Hey, I was just wondering, what's the difference between the tones of a guitar?

My father tried to explain this to me, but I couldn't understand with him just telling me w/out examples and such.
Warmer, Brighter, Twangier, Jazzier, etc. (And treble, please. All I know about treble is it's a dial on my radio. When I turn it, the music sounds duller.)

If it's not too much trouble, could you guys give a little description for each basic tone type you know? Along with the name of a song that uses this tone??
You don't need to give the wood type that's best for that tone, I already have a guitar and I'm not buying another just yet. Although, mine is an Epiphone Special SG, with a basic Fender Frontman 15R amp, so it'd be nice to know what kind of tones I'm currently playing.

Also, I was told the Epiphone SG can produce pretty much any tone, it just depends how I play it, that true??

Thanks. And I'll be back later with more stupid questions like
"Last time I tuned to drop D it was fine, but now it seems like the strings gonna break from tightness, I'm even hearing something like cracking near the pegs...should I stop?" (Well, now I can spare that thread.)
Last edited by Sy_B at May 19, 2008,
I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge/ability...

Tone woods all resonate differently producing brighter or warmer tones... For a better discription on each wood check out this link: http://www.warmoth.com/guitar/options/options_bodywoods.cfm

Bass is a wide frequency, producing quite low/warm notes, the more bass you add the deeper the sound, Mahogany is usually a warm full bodied sound due to the way it vibrates/resonates... On the other side of the scale you have Treble, brightness (Maple/Ebony etc).

Treble is quite harsh if you have too much of it, causing a percussive tone; It makes things brighter and more "open"...

I wouldn't say an SG will get every tone, but most guitars are versatile to a degree... Just others do it better then others... It can somewhat involve the way you play, but the tone is created from the guitar and amp...

So say you wanted a ska/funk sound, I'd say a strat/telecaster would get that tone, bright thin sound... (mainly due to the bright wood used and single coil pickups)
If you wanted a warm sound, full rich and deep I'd say go for a warmer body wood such as Mahogany loaded with Humbuckers. (that should be the SG)

Hopefully that helps somewhat?

Awful big question! Tone is the characteristics of a sound, and this is a mostly subjective impression. The pitch of an E will be the same on any properly tuned guitar, but what makes one guitar sound better or worse than another similar guitar is the tone. Of course if the guitars aren't similar the tones can be quite different. Single-coils sound different than double-coils (as Paul mentioned above). You won't be able to get single-coil tones out of a double-coil guitar (unless coil tapped) and vice versa. So your SG won't be able to get all tones. That is why I recommend single/single/hum set-ups for beginners. They are the most versatile guitars. Wood is the more important consideration in acoustic guitars, but electronics are more important in electric guitars. This is just a small step in answering your question but...that's all the time I care to give for now.