Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 2 of 8 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Posts 51 to 100 of 364
  1. #51

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    In Jack Zucker's group of august professionals, Pasquale Grasso plays a Trenier, Paul Bollenback plays a Borys, Peter Mazza plays a Gibson Super V, Vic Juris plays a Borys, Peter Bernstein plays a Zeidler, Gilad Hekselman plays a Victor Baker, Mike Moreno plays a Marchione, Mark Whitfield plays a Marchione so, yeah, tone may well be in the fingers but these fellows are not immune to the charms of nice boutique guitars, too, just like the rest of us.

    Pasquale put his prize, a Benedetto Pat Martino, that he won in the Wes Montgomery Competition up for sale as soon as he got it so even Pasquale recognises tone is not always in the fingers but in the guitar, too, just like the rest of us lesser mortals. The Benedetto Pat Martino was not his tone.

    Ulf Wakenius may well tear it up with that Aria but he won't enjoy it very much if that is what he is restricted to play for the rest of his life. Isn't Ulf playing a Westville guitar now?

    I am not saying that the Aria is not a good guitar but a nicer guitar is a nicer guitar and nobody is immune to the charms of a nicer anything.
    Well I have it from Peter B that his guitar completely changed the way he hears chords.... He was playing a ES175 before, so not exactly a cheap guitar, but the Zeidler obviously elevated his playing for him. I mean he sounds amazing on any guitar to my ears, but that guitar clearly has a fantastic sound. I really like that half acoustic sound he gets on quieter gigs.

    He also mentioned he used to own an L5 that he thought was quite a bad guitar. I think he sold it to finance the Zeidler? Sometimes expensive guitars can not be .... the right one.

    I mean that's a thing right?

    OTOH, if your sound is mostly on the amp, a lot of the stuff that takes the real time and money in luthiery becomes less critical.

    But yeah, different players have different priorities. I mean Mike Stern has no shortage of nice guitars, but he plays the Yamaha because that's HIS voice... Adam Rogers seems to go through phases on the other hand (and has lots of nice guitars)

    OTOG the likes PG and PB seem to have ONE guitar that they learn inside out. Given the great value and beauty of these instruments, it's more like being a cellist or something....

    A violinist put it like this to me - for a professional string player buying a new instrument is like buying a house. There's a lot of stress and complexity in the decision. Guitarists, whose instruments are relatively inexpensive, can afford to collectors. (Esp. if they play lots of theatre gigs lol.)

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

    User Info Menu

    Yeah, priced a bassoon lately? We guitar players get off pretty easy

  4. #53

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rmpmcdermott
    That's such an incredible record. Probably my favorite guitar tone of his. Did he use the Gibson sig model on that recording?

    I've seen him at Blues Alley with the Benedetto and it seems to not be as dark in person as on recordings. I mean, it's still pretty dark, but it's a bit more clear. The Live at Blues Alley recording sounds much different then when I was in the room hearing him.
    I think it's the Gibson, but I can't say for sure. I agree - part of his darker sound is the shift from a Twin Reverb to "jazz amps", but it's also how his records are produced.

    If you listen here, his tone is also darker than "El Hombre", but not too dark.


  5. #54

    User Info Menu

    Last week I got a brand new Godin Montreal Premiere P90. What’s disturbing is I like its tone better than my ES-275.
    It’s woodier sounding, probably because of the breathe-through center block. But the 275 is completely hollow, has a nitro finish, and humbuckers. The Godin is semi-hollow, thinner than the Gibson, has a poly finish and P90s. I’m able to get a fatter and warmer sound than what I get with the 275. The 275 cost me $3600 and the Godin $1000. I’ve already spoken with Pete Biltoft who recommended a humbucker with Alnico 3 magnets for the 275 and I should have it in a few days.

  6. #55

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    In Jack Zucker's group of august professionals, Pasquale Grasso plays a Trenier, Paul Bollenback plays a Borys, Peter Mazza plays a Gibson Super V, Vic Juris plays a Borys, Peter Bernstein plays a Zeidler, Gilad Hekselman plays a Victor Baker, Mike Moreno plays a Marchione, Mark Whitfield plays a Marchione so, yeah, tone may well be in the fingers but these fellows are not immune to the charms of nice boutique guitars, too, just like the rest of us.

    Pasquale put his prize, a Benedetto Pat Martino, that he won in the Wes Montgomery Competition up for sale as soon as he got it so even Pasquale recognises tone is not always in the fingers but in the guitar, too, just like the rest of us lesser mortals. The Benedetto Pat Martino was not his tone.

    Ulf Wakenius may well tear it up with that Aria but he won't enjoy it very much if that is what he is restricted to play for the rest of his life. Isn't Ulf playing a Westville guitar now?

    I am not saying that the Aria is not a good guitar but a nicer guitar is a nicer guitar and nobody is immune to the charms of a nicer anything.
    Jabs, you can always say what I wanted to say, but better!

