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The feel-good gig of the month

10/3/2000 11:51 AM
The feel-good gig of the month
Last Sunday I played an outdoor blues fest and since I had the gear in the car, went to jam night at the local blues dive. Anyhoo..I was put up on stage with another player who had a PRS and a Line-6, probably about 3 grand of gear!  
I was playing a Harmony Stratotone with a tele neck stuck on it, a low gain Fuzz Face that I built a while back, and a BF'd silverface Bassman head through a silvertone twin 12 cabinet -300 bucks worth of gear.  
I used the FF with the gain pretty high up and just backed off the vol. on the guitar to get that gritty clean tone for rhythm and when I'd solo, just turn up for the liquid sustain that never ends.  
Needless to say, the other guy sounded like a two-pound mosquito with asthma! I kind of felt sorry for him.  
I love it when that happens :D
10/4/2000 12:23 AM

AMEN,brother!you brought back a long forgotten memory of mine.I went to an audition years ago with my shit setup and got the usual stares and the occasional laugh from all these guys with all the cool shit(ie:Marshall half stack,vintage Les Paul,highway to hell-and back rackmounted who knows what..)me and my homemade poorboy rat"strat"clone,homemade tube amp(from dads stereo)and cheap ass Crestwood wah with optional paint job..and I didnt even have a distortion pedal.I had a Radio Shack preamp in front of all that.I got up dead last,and swear to God beat the shit out of that rig for five minutes.Got the gig.Turned it down when they asked me to get some real equipment.Just about every other guy there offered me a gig with that same equipment.Even had Albert himself tell me it was the best sounding stuff he ever heard a white boy play.I was hopin he was talkin about the licks,but I wasnt all THAT good.Still got almost all that stuff.You GO,man and let them boys know it aint the meat,its the motion!
10/4/2000 12:31 AM

Yeah, I hate that mosquito sound! Slap it with the fly swatter!  
Amazing when the DIY stuff comes together!
10/4/2000 11:09 AM
JD Sleep

I have a little theory about this (as if anybody cares :) )  
My experiences of jamming with other players tells me that being able to hear good tone (through your own rig) is a natural talent, just as much so as playing the guitar itself. Some people got it, some people don't. Some folks have developed the talent of playing guitar, but have no talent for getting some "tone" out of it. For the people that don't have it, they often think that buying the right gear will automatically make it "happen". Of course the first link in the tone chain is in your fingers, and usually the people that don't have tone talent, don't know how to get tone out of their fingers OR their gear.  
You are right to feel sorry for this PRS/Line6 guy, "tone talent" is not easily taught, so he may never get it!  
I think most of us here know what good tone is - its different for every player, but we know it when we hear it.  
10/4/2000 1:06 PM
Doug H

"My experiences of jamming with other players tells me that being able to hear good tone (through your own rig) is a natural talent, just as much so as playing the guitar itself. Some people got it, some people don't."
I've experienced this before. I've also noticed this phenomenon with home-recording. I got together with some amateur 4-trackers a few years ago and we put together a compilation tape. The range of sound-quality/talent/tone was amazing, all made on roughly the same "quality" gear. Some of it sounded so good, I couldn't figure out how they were doing it on cassette. Others, it was like, "Did you even bother to listen to this before you submitted it?";)  
10/4/2000 11:35 AM
paul perry

I'm a fx builder, not a guitarist AT ALL, but I can see where you guys are coming from & wholeheartedly agree. You wouldn't expect any instrument to do its best in the hands of a beginner, and the FX is definitely 'part of the instrument'. Sometimes I build something & think, is it right? Well I dont know for sure until I get a good player to drive it.  
This goes double for fuzz and triple for envelope followers!
10/4/2000 1:00 PM
Doug H

Hey, are you in Florida? My wife and I just went to a blues fest on Sunday. I didn't see anyone with that equipt. there, but then again we left a little early.  
I can totally relate... I remember years ago, sharing rehearsal space with some snot-nose whose rich Daddy bought all his band's equipment, including pristine PA gear. We had more talent in our little finger than they would have their entire lives, and our tone with our rickety gear was there, while they wouldn't have known good tone if it landed on them.  
Then again, there's no telling what those guys would have sounded like if they ever climbed out of their chemically-induced fog.  
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