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Less is more


awel

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Yesterday, I had a rehearsal with my blues rock band and I don't know why but I was feeling that it was time for change.

 

So I had this Warwick pedalboard with an OCD, a BB Preamp, a Polytune, my old VOX wha, a Carbon Copy, and a Dunlop Hendrix Vibe, my JVM-410 Marshall head and a 2X12 Celestion Vintage 30 box; and I was thinking 'f..k! I don't need all of that', so I removoved from the pedalboard my wha and the BB preamp, put that in a bag and went to the rehearsal.

 

Waowww, such a pleasure to play almost straight from the Les Paul Custom to the Marshall head, just playing, ZZ Top, Clapton, SRV, Gary Moore, Kenny Wayne Shepherd ..., it is been a long time since I didn't enjoy so much playing, just the music no gears or tone worried.

 

Even my tuner Polytune, I dropped it and use a headstock tuner instead.

 

So if I have an advice ... keep it simple :)

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Yesterday, I had a rehearsal with my blues rock band and I don't know why but I was feeling that it was time for change.

 

So I had this Warwick pedalboard with an OCD, a BB Preamp, a Polytune, my old VOX wha, a Carbon Copy, and a Dunlop Hendrix Vibe, my JVM-410 Marshall head and a 2X12 Celestion Vintage 30 box; and I was thinking 'f..k! I don't need all of that', so I removoved from the pedalboard my wha and the BB preamp, put that in a bag and went to the rehearsal.

 

Waowww, such a pleasure to play almost straight from the Les Paul Custom to the Marshall head, just playing, ZZ Top, Clapton, SRV, Gary Moore, Kenny Wayne Shepherd ..., it is been a long time since I didn't enjoy so much playing, just the music no gears or tone worried.

 

Even my tuner Polytune, I dropped it and use a headstock tuner instead.

 

So if I have an advice ... keep it simple :)

 

I've discovered(a few years ago)that their there is something about a Guitar plugged straight into a tube Amp with no effects.Blues and Rock as it should be.

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I've discovered(a few years ago)that their there is something about a Guitar plugged straight into a tube Amp with no effects.Blues and Rock as it should be.

 

Agreed, I play rhythm in an alt/pop rock band and find that for most of what I play, the LP straight into my Dual Rec is all I need. I have a small pedal board with a tuner, chorus, phaser, and delay of which i use occasionally. Less is more

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The Key here, of course, is being able to turn the amp up, to it's

"Sweet Spot" both volume and tone wise. When I was a kid, we played

all our amps on 10 (there was no "12" back then! [biggrin]), and used

"dynamics" via pick attack, and volume and tone controls, on the guitar.

I used either a Fender Twin Reverb (smaller venues), or a (200 watt)

Marshall Major Stack!! (Hey, we were "young and brash," back then!) [biggrin]

 

These days, with much better PA's, I'm looking at, and usuing, lower

watt amps, that can still be quite useable, in as many venue varieties

as is possible. My HR Deluxe, seems (so far) to fit that bill, nicely!

I (years ago) minimized pedal usuage, to only what is required for a

specific song, and never to get "tone!" The only time I might have to

use say an overdive pedal, is when due to circumstance, I have to play

softly enough, that tube saturation tone, is not possible. Then, and

only then, will I resort to a OD pedal, to fatten things up. Otherwise,

I too, prefer the K.I.S.S. approach, and that naturally saturated tube tone.

There's simply nothing like it! [thumbup]

 

CB

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Less is more,, I totally agree.

When I was first starting out I was a gear acquisition hog. I had and overdrive, flange, octaver and a Yamaha D1500 delay

 

Not that that's alot of gear but I was just learning to play in a band environment. And while alot of it did sound really cool, I couldn't help but

notice how it covered my mistakes. The other guitarist in our band liked being able to hide his mistakes.

I guess I was more anal and wanted to play right and not hide behind a bunch of processed sound.

 

So I stripped down to nothing. Straight in to my amp. No bells.

Luckily it was a nice Marshall tube amp so it sounded awesome on it's own. And it was just the 50W head so it was more than enough for what we were doing at the time.

 

My point is that by loosing all the frills, I was forced to focus on my playing more. I had to be tighter. I'm not trying to say I'm great, I'm not.

But I did improve and my playing tightened up.