  7. #56

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Yeah, priced a bassoon lately? We guitar players get off pretty easy
    Maybe if guitars cost a whole lot more we would learn our one and only instrument a lot better. But guitarists are attracted to guitars in large part because we are an unfaithful lot; we love lots of gear. At least, we are not like drummers: those hoops of air take up a lot of space. I know a drummer with ten full-sized kits and he practically lives on his sofa; even with them stacked he has no space for anything else.

  8. #57

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Maybe if guitars cost a whole lot more we would learn our one and only instrument a lot better. But guitarists are attracted to guitars in large part because we are an unfaithful lot; we love lots of gear. At least, we are not like drummers: those hoops of air take up a lot of space. I know a drummer with ten full-sized kits and he practically lives on his sofa; even with them stacked he has no space for anything else.
    One thing for sure, if guitars were more expensive more guitar players would "specialize" in a style than be genre hoppers...I look around the house and see my "jazz" guitar, my "gypsy jazz" guitar, my "country gig" guitar, my "plug in nylon that gets mostly used for lite classical at wedding ceremonies" guitar, etc...

    Or is that chicken/egg...would heavy metal have been invented by guys playing L5's?

  9. #58

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by El Fundo
    Last week I got a brand new Godin Montreal Premiere P90. What’s disturbing is I like its tone better than my ES-275.
    It’s woodier sounding, probably because of the breathe-through center block. But the 275 is completely hollow, has a nitro finish, and humbuckers. The Godin is semi-hollow, thinner than the Gibson, has a poly finish and P90s. I’m able to get a fatter and warmer sound than what I get with the 275. The 275 cost me $3600 and the Godin $1000. I’ve already spoken with Pete Biltoft who recommended a humbucker with Alnico 3 magnets for the 275 and I should have it in a few days.
    Maybe the Godin is quite simply YOUR VOICE.

    The 275.... I like that guitar, really enjoyed playing one in the shop, but it's kind of not quite sure what it is?

    Also, the guitar with P90s always has the best tone lol. (Says the guy who owns no guitars with P90s.)

  10. #59

    User Info Menu

    "Well I have it from Peter B that his guitar completely changed the way he hears chords.... He was playing a ES175 before, so not exactly a cheap guitar, but the Zeidler obviously elevated his playing for him. I mean he sounds amazing on any guitar to my ears, but that guitar clearly has a fantastic sound. I really like that half acoustic sound he gets on quieter gigs.

    He also mentioned he used to own an L5 that he thought was quite a bad guitar. I think he sold it to finance the Zeidler?"

    Correct, I played it in Zeidlers shop, it was a Wesmo, and not a great one. He bought the Zeidler from Larry Wexer, but John wanted him to play one of his new guitars, but sadly never got to make him one.
    Pete fell in love w the early Zeidler and I wonder if he'd have felt the same about a new one.
    It worked out for Pete, but tragically.

  11. #60

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984
    I think it's the Gibson, but I can't say for sure. I agree - part of his darker sound is the shift from a Twin Reverb to "jazz amps", but it's also how his records are produced.

    If you listen here, his tone is also darker than "El Hombre", but not too dark.

    It WAS the Gibson Pat Martino on the Yoshi's live album. I was at all of those Yoshi's shows, sitting in the front row. Pat was using an Acoustic Image Clarus amp through two Mesa Cabinets (I have no idea what speakers were in those cabs, but I assume Mesa branded Celestions) I even acquired a Gibson Pat Martino after those shows and had Pat sign the pickguard at a later show at Kuumbwa (Santa Cruz). I could never get "my" tone out of the Gibson Pat Martino (loved the neck and the appointments, though) and sold it a few years later. At the end of the day, Pat and I have different fingers. Who knew!

  12. #61

    User Info Menu

    What’s really interesting is that the Godin is pretty unimpressive unplugged (sounds like an unamplified solid body but slightly louder), whereas the 275 sounds beautiful unplugged—very good balance of lows, mids, and highs, which led me to believe it’s Gibson’s MHS pickups, which is what led me to call Pete Biltoft. I described the sound I’m getting with the 275 to him and he recommended Alnico 3 magnets. I hope he’s right!

  13. #62

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    It WAS the Gibson Pat Martino on the Yoshi's live album. I was at all of those Yoshi's shows, sitting in the front row. Pat was using an Acoustic Image Clarus amp through two Mesa Cabinets (I have no idea what speakers were in those cabs, but I assume Mesa branded Celestions) I even acquired a Gibson Pat Martino after those shows and had Pat sign the pickguard at a later show at Kuumbwa (Santa Cruz). I could never get "my" tone out of the Gibson Pat Martino (loved the neck and the appointments, though) and sold it a few years later. At the end of the day, Pat and I have different fingers. Who knew!
    Thanks for the info! See, now I'm wondering if I'm wrong about him playing the Benedetto at the 2009 Blues Alley gigs. I'll have to see if I can find some photos.

    Edit: It must have been the Gibson on that Blues Alley record since he switched to Benedetto in 2011.

  14. #63

    User Info Menu

    Wintermoon,

    Martino sounded great on El Hombre. His playing was outstanding, too. That's a classic.

