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Post new topic Tone Is Not In The Players Hands
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Author Topic:  Tone Is Not In The Players Hands
John Scanlon


From:
Jackson, Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 8 Nov 2017 12:01 pm     Reply with quote

Fred Treece wrote:
John S. and John B. - your comments further advance the "tone is in the hands" theory. I don't know if that was your intention.


Yes, it was. It was the intention for me, at least. Hands definitely affect tone. Via - often - articulation. The two are not mutually exclusive. I believe we’re dissecting semantics now. “A rose by any other name.”
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 8 Nov 2017 3:13 pm     Reply with quote

I agree with John. I pick aggressively. Makes a difference/
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David Mason


From:
Cambridge, MD, USA
Post Posted 8 Nov 2017 5:36 pm     Reply with quote

Hands turn amplifiers knobs too, hands hoist any number of mugs of beer, hands pull out the charge card to buy little boxes with "tone" knobs on them;

Mommy Mommy are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we WHAP! Hands also TYPE answers to inane Q's on the internet, but as they say: If it warn't for inanity, we might not have no nities at all. As they also say,

No point trying to teach a dead cookie to water before the rubber chicken crumbles across the road.

Are we there yet?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXfltmzRG-g&index=1&list=PLmMCRygddJ2-ZFNYA7DbLiu_Ghzz_sJJ8
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 9 Nov 2017 5:43 am     Reply with quote

Tone actually begins in the ear. It is your brain which controls the muscles in your hands which are working to produce the sound you hear in your head. One does not pick aggressively because it is an involuntary action--it is a concerted effort which begins within you.

The book The Art of Piano Playing by George Kochevitsky offers scientific evidence of this and is an outstanding read.
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Mark Hershey


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 9 Nov 2017 7:32 am     Reply with quote

Jim Sliff wrote:
Quote:
Tone is not in the players hands.


TRUE!

Sure, you can change the sound by your picking position, but the fundamental "tone" is in the gear.

What many perceive as "tone in the hands" when a player "sounds like himself" no matter what gear he uses is style. NOT tone.

Many professional musicians are very recognizable, but not because of a specific tone - it's because of *how* they play - style.


The "tone is in the hands" statement is very prevalent in the 6-string world. And it's funny considering how many of the players used as examples play many different guitar models, specifically because of the different tone they provide.

A stock Fender Telecaster and Gibson Les Paul do not sound the same no matter who the player is. Install the same pickups in each and they still sound different because of fundamental differences in construction.

The same is true of many amplifiers. In the tube amp world typical Fender, Marshall and Vox amps each have very specific tonal "envelopes".

Differences in tone are somewhat less noticeable with modern pedal steel gear - but differences in tone, other than that created by the aforementioned pick attack, are still gear-based.[/b]



Couldn't agree more. Everytime I buy a new pedal, amp or guitar the tone changes. My Marshall sounds night and day different than my Fender.
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Mark Hershey


From:
New York, USA
Post Posted 9 Nov 2017 7:35 am     Reply with quote

Mike Neer wrote:
Tone actually begins in the ear. It is your brain which controls the muscles in your hands which are working to produce the sound you hear in your head. One does not pick aggressively because it is an involuntary action--it is a concerted effort which begins within you.

The book The Art of Piano Playing by George Kochevitsky offers scientific evidence of this and is an outstanding read.


One of the quickest ways to change my tone is with the volume. I usually play guitar really loud. The chords growl when I turn it down it chimes. I think the tone is in the hands cliche is on par with the old saying the customer is always right. There's a ton of exceptions to both of those cliches.
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Henry Matthews


From:
Texarkana, Ark USA
Post Posted 11 Nov 2017 12:21 pm     Reply with quote

My 2 cents is that tone is a combination of everything but mostly the player. I know a guy that played a less desirable guitar and then went too a very desirable guitar but he still sounds the same. Can't tell any difference. Sounded great on both.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 12 Nov 2017 1:50 am     Reply with quote

I have not read more BS then in this thread in a long time lol
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Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 12 Nov 2017 8:58 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
Tone actually begins in the ear. It is your brain which controls the muscles in your hands which are working to produce the sound you hear in your head.

