - c.1985
EHX Big Muff
Kimbara Wah - c.1974
Boss GE-7

Orange Rocker 30 Combo

http://www.myspace.com/paythelay
#17
A lot of tone comes from your fingers. Maybe you are expecting too much of yourself. After all you have only been playing a year. That's not really long enough for most people to develope the technique and subtlety needed for good tone. Just keep practicing. Your ear just developed a little faster than your playing ability. Use your ear to push yourself to get better and practice, not to put yourself down. Good luck.
#18
Tone is only in the hands once you reach a certain level. Tone for you is still mostly in the equipment. Something of yours is not good.
#19
thought i'd put in my 2 cents.

Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath had the tips of his fingers cut off from a machine, he made synthetic finger tips from molten, plastic bottle caps and used them to play.

Its been said that the tone produced from his fingertips contributes to the doomy sound. Not to mention their cheap, distorted amps.
#21
I know I can hear it when the equipment is not making the sound I want, but I have to say that 75% of the tone comes from the player IMHO...

It is a difficult one, I genuinely think that better equipment will help you, but to sound seriously impressive you need to have it in you.

This may be frustrating for you but a year is not a long time. For me with tone, my playing didn't improve in that I learnt 100 new songs, but one day my playing just started sounding good to me if that makes sense. Keep at it, yes a new amp of something is encouraging in that the improved sound will rejuvenate your love for you playing guitar, but ultimately the practice will lead to you sounding good. Get something new, preferably amp, then get stuck into it again.

Craig
Floyd Rose DST-2
Vox AD15VT