    IIRC, Martino was playing a L5/Fender Twin Reverb on that album. Anyone?

    If I remembered that one correctly, it's pretty hard to go wrong with that rig. You bring the chops/ideas...and Gibson/Fender will not let you down.

  15. #64

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    It WAS the Gibson Pat Martino on the Yoshi's live album. I was at all of those Yoshi's shows, sitting in the front row. Pat was using an Acoustic Image Clarus amp through two Mesa Cabinets (I have no idea what speakers were in those cabs, but I assume Mesa branded Celestions) I even acquired a Gibson Pat Martino after those shows and had Pat sign the pickguard at a later show at Kuumbwa (Santa Cruz). I could never get "my" tone out of the Gibson Pat Martino (loved the neck and the appointments, though) and sold it a few years later. At the end of the day, Pat and I have different fingers. Who knew!
    I also caught Martino at the 2014 Yoshi's shows and after his set, had an opportunity to ask him about his tone. No, he didn't tell me it came from his fingers, LOL. Since I specifically asked how he was able to mimic a full sized archtop tone from his signature Gibson model that is chambered. Pat smiled and said the following... "Modern amp technology...".

    He really sounded great at this live venue. However, to me, the CD version did not capture his live tone. It was more dark than he actually was at Yoshis.

    The Facebook group set up by Zucker seems like a good idea for upper eschelon jazz guitarists to hang out and exchange ideas and music, and wish him well.

  16. #65

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Wintermoon,

    Martino sounded great on El Hombre. His playing was outstanding, too. That's a classic.

    IIRC, Martino was playing a L5/Fender Twin Reverb on that album. Anyone?

    If I remembered that one correctly, it's pretty hard to go wrong with that rig. You bring the chops/ideas...and Gibson/Fender will not let you down.
    Don't forget about 10lbs. of stuffing!

  17. #66

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by El Fundo
    What’s really interesting is that the Godin is pretty unimpressive unplugged (sounds like an unamplified solid body but slightly louder), whereas the 275 sounds beautiful unplugged—very good balance of lows, mids, and highs, which led me to believe it’s Gibson’s MHS pickups, which is what led me to call Pete Biltoft. I described the sound I’m getting with the 275 to him and he recommended Alnico 3 magnets. I hope he’s right!
    Worth a go.... Please post comparison audio etc :-)

  18. #67

    User Info Menu

    For electric guitars acceptable tone range is between the boundaries of:
    "Cannot be heard in the mix" <----------> "Cause listener fatigue"
    Any tone in-between has potential to sound good in the capable hands.

  19. #68

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    For electric guitars acceptable tone range is between the boundaries of:
    "Cannot be heard in the mix" <----------> "Cause listener fatigue"
    Any tone in-between has potential to sound good in the capable hands.
    Haha putting it in perspective...

  20. #69

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Wintermoon,

    Martino sounded great on El Hombre. His playing was outstanding, too. That's a classic.

    IIRC, Martino was playing a L5/Fender Twin Reverb on that album. Anyone?

    If I remembered that one correctly, it's pretty hard to go wrong with that rig. You bring the chops/ideas...and Gibson/Fender will not let you down.
    He's pictured w Johnny Smith on the cover, (not that a pic on a cover means that was the instrument used)
    He was using an L5 in the mid 60s and switched to a Smith, not really sure which guitar was on that record.
    I'm thinking it was the Smith.

  21. #70

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    I also caught Martino at the 2014 Yoshi's shows and after his set, had an opportunity to ask him about his tone. No, he didn't tell me it came from his fingers, LOL. Since I specifically asked how he was able to mimic a full sized archtop tone from his signature Gibson model that is chambered. Pat smiled and said the following... "Modern amp technology...".

    He really sounded great at this live venue. However, to me, the CD version did not capture his live tone. It was more dark than he actually was at Yoshis.

    The Facebook group set up by Zucker seems like a good idea for upper eschelon jazz guitarists to hang out and exchange ideas and music, and wish him well.


    I always wondered about that because I don't really like the sound quality of the guitar on that record and I knew it was a Gibson Martino.
    I caught Pat and Joey but w Byron Landham on drums, he was using the Gibson them.

  22. #71

    User Info Menu

    Hey all,
    this realization is not really new, don't you all agree ?
    I was lucky enough to have had a few lessons from Ted Greene when I was 16 (!!) and had booked a few courses at Dick Grove's Music Workshop in Studio City/LA, back in 1976. Ted was using his totally modded Tele with about 5 pickups in it and 10 switches ... When he bought that guitar it was CHEAP, a guitar designed for the working dick who couldn't afford a more expensive instrument. Ted liked the neck shape, the size and over the years he made it into this mongrel that worked for him.
    Another nice example (for me at least) is : Ed Bickert ! Gets a signature sound from his beat up Tele and moves me to tears....
    When I was still booking gigs at our local hall years ago we had Ulf together with NH Orsted Pedersen and Ulf had his Aria, played through a Twin we provided. They played a great set and I had a chance to look at his guitar after they were done : it was all caked up, dirty, with age old flats on it and I did not want to touch it...
    It did make me wonder how he managed with that thing, through all his gigs with Oscar Peterson et al ....saw a clip a few months back where he playes a Benedetto and it sounds so la la...
    Last but not least there is Bill Frisell, gear hound extraordinaire. He was here with Paul Motian and Joe Lovano and had his Steve Klein guitar, a very exclusive thing 20 years ago. He hears different things in all of his guitars but when I listen to him play he always has "his" tone, no matter which hot new pickup he's trying out or if the bridge is made of zirconium, titanium or unobtanium....

