Hey Rocka - "touch on guitar" clips - Page 2
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Thread: Hey Rocka - "touch on guitar" clips

  1. #9


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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCoy View Post
    Well I didn't do all the required Rocka reading, so I suppose I am missing the context of what this was responding to.

    I saw multiple posts with large colored text spanning three threads. And not a cogent thesis in sight.
    Yeah I was hoping we could avoid that.

    I guess the idea is that once you start throwing gain at a guitar some of these contributions either 1) don't matter, or 2) become pretty minor relative to the impact of, say, several cascading gain stages. Except, I'm not really sure that's true. I first really got clued into how much of an impact where you fret has on tone when I was contemplating going from a Mesa Rocket-44 (very liquid and forgiving) to a Marshall TSL (bright and edgy and hairy), and was surprised that at any gain level where the Marshall wasn't so saturated it sounded like total dogshit, my legato was garbage - unclear, muted, indistinct, murky. I started practicing unplugged to try to get a clearer attack, and that's eventually where I came out, needing to fret a bit more with my fingertips. And, I honestly think the impact of pick angle makes a bigger sound once you have some preamp gain going, to really accentuate the raspiness.

    Idunno. I would never argue that tone is ONLY in your hands, because clearly twisting a knob on an amp can have a pretty big impact to the timbre of your guitar. But so too can differences in how you hold a pick and where your arm rests and where your fingers touch the strings, and I absolutely believe that these differences contribute to the final tone you hear coming out of the amp.

    I'm not gonna touch the question of fret material and whether it matters - it seems possible, but by no means certain, that it could have an impact, but my major consideration when choosing frets is feel and durability, and in the sample of stainless and nickel steel fret guitars I've played, I haven't noticed any consistent trends, so I'm not losing sleep over it.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

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  3. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCoy View Post
    Well I didn't do all the required Rocka reading, so I suppose I am missing the context of what this was responding to.

    I saw multiple posts with large colored text spanning three threads. And not a cogent thesis in sight.
    In short:


    1. Legato may be affected by finger callus because it's the first thing that is contacnted by string before hitting the fret
    2. An already fretted note is NOT affected because now the only string contact is the fret and NOT the fingers

    I demonstrated exactly this in my audio clips.

    1. My trillings (with different materials) gave similar results to Drews. There's a noticeble difference but nothing to really care about.
    2. My fretted notes (with different materials) makes no difference because the different materials BEHIND the fret and therefor is not longer making any impact on the sound

  4. #11


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocka_Rollas View Post
    1. My trillings (with different materials) gave similar results to Drews. There's a noticeble difference but nothing to really care about.
    Again, devil's in the details. Nearly 20 years ago, I found it DID make a pretty profound difference in the way it interacted with the front end of a Marshall. And Paul Gilbert demonstrates here it makes a pretty clear difference through a distorted amp:



    ...though for him the angle is principally to help it slide over the string, even if he really likes the impact on his tone. 1:10 or so is where he starts talking about it.

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  6. #12


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    all this video proves is that Paul Gilbert is an asshole

  7. #13


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    all this video proves is that Paul Gilbert is an asshole
    Face-melting, isn't it?

  8. #14


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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    The picking, too, is pretty audible to me, pick position and (especially) pick angle. Clean I think you get a "purer" tone with a flat pick angle, but Gilbert picks with a fairly aggressive angle because he likes the rasp it produces, and says it sounds like a cello. This is a little easier to control, but I'm not really aware of any players who consciously change their pick angle for different passages, and again I'll attribute this to the touch on the guitar rather than a playing technique.

    Either way though, holding everything as constant as possible, 1) where along the string you pick, 2) the angle you hold the pick at relative to the string, and 3) what part of your finger you fret with all make clear, audible, distinct timbrel differences in the sound of the guitar, and I'd say that absolutely there are contributions to tone that come from your hands and where you default with respect to these motions.
    I've been doing a lot of work on this recently in my rhythm playing, looking at my angle of attack, where on the string I am striking, the strength with which I'm picking and the pressure that I'm applying to the pick. My personal conclusions of how to improve how I sound are:

    - Flat angle of attack reduces rasp but also increases initial transient (The 'Djent' of a palm muted note)
    - For faster picked stuff, aim for just behind where a neck humbucker would be, for open stuff move back central between the pickups
    - Lighter picking increases clarity and reduces tuning variance (Not very old school approach but, it seems to work)
    - Allowing the pick some give between the fingers seems to help with note production too

    Obviously this has all come in conjunction with pick as well. For a few years I've been using Sharpies but from hearing back live recording I think they were contributing to my sound being a bit thin, currently experimenting with the new Dunlop flows in various thicknesses.

  9. #15


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    I never questioned pick attack / angle whatever, everybody knows that.

  10. #16


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocka_Rollas View Post
    I never questioned pick attack / angle whatever, everybody knows that.
    I'm pretty sure you told me that wasn't a source of tone, man.

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