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Regarding Eric's Article About Tone
Just finished reading Eric Artle about tone, which i actually found very interesting and useful - not as terrible as Eric seems to suggest towards the end
The fact that even with an artists exact gear, you still are unlikely to sound just like them, is something which i have come to realise lately. The thing is, how do people like Brian May and Carlos Santana in paticular have such a DISTINCTIVE tone???
May and Santana have a tone thats so unique and recognisable; you know its them from only a few seconds of listening, its so distinctive that their tones seems somewhat more defined then so many other guitarists. What i mean is that yes, every guitarist has their own unique tone that sets them apart from others, but Santana and May in paticular have a very different tone. Is this still purely coming through the fingers??? Surely to have such unique tones as these two do, effects or amps or guitars or sumthing must have some part to play?
Ibreathe Music Advisor
Well, of course the gear still affects the final result. Tone and gear both are part of what you hear.
In the case of Brian May, it sure is the tone in his hands, the way he grabs the strings, an extremely light touch ( he used a .008 e-string for years ), but just as important is the sound of his home-made guitar ( the wood is from an ancient fireplace, the guitar is kinda semi-hollow etc. ), the amp ( Vox AC30 with a treble-booster ), certain things like the doubletracked harmonies etc., the pick ( he picks with a coin ) etc.
So, the gear pretty much compliments and enforces his TONE.
Even though he sounds more "Brian May-ish" through the gear I just mentioned, he sure would have a very distinctive tone if heīd play through a Flying V and a Marshall Valvestate.
Same goes for Carlos... the Mark II ( or was it a Mark I ? Mark III ? ) and the PRS sure inspire him and give him the sound ( EQ, gain ) he likes, and which fit to his tone. But give him a BC Rich Warlock and a POD and heīd still sound a lot like Carlos.
Likewise, if you or me would play through those guys gear, there might be a certain May-ish vibe or something, but it would never sound the way it does when those guys use it.
Another example: When Thorsten is over at my place to jam, and didnīt bring a guitar, he plugs one of my Vandenberg-guitars into my Laney, and without even changing the EQ-settings, it sounds like him.
When we recorded those jam-tunes a while ago, I played his old Epiphone through a virtual amp with his settings, and it still sounded like me.
So... itīs depends on both, but I think the more important one is the tone.
Its real good you mention all this eric, especially for people who are starting out. Merchandising is just so strong these days that you can easily be drawn into buying the carbon copy of your guitar heroīs monster fridge rig.