    Flaming others for their opinion on tone, gear and taste is uncool in any event and besides, we're all living in glass houses. I just love guitars and would have a few dozen more if fortuna would allow it, so I make do with the 13 I do own :-)


    p.s.: I forgot to mention Lorne Lofsky, used a cheapo Ibanez Strat copy with O. Peterson ! And who doesn't love Jimmy Page's epic sounds with his Silvertone ? Ry Cooder on his Teisco Del Rey, Charlie Parker on a plastic alto.......... it goes all the way back to the beginning. Players with the right ideas can transcend physical boundaries.

  23. #72

    User Info Menu

    My 19 year son is a fast 800 meter runner with 1:58 speed with track spikes. He said in training flats he runs 2 flat. In either situation he is faster than 99.9% of ordinary folks...……….it all in the feet right?

  24. #73

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    It WAS the Gibson Pat Martino on the Yoshi's live album. I was at all of those Yoshi's shows, sitting in the front row. Pat was using an Acoustic Image Clarus amp through two Mesa Cabinets (I have no idea what speakers were in those cabs, but I assume Mesa branded Celestions) I even acquired a Gibson Pat Martino after those shows and had Pat sign the pickguard at a later show at Kuumbwa (Santa Cruz). I could never get "my" tone out of the Gibson Pat Martino (loved the neck and the appointments, though) and sold it a few years later. At the end of the day, Pat and I have different fingers. Who knew!
    Thanks for the info!

  25. #74

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    At least, we are not like drummers: those hoops of air take up a lot of space. I know a drummer with ten full-sized kits and he practically lives on his sofa; even with them stacked he has no space for anything else.
    and that's why I spent so much money on ezdrummer this black Friday. My two drum sets are sitting in storage now. Sad concession, really, but it sounds really good.

    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    My 19 year son is a fast 800 meter runner with 1:58 speed with track spikes. He said in training flats he runs 2 flat. In either situation he is faster than 99.9% of ordinary folks...……….it all in the feet right?
    you bet.

    speed is in the toes

  26. #75

    User Info Menu

    Tone is in the gear. The fingers pull the tone out. Different fingers pull different shades.

  27. #76

    User Info Menu

    The Les Paul is a great guitar for that dark jazz sound. The sound is thick and full and it cuts through. i think the hi-lite of that clip is Pats spirited playing. Sort of like he played on New Chattagua.
    I had an Ibanez imitation Les Paul one time that had a DiMarzio dual sound in the neck position with a split coil. It was a very versatile guitar. It nailed the Jay Graydon Strat sound as well as Santana, Guns and Roses and even the George Benson sound. It was stolen out of a rehearsal studio.
    Jazz can be played on anything. Heck, I’ve even seen it played on a Telecaster, if you can believe such a thing!
    L,J

  28. #77

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    The Les Paul is a great guitar for that dark jazz sound. The sound is thick and full and it cuts through. i think the hi-lite of that clip is Pats spirited playing. Sort of like he played on New Chattagua.
    I had an Ibanez imitation Les Paul one time that had a DiMarzio dual sound in the neck position with a split coil. It was a very versatile guitar. It nailed the Jay Graydon Strat sound as well as Santana, Guns and Roses and even the George Benson sound. It was stolen out of a rehearsal studio.
    Jazz can be played on anything. Heck, I’ve even seen it played on a Telecaster, if you can believe such a thing!
    L,J
    Hmm, I should try that!
    Love,
    Ed Bickert and Ted Greene

  29. #78

    User Info Menu

    Hang on is this another thread that is turning into ‘get a tele?’

  30. #79

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    In Jack Zucker's group of august professionals, Pasquale Grasso plays a Trenier, Paul Bollenback plays a Borys, Peter Mazza plays a Gibson Super V, Vic Juris plays a Borys, Peter Bernstein plays a Zeidler, Gilad Hekselman plays a Victor Baker, Mike Moreno plays a Marchione, Mark Whitfield plays a Marchione so, yeah, tone may well be in the fingers but these fellows are not immune to the charms of nice boutique guitars, too, just like the rest of us.
    If you listen to Pasquale's earlier records or videos of him online playing a D'angelico or some Gibson's it still sounds like him 100%

    I think those boutique guitars in a way just help them achieve their sound more easily, most of the time they are made to their specs, and I think it helps them not worry about getting their sound as much as with some of the more mass produced guitars.

