Tone

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
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Ricardo
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I stand by my original post on the subject, but regarding the meaning of "fingers" regarding tone, that whole issue of musical interpretation (phrasing, dynamics, etc) is what is meant by "its in the fingers", verses the other aspects tone could be about, such as equipment (guitars, picks, strings, cables, amps, effects, etc). No need for wikipedia on this subject I think.

In my original post, my opinion was that it is all of these things put together that make the tone distinct. The same guy does not sound EXACTLY the same through different equipment IMO. I agree that "fingers" are the main factor though.

Ricardo
guitarmanK1982
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Ricardo wrote:I stand by my original post on the subject, but regarding the meaning of "fingers" regarding tone, that whole issue of musical interpretation (phrasing, dynamics, etc) is what is meant by "its in the fingers"
This is therefore a false and misleading interpretation that will cause problems when discussing issues such as tone with other instrumentalists.




Ricardo wrote:In my original post, my opinion was that it is all of these things put together that make the tone distinct. The same guy does not sound EXACTLY the same through different equipment IMO. I agree that "fingers" are the main factor though.

Ricardo
Once again, this is misuse of the term 'tone'.

It would be better to just say their 'sound'. Sound could be considered a general term, whereas tone is a specific term.



I still want an explanation on why the fingers are the main factor, since many people here believe that.
guitarmanK1982
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And here is a question that should get the brains working ;)

1) How would you describe the sound of a guitar to someone who has never heard a guitar before (or any sort of musical instrument, for that matter)?

2) Why does middle C on a harp sound different from middle C on a guitar? Why is there a difference? What is the difference? How would you describe the difference?
Guitaruss
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Far to much navel gazing going on here...its just MUSIC end of story.
GYiakoumi
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Ok Guitarman I'll just be straight with ya, I don't know how to answer those questions.
guitarmanK1982
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Guitaruss wrote:Far to much navel gazing going on here...its just MUSIC end of story.
If that's the case, then you shouldn't talk about anthing to do with music apart from liking/disliking it.

If you want to go into any more detail than explaining your tastes, then it is best to know what you are talking about.

Plus, this section is called 'techniques, playing styles, and music theory'.

Why don't you contact the Vai mods and tell them that 'it's just music' ;)


This section is about techniques, playing styles, and music theory. If this doesn't interest you, then you shouldn't post here.




The original question still stands - why is tone 'in the fingers'?
budt
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guitarmanK1982 wrote:2) Why does middle C on a harp sound different from middle C on a guitar? Why is there a difference? What is the difference? How would you describe the difference?
I would venture to say that it could quite possibly be a matter of physics. The material that the sound-producing "instrument" is made of by virtue of it's chemical composition and other factors (density, specific gravity etc. and so on and so forth) could quite possibly tend to favor certain overtones in the harmonic series and if I'm on the right track undubitably the timbre of a particular sound-producing device would be a result of adding all the sound waves, producing a more complex sorta wave that would quite obviously result in a unique sound.
budt
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guitarmanK1982 wrote:The original question still stands - why is tone 'in the fingers'?
Notice that when "fingers" are used in this context the word is usually in quotes. I don't think anyone means just the "fingers". They mean the whole musician, mind, body, heart and soul, which terminates at the end of these "fingers", the point at which the musician's personal energy is flowing into the external instrument. Cut off the fingers, and they can't do much of anything.

And now that we have that cleared up, we know what someone means when they say:
"Dude, the tone is in the fingers ..."
guitarmanK1982
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budt wrote:
guitarmanK1982 wrote:The original question still stands - why is tone 'in the fingers'?
Notice that when "fingers" are used in this context the word is usually in quotes. I don't think anyone means just the "fingers". They mean the whole musician, mind, body, heart and soul, which terminates at the end of these "fingers", the point at which the musician's personal energy is flowing into the external instrument. Cut off the fingers, and they can't do much of anything.

And now that we have that cleared up, we know what someone means when they say:
"Dude, the tone is in the fingers ..."

Buty if this is the case - that there is something special, and 'of soul' that can be heard in a performance, then it should also be present in one note.

If it truly is something innate, then this is the only logical conclusion that can be reached.

Therefore, a fretted note picked once should be just as much a 'signature' of a player as a whole phrase is.



Other than this, we have to accept that what we mean by a player's 'sound' is nothing more than articulation, phrasing, dynamics etc etc combined with the actual sound of their guitar/amp setup.

