#1
I've been wondering if what they say about how a guitar affects the stuff you compose through it is true. I dunno.. I'm kinda new to electric guitars. I'm an acoustic player so I don't know much about them, and I'm still learning...

So.. does it affect your composition of music in any subtle, or noticeable way?

Like how does a Telecaster affect you? Do you play more country stuff? How does a Les Paul affect you? Do you play more heavy music on it than anything else? Or are all these stereotypes?

Just wondering out loud.

All inputs much appreciated.
#2
A good player can make nearly any type of music with nearly any type of guitar. That being said, some guitars are better for certain sounds and therefore genres. Most players don't pick up a telecaster expecting to play death metal, they want that twangy, crisp tele sound. But if you gave a telecaster to a guitarist like John Petrucci, he could make it blast out some chugging drop C riffage
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#3
Quote by hell_monkey
Most players don't pick up a telecaster expecting to play death metal


John 5 plays metal with one, nonetheless :P
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#5
In my opinion, yes it does affect the style you play/compose, but only to a certain extant ... I mean, everything around you will influence/inspire you for the music you write, and this is also true for your guitar, as well as the lighting (dark, outdoor during the day, or only a small light, etc) or the feelings you have when you start. So, i think that you can compose death metal with a telecaster, as well as making a great blues with a bc rich, but you will be kinda influenced by the playing style and sound of your guitar to actually write something that fits with it.

Anyways, this is only my opinion, and it works for me. And that's kinda why I can't write good song all the time... only cause I need specific influence and mood, and everything for what I wanna write (and what I wanna write is usually pretty ... not happy, so I don't wanna spend all my life being unhappy just to write good songs, that's why I'm still searching for a better to have good inspiration - drugs aren't even a choice, I just DON'T want any drugs, and I think everyone should do the same ... but I can't change anything about that...)

Sorry about the long post, and things that are kinda away from the subject, I'm really bored now, I hope you'll get good answers and good luck at learning electric guitar.
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#6
Quote by soul_taker
Fact is. Most people play a variety of music and can only afford one guitar.

I think it's more about personal preference than the music you play.
Granted, certain guitars do have a certain tone and feel that works better with specific genres and sounds. I, personally, wouldn't do chicken pickin' on a Jackson, nor would I do shred on a Gretsch.
#7
I think that it does.

Not that you can't, more or less, play anything you want regardless of the guitar... But I think each guitar has, as you said, it's own personality. And I also think that it can differ from person to person and their own personal view of that specific guitar.

Example, I can imagine if one is a RHCP or Hendrix fan, they're going to see a Strat as the perfect opportunity to play some funky chord rhythms and bluesy melodies. On the other hand, if someone is a huge Iron Maiden fan, they're going to think unbridled heavy metal. Or wild shredding for an Yngwie/Becker fan.

With a Les Paul, I would imagine most people might feel the call of Jimmy Page/Aerosmith/GnR style, gritty hard rock.

I will always think of James Hetfield when I play an Explorer. Because of that, whenever I play one, I'm just going to always tend to have a more heavy metal influence on whatever I play on it. It's both conscious and subconscious, on some level.

Like I said, it's not that you couldn't play anything else on these guitars, but your own personal tastes, and "musical memory" will associate different sounds to them.
Last edited by Delanoir at Aug 15, 2008,
#8
I am a bass player, but I am pretty sure it is still the same with both bass and electric in a way. Whatever guitar you are most comfortable with, you play with. real great example; Adam D from Killswitch Engage used to play a Fender Strat for all of his crazy metalcore stuff. He has since moved on to use Caparison, but the point is, it doenst really matter what guitar you use, it just matter which guitar you like the best.
#9
It doesn't magically affect your compositions, if that's what you mean.

People pick a guitar for a certain tone/sound or for the feel of it (size, fret length, etc.). Some sounds/feel are just better suited for particular genres/techniques, hence the stereotypes. Every stereotype was/is true at some point.

For example:
Schecter - metal
Ibanez - shred
Fender - pretty balanced
etc., etc.

Quote by hell_monkey
if you gave a telecaster to a guitarist like John Petrucci, he could make it blast out some chugging drop C riffage

For the record, John Petrucci could pick up a Martin acoustic and blast out some chugging drop C riffage. With distortion.
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#10
Quote by Delanoir
I think that it does.

