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  1. #76

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    Thunk goes back years:


    "I played classical guitar as a teenager, but never did get to where I could play a non-thunk barre chord."



    Sing Out!.

    Volumes 25-26
    1976

    Disclaimer: there may be many others that haven't been discovered.



  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #77

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    Thunk characteristics:

    —Full tone with a solid bottom, pronounced mid and low treble
    —Fast attack with relatively rapid decay
    —Resonance (i.e., woody) somewhat muted by the low treble

    The 175 of course is built for thunk, but one can get it with a lot of guitars like the L5 or GB’s Johnny Smith or Ibanez. And of course, as always, a lot is in the fingers of the players—cf JP’s early Jazzmaster records, early George Benson.

    I think that the attack and decay characteristics and somewhat muted treble make playing bebop-like single lines ala Joe Pass in the Joy Spring clip above very natural.

    I play around with a lot of different sounds on my guitars between the guitar and the amp. When I get in the thunk zone with the 175, it is such a great sound and even feels special to play. I like to think it encourages me to play better, though I don’t know if that’s true. Sounds right, though.

  4. #78

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    I am sure Jack Zucker coined it to describe the sound of laminate guitars such as the ES 175. But the word DOES exist as a noun and a verb. From Merriam Webster:

    Definition of thunk (Entry 2 of 3)


    : a flat hollow sound


    thunk
    verb



    thunked; thunking; thunks

    Definition of thunk (Entry 3 of 3)


    intransitive verb
    : to produce a flat hollow sound : make a thunk



    Examples of thunk in a Sentence

    Noun The book landed on the floor with a thunk.


    It seems that everybody interprets the word slightly differently though. Personally, I do not associate it with carved top guitars at all, but I do hear it in recordings of ES guitars (notably Tal Farlow and early Joe Pass) Here's a sample of one of my own guitars that I would describe as thunk.



  5. #79

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    My favorite thunk (or atleast what i consider thunk..)


  6. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    I am sure Jack Zucker coined it to describe the sound of laminate guitars such as the ES 175. But the word DOES exist as a noun and a verb. From Merriam Webster:



    It seems that everybody interprets the word slightly differently though. Personally, I do not associate it with carved top guitars at all, but I do hear it in recordings of ES guitars (notably Tal Farlow and early Joe Pass) Here's a sample of one of my own guitars that I would describe as thunk.


    That's the sound I think of! Also, this really sounds like Doug Raney's tone to me. Could be mistaken, but it's not quite as "dull" as some thunk-ish playing, but still in the zone.

  7. #81

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    Can anyone share any recorded single ‘thunk’ notes please, with the aim of demonstrating the lack of sustain? Is it about muting or damping the string right after it’s been played, playing staccato, or less about technique and more about having dull strings or a body that somehow has very low resonance? Or maybe some combination of these things? Hopefully that’s a Straightforward question but I’ve yet to see or hear an explanation of the lack of sustain contained within a thunk. Thanks/thunks

  8. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by XISTH
    Can anyone share any recorded single ‘thunk’ notes please, with the aim of demonstrating the lack of sustain? Is it about muting or damping the string right after it’s been played, playing staccato, or less about technique and more about having dull strings or a body that somehow has very low resonance? Or maybe some combination of these things? Hopefully that’s a Straightforward question but I’ve yet to see or hear an explanation of the lack of sustain contained within a thunk. Thanks/thunks
    Good example of that is the clip i posted 3 posts above. It always sounded to me like something was muting the strings.. i can get close to that sound if i boost the mids heavily with my empress paraeq somewhere between 500 and 800hz..

  9. #83
    What do you call the sound of a Hammond B3 when the percussion setting is turned on? Also certain Marshall amps seem to have a percussive sound to them. Maybe these are borderline thunk?

  10. #84
    Whats the word for Hammond Organ percussion sound ? Is it boderline thunk?

  11. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Personally, I do not associate it with carved top guitars at all, but I do hear it in recordings of ES guitars (notably Tal Farlow and early Joe Pass.
    I agree, and think of it as the complete absence of the complex timbres associated with carved spruce top archtops.

  12. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    who?
    Are you suggesting that the name did not resonate with you?

  13. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve burchfield
    Whats the word for Hammond Organ percussion sound ? Is it boderline thunk?
    It’s called “percussion” actually...and I think it does demonstrate thunk.

    Here’s a good example...intro to Green Eyed Lady:


  14. #88

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    Lots of thunk in organ music; some examples:

    DO , RE , MI , FA , SO , LA , TI , THUNK photocells smooth switching and cut relay noise in electronic organ Switching transients emanating from ... To cut out the noise , a major maker of electronic organs eliminated its source – relays .