  31. #80

    User Info Menu

    Interesting to note, Ulf owns some really lovely expensive instruments too...but he always returns to that LP copy...great player.
    I know a pro player who has real 175 but plays almost exclusively a Burny clone with Gibson 57 classic pu for I think 15 years or so... I always envy when people find their guitar.

  32. #81

    User Info Menu

    I am always at a loss when someone says the tone is good or bad.. I was never really into a tone as it is...
    attack, phrasing, articulation... yes.
    But the tone... it's very personal. Except of course very obvious cases.


    I never thought: I want to have tone like this... I don't know why.

    I also noticed that many jazz fans like the tone that is too dull and muffled for me...

    For example here Ulf's tone is lacking highs for me.. but for many it seems like great.

    As per fingers... of course the rone depends on the player as much as it depends on attac, articulation, phrasing.. yes, tone depends even on phrasing. We often underestimate the complexity of human perception...

  33. #82

    User Info Menu

    Let’s take an instrument, other than guitar that is harder to be subjective about when it comes to tone: the flute.

    I live in Dallas, which has lots and lots of great jazz musicians, partly due to its proximity to Denton, where UNT is located. Many graduates from its jazz program end up staying in Dallas since, while they’re still at school, and they can really play, start gigging a lot in Dallas since it’s roughly 30 miles from Denton. Many of these great players are saxophonists who double on the flute. I’ve played with most of them and there is only one guy who has what a serious flute teacher would call a great tone. From talking to many classical flute players I learned that getting a great tone on the instrument is very difficult to achieve and very few actually get it. Yes, a great tenor player can whip out a flute and fly around with as much dexterity as he does on his horn. But they will be the first to tell you that their tone really sucks! Flute players spend hundreds and hundreds of hours developing their embouchre to produce even an acceptable tone, which is the number one criteria for a flautist. He or she may have wonderful technique and able to play very fast, complex passages, but if that tone is not there, they don’t get the gigs. That may sound harsh, but in truth it is not a subjective passing of judgement on them, and the saxophonists who double on the flute are aware of that, knowing what a “proper” flute tone is. Only when the flute is their only, or primary, instrument are they able to put the hours into developing a tone that will please a serious flute teacher, conductor, studio producer, etc.

    My point? It’s really the same, or should be, for all other instruments, including guitar. So, it’s not really a matter of a subjective preference for bright, dark, etc. but is it a GOOD tone? Is it obvious that tone doesn’t takes a back seat to all other aspects that make a great player? Many musicians, like myself, find it hard to listen to even really great players if the tone is not good. Tone is actually the first thing that the ear perceives, or at least should be.

  34. #83

    User Info Menu

    I am the same way. I can't get past a tone (for any instrument) that I don't enjoy. The voice of the instrument is what has the potential to speak in a beautiful, ugly or nondescript way. The notes are not enough. I don't think this is an uncommon reaction, either among musicians or even non-musicians.

    Once the tone is established, you still have to say something meaningful with that voice. But it starts with the voice itself. Think of a singer that you enjoy, and one you dislike - and have them sing the same melody. The melody may be classic and great, but you will not want to listen to one of the singers perform it.

  35. #84

    User Info Menu

    Tone is so subjective - but I agree, It's in the fingers

  36. #85

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by El Fundo
    Let’s take an instrument, other than guitar that is harder to be subjective about when it comes to tone: the flute.

    I live in Dallas, which has lots and lots of great jazz musicians, partly due to its proximity to Denton, where UNT is located. Many graduates from its jazz program end up staying in Dallas since, while they’re still at school, and they can really play, start gigging a lot in Dallas since it’s roughly 30 miles from Denton. Many of these great players are saxophonists who double on the flute. I’ve played with most of them and there is only one guy who has what a serious flute teacher would call a great tone. From talking to many classical flute players I learned that getting a great tone on the instrument is very difficult to achieve and very few actually get it. Yes, a great tenor player can whip out a flute and fly around with as much dexterity as he does on his horn. But they will be the first to tell you that their tone really sucks! Flute players spend hundreds and hundreds of hours developing their embouchre to produce even an acceptable tone, which is the number one criteria for a flautist. He or she may have wonderful technique and able to play very fast, complex passages, but if that tone is not there, they don’t get the gigs. That may sound harsh, but in truth it is not a subjective passing of judgement on them, and the saxophonists who double on the flute are aware of that, knowing what a “proper” flute tone is. Only when the flute is their only, or primary, instrument are they able to put the hours into developing a tone that will please a serious flute teacher, conductor, studio producer, etc.

    My point? It’s really the same, or should be, for all other instruments, including guitar. So, it’s not really a matter of a subjective preference for bright, dark, etc. but is it a GOOD tone? Is it obvious that tone doesn’t takes a back seat to all other aspects that make a great player? Many musicians, like myself, find it hard to listen to even really great players if the tone is not good. Tone is actually the first thing that the ear perceives, or at least should be.
    Different genre's have different standards of what constitutes "good" tone, and also have different expectations with respect to individuality/idiosyncrasy. Charlie Christian, Grant Green, Django Reinhardt, and and John Scofield sound radically different from each other, but all play jazz. Within jazz how you express your musical persona (including through tone) is at least as important as technique. One of the implications of this is that there aren't objective standards of tone, only debates and expressions of preference about tone. This is true across all instruments, and voices. Saxophonists have the same arguments we do about Trane/Sanborn/Bird/Getz/Brecker, you name it. People argue about whether Armstrong had a good voice. Yada yada.