Not that you can't, more or less, play anything you want regardless of the guitar... But I think each guitar has, as you said, it's own personality. And I also think that it can differ from person to person and their own personal view of that specific guitar.

Example, I can imagine if one is a RHCP or Hendrix fan, they're going to see a Strat as the perfect opportunity to play some funky chord rhythms and bluesy melodies. On the other hand, if someone is a huge Iron Maiden fan, they're going to think unbridled heavy metal. Or wild shredding for an Yngwie/Becker fan.

With a Les Paul, I would imagine most people might feel the call of Jimmy Page/Aerosmith/GnR style, gritty hard rock.

I will always think of James Hetfield when I play an Explorer. Because of that, whenever I play one, I'm just going to always tend to have a more heavy metal influence on whatever I play on it. It's both conscious and subconscious, on some level.

Like I said, it's not that you couldn't play anything else on these guitars, but your own personal tastes, and "musical memory" will associate different sounds to them.
Precisely. I've liked Angus Young my entire guitar career and, more recently (no flames plzthx) Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy and other pop-punk guitarists. I play a lot of pop-punk and Angus-ish stuff, so naturally I went with the SG and I haven't looked back.
#11
^I don't like Fallout boy but i think patrick stump is probably their most talented member. And he's a pretty good singer too

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#12
Quote by Delanoir
I think that it does.

Not that you can't, more or less, play anything you want regardless of the guitar... But I think each guitar has, as you said, it's own personality. And I also think that it can differ from person to person and their own personal view of that specific guitar.

Example, I can imagine if one is a RHCP or Hendrix fan, they're going to see a Strat as the perfect opportunity to play some funky chord rhythms and bluesy melodies. On the other hand, if someone is a huge Iron Maiden fan, they're going to think unbridled heavy metal. Or wild shredding for an Yngwie/Becker fan.

With a Les Paul, I would imagine most people might feel the call of Jimmy Page/Aerosmith/GnR style, gritty hard rock.

I will always think of James Hetfield when I play an Explorer. Because of that, whenever I play one, I'm just going to always tend to have a more heavy metal influence on whatever I play on it. It's both conscious and subconscious, on some level.

Like I said, it's not that you couldn't play anything else on these guitars, but your own personal tastes, and "musical memory" will associate different sounds to them.


I think its quite true. However I would say that no guitar has a personality by itself. Its an extension of your personality (not something else). For example, Iron Maiden and Malmsteen play Fenders, which is also played by Hendrix and SRV. Similarly, Slash, Zakk and play Les Pauls, which are also used by blues man, and on the other end of the spectrum, the LP is also used by InFlames. Jim Root and John5 both use telecasters, a shape traditionally favoured by the country players.

The image these players cultivate of themselves is similarly bestowed upon their instruments.

However, that does not mean you have to stick to it, try telling Apocalyptica not to use cellos and I'm sure you'll not find their music that interesting.

At the end of the day, sonically there will be significant difference, feedback, tone, warmth etc, however, the image of the guitar is something you shape. Still, I'll admit, when I pick up my Ibanez, people are more likely to expect me to play some styles fo music and when I pick up my Alexi sig, they expect some Bodom or thrash or extreme metal. I like their looks I play some classical through my Alexi sig.
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#13
Quote by soul_taker
Fact is. Most people play a variety of music and can only afford one guitar.

I think it's more about personal preference than the music you play.


Yeah! If only musicians earn as much as corrupt dictators.... Or have a huge inheritance like Paris... we wouldn't have problems picking up guitars without worrying if we'd end up eating ramen for 3 months... O_O
#14
Quote by XDream_TheaterX
In my opinion, yes it does affect the style you play/compose, but only to a certain extant ... I mean, everything around you will influence/inspire you for the music you write, and this is also true for your guitar, as well as the lighting (dark, outdoor during the day, or only a small light, etc) or the feelings you have when you start. So, i think that you can compose death metal with a telecaster, as well as making a great blues with a bc rich, but you will be kinda influenced by the playing style and sound of your guitar to actually write something that fits with it.