    Electromechanical Design - Volume 16 - Page 37, 1972



    In addition to a full tonal spectrum , it is possible to hear in the organ tones of Practica Musica the wind or “ chiff " at the start of each note , and , in the case of one of the organs used , there is even a faint “ thunk ” as the key is released.

    Academic Computing - Volumes 1-2 - Page 15, 1987

    The pistons, which allow the organist to change the combinations of pipes for different hymns or parts of hymns, were expanded from six, which made a distinctive thunk when used to twelve that make no thunk.

    The Great Crowd: A Love Story About a Large Urban Parish - Page 556 Michael J. Tan Creti · 2014


  15. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve burchfield
    What do you call the sound of a Hammond B3 when the percussion setting is turned on? Also certain Marshall amps seem to have a percussive sound to them. Maybe these are borderline thunk?
    In both cases, "glorious!" YMMV.

  16. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    this is the definitive thunk clip IMO...


    Absolutely. To me, it sounds like the harmonics of a good string bass played on a sped up recording (octave up?). It’s muffled, but woody, like a good friend making a sly comment with his hand over his mouth.

    Jack was definitely the first that I can recall.

  17. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by yebdox
    Absolutely. To me, it sounds like the harmonics of a good string bass played on a sped up recording (octave up?). It’s muffled, but woody, like a good friend making a sly comment with his hand over his mouth.

    Jack was definitely the first that I can recall.
    Listening to too much Joe Pass has turned me into an uncurable thunkaholic!

  18. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray175
    Listening to too much Joe Pass has turned me into an uncurable thunkaholic!
    IMO, there is no such thing as listening to too much Joe Pass. There is only not listening to enough Joe Pass.

  19. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    IMO, there is no such thing as listening to too much Joe Pass. There is only not listening to enough Joe Pass.
    Preach it brother! Do I hear a "Hallelujah!"?

  20. #94

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    I think the Joy Spring recording above illustrates one of the qualities that Joe used so effectively on his guitar--control of the sustain. It's not like there's no sustain with the 175, but Joe (like other great players) knows how to manipulate it. He crafts the sound on each and every note. He can cut it off and make it bop or let it ring out and glide into the next note, or just hang there like an exclamation point.

    It's all in the fingers, of course, but like a super sharp chisel a 175 is a great tool for a great craftsman.
    Last edited by Doctor Jeff; 05-12-2021 at 10:13 AM.

  21. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Preach it brother! Do I hear a "Hallelujah!"?
    Halleluejah!

  22. #96

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    Who coined the term thunk I wonder? I recall surf/offset guys using the term more than a decade ago.

  23. #97

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    As I noted above, thunk in relation to guitar was in use in 1976, if not earlier.

  24. #98

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    To some extent the question hasn’t been answered. I’m still curious when this began to be an aesthetic characteristic of jazz guitar sounds. Clearly Tal exhibited this sound throughout his career but I don’t know who would count as the earliest examples. Contrary to a previous post by a member, “thunk” has nothing to do with the tone of swing guitar. However you could say Barney Kessel was one of the early thunkers and he had come from swing playing. Was the emergence of thunk merely an artifact of the tools in production in the late 40s-50s (I.e. plywood and flat wounds)?

  25. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    To some extent the question hasn’t been answered. I’m still curious when this began to be an aesthetic characteristic of jazz guitar sounds. Clearly Tal exhibited this sound throughout his career but I don’t know who would count as the earliest examples. Contrary to a previous post by a member, “thunk” has nothing to do with the tone of swing guitar. However you could say Barney Kessel was one of the early thunkers and he had come from swing playing. Was the emergence of thunk merely an artifact of the tools in production in the late 40s-50s (I.e. plywood and flat wounds)?
    Well, yes.

    But let’s not forget the amps, or the recording technology for that matter.

  26. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    To some extent the question hasn’t been answered. I’m still curious when this began to be an aesthetic characteristic of jazz guitar sounds. Clearly Tal exhibited this sound throughout his career but I don’t know who would count as the earliest examples. Contrary to a previous post by a member, “thunk” has nothing to do with the tone of swing guitar. However you could say Barney Kessel was one of the early thunkers and he had come from swing playing. Was the emergence of thunk merely an artifact of the tools in production in the late 40s-50s (I.e. plywood and flat wounds)?
    Yes I have to think those players that came from swing through bebop were pivotal in "thunk".

    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Well, yes.

    But let’s not forget the amps, or the recording technology for that matter.
    Yep if you listen to CC and other electrified jazz guitar pioneers, its a brighter tone, kind of reminiscent of the banjo to me. It's likely the combination of the right guitars--right amps--right recording equipment--and players who were trying to fit into the bebop style. That's my opinion anyway.