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My guitarist's tone...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by n3t, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. n3t


    Jan 4, 2011
    So I am in an alternative/hard rock type power trio. I feel that my guitarist and fellow singer has a lack of respect for appealing tone. I understand everyone has a different taste in tone... but he has a digitech grunge pedal that I am sick of because to me it sounds just like any cheap, chunky and hissy distortion pedal. I've tried convincing him to use his tube distortion on his 100 watt Carvin and his Fulltone OCD, but blatantly prefers the full blown distortion mess of his grunge pedal. Our drummer agrees that it sounds trashy but my guitarist is stubborn. Any advice on how to lean him toward equipment that doesn't annoy his bandmates?
  2. Nothing to be done, volume is one thing but tone is personal.

    Put up a craigslist for a guitarist with earfriendly distortion, see if he gets the hint.

    Not PC but I'm not in a PC mood today.
  3. pmchenry


    May 6, 2012
    SE PA
    Grit your teeth and bear it. How would you respond if he tried changing your tone to something you didn't like?

    Next time listen to your guitar player's tone and decide if you like it before deciding to be in a band with him.

    Now that its too late for that: If he is the only one in the band that likes it, then you have every right to ask him as a group to try something new. If he refuses, get a new guitar player. But I wouldn't try manipulating him or "nudging him" in a certain direction. Just communicate.
  4. tell him to get the hothead instead. sounds miles better. the grunge is too haywire compered to the hothead.
  5. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Does it bother you enough to look for another guitarist? When any musician in a band has bad tone it makes the whole band sound bad, especially guitar when it's basically the instrument everybody is paying attention to.
  6. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Lots more bad guitar tone out there than good.

    Guitarists who really know how to tweak their entire setup (and have the playing technique) to pull really good tone out of their instruments are pretty rare.
  7. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Get him on hooked on some gear forum, and he'll be trying out a new pedal every week before you know it.
  8. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    This ... and

  9. Oneirogenic


    Nov 10, 2009
    He has a fulltone ocd and a tube amp and utilizes neither? Weird. If you wanna go the sleazy route sneakily find a way to "break" the pedal(be sure its fixable) before a gig or rehearsal then tell him how amazingly good his tone is with the other pedal or amp.
  10. xander8280


    Dec 29, 2011
    Get a fellow bands guitarist to tell him it sounds like crap
  11. Replace him w/a harpist- string, not mouth.
  12. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    I've always felt that a lot of guitar players use that "wasp in a jam jar" distortion as a security blanket. Sometimes that kind of "tone" can cover up a lot of bad playing.

    I was in a band with a guitar player who had the thinnest, worst tone imaginable and it's not because he couldn't play. The guy was a monster player who could do anything. But his sound was loud, fizzy and thin. No balls what so ever to the sound. Once he got really ticked off because he couldn't hear himself on a live recording we made at a club. Yeah, he was mic'd up but if the sound has no girth, if you're not pushing air it's not going to come across. This is what the soundman told him and he just didn't get it.

    Unless your guitar player will listen to facts and reason I'm afraid you're not going to win with the guy. Guitar players are very, very touchy when it comes to the idea of "thier tone" and once they think they've got it they're not going to change.
  13. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    If you've already tried to convince him, then that's that. You are in an alternative/hard rock band. I guess that is the tone that he wants.
  14. Tone is a personal thing? When you are a solo artist, yes.

    Have you tried recording the band & then together analyzing the band's sound?
  15. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    One of the main problems I encountered is they define their tone as a solo instrument, in their bedroom, not as a band instrument. We as bass players usually know this distinction from day #2. Then, when in a band situation, have no intention of going for the best possible "band tone". The last guitarist I played with had a bassy, full-on overdriven tone. He had no idea why we couldn't get a even mix at one of our first gigs as a band. We literally staged an intervention at the next rehearsal. We started it with "We want to be the best....We want all of us to sound awesome....We need everyone's input...."

    The whole "We" thing is a tried and true trick to get folks to buy-in on whatever you are selling. I have used it with great affect over the years in band settings.
  16. Record it and listen to it as a band. Let him see how it doesn't work with the group's sound. You could ask him to reconsider using the OCD, and when he doesn't, smash the pedal with a hammer. It'd be, what $10.00 to replace it?
  17. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    Have an intervention. Start from a standpoint of needing his help to get a full and awesome sound as a band. If he won't change with that impetus, he won't change at all, so you'll have to fire him.
  18. I've found this to be true a whole lot of the time.

    This, too. Also, way too many guitarists (and nearly all 'musicians' who don't make their living off of music) don't listen to other players, how their parts fit in to the song as a whole, and how their tone meshes with the band. Far too many musicians fall prey to this, and aren't very self aware with their sound. On top of that, no one likes to hear that they're screwing up, and will put up big defensive walls the instant you criticize them.

    At the same time, a whole lot of the time, 'tone' gets destroyed in live situations. Unless you're playing a better club that's well set up for sound with a bunch of musicians who really have a good ear and understanding of how to meld their sounds with others, your sound as a band is screwed. The chances are that the guitar amps (and bass amps) are pointed at everyone's knees, the walls bounce sound around, everyone's turned up way too loud so the sound just bounces all over the place, and there's a million other issues that keeps bands from getting a good, professional sound.

    So, unless this guy is not just a good guitarist, but also a good "musician," getting him to sound better is probably hopeless.
  19. This one might work...but again if his head (tone) is too far up his own a*ss, he'll just dismiss it as a recording failure, not his.
  20. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    The thin toned guitarist at least has the decency to stay out of the way. The inverse, the overly thick toned guitarist steps all over your tone and pretty much controls the mix. Finding someone with the taste to fall between the extremes is the challenge.