Anyways, this is only my opinion, and it works for me. And that's kinda why I can't write good song all the time... only cause I need specific influence and mood, and everything for what I wanna write (and what I wanna write is usually pretty ... not happy, so I don't wanna spend all my life being unhappy just to write good songs, that's why I'm still searching for a better to have good inspiration - drugs aren't even a choice, I just DON'T want any drugs, and I think everyone should do the same ... but I can't change anything about that...)

Sorry about the long post, and things that are kinda away from the subject, I'm really bored now, I hope you'll get good answers and good luck at learning electric guitar.


That actually quite helps in my composing music.. That's great actually. I didn't know those things (or everything around) affects the music that's being voiced by the guitar. You're saying that in the end, it's not the guitar that makes the musician, but it's who the musician is that makes the guitar. For sure man. Definitely. Haven't thought of it that way.. I was too worried that I'd somehow lose "the muse" that was unique to me if i chose the wrong guitar... since I can only afford one right now... but thanks man. Much appreciated.

Drugs ruin lives... it's bad for you.. yada yada... what everyone keeps on saying... It's true.. yeah... and some can't break away from it, once hooked. It's good that you're not even considering it as an option...there are better ways to let go of one's feelings.. I know the reason I love music is because there is no other medium for me that I can share who I am as pure as what music allows... CHEESY! yeah.. i know! lol!! XD
#15
Quote by ragingkitty
I think its quite true. However I would say that no guitar has a personality by itself. Its an extension of your personality (not something else). For example, Iron Maiden and Malmsteen play Fenders, which is also played by Hendrix and SRV. Similarly, Slash, Zakk and play Les Pauls, which are also used by blues man, and on the other end of the spectrum, the LP is also used by InFlames. Jim Root and John5 both use telecasters, a shape traditionally favoured by the country players.

The image these players cultivate of themselves is similarly bestowed upon their instruments.

However, that does not mean you have to stick to it, try telling Apocalyptica not to use cellos and I'm sure you'll not find their music that interesting.

At the end of the day, sonically there will be significant difference, feedback, tone, warmth etc, however, the image of the guitar is something you shape. Still, I'll admit, when I pick up my Ibanez, people are more likely to expect me to play some styles fo music and when I pick up my Alexi sig, they expect some Bodom or thrash or extreme metal. I like their looks I play some classical through my Alexi sig.


That's exactly what I think, and was trying to say.

And +1 to the looks of surprise when playing something progressive/classical/whathaveyou with a Rhoads guitar.
#16
Quote by Delanoir
I think that it does.

Not that you can't, more or less, play anything you want regardless of the guitar... But I think each guitar has, as you said, it's own personality. And I also think that it can differ from person to person and their own personal view of that specific guitar.

Example, I can imagine if one is a RHCP or Hendrix fan, they're going to see a Strat as the perfect opportunity to play some funky chord rhythms and bluesy melodies. On the other hand, if someone is a huge Iron Maiden fan, they're going to think unbridled heavy metal. Or wild shredding for an Yngwie/Becker fan.

With a Les Paul, I would imagine most people might feel the call of Jimmy Page/Aerosmith/GnR style, gritty hard rock.

I will always think of James Hetfield when I play an Explorer. Because of that, whenever I play one, I'm just going to always tend to have a more heavy metal influence on whatever I play on it. It's both conscious and subconscious, on some level.

Like I said, it's not that you couldn't play anything else on these guitars, but your own personal tastes, and "musical memory" will associate different sounds to them.


That actually makes a LOT of sense... "Musical Memory". It's what you associate the instrument with. So the guitar does affect the "personality" of the player, but not to the extent that it's overly limiting the creative self-imposed boundaries of the musician.

Ayt! Got it! Thanks man! And DAMN MAN! Got great stuff on your profile there! Really powerful and moving!! Great stuff man. All I can say. Great Job!
#17
Quote by Athetosis
It doesn't magically affect your compositions, if that's what you mean.

People pick a guitar for a certain tone/sound or for the feel of it (size, fret length, etc.). Some sounds/feel are just better suited for particular genres/techniques, hence the stereotypes. Every stereotype was/is true at some point.

