Poll: Do you use lots of distortion?
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View poll results: Do you use lots of distortion?
No, all clean.
4 5%
I use a bit.
14 18%
I use a lot.
36 47%
I'm a gain *****.
22 29%
Voters: 76.
#1
Search bar gives nothing, so as the title states, how many of you play your scales, sweeps, ect. with some kind of high gain or distortion? This is simply more than a survey, I'm looking for some insight on advantages and disadvantages of it. We all know that it's more or less easier to play technical stuff with more gain. But wheres the limit? (this is not a rant) I see some people playing with so much gain that you can barely tell the notes apart. Also, if one were to teach sweep arpeggios or rapid scales, would they use distortion? I've been screwing around with my sound lately and found a decent tone which is not too distortiony, while I still don't have to press too hard to get the notes to sound out.

Now, you're all going to tell me: To a true virtuoso, the amount of gain doesnt matter, he or she can play it either way. I am not a true virtuoso.

How many of you use high gain and do you think if it's use in excess it's considered cheap?

Thanks.
#3
the idea is that with gain it covers up any mistakes that you might make. it is always good to play on clean until you have it nailed so that you can learn it as cleanly as possible.
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#4
^ Right, I play EVERYTHING clean...untill people are listening
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#5
Yeah, that's what I thought. Good answers lol. At least people know what I'm talking about. I use a cleanish crunch channel with gain at about 5 or 6. For solo work, dissonance is barely heard. Or I use a clean channel with gain all the way up. Theres barely any dissonance when I mix in a few chords into it. I also use chorus with those. It makes practice more fun. I can't stand the sound of a compressor, everything sounds so bland.
#6
the idea is that with gain it covers up any mistakes that you might make. it is always good to play on clean until you have it nailed so that you can learn it as cleanly as possible.


Playing clean also covers up problems. For example, if you're not properly muting strings you'll get harmonics and string noise as you as you up the gain.

I'd say practice mainly clean, but every now and then play with different gain and tone levels to make sure it sounds alright.
#7
i practise 1 hour clean , 2 hours crunch and then half an hour with overload distortion to see if i can play any better, then 2 hours and a half of writing music

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#8
About enough distortion to make palm muted notes go chugga-chugga. Sometimes I go all out though and max it out.
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#9
Quote by Trapman870
the idea is that with gain it covers up any mistakes that you might make. it is always good to play on clean until you have it nailed so that you can learn it as cleanly as possible.


That is NOT the idea, at least not for me. I think clean shredding sounds very choppy no matter how cleanly you are playing, and a bit of good distortion adds smoothness to it. You are right about practicing clean, though.
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#10
I think in any situation there are no right or wrong answers.

For practice you should play clean to make sure it's clean and dirty to make sure you're not creating extraneous string noise and you're muting properly.

Playing in a song you should play with an amount of gain that sounds good for the song.
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#11
Quote by Sonicxlover
That is NOT the idea, at least not for me. I think clean shredding sounds very choppy no matter how cleanly you are playing, and a bit of good distortion adds smoothness to it. You are right about practicing clean, though.

You're doing it wrong.

I can easily get a nice smooth sound, you have to control your dynamics and make sure every note is fretted perfectly.
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#12
Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh I still feel cheap when I use lots of it. But, like when I really need it for something like diminished LEGATO string skipping. Come on. Mad legato stretches. I tried doing it with less gain and I can't get the Tap-Slides to sound AT ALL. So I guess use it where necessary.
#13
Quote by one vision
Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh I still feel cheap when I use lots of it. But, like when I really need it for something like diminished LEGATO string skipping. Come on. Mad legato stretches. I tried doing it with less gain and I can't get the Tap-Slides to sound AT ALL. So I guess use it where necessary.


+1 I use a moderate amount I suppose.
#14
I use the same amount of gain as I use in everything else. I set it around 2 o' clock on the Metal Muff and have the amp on clean, any less than that and my tone sounds a bit empty, any more and it's just using gain for the sake of it.

Gain shouldn't be used to hide mistakes, it should be used to achieve a desired tone!

I practice with my guitar unplugged until my fingers know generally where to go and my picking hand knows what it's doing, then I plug in (using gain) and work at it until it sounds how I want it to sound.
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#15
I'm in the middle. When I learn a new song, I play it slowly all clean. When I master it, I add in the distortion and other effects that the song calls for. If I'm working on writing a song, I'll just try it out with different effects and see what I like best.
#18
Quote by Galvanise69
I actually find it really hard to make something sound decent distorted. I can rack out a few good tunes clean, but come to distorted, all the melodic sections fall to **** and sloppiness.

Thats why you need to practice both. Unless most of the music you play is clean.
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#20
Quote by ouchies
I do both, obviously, as everyone should.


+1.
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#21
I always practise my scales/arpeggios with distortion. Contrary to popular belief, it brings out your mistakes, especially if you accidentally hit an open string.
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#23
I do both. I don't think it's a good idea to always to it distorted OR clean all the time. I know someone who sounds fantastic on acoustic because that's all he ever plays but once he starts playing anything on electric with distortion is sounds like complete ****. And I also know people who are vice-versa.
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#25
They can both show mistakes. I practice mostly clean and push the gain up every now and then.
#26
Both.

I tend to practice sweeps distorted, though, since the hardest thing for me when sweeping is muting. Apart from that, I do both.
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#27
i practice my alt picking on distorted it just doesn't sound right on clean to me and my sweeps i do clean because sweeping is still a developing skill for me
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#28
I leave the distortion on max.... once in a while switch to clean...
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