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previous: Hi Gear and "tone" -- 2/5/1999 11:33 AM View Thread

Re: Gear and "tone" (long)

2/8/1999 2:19 PM
Jason Caddell
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Re: Gear and "tone" (long)
>>The determining factor in "tone" is the individual player, not the tool....I will sound like ME on any guitar I play, so will you. So will anybody. We just need to play till we learn how to sound like ourselves!  
 
Here, here. IMHO, this is the most important point in this whole argument, and it seems to be overlooked by many guitar players (especially those with GAS). Legendary guitarists are legendary because they have developed their own recognizable playing styles. Everything that one does as a guitar player, be it fingering, note bending, how and when and what effects are used, tubes, strings, amp, guitar, picks, EVERYTHING factors in. Not *just* the guitar, not *just* the amp, not *just* the FX. Everything.  
 
So Hendrix, Clapton, Fripp, Gilmore, and all the other giants cannot be successfully duplicated, unless cloning technology really takes off. The true spirit of great playing is personality and innovation, not duplication or "tribute" playing. GAS is sad in a way because, like Terry said:  
 
>> Alot of the guys I know with the best gear, are the worst players, or the least confident in themselves, or both.  
 
And the most broke. Famous players are sometimes mistakenly taken as good sources of information on gear because some journalists/ manufacturers/admen don't get around to mentioning the fact that the single most important reason that Jimmy Page sounds like Jimmy Page is not his Marshall or his signature Les Paul (or his DanElectro or his Supro) but Jimmy Page himself. My/your playing may sound terrible on the multi-thousand-dollar Jimmy Page Les Paul - not at all like Page's. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an end to this practice in sight, because a large sector of the mainstream guitar industry has gotten rich off of, and has continued to propigate, a culture of wannabes.  
 
This is not to say, however, that there isn't value in taking tips on gear and playing from famous players, but the inspiration should lie in the fact that most of these people are/were mavericks. No doubt that the gear is important, but it should be used as a tool to help us feel out our *own* styles, not to copy someone else's.  
 
It seems as though a lot of players stop at step one -- the gear -- and never get to step two -- doing something original with it.