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Just a Guitar and an Amp !


bluesstringer

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I don't know what will happen to this or how long it will stay alive in the current climate but what happened to the time (some of you here will remember) when we played guitars - epiphone guitars ! - the way we got them and had to make our own sound with just the guitar and an amp ?

 

Do we have too many choices these days ? Do all the effects/electronics, etc available make lesser players sound better faster, can they produce good sound with just a guitar and an amp ? I'm not dissing anyone that uses this stuff as I occasionally do myself, but I do miss the simplicity and what it produced also, of less tech and more playing.........

 

Anyone else ?

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Man, I ask myself (and anyone else that will listen....LOL!) this same question, all the time! I too, use a FEW

effects, but only because it's expected, for some of the "cover" songs we do. Variety is good, though, as it

opens up new areas, and ways of playing. I think (personally) that good/great players are great players, regardless

of effects, or not. Some folks rely on Distortion, and other things to cover up mistakes or bad technique! I did!

But, the better I got, the less I needed to do that, and the more frugal I became, with using "effects!" Now, it's more

to put the "finishing touch," on something, and not to mask bad technique. I'm still no "Clapton or Hendrix" but, I'm

a lot better than I used to be, and can (and often do) use just a guitar and amp...at that "Sweet spot!" There's really

nothing like it! When you find it, it can give one "chills!" Used just a Casino and a Deluxe Reverb, one time, was just

"orgasmic," for lack of a better term. So, it can still be done!

 

CB

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A lot of the reason I and others use a ton of effects is that in order to get the sweet spot with just an amp and guitar you got to crank it so loud the cops will come.Stan.

 

Well, Stan...smaller amps will allow for that "Sweet spot," without causing a riot. Lots of people

play in arenas with gobs of Marshall stacks, but will record with a "champ!" Effects have

their place, and are quite nice, used with some discrimination. But there is something about

that "purity" of tone, with a tube amp, good cord, and a guitar, that you just can't synth!

IMHO, anyway....

 

I would hate to give up my "Blues Driver, though. LOL!

 

CB

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Man' date=' I ask myself (and anyone else that will listen....LOL!) this same question, all the time! I too, use a FEW

effects, but only because it's expected, for some of the "cover" songs we do. Variety is good, though, as it

opens up new areas, and ways of playing. I think (personally) that good/great players are great players, regardless

of effects, or not. Some folks rely on Distortion, and other things to cover up mistakes or bad technique! I did!

But, the better I got, the less I needed to do that, and the more frugal I became, with using "effects!" Now, it's more

to put the "finishing touch," on something, and not to mask bad technique. I'm still no "Clapton or Hendrix" but, I'm

a lot better than I used to be, and can (and often do) use just a guitar and amp...at that "Sweet spot!" There's really

nothing like it! When you find it, it can give one "chills!" Used just a Casino and a Deluxe Reverb, one time, was just

"orgasmic," for lack of a better term. So, it can still be done!

 

CB[/quote']

 

Great explanation CB ! I just tend to believe that less choices made alot of us learn differently. I've just seen alot of players that depend heavily on effects and electronics to play things they probably couldn't approach with just a guitar and an amp.

 

I'm not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing for them or for those that listen to their playing, I'm just not always so sure that all these "coices" make better musicians. I know most of what I like to listen to and experience is not loaded with effects and few of the guitarists seriously mod their equipment.

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A lot of the reason I and others use a ton of effects is that in order to get the sweet spot with just an amp and guitar you got to crank it so loud the cops will come.Stan.

 

I don't know Stan, I've seen alot o players get some sweet sounds in smaller venues with low wattage class A's and guitars. Like in my AvatAR, BB and Clapton did pretty fair coaxing some pretty good tones at lower volumes out of their Gibson archtops and Fender Twins ! I used to get a pretty nice growl out of my Fender twin with the amp volume high and the guitar volume down.

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Well, as I said, effects can be great, and a big help, too! But, like you eluded to, they can be used TOO much!

Anytime I hear a great "Blues" artist, especially the older "originators," I'm always reminded how great just

their technique, heart, and tone really are!

 

In some ways, this is like having so many choices, in guitars and amps! Pretty soon, you lose sight of what

GOOD tone, really is. Yeah, I know...everyone has their personal favorites, and that's fine...truly! But, one

should be able to DO that, without ANY effects! THEN, add or embellish, if desired. When we're younger, and

just starting, we try to sound (and play) like our "heros!" And, since many of us have LOTS of "heros," we adopt

lots of guitars, and amps, to do that. But, sooner or later, one has to decide, what they really LOVE, and want

to do, and do it THEIR way....if they can/have that luxury. By that, I mean can afford to, or just decide to play, only what they

want, and not have to worry about pleasing everyone in the audience. Again, this is just my

opinion. Others will, I'm sure, disagree. That's Cool!

 

 

CB

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Hi mate your're right' date=' I have not done any mods to any of my equipment I do however have a Zoom G2 my kids bought me for Christmas. I enjoy playing my gear just the way it is, that's why I bought it that way.