For example:
Schecter - metal
Ibanez - shred
Fender - pretty balanced
etc., etc.


For the record, John Petrucci could pick up a Martin acoustic and blast out some chugging drop C riffage. With distortion.


I think that's exactly what I meant... lol! Yeeaahhh! So it doesn't affect it "magically"!! hahaha! That actually calms me down and makes me more confident into sticking with the guitar that I'll like. lol!

JP Martin Distorted Drop C Riffage!!! LMAO!!!
#18
Quote by ToOYOoT
That actually makes a LOT of sense... "Musical Memory". It's what you associate the instrument with. So the guitar does affect the "personality" of the player, but not to the extent that it's overly limiting the creative self-imposed boundaries of the musician.

Ayt! Got it! Thanks man! And DAMN MAN! Got great stuff on your profile there! Really powerful and moving!! Great stuff man. All I can say. Great Job!


That's just what I think, personally. I can only speak for myself. But I think we each picked up the guitar for different reasons, and with our own influences. And I firmly believe those influences have a lasting effect on us. I think they are a factor in what guitars we choose as beginning guitar players, and the search to find our own voice on the instrument and in the music.

From there, we take those qualities that we connected with from our influences, and mold them into our own.

Example, one could pick up a Telecaster from a punk or indie rock beginning. Later they might learn to shred, and try out more typically shred oriented guitars as their tastes progress and experiment with other sounds. But as their musical personality matures, they might end up going back to the Telecaster (and perhaps modify it a bit) with a different perspective on the guitar. They might realize they liked it for it's distinct shape and history as a guitar for musicians with a message, and not just punk or country music or whatever. So they could find a renewed love for the guitar, and though their playing might encompass many styles, their roots will always be present in some way.

And thanks, I'm glad you liked it
#19
Quote by ragingkitty
I think its quite true. However I would say that no guitar has a personality by itself. Its an extension of your personality (not something else). For example, Iron Maiden and Malmsteen play Fenders, which is also played by Hendrix and SRV. Similarly, Slash, Zakk and play Les Pauls, which are also used by blues man, and on the other end of the spectrum, the LP is also used by InFlames. Jim Root and John5 both use telecasters, a shape traditionally favoured by the country players.

The image these players cultivate of themselves is similarly bestowed upon their instruments.

However, that does not mean you have to stick to it, try telling Apocalyptica not to use cellos and I'm sure you'll not find their music that interesting.

At the end of the day, sonically there will be significant difference, feedback, tone, warmth etc, however, the image of the guitar is something you shape. Still, I'll admit, when I pick up my Ibanez, people are more likely to expect me to play some styles fo music and when I pick up my Alexi sig, they expect some Bodom or thrash or extreme metal. I like their looks I play some classical through my Alexi sig.


lol! Alexi sig? classical? lol! blasphemyyy!! hahahaha!

"I think its quite true. However I would say that no guitar has a personality by itself. Its an extension of your personality (not something else)."
That's actually what I thought at the beginning of this thread. That it's the guitar that makes the musician. But, as all of you say.. It's the musician who shapes the instrument. It's not the guitar that affects the music. It's the personality of the artist that's given voice, not the personality of the "guitar".

So can I say that it's like a piece of blank paper? It's the artist that could make it beautiful or not, and it could only end as truly being his own style. The paper will affect what the end will look like, but not to the extent that it distracts completely from who painted it and what it represents to the artist.
#20
Quote by Delanoir
That's just what I think, personally. I can only speak for myself. But I think we each picked up the guitar for different reasons, and with our own influences. And I firmly believe those influences have a lasting effect on us. I think they are a factor in what guitars we choose as beginning guitar players, and the search to find our own voice on the instrument and in the music.

From there, we take those qualities that we connected with from our influences, and mold them into our own.

Example, one could pick up a Telecaster from a punk or indie rock beginning. Later they might learn to shred, and try out more typically shred oriented guitars as their tastes progress and experiment with other sounds. But as their musical personality matures, they might end up going back to the Telecaster (and perhaps modify it a bit) with a different perspective on the guitar. They might realize they liked it for it's distinct shape and history as a guitar for musicians with a message, and not just punk or country music or whatever. So they could find a renewed love for the guitar, and though their playing might encompass many styles, their roots will always be present in some way.

