Convincing guitarists that tone change is good.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BillyB_from_LZ, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I went to see a fellow TB member's band on Friday. It's a '70s/'80s cover band for the most part.

    Musically they're quite good, male and female vocals with two guitars, bass and drummer. The lead guitarist is also the male singer.

    Both guitarists play humbucker equipped guitars (one a Les Paul, one a Wolfy) through Marshall half stacks. Both guitarist's vary between clean tone (when needed) and distortion. In either case, both guys have their amps set for too much low and low mid grind with not enough brightness. As a consequence, the bass player's sonic space is taken, the vocals are crowded out by guitar and the room that they played in resonated away all night.

    The bassist is the only one in the band that wears ear plugs. Because of this, he's dismissed as not being able to "really hear what's going on" when he tries to make suggestions regarding tone settings. Plus it's kind of the "what do you know, you're only the bass player mentality".

    I'm sure that he's very positive and tactful in his suggestions but isn't getting anywhere.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle this very delicate matter?
  2. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I never really paid attention to tone until one night I really listened to "Kashmir" by Zepplin. It is an good musical sample of the instrument(s) all occupying the neccesary spaces, playing rather simple parts(to great effect), but none getting in the way either. Rather symphonic.

    Every band member has a role, and a part of the sonic range they should/can occupy for each song. It's not just about being heard, but is the sound one hears in their head really what it sounds like? And does the band like the overall sound?

    It's called getting the mix right. Whether it's at rehearsal or onstage. You'd think that a guitarist would be delighted to know they can climb up the treble clef a few more feet and it would help. I just wish some guitar players knew when to climb back down.

    My suggestion is ask the guitarist(s) what their favorite guitar songs are, and use those songs as examples of the tonal ranges the guitarists should concentrate on.