 

Cheers RR[/quote']

 

Don't get me wrong, like CB, I'm not getting rid of my BD, or crybaby and i use an acoustic processor sometimes playing in Church, but I don't feel that I hve to use them and don't as a general rule. Thanks for the input, I knew there were more of us out there !

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Man I'm a mutant here I guess.

 

I just run the cable to my amp and that's it. I do still have an old 70s first issue MXR distortion pedal and used to have the compressor/delay/chrous pedals but got rid of them all. It came to the point mainly playing rhythm I noticed that anything I plugged in changed the tone even wtih the pedals off.

 

I usually use my Fender Twin II at pratice and it has my clean and the one of the best Fender distortions. Have used my Peavey off and on too and you can flip the voice switch to get different ammounts of distortion/voicings. Either that or my Traynor I turn up the volume to the break-up I want and roll my guitar back, kind of a pain as I use combination of both PUs.

 

I guess I got sick of the fact at some point when I did use pedals they made every amp sound kind of the same as the pedal was now voicing the front end and the amp now was just making the pedal louder. I bought a blackface Dual Showman to hear a blackface Dual Showman.

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I don't use any effects, live. I use some when I'm recording, but only to optimize the sound, not to cover any mistakes. I cover mistakes by adding percussion over them...

 

Seriously, I recorded a bass line last week and the lowest note spiked, so it was overdriven when the rest of them weren't.

 

Rather than re-record the line, there is now a clave on that beat.

 

George Harrison did it - that's where the Travelling Wilburies came from - "we'll bury it in the mix."

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HI Byrds...how does that Showman sound with your Rickenbacker 12-string?

Awesome' date=' I would guess?

 

CB[/quote']

 

Sounds huge when I drag out my 2X15 bottom. My Fender Twin II has a problem with the reverb cutting in and out so when I use the Dual head I just put it on top of the twin and use that as the cabinet until we do songs I need the distortion for.

 

The 2X15 cabinet is at home in my garage closet under the stairs. It's too big for my music/guitar room, and I no longer own a car it will fit in the trunk.

 

I bought it to have the Byrds backline and when I did use it I had the compressor pedal and an EQ until I bought the McGuinn model but hated the 3 PUs and the finger picks always clanked on the middle PU, so sold that and got a 67 360-12 FG again better condition than the 1966 I sold to buy the McGuinn so it all worked out.

 

The Dual with the 2X15 bottom does not add as much bass over the 12s as one would think, but seems to smooth out both highs and lows somewhat and add more midrange.

 

The first chanel on the Dual without the mid knob is just plain loud and clean all the way, but the second channel with the mid/vibe you can push into breakup with HBs at a loud but not deaf yet volume, but we have a real hard hitting drummer so we pratice loud.

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A lot of the reason I and others use a ton of effects is that in order to get the sweet spot with just an amp and guitar you got to crank it so loud the cops will come.Stan.

 

I just settled that problem last week...I bought a Fender Blues Junior...Class A tubes with 15 watts...Just perfect to correct that situation of playing to loud. I now obtain the sweet spot without alarming half of the city..Lollll

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I just settled that problem last week...I bought a Fender Blues Junior...Class A tubes with 15 watts...Just perfect to correct that situation of playing to loud. I now obtain the sweet spot without alarming half of the city..Lollll

 

So, you ended up getting the Blues Junior! Cool! They're great little amps,

and plenty of volume, for most smaller venues. Need more, use a different amp,

or just mic it! Congrats, Norm!

 

CB

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So' date=' you ended up getting the Blues Junior! Cool! They're great little amps,

and plenty of volume, for most smaller venues. Need more, use a different amp,

or just mic it! Congrats, Norm!

 

CB[/quote']

 

Thanks CB,

I'm really happy with it...I will follow your advices again ;-)

Norm

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I don't know what will happen to this or how long it will stay alive in the current climate but what happened to the time (some of you here will remember) when we played guitars - epiphone guitars ! - the way we got them and had to make our own sound with just the guitar and an amp ?

 

Do we have too many choices these days ? Do all the effects/electronics' date=' etc available make lesser players sound better faster, can they produce good sound with just a guitar and an amp ? I'm not dissing anyone that uses this stuff as I occasionally do myself, but I do miss the simplicity and what it produced also, of less tech and more playing.........

 

Anyone else ?[/quote']

Just read your question without reading any other responses. (I'll read later). I do remember when just the acoustic guitar "alone" was it. Loved it, Cut my teeth on it. Add the friend's guitar and amp, and there it was, WOW, another level. The four lads,'64, made me really work with just guitar/amp and then the reality of the studio recordings that they did, flushed me, but didn't stop me from trying to get the sound/tone of the guitars and the vocals. Ahhh, the memories. Long Story Very Short... At the peak of my 'best' playing/vocals, '78-'79, modded Strat, 55 watt Hohner tube amp through 4x10's, 'rosac nu-fuzz and a 'cry baby' wah pedal. (Still have it) We all talk about "Tone". "Tone" at home is WAY,WAY, different than "Tone" on stage. (until you learn how to get 'home to stage'). Further, "Tone" in the studio is as pure/dirty as you want it. Blues and everyone else....Remeber your 'best time era" of playing??...........J

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