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Horrible Tone vs. Sloppy Playing

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by chaosMK, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Horrible Tone

    23 vote(s)
  2. Sloppy Performance

    79 vote(s)
  1. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Which is worse to you? Playing a show and having horrible tone, or playing a show and doing a sloppy job?
  2. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    sloppy playing, my tone always sounds like me. And I like it that way.
  3. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    Horrible tone is subjective, sloppy playing isn't. Of course, sloppy playing is the worse infraction.
  4. Piedro


    Jan 23, 2001
    Montréal, Qc, Canada
    Endorsing Aguilar Amp product.
    I prefer to see a show with sloppy playing and a good performance, with energy...

    i don't talk about ****** playing.. but sloppy that's OK...
  5. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Horrible tone and sloppy playing are part of the same thing , I believe.
    Both are a signs for lack of care on the part of the performer.
    ( I think one can get at least decent tone from absolutelly any instrument and equipment-unless the gear is maqlfunctioning).
    As said before tone is at least partly a subjective thing, sloppy playing is not.
    Hence; if it is down to chosing one over the other I'd go with sloppy playing .
  6. Agreed. I certainly give up some technique when I am a rambunctious boob on stage. It's a conscious decision, and not due to my ineptitude.

    My tone however, my tone is my baby. lol.
  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Tone is subjective a lousy performance not so much.
  8. Cactusgrant


    Jul 27, 2006
    I'd rather slip up a few times with a nice tone than sound like **** and be note perfect, but hey thats just me. I'm not too anal if I mess up, it doesn't bother me
  9. Evo 911

    Evo 911

    May 18, 2007
    I guess I can live with bad tone, but sloppy playing really pisses me off. Just look at John Myung of DT! Almost never this guy dials a tone that cuts thru the mix well enough to show his true playing talent. Simply mind boggling player, but too generic tone. I can live with that, but not with a moron weilding a Wal.

    What r u doing onstage if ur not ready for performing? Do as much as u can do well. Dont stretch urself in public. U'll get embarassed most of the time.
  10. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Love em both.
  11. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I voted that sloppy playing is worse, because I interpreted that as really bad playing, not a few mistakes here and there. I agree that a little sloppiness is okay, especially if it arises from going for a more energetic stage presence. I made that conscious decision in my last band, because I thought we needed to present more of a show. I made a few more mistakes, but it was worth it. I don't think it crossed the line into "sloppy," but it wasn't real clean either.
  12. :eyebrow:

    This post is almost laughable. I've got 18 years playing experience and you are going to assess my *readiness* to perform live because I put on a show? I assure you I have NEVER been embarrassed on stage.

    Your spelling, on the other hand... :smug:
  13. I voted sloppy playing.

    I could have a crappy tone but be playing spot on (riffs, meter, positioning, groove, fretting, etc) and the show would still sound great. All things being equal (drums, vox, gtrs, etc).

    I could have Marcus Miller's tone and play sloppy (missing notes, buzzing, off time, missing changes, lose the groove, etc) and the show would sound like poop b\c I'm supposed to be holding things together and by playing sloppy, I'm not doing my job. Plus, if I had MM's tone, everyone would hear plain as day how cruddy I'm playing!

    BTW, if you're running a DI to FOH, there's a chance you'll get a cruddy tone anyway (see any of the threads regarding soundmen) ! So you're chops better be on regardless!;)

    Disclaimer - I do not have the best tone, nor do I have perfect chops! Far from it actually, but if I had either, I'd still choose to err on the tone side.
  14. HollowBassman


    Jun 24, 2007
    Hancock, MD
    I'd rather have the right sound and be a little sloppy than have a horrible undefined mud sound and play perfect.

    Les Claypool is somewhat sloppy, but has amazing tone. It seems to work for him.:bassist:

    I think how prominent your basslines are, and whether you're an original or cover band will probably help determine what you vote. If your bassline is the standout part of the song and it is unrecognizable, the song will bomb!
  15. Grygore


    Oct 25, 2002
    Grand Prairie, TX
    I voted Sloppy Performance.

    Nothing makes me kick myself harder after a gig than when I manage to mess up big time on a song. Although most people won't even notice (except maybe my drummer, but who cares what he thinks!), I sure do!

    Tone - nobody really cares about except me (and maybe other bassists in the audience).
  16. ducatiman


    Oct 3, 2006
    new yawk

    do i know you? just WHERE did you see me play? ;)
  17. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I'd rather have my tone right. No one really notices if I am messing up a little more than usual.
  18. Evo 911

    Evo 911

    May 18, 2007
    Eric: Dude i am not talking abt just a couple of wrong notes here & there. Im talking abt REAL sloppy! If u ever get a chance to come to Pakistan, i'll show u what I mean...

    Besides I didnt mean u have to stand still, and not remove ur gaze from the fretboard throughout the whole show. As long as u are playing well, I dont care whether ur doing backflips or whatever! I prefer to put up as much of a stge performance as my dexterity permits. If I think rolling on the floor will be a hurdle in proper execution's way, i wont do it. If I am confident abt my playing, i'll play tongue-style! But putting up a show, yet ruining the song for the whole band doesn't make sense to me. Sorry to disagree, but I have to. Peace.
  19. I was talking about flubbed notes, slightly sloppy execution. IMO that is acceptable if there is a reason for it.

    Blowing entire songs due to horrific technique/sloppiness is a different story. I think we're in agreement there! :)
  20. Just to change the parameters a bit

    "sloppy playing vs. horrible tone"

    My bass friend (much younger girl than me), played quite competently. But every other day, she was crying and frustrated about how horrible her bass was (entry level Squier Bronco, no surprise). So for me, I would have to vote, horrible tone, because I can't help but wonder, how many beginners are out there who are more than capable players, but have an unremarkable/less than marginal tone :meh:

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