 

Kinda wish I still had the D1500 though,, it was a great sounding delay in it's day.

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I used to use a Big Muff Pi up until about 25 years ago.

 

Ever since then it's just been Guitar + Amp...

 

[smile]

 

But then again, I'm hardly making my living by playing. It's different for a Pro.

 

P.

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Yeah, I'll agree for certain types of "pro," but...

 

I know I occasionally will use a Leslie emulator if I'm playing with others and wanna pretend like I'm really playing a B3.

 

Otherwise... just a bit of added on an amp to thicken my strings.

 

OTOH... I also am not so into "tube amp sweet spot" in the sense that the way I play, I think just technique gets the additional overtones I may want at various times. Perhaps that comes from having done a bit of classical and finding different tone through technique rather than having an amp that could mess with what came from the strings.

 

So... I guess I won't say I never use a pedal - but rather that most of the time a pedal would not be "me."

 

m

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To me, "Tube Amp sweet spot," is the whole point, of having a "Tube" amp!

Otherwise, why bother...any nice sounding clean Solid State amp will

do quite nicely. And, the Hybrid amps, can do a decent, even excellent

job, of emulating both. I'm not at all sure, after all the recording

"tricks" one could tell the difference, anyway. But, Tube/valve amps,

have that mistique, and "vibe," that a lot of us still love!

 

Pedals, have their uses, and place. I think the trick is not to over

use them, but just to gain the effect you need, for the song or passage,

that is either required, or you just want to add that little extra something.

Like most things, moderation and "taste," can be the key!

 

CB

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As much as I love pedals, there is nothing better than grabbing a small combo amp and a guitar and heading to play. I always bring along one of my booster pedals though. That has saved me quite a few times.

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Let me just add that this is what I am thinking now, I mean I have found something really refreshing, exiting about playing guitar, but I am quite sure sooner or later I will be curious to re-connect one pedal, then another one, ...

 

Come on let's be honest, I am a gears addict ... like almost everyone here I guess :P

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yeah, i'm a pretty simple-minded person when it comes down to it. wouldn't know what to do with half the pedals out there. also, most effects aren't really conducive to my hard-pickin, move-my-fingers-all-over-the-fretboard playin style. just muddies my tone up big time. my amp comes with a couple on-board effects, and i only really need artificial distortion for low bedroom volumes. otherwise, it's plug straight into the half-stack and crank the clean channel....

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Awel...

 

I dunno about the "gear" thing, at least in terms of pedals...

 

Seems to me that a lot of longtime electric pickers end up with an acoustic or two or five or ten, and if they're doing more or less solo stuff, perhaps an appropriate sound system of some sort.

 

I can say that in the last 10 years I've bought and/or swapped about a dozen guitars, but only got two pedals, the Leslie emulator and a multi-effect pedal that just fills in a little to what my main "going out" amp doesn't have. Most folks would figure that whether I'm using an electric or an AE, that it's just coming through "clean."

 

Got a little PA to add a bit of versatility since most of the "new" guitars are AE or archtops.

 

Of course, I also have bought 2 basses and 2 bass amps and rediscovered my "lost" Bassman used in the '60s and '70s that's mostly just sittin' 'cuz the new stuff is lighter. (Oops... an elder moment - it's 3 basses.)

 

So... I dunno... <grin> Hey, I'm no gear hog like you younger folks. Not at all. Never. <chortle> So please guys, tell that to my lady wife?

 

m

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Since my hands have gotten buggered up I have been playing with few or no effects at all in order to hone my skills without masking the tone so that I can hear every nuance of my playing.With fewer pedals or especially with none it is much easier to pick up flubbed or totally missed notes and correct them,I would have most likely missed these mistakes if they were heavily processed.The sans effects method also allows you to pick up on the true tone of your guitar. An ex boyfriend of my daughter hadn't heard what his SG sounded like played clean until I played it clean one day-he was a total tone deaf tool anyway so he needed a bank of effects to make up for his inept playing.It's funny but just before she gave him his marching orders,when he'd be playing one of his discordant ultra-metal songs she'd shout out that his guitar was horribly out of tune.He was so tone deaf he wouldn't notice his guitar was wildly out of tune,no wonder he spent so much money on effects.Even my JCM 800,2204 model on full overdrive wasn't distorted enough for him-that's one guy who I can bet will never plug direct into the amp.

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