    John

  37. #86

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Different genre's have different standards of what constitutes "good" tone, and also have different expectations with respect to individuality/idiosyncrasy. Charlie Christian, Grant Green, Django Reinhardt, and and John Scofield sound radically different from each other, but all play jazz. Within jazz how you express your musical persona (including through tone) is at least as important as technique. One of the implications of this is that there aren't objective standards of tone, only debates and expressions of preference about tone. This is true across all instruments, and voices. Saxophonists have the same arguments we do about Trane/Sanborn/Bird/Getz/Brecker, you name it. People argue about whether Armstrong had a good voice. Yada yada.

    John
    I agree with everything you’ve said. But let’s talk about Louis Armstrong. Armstrong’s contribution, not only to jazz, but to American popular music in general, is undisputed and beyond the need for any debate. Yet, had he only been a singer it’s doubtful we would even know who he is. He was an entertainer and a personality, for sure. And his singing is very endearing, but his trumpet playing had much more influence on jazz than his singing. In fact, as a trumpeter, it could be argued that there would not be jazz as we know it. Ask any trumpeter who knows his jazz history what he thinks about Louis Armstrong and they’ll probably say the same thing. As a trumpeter he had all the ingredients and set the bar very high for technique, improvisation, phrasing, swing feel, and, last but not least—tone. When he sang, he was basically doing the same thing he did when his trumpet was in his mouth. The only difference was the sound ( and the words). On its own, his voice probably wouldn’t have gotten him very far, especially if he hadn’t been such a great jazz trumpeter. There’s something kitschy about his voice—more in the realm of novelty. But as a trumpet player he took no prisoners. His voice has become such a huge part of American culture, but his tone is not really what could be called “good”. As an entertainer he has been loved by millions; as a jazz trumpet player he stands as the single most influential jazz musician of all time. People may argue over whether he was a great singer or not, but only
    the uniformed may not recognize his genius as a jazz musician first and foremost. And his tone on the trumpet is what set the standard for all improvising musicians to find a voice to express their personalities.
    Last edited by El Fundo; 12-18-2018 at 03:45 PM.

  38. #87

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by El Fundo
    Let’s take an instrument, other than guitar that is harder to be subjective about when it comes to tone: the flute.

    I live in Dallas, which has lots and lots of great jazz musicians, partly due to its proximity to Denton, where UNT is located. Many graduates from its jazz program end up staying in Dallas since, while they’re still at school, and they can really play, start gigging a lot in Dallas since it’s roughly 30 miles from Denton. Many of these great players are saxophonists who double on the flute. I’ve played with most of them and there is only one guy who has what a serious flute teacher would call a great tone. From talking to many classical flute players I learned that getting a great tone on the instrument is very difficult to achieve and very few actually get it. Yes, a great tenor player can whip out a flute and fly around with as much dexterity as he does on his horn. But they will be the first to tell you that their tone really sucks! Flute players spend hundreds and hundreds of hours developing their embouchre to produce even an acceptable tone, which is the number one criteria for a flautist. He or she may have wonderful technique and able to play very fast, complex passages, but if that tone is not there, they don’t get the gigs. That may sound harsh, but in truth it is not a subjective passing of judgement on them, and the saxophonists who double on the flute are aware of that, knowing what a “proper” flute tone is. Only when the flute is their only, or primary, instrument are they able to put the hours into developing a tone that will please a serious flute teacher, conductor, studio producer, etc.

    My point? It’s really the same, or should be, for all other instruments, including guitar. So, it’s not really a matter of a subjective preference for bright, dark, etc. but is it a GOOD tone? Is it obvious that tone doesn’t takes a back seat to all other aspects that make a great player? Many musicians, like myself, find it hard to listen to even really great players if the tone is not good. Tone is actually the first thing that the ear perceives, or at least should be.
    I play fute... with no ambitions, just enjoy it. And I play baroque traverso flute which is much more challenging for tone than modern flutes.
    I mean I know what you are talking about and I agree..
    Partly it is also about just 'the sound'... on piano you just push the key and here you go. On guitar it is more complex, on violine even more, and on flute it can be a few years challenge...
    But there are other levels behind it... the sound becomes more and more detalaized fo you (especially if you play acoustics, and often it matters mote in a classical music).

    So at the ens of it you come to teh point that on any instrument the sound can be cultivated endlessly (and truely -- it should be!)

    The personal tone is there even on piano...

    I saw a video when a pianist played an old piano and it was out of tune and then Horowitz sits in and it sounds in tune... it is a control over instrument.

    But the tone is still the result of complex processes: attack, articulation, touche, accents, dynamics etc. and of course instrument too, But I believe the more one has it the more he allows it come from teh instrument.

