Tone

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
guitarmanK1982
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GYiakoumi wrote:guitarmank, i don't really know what you want me to say, I feel as though I am just answering questions and then being thrown more and more questions. I have yet to figure out exactly what you want me to say and I still have no idea why you are battling me. It just feels like you are eager to prove me wrong, is your ego that important to you?(this isn't me being angry or rude, this is me tired and slightly confused,) and yes perhaps I may have misused the word tone for the word Interpretation. What will it take for you to just spare me the lectures and let this topic get back ON-Topic
I'm putting it exactly ON topic!

Look up 'tone' - even wikipedia will do.
GYiakoumi
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guitarmanK1982 wrote: I'm putting it exactly ON topic!

Look up 'tone' - even wikipedia will do.
But you're not, you're trying to define WHAT tone is, and not whether it is in the fingers or not.
Either way, I'm not battling you. consider this a "win" for you if you like.

d/care quite frankly
guitarmanK1982
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Good God, man!

It doesn't seem fair to use a word (especially in an argument with someone!) if you don't know what it means.

I'm not trying to 'win' anything - i'm trying to help you.


You still haven't said how you think the fingers affect 'tone'.
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notavirtuoso
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guitarmanK1982 wrote:
notavirtuoso wrote: I didn't say it was tone, I said it was voice. I think people substitute the word tone for voice, not that I think that is what tone is.
What do you mean 'voice'?



notavirtuoso wrote:I disagree. I think there's a fairly reliable chance that I could tell the difference between players with just one note. Not a betting chance as my example demonstrates, but a reasonable one nonetheless. They wouldn't have to exhibit major techniques, but to strike a note, some sort of technique must be used. How hard/deep do they pick it? Do they end the note by removing the fretting finger or do they let it ring out. Are they able to keep their finger still or are they overwhelmed with the habit of an ever so slight vibrato? Maybe they slide off the note slightly when finished. A lot can be said with just one note, even when ignoring most techniques.

OK - so if many famous guitarists was to pick the open E string using the same thickness of plectrum, and were told to pick the note mf, and directly above the middle pickup, do you really think the difference would be discernible?
That situation would be a bit harder to tell the difference between players, but then again, there's no fingers touching the stings so there's no tone for them to inject! Just kidding, I just thought that was funny.

What do I mean by Voice? Probably not too far from what you mean by "interpretation", just a little different. It's what defines a musician's sound and makes them different from everyone else. It's what makes them stand out from each other. I think any musician beyond a beginner level has his own voice, at least to some extent.

George: Don't worry about guitarman, he's not trying to belittle you or make you look stupid, he just kinda comes off that way when he tries to teach. Instead of telling you what the answer is and how you should have found it, he's trying to get you to ask questions of yourself and find your own answers. I didn't get him for a long time until I remembered a teacher I once had that did the same thing. It drove me nuts until I actually realized it worked.
GYiakoumi
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^ k, Understood. no hard feelings to him.
guitarmanK1982
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notavirtuoso wrote:That situation would be a bit harder to tell the difference between players, but then again, there's no fingers touching the stings so there's no tone for them to inject! Just kidding, I just thought that was funny.


So do you admit that the aspects of what we consider to be 'tone' could, in fact, be completely external, and have nothing to do with the player?




notavirtuoso wrote:What do I mean by Voice? Probably not too far from what you mean by "interpretation", just a little different. It's what defines a musician's sound and makes them different from everyone else. It's what makes them stand out from each other. I think any musician beyond a beginner level has his own voice, at least to some extent.
You still haven't said what you mean by 'voice' - only that it is similar to the definition of 'interpretation', but has 'other' qualities. You haven't told me what those qualities are yet ;)
GYiakoumi
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guitarmanK1982 wrote: You still haven't said how you think the fingers affect 'tone'.
the touch, the mere touch is what matters. nobody presses the strings in the same way.
guitarmanK1982
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GYiakoumi wrote:
guitarmanK1982 wrote: You still haven't said how you think the fingers affect 'tone'.
the touch, the mere touch is what matters. nobody presses the strings in the same way.
In what hand? Both? Or just the left hand?