I agree, Mike, therefore I repeat Lee Baucum''s post:
Quote:
Perhaps tone is in the listener's ears.

I've always considered the "tone is in the hands" phrase to be figurative.
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David Mitchell


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 12 Nov 2017 3:18 pm     Reply with quote

Mike Neer wrote:
Tone actually begins in the ear. It is your brain which controls the muscles in your hands which are working to produce the sound you hear in your head. One does not pick aggressively because it is an involuntary action--it is a concerted effort which begins within you.

The book The Art of Piano Playing by George Kochevitsky offers scientific evidence of this and is an outstanding read.


Absolutely! Mike said it even better than I could say it. You can't play something you don't think and the tone we squeeze out of an instrument does begin in the brain. The hands, feet and knees are only the motorized responses to express what our brain hears. If you can't hear that tone along with the notes to be played you will never play it and you are subject to whatever your unbridled hands do. Could be for the better but it's usually for the worst. Buddy Emmons made reference to the tone in his head on several occasions. I got the tones in my head from listening for thousands of hours to Lloyd Green and Buddy Emmons records in the 60's and 70's. Corky Owens and I literally wore the grooves away from the album's stopping and starting them over and over all day long. The sound of those recordings became printed in our minds. I wish I had spent more time learning theory and big chords on the steel but I like my tone today as well as anyone who has ever played steel guitar. Corky, Gene Watson's long time steel player can sound just like any player he wants, tone and style because he hears the tones and styles. It's a brain thing more than anything else. As I said the hands do nothing by themselves nor the equipment but as Mike Neer said the brain is the master controller.
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Last edited by David Mitchell on 12 Nov 2017 3:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steve Duke


From:
Missouri, USA
Post Posted 12 Nov 2017 3:18 pm     Tone Reply with quote

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David Mitchell


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 12 Nov 2017 7:03 pm     Reply with quote

This is a little example of my work for the last 40 years. I've played all the music to 300 to 400 songs for local artist just playing one instrument at a time. I don't use music software like band in the box. I play the real instruments one at a time till the entire track is made. Sometimes they want my ideas and other times they want it just like the record. It takes me about an hour to do most songs unless it needs strings and brass. Everybody does it differently but like on a cover song like this I stop for a moment and get into character. If Lloyd played steel on it I try to get in Lloyd's frame of mind much as an actor steps into character. Like wise for the guitar part I tried to get the feel of Grady Martin. The next song might be Don Rich playing so whole different style. When I play the drums and bass I try to think like Buddy Harman and Bob Moore and Junior Huskey. All these voices are there but you have to listen and they become ingrained in your head. They all sound different if you listen. I never was satisfied playing the same way all the time and I love and play all kinds of music and not just country. I'm playing my old Mullen D-10 pre RP on this one. Great guitar. Played it about 15 years and never one single problem at all with that guitar. I let someone talk me out of it. Beautiful too. Red lacquer stain with MOP inlay.

https://youtu.be/d2O8145D2YA
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Joe Goldmark


From:
San Francisco, CA 94131
Post Posted 12 Nov 2017 9:37 pm     Reply with quote

Well semantics aside, tone is absolutely in how the player plays his instrument, and has very little to do with his equipment. Jeff Newman showed us that at all his seminars. I'd say it's mostly in the hands and the volume pedal foot and how they work together.

Of course, the better "ear" that you have will dictate how much you strive to get great tone, and how much you'll practice to achieve it.

Joe
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 14 Nov 2017 10:05 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
tone is absolutely in how the player plays his instrument, and has very little to do with his equipment.


Joe - respectfully - how the player plays his instrument is "style".

*Some* elements - like pick attack - affect tone, but "how" a player plays is his "style" not his "tone".