And thanks, I'm glad you liked it


Wow... Real deep, delanoir... I didn't see "maturing" that way.. I thought it was just like.. one forgetting the past and moving on with the skills you developed, only better.

I didn't know that the sound that I connected with, the first time I decided to learn guitar would always stay there, would always "sing" when I start playing, no matter how subtle that voice would be. But, it'll still be there. And that connection I had a year ago, I'd want to convey or express something similar to anyone who'll listen to my music... And your music does that, atleast to me. It somehow connects.. Like... I could feel what you were feeling and were trying to convey.. Like I was "in" on what was happening and somehow felt the emotions you've had... Very few artists nowadays can do that and it really moved me.. So, thanks man.
#21
That really means a lot, and it's probably one of the best compliments I have ever received.

Music, to me, or at least the music I make... is very much in a constant search for that connection. I don't care if someone is impressed or not with how fast I play, or the complexity of the composition, the theory at work, or any of that.

To me, that is all framework. It is a vehicle for what matters most. Which is that feeling of being in that moment where the song is born. It's easy to get lost in all the details, and I think many often do. I can't claim to always succeed in this regard, but it's what I always at least strive to achieve.

You can play death metal on a Fender, or funk on a Jackson. Whatever is the pen to your words and the muse to your song. Just listen to the song you hear from within yourself, it's there in everyone.
Last edited by Delanoir at Aug 15, 2008,
#22
Quote by ToOYOoT
How does a Les Paul affect you? Do you play more heavy music on it than anything else?


Not at all. I own and play 90% Les Paul and I play classic rock and blues only on it.
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#23
Quote by Delanoir
That really means a lot, and it's probably one of the best compliments I have ever received.

Music, to me, or at least the music I make... is very much in a constant search for that connection. I don't care if someone is impressed or not with how fast I play, or the complexity of the composition, the theory at work, or any of that.

To me, that is all framework. It is a vehicle for what matters most. Which is that feeling of being in that moment where the song is born. It's easy to get lost in all the details, and I think many often do. I can't claim to always succeed in this regard, but it's what I always at least strive to achieve.

You can play death metal on a Fender, or funk on a Jackson. Whatever is the pen to your words and the muse to your song. Just listen to the song you hear from within yourself, it's there in everyone.


Similar thoughts.

However I always like to break stereotypes. I find it that much more amusing when your guitar doesn't jive with your song.

I promised I'd play Canon and Romance D'Amour at my friend's wedding dinner. On the strictest of conditions that at no point would I even attempt to crank the gain or kick in the distortion.

I showed up with an alexi sig and all through the wedding, the guys who knew me were practically on the edge of their seats, cuz they thought that I was gonna go into the high-gain, over the top solo at some point.

I couldn't help but keep laughing at the audience's wide-eyed look at me. No one could believe I was playing some classical song through such an aggressive looking guitar.

It illustrates a point though, musical memory as Delanoir as stated, is very strong. Almost everyone at the wedding would have never heard of melo-death as a genre of music, much less know of COB or Inflames or any of the other bands. It still does not stop them from forming preconceptions about guitars and the music we spew out of the different ax we have, based on nothing more than images in popular culture.

Which is why its so much more fun if you took a BC Rich Beast and played SRV or RHCP on it, or played classical through a Flying V or Explorer etc.
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#24
Quote by ToOYOoT
lol! Alexi sig? classical? lol! blasphemyyy!! hahahaha!

"I think its quite true. However I would say that no guitar has a personality by itself. Its an extension of your personality (not something else)."
That's actually what I thought at the beginning of this thread. That it's the guitar that makes the musician. But, as all of you say.. It's the musician who shapes the instrument. It's not the guitar that affects the music. It's the personality of the artist that's given voice, not the personality of the "guitar".

So can I say that it's like a piece of blank paper? It's the artist that could make it beautiful or not, and it could only end as truly being his own style. The paper will affect what the end will look like, but not to the extent that it distracts completely from who painted it and what it represents to the artist.


If you knew me IRL, you'll find I have a tendency to pick up a guitar and play something you'd not typically expect.