If we are meaning the right hand using a plectrum, then by your definition, we have to disregard the word 'tone', since there is no physical contact with the strings (palm muting aside). And if you mean using a plectrum, then all aspects of it could be manipulated e.g. angle of attack, where the pick is used, force/dynamics of attack, etc etc


And if you are meaning the left hand, then how does the 'touch' make a difference, since it is the actual fretwire that produces the note, and not the finger per se, since all the finger does is depresses the string at a point where it is shortened, and is only really influenced when a technique such as vibrato is employed?

If no vibrato at all were used, don't you think that Vai picking G on the 1st string would sound exactly the same as if he picked the very same G, with someone else holding the note (also with no vibrato)?
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notavirtuoso
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guitarmanK1982 wrote:
notavirtuoso wrote:That situation would be a bit harder to tell the difference between players, but then again, there's no fingers touching the stings so there's no tone for them to inject! Just kidding, I just thought that was funny.


So do you admit that the aspects of what we consider to be 'tone' could, in fact, be completely external, and have nothing to do with the player?
I'll admit it but only if you recognize that I haven't used the word tone to describe anything in this conversation. Can timbre be used to describe the differences within the same instrument like we are describing, or only to compare different instruments? If it can, it would be a much better word to use than tone.

guitarmanK1982 wrote:
notavirtuoso wrote:What do I mean by Voice? Probably not too far from what you mean by "interpretation", just a little different. It's what defines a musician's sound and makes them different from everyone else. It's what makes them stand out from each other. I think any musician beyond a beginner level has his own voice, at least to some extent.
You still haven't said what you mean by 'voice' - only that it is similar to the definition of 'interpretation', but has 'other' qualities. You haven't told me what those qualities are yet ;)
The only other qualities I can think of were what I listed about being the recognizable qualities that distinguish one musician from the next. I don't know if what you mean by interpretation (or your interpretation of interpretation :lol: ) encompasses that or not. If it does, then our terms mean basically the same thing. Maybe one difference is that my idea of voice comes from the musician in an unconscious manner, where my idea of interpretation is more of a conscious, deliberate application of ideas.
guitarmanK1982
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notavirtuoso wrote:
guitarmanK1982 wrote:
notavirtuoso wrote:That situation would be a bit harder to tell the difference between players, but then again, there's no fingers touching the stings so there's no tone for them to inject! Just kidding, I just thought that was funny.


So do you admit that the aspects of what we consider to be 'tone' could, in fact, be completely external, and have nothing to do with the player?
I'll admit it but only if you recognize that I haven't used the word tone to describe anything in this conversation. Can timbre be used to describe the differences within the same instrument like we are describing, or only to compare different instruments? If it can, it would be a much better word to use than tone.

notavirtuoso wrote:The only other qualities I can think of were what I listed about being the recognizable qualities that distinguish one musician from the next. I don't know if what you mean by interpretation (or your interpretation of interpretation :lol: ) encompasses that or not. If it does, then our terms mean basically the same thing. Maybe one difference is that my idea of voice comes from the musician in an unconscious manner, where my idea of interpretation is more of a conscious, deliberate application of ideas.
What I mean with regards to interpretation is attention to detail with issues such as dynamics, phrasing, tempo etc etc

Do you mean 'voice' as in the sense of when the player is 'freely' playing (eg more in an improvisatory sense of the word)? I think that most players would be aware of issues such as dynamics etc when improvising, but that the application of them has become 'internalised'.


In the strict sense of the word, 'tone' has nothing to do with player, as tone would be regarding the actual sound the instrument produces, which could be measured in terms of the fundamental/harmonic series etc etc

All the player adds is interpretive effects e.g. vibrato, dynamics etc etc - but with regards to actual tone, there is no change.

Unless, of course, electronic means are used to manipulate the sound (eg an amp, effects etc etc).

Surely we could visualise of two robotic arms (I mean way in the future here) that could be 'programmed' to imitate the exact performance of a known piece of music?