    With electric guitar there is another problem: there are so many devices involved (thank to Leo Fender and followin marketing) that it may turn it in never-ending process... people change strings, necks, bodies, pedals, picku, pus, amps etc.

    With acoustic instrument you face mostly an instrument and yourself...

    I once saw a player asking a lutist Hopkinson Smith: what strigs do you use? (on his lute were set different types of strings from differnt producers, materieals and sets)... and He siad: it does not matter, it is all in the fingers.. you have to train your fingers to be so sensitive that once you touch the string you would feel as you touch directly with your soul.

    Of course strings matter...he would not have made this crazy setup on lute - but this setup was a result of his own personal years of training this touch.. he just did not want that student woudl focus on specific string sets rather then on his technique and approach

  39. #88

    User Info Menu

    Well said, Jonah.

  40. #89

    User Info Menu

    I have one example I always ponder when I think about tone, note quality, etc... Johnny Cash. By no standard was he a fine vocalist. Scratchy voice, wavering pitch, often flat, only a basic guitarist, even the songs could be analyzed as weak... but put them all together in the body and soul of that one man and you have something legendary. Eventually, the worse Cash sang, the more he was loved. I know of no empirical musical standard he came even remotely close to meeting, but something about the calculus of it all made him one of the most listenable vocalists in the history of popular music.

    I don't think that all translates over to instrumental music directly, but I do think that a whole set of things interact and combine in the person of the musician to make their performance, even in the studio, memorable.

  41. #90

    User Info Menu

    Honestly, I've never met a guitar that was set up and played in tune that I couldn't pull a pleasing tone out of. Sometimes you have to work wit what an instrument gives you too...it can actually inspire new ideas...

  42. #91

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by El Fundo
    I agree with everything you’ve said. But let’s talk about Louis Armstrong. Armstrong’s contribution, not only to jazz, but to American popular music in general, is undisputed and beyond the need for any debate. Yet, had he only been a singer it’s doubtful we would even know who he is. He was an entertainer and a personality, for sure. And his singing is very endearing, but his trumpet playing had much more influence on jazz than his singing. In fact, as a trumpeter, it could be argued that there would not be jazz as we know it. Ask any trumpeter who knows his jazz history what he thinks about Louis Armstrong and they’ll probably say the same thing. As a trumpeter he had all the ingredients and set the bar very high for technique, improvisation, phrasing, swing feel, and, last but not least—tone. When he sang, he was basically doing the same thing he did when his trumpet was in his mouth. The only difference was the sound ( and the words). On its own, his voice probably wouldn’t have gotten him very far, especially if he hadn’t been such a great jazz trumpeter. There’s something kitschy about his voice—more in the realm of novelty. But as a trumpet player he took no prisoners. His voice has become such a huge part of American culture, but his tone is not really what could be called “good”. As an entertainer he has been loved by millions; as a jazz trumpet player he stands as the single most influential jazz musician of all time. People may argue over whether he was a great singer or not, but only
    the uniformed may not recognize his genius as a jazz musician first and foremost. And his tone on the trumpet is what set the standard for all improvising musicians to find a voice to express their personalities.
    Who knows? I get what you're saying about him as a supreme technician on the trumpet and something different from that as a singer. But the fact is, he played the trumpet and he sang throughout his life, and he integrated the two into a single musical personality. You really can't separate the vocalist from the trumpeter, and I think the hypothetical of "what if he only sang or only played?" is a false trail. He was a very expressive and innovative singer (considered by many to have invented scat singing). His "tone" touched people deeply and entertained them. To me, that's good tone. I'd say the same thing about many other great singers who didn't necessarily have technically "great" refined/pretty voices -- e.g., Howlin' Wolf, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone. Later in life Armstrong came to be seen by some as sentimental and/or Kitschy, but that's not how he was viewed in the 20s and 30s.

    John

  43. #92

    User Info Menu

    You’re right, Lawson. And I love me some Johnny Cash! In the realm of popular music it seems that personality and, in the case of Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, etc., storytelling is their #1 attribute. It may seem that “tone” is secondary to personality, style, and storytelling. But, try to imagine Pavarotti singing “Ring of Fire”. Or how about Bob Dylan singing a Puccini aria? But all af these singers share one common thing: the ability to command an audience with their unique delivery of a song. And the sound, or tone, they project has just as much to do with the effectiveness of that delivery as their phrasing, maybe even more. Think of how many of today’s pop singers all sound pretty much the same. “Wow! If I sound just like Justin Bieber (who, btw, sounds like hundreds of other singers today) maybe I too can get famous on YouTube or The Voice!” What makes Cash and Dylan unique and very original sounding is their respective unique and original sounding voices, or, their tone. Tone is the first gate to enter toward having your own original voice.

    When I hear Coltrane, the first thing I hear is that TONE. That beautiful, haunting, almost disturbing quest toward self-discovery he had embarked on. That’s the Trane that should be chased. Most people seem to miss that Trane and chase the more intellectual side of Coltrane. Fast and complex with a goal of impressing other jazz musicians being the priority. It if they would listen a little closer, then Trane will actually teach them to find their own voice and embark on their own quest toward self-expression and self-discovery.
    Last edited by El Fundo; 12-18-2018 at 05:50 PM.