"Wow, that dude is a really hot toner"....

Errr...WHAT?

Laughing
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post Posted 15 Nov 2017 5:23 am     Reply with quote

Joe Goldmark wrote:
Well semantics aside, tone is absolutely in how the player plays his instrument,

Joe


Perhaps tone is the RESULT of how the player plays his instrument.
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Joe Goldmark


From:
San Francisco, CA 94131
Post Posted 15 Nov 2017 7:52 am     Reply with quote

Jim, what am I missing here? Correct, style is how you play, the voicing-s you choose, bluesy, commercial, swing, single string, chordal, old vs. new, etc.

Tone is also the result of how you play, derived from years of practice and the link from the player's ear to his/her hands and feet. I'll also repeat that the players with the best ears have the best tone. To simplify, the guys who don't have to worry about finding the notes can then concentrate on finding the best tone.

They called Jerry Byrd the "master of touch and tone". That says it all about tone being in the hands.

Joe
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Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 15 Nov 2017 11:43 am     Reply with quote

Apparently not everyone uses the word "tone" to mean the same thing, which is kind of unfortunate, as it leads to these debates in which semantics and substance get muddled together. I think Jim is of the substantial group of people who consider "tone" to be essentially a synonym for "timbre"--the frequency content of musical sound. (If I'm wrong, Jim, please correct me.) It's what makes an oboe sound different from a flute, no matter how the player plays them. That's what I've always meant by the word "tone" myself.

While it is certainly true that the player's technique in playing an instrument is a contributing factor to the timbre of the sound he/she produces, it's not the only determining factor, as the statement "tone is in the hands" would imply.

Case in point from my personal experience: I have played electric guitar since 1964. When Jimi Hendrix hit the scene in 1967 I had had almost no experience with different makes of guitars--never tried a Fender, never tried a Gibson. I was playing a Mosrite Ventures model guitar. I liked it, but I was knocked out by Hendrix's tone, in addition to his playing, and really wanted to get tones like that myself. I tweaked the knobs on my Deluxe Reverb amp every way possible, and couldn't get anything close to the tone he got, and figured it was a matter of how much better a player he was than I was (which was true), and just hoped some day I'd be good enough to get those great tones. Then one day I had the opportunity to try out a Stratocaster and it was a blinding revelation! Wow, there they are--so THAT's how he gets those tones!! I didn't sound just like Jimi, of course, but so very much closer, just like that. And I was using the same hands as ever.
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post Posted 15 Nov 2017 12:09 pm     Reply with quote

Here is a previous discussion:

Click Here
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Jim Bob Sedgwick


From:
Clinton, Missouri USA
Post Posted 15 Nov 2017 12:22 pm     Reply with quote

Damir Besic wrote:
I have not read more BS then in this thread in a long time lol

Amen, but isn't this fun? Smile
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 15 Nov 2017 8:05 pm     Reply with quote

The sound of a Srat is one thing. The fact that anybody can play one and not sound like Hendrix (or Knopfler, or Clapton) is what is being discussed here. BUT - that doesn't mean you can't sound good, and that is also what is being discussed.

Broke my promise. But the BS was indeed taking over an otherwise worthy topic. It would be nice if people actually read what has already been rehashed 5 times in a thread before hashing it in again.

Thanks for posting the link, Lee. The first comment pretty much says it.
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post Posted 15 Nov 2017 8:38 pm     Reply with quote

Here is another previous discussion:

Click Here
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post Posted 15 Nov 2017 8:45 pm     Reply with quote

And another:

Click Here
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post Posted 15 Nov 2017 8:50 pm     Reply with quote

Get comfortable before you start reading this one:

Click Here
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post Posted 16 Nov 2017 7:04 am     Reply with quote

whew...
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Ken Campbell


From:
Ferndale, Montana
Post Posted 16 Nov 2017 7:06 am     Reply with quote

Charlie McDonald wrote:
whew...


Yeah buddy...
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