Notavirtuoso - you should get some books on psychoacoustics - there is a good book on this subject by David Howard and Jamie Angus. You should also try 'Perception' by Robert Sekuler and Randolph Blake. It is quite expensive, but worth every penny, and will 'fill in the gaps' that are missed when only musicians talk about issues such as this. It covers all forms of perception - however, the chapter on the human ear is more than enlightening.
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notavirtuoso
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guitarmanK1982 wrote:
What I mean with regards to interpretation is attention to detail with issues such as dynamics, phrasing, tempo etc etc

Do you mean 'voice' as in the sense of when the player is 'freely' playing (eg more in an improvisatory sense of the word)? I think that most players would be aware of issues such as dynamics etc when improvising, but that the application of them has become 'internalised'.
Based on this, I think my voice and your interpretation are precisely the same thing. My word is just less technical.
guitarmanK1982 wrote:
In the strict sense of the word, 'tone' has nothing to do with player, as tone would be regarding the actual sound the instrument produces, which could be measured in terms of the fundamental/harmonic series etc etc

All the player adds is interpretive effects e.g. vibrato, dynamics etc etc - but with regards to actual tone, there is no change.

Unless, of course, electronic means are used to manipulate the sound (eg an amp, effects etc etc).

Surely we could visualise of two robotic arms (I mean way in the future here) that could be 'programmed' to imitate the exact performance of a known piece of music?
We are very much on the same page on this, I couldn't agree more. Like I said, tone is a bad word to use. You didn't answer my question about timber though? Am I wrong on that, or am I at least headed in the right direction? It wouldn't explain differences on acoustic instruments, but it seems pretty adequate for amplified/electronic music to me.
guitarmanK1982 wrote: Notavirtuoso - you should get some books on psychoacoustics - there is a good book on this subject by David Howard and Jamie Angus. You should also try 'Perception' by Robert Sekuler and Randolph Blake. It is quite expensive, but worth every penny, and will 'fill in the gaps' that are missed when only musicians talk about issues such as this. It covers all forms of perception - however, the chapter on the human ear is more than enlightening.
I may look into that. I have a book around here somewhere on developing a producer's ear that I believe touches on psychoacoustics, so I may get my feet wet with that first. Thanks for the info though.
guitarmanK1982
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Timbre is usually used in the context of different instruments, since the word is generally used to describe what constitutes the differences between notes of the same pitch, and of the same volume etc (noticeable by almost everyone across different instrument types (e.g. piano and guitar), but more difficult across instruments of the same type).

You should also read up on Schenkerian Analysis when you have the time - it is very interesting. However, it is highly complex, and shouldn't be approached lightly.
budt
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The problem - in a nutshell. The actual word "tone" has been misappropriated by the English-speaking guitar community, and now it's just part of the lexicon, however incorrect the usage of the word may be.

Example: Eric Johnson, commenting on Wes Montgomery, "he had a really great tone".

"Tone" is being used to describe a guitarist's personal sound, like Wes Montgomery's warmth, in this case. And it refers to more than just his use of the thumb to play the strings on a hollowbody, it is refering to that intangible quality of a person's soul (dare I say soul?) and his unique personal sound.

No one is thinking of tone controls on an amplifier or any other technical meaning. It is a new way the word is being used, and that's that. Maybe someone else on the board can explain it a little better than I can at the moment.
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boswell
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Tone comes from the amount of snake oil you use.
guitarmanK1982
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budt wrote:The problem - in a nutshell. The actual word "tone" has been misappropriated by the English-speaking guitar community, and now it's just part of the lexicon, however incorrect the usage of the word may be.

Example: Eric Johnson, commenting on Wes Montgomery, "he had a really great tone".

"Tone" is being used to describe a guitarist's personal sound, like Wes Montgomery's warmth, in this case. And it refers to more than just his use of the thumb to play the strings on a hollowbody, it is refering to that intangible quality of a person's soul (dare I say soul?) and his unique personal sound.

No one is thinking of tone controls on an amplifier or any other technical meaning. It is a new way the word is being used, and that's that. Maybe someone else on the board can explain it a little better than I can at the moment.

Yip that's what I thought was meant by the usage of the term.

It seems to be used by guitarists in general to describe the combination of the actual sound created by the guitar (amp/effects included) with the playing qualities of the player (e.g. interpretive qualities, articulation etc etc).

But, in this sense, it's quite a large generalisation.
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