In other words, what it is that specifically defines someone's sound could in fact be replicated, were it analysed enough. An expressive speaker could be translated into musical terms as a dynamic speaker. One could study when that individual specifically gets louder e.g. is it to do with a certain point in the phrase (e.g. do they get louder 3/4 of the way through the phrase, then quieten off again?), is it to do with the words being spoken? Are words of more importance emphasised by making them louder? etc etc

This approach can also be taken with music, and with specific players.

And this is, in a nutshell, what years of training at a conservatoire would give - control over aspects such as phrasing, dynamics, articulation, vibrato etc etc. The more control one has, the more expressive one can appear to be.

I say 'appear to be' as the beginning musician is just as expressive as the experienced musician - the only difference being that the experienced musician can musically express themselves more, since they have more control over the aforementioned aspects of sound.
Guitaruss
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guitarmanK1982 wrote:
Guitaruss wrote:Far to much navel gazing going on here...its just MUSIC end of story.
If that's the case, then you shouldn't talk about anthing to do with music apart from liking/disliking it.

If you want to go into any more detail than explaining your tastes, then it is best to know what you are talking about.

Plus, this section is called 'techniques, playing styles, and music theory'.

Why don't you contact the Vai mods and tell them that 'it's just music' ;)


This section is about techniques, playing styles, and music theory. If this doesn't interest you, then you shouldn't post here.




The original question still stands - why is tone 'in the fingers'?
Ahhhh shurrrup you twat
LoveBlood
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Guitaruss wrote: Ahhhh shurrrup you twat
Haha, I can just imagine that thing in your avatar saying that, what on earth is it? lol.

Anyway, there are many different ways in which the word tone is described, and they've all been discussed here, a movement of two semitones/a sound/the way it sounds/the feeling a player gives off how it strikes you inside. When you say a player has good tone it's the magical vibe that they alone conjure through whatever instruments and amps you gave them, eddie van halen playing through steve vai's rig sounds like eddie van halen. When the tech noodled briefly on steve's rig just before show time on the last tour, it didn't have a nice sound, steve comes out and MAGIC shoots through the equipment i.e "steve's TONE". It's possible to be very pedantic and skeptical about these things as we've seen in this thread, but this is just the way it is as far as i'm concerned.
budt
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guitarmanK1982 wrote:But if this is the case - that there is something special, and 'of soul' that can be heard in a performance, then it should also be present in one note.

If it truly is something innate, then this is the only logical conclusion that can be reached.

Therefore, a fretted note picked once should be just as much a 'signature' of a player as a whole phrase is.
That is true, but now it becomes a statistical problem. Statistitians studying a "populaton" (in this case, notes) would tell you that the accuracy of their results will not be very good if they are only allowed one random sample. But that innate thing, whatever it is, would still be there.

For instance, I know I can taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi, but if I'm only allowed to sample a drop of each ... could I?

Remember Michael Jackson's "Beat It"? (EVH played the solo, and many heard the song on the radio for the first time, without knowing that fact.) I ran into so many people (probably just other guitarists) that said, "as soon as I heard the first note, I knew it was Eddie". Of course, that is subject to human error, as well. A lot of them said, "as soon as I heard the riff, I knew it was Eddie...". But the riffage was supplied courtesy of one Steve Lukather.
LoveBlood
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You would be able to detect a certain amount of a players tone, i.e the warmth of a thumb picked note rather than a plectrum, but it's like saying who's the celebrity talking and you get just to hear them say the letter "b", without hearing a WORD, i.e a musical phrase.
Desert_Runner
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I think of it as voices. If you told several people to say just one syllable, "ahhh" for example, you could tell the difference between their voices. I would say it was the same on the guitar because of the structure of each players fingers are different.

Sorry, but I don't have time for a full scale argument with guitarmanK1982. I just wanted to contribute that point.
guitarmanK1982
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Guys - no one is trying to cause an argument. I rebutt arguments with a counter-argument that could equally be justified. It's trying to make you see that things can be seen in more than one light, or saying something that goes completely against how you originally thought about something. The natural reaction in such an instance is to become defensive.

But you must admit that i've probably made you think about the issue that little bit deeper ;)

That was the point of it, I thought.

Plus, it certainly helped develop the thread.


Defensive shouldn't, however, become base rudeness.
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