  44. #93

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Who knows? I get what you're saying about him as a supreme technician on the trumpet and something different from that as a singer. But the fact is, he played the trumpet and he sang throughout his life, and he integrated the two into a single musical personality. You really can't separate the vocalist from the trumpeter, and I think the hypothetical of "what if he only sang or only played?" is a false trail. He was a very expressive and innovative singer (considered by many to have invented scat singing). His "tone" touched people deeply and entertained them. To me, that's good tone. I'd say the same thing about many other great singers who didn't necessarily have technically "great" refined/pretty voices -- e.g., Howlin' Wolf, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone. Later in life Armstrong came to be seen by some as sentimental and/or Kitschy, but that's not how he was viewed in the 20s and 30s.

    John
    I know. You’re basically saying what I said, but you actually said it better.

  45. #94

    User Info Menu

    But then again, if someone held me at gunpoint and forced me to listen to the same ballad 10 times in a row, my only choices of recordings being either by Pops, or another instrumentalist/singer, Nat King Cole, I would choose the latter.

  46. #95

    User Info Menu

    Great idea starting that forum Jack!

    I've been a fan of Ulf's playing since I saw him perform with the late great Oscar Peterson.


  47. #96

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    RP, let's face it. This section of this forum is like a bar for alcoholics. Do any of us need more than 2 or 3 guitars? GAS is an addiction.
    It is VERY addicting. I became addicted HERE! That said, I'm down to 3 guitars. An ES175, a custom oval hole, and a nylon string. That's pretty good, for just 4 years ago I owned 30.

  48. #97

    User Info Menu

    When it comes to wind (at least jazz) instruments, the one which seems to be hardest to get a good tone from is the clarinet. With great tone (Goodman comes to mind) it's sublime, but the tinny, shrieking tone seems to be all too common. I cannot love a clarinet played with poor tone.

    And I also didn't miss the irony of jzucker making a post which says that tone is in the hands.

  49. #98

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Honestly, I've never met a guitar that was set up and played in tune that I couldn't pull a pleasing tone out of. Sometimes you have to work wit what an instrument gives you too...it can actually inspire new ideas...
    Seriously... all those "side by side" and "shootout" videos I've done have convinced me that one reaches a certain point where the differences among many well set-up and properly equipped guitars are mainly felt by the player, not heard by the audience. That counts, of course; but I own, for example, in the L5 family, an L5ces, an Epiphone Elitist Broadway, an Aria Pro II PE180, and an MiK Broadway with a Seth Lover pickup in it. That's really the gamut from $500 or so at the bottom to 10 times that at the top. When I play them, I can sort them out easily. The L5ces is like riding in a Mercedes, the MiK Broadway is a Honda Civic. But none are junk, all are wonderful instruments, all sound great. And evidently I have started unconciously developing "my" tone which, regardless of the instrument, seems to end up coming out of the amp.

    I'm still trying to decide if that's encouraging or not.

  50. #99

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I have one example I always ponder when I think about tone, note quality, etc... Johnny Cash. By no standard was he a fine vocalist. Scratchy voice, wavering pitch, often flat, only a basic guitarist, even the songs could be analyzed as weak... but put them all together in the body and soul of that one man and you have something legendary. Eventually, the worse Cash sang, the more he was loved. I know of no empirical musical standard he came even remotely close to meeting, but something about the calculus of it all made him one of the most listenable vocalists in the history of popular music.

    I don't think that all translates over to instrumental music directly, but I do think that a whole set of things interact and combine in the person of the musician to make their performance, even in the studio, memorable.
    Have you listened to Cash's early stuff (e.g., Sun sessions)? That's some great singing -- huge range, in tune, vibrato, dynamics, an ability to swing between scratchiness and clarity, between young and old. His first recording of "I walk the Line" at, what, 22? Man. But lifestyle took a toll on his voice relatively young.


    John

  51. #100

    User Info Menu

    I crack myself up. I bought a Strat last year and immediately started dialing it in to get as close as possible to the “ideal” tone in my head. Same with the guitars I’ve purchased recently; a Road Worn Tele (with Lollar ‘52s!), and my Godin Montreal Premiere I got just last week. The reason for having these different types of guitars is for versatility, for being ready for any type of gig or studio session. Some of the guitars may get a better rock, funk, blues, country sound than the others, but, at the end of the day, I really don’t care about those sounds, as practical as it is to be able to produce them when needed. But as soon as I get the new guitar home, there I go trying to make it sound like what I REALLY want: a beautiful, clean, warm, “perfect” jazz tone. My ES-275 get’s the closest. The less the other ones sound like THAT, the less they get played around the house. But they’re there when I need them. Life is just too short to master jazz, but I keep after it. And I really couldn’t care less about other styles, which I already do well enough to have made a living playing guitar for 42 years.
    Last edited by El Fundo; 12-18-2018 at 06:46 PM.