Plus classical music is comparatively easier to learn, compared to a CoB song (I'm still stuck at approx 45% of Black Widow and 50% of Silent Night Bodom Night), but it still impresses some.

I wouldn't say any instrument is a blank piece of paper. If that is the case, why are there the various different shapes, aftermarkets, gear, equipment etc etc. Every guitar has some flavour, taste, image and sound. Now the thing is, what are you going to use it for.

Its like travelling to China, you can get there by airplane, boat, car etc etc. It can be done, but some routes will be more difficult than other routes and less acceptable to some. How many people would want to travel from Russia or Europe to China in a car when it can be done quicker in an airplane. Tell your mates you flew to China, they will definitely ask you how the trip IN China was. Now, tell your mates you DROVE to China in a car and everyone'd sit and ask "Are you serious?". The road less commonly travelled will spark a greater reaction.

In a similar context, pick up an Explorer or V and you'll set a notion that you're gonna ring out some high gain rock and metal riffage. Pick up a semi-hollow and people'll expect some blues, a creamy fender with heavy gauges will draw the melody for jazz.

Now pick up that same semi-hollow and chug out some grinding death metal, I gurantee that more people will look up than if you were packing that same Explorer or V.

See where I'm coming from?
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#25
Quote by Delanoir
That really means a lot, and it's probably one of the best compliments I have ever received.

Music, to me, or at least the music I make... is very much in a constant search for that connection. I don't care if someone is impressed or not with how fast I play, or the complexity of the composition, the theory at work, or any of that.

To me, that is all framework. It is a vehicle for what matters most. Which is that feeling of being in that moment where the song is born. It's easy to get lost in all the details, and I think many often do. I can't claim to always succeed in this regard, but it's what I always at least strive to achieve.

You can play death metal on a Fender, or funk on a Jackson. Whatever is the pen to your words and the muse to your song. Just listen to the song you hear from within yourself, it's there in everyone.


Ei man! That advice really helps me where I'm at right now in my music.. I've been having difficulties finding that "voice" and it comforts me that there IS a voice in everyone.. It's just a means of finding it. Thanks man.

And I agree with what you said. It's just the framework. It's how you affect the listener that ultimately determines if you are succeeding. I, too want to connect with anyone who listens to anything I play. That's what I'm trying to achieve at least.

And keep playing man. Keep playing. Great art!

Peace!!
#26
Quote by ragingkitty
If you knew me IRL, you'll find I have a tendency to pick up a guitar and play something you'd not typically expect.

Plus classical music is comparatively easier to learn, compared to a CoB song (I'm still stuck at approx 45% of Black Widow and 50% of Silent Night Bodom Night), but it still impresses some.

I wouldn't say any instrument is a blank piece of paper. If that is the case, why are there the various different shapes, aftermarkets, gear, equipment etc etc. Every guitar has some flavour, taste, image and sound. Now the thing is, what are you going to use it for.

Its like travelling to China, you can get there by airplane, boat, car etc etc. It can be done, but some routes will be more difficult than other routes and less acceptable to some. How many people would want to travel from Russia or Europe to China in a car when it can be done quicker in an airplane. Tell your mates you flew to China, they will definitely ask you how the trip IN China was. Now, tell your mates you DROVE to China in a car and everyone'd sit and ask "Are you serious?". The road less commonly travelled will spark a greater reaction.

In a similar context, pick up an Explorer or V and you'll set a notion that you're gonna ring out some high gain rock and metal riffage. Pick up a semi-hollow and people'll expect some blues, a creamy fender with heavy gauges will draw the melody for jazz.

Now pick up that same semi-hollow and chug out some grinding death metal, I gurantee that more people will look up than if you were packing that same Explorer or V.

See where I'm coming from?

Breaking the stereotypes. Wow. Must get priceless reactions from everyone! Lol! Do you find it hard to play the "contradicting" song to the guitar? Are you satisfied with the overall sound and feel that you end up with? And, what's your audience's reaction after your performance? When they approach you, what do they usually say?

And that blank sheet of paper wasn't that good of a comparison, wasn't it? lol! It could be any shape, size, color, texture, or material, but it's still the artist giving it life, not the paper determining what it will look like at the end. That China trip's better. lol!