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The tone is all in your hands.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Munjibunga, Sep 19, 2008.


  1. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You know, the ones you use to turn the knobs on your bass and amp.
     
  2. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    This will be interesting. Tone is in your hands. Turning knobs, playing position, touch, etc. You can sound like you through many different bass/amp configurations. I spent a lot of money and time coming to that conclusion. It was fun at the time, and I gained a llt of practical knowkledge, but I sure wish I had the money back!
     
  3. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I used my hands to buy my bass and amp.
     
  4. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA


    Amen.

    I had a thread similar to this: It's always the guys with the most expensive gear who talk about how "the tone is in the hands." It's a cute little expression, but I think you summed it up nicely.
     
  5. That tiresome homily is overstated here at TB perhaps more than any other.

    Undoubtedly most of us could improve our command of fingerboard and picking/plucking techniques; but is there really anyone who thinks ALL your tone is in your hands or fingers?

    It seems obvious that, in addition to our use of our fingers and hands, tone is also influenced by a variety of additional factors including string construction, string age, fingerboard construction/materials, body construction/materials, pickups and other onboard electronics, a seemingly endless array of signal chain electronics (EQ, preamps, amplifiers, speaker cabinets, a myriad of effects, etc.) and room acoustics, among others.

    If tone were ALL in the hands or fingers, a Stradivarius violin would cost no more than plywood-and veneer student model.

    Bluesy Soul :cool:
     
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yeah, it's an old chestnut. I like knobs, and I like to turn them. I know I'll get more growl if I play closer to the bridge and more swell up by the neck, but a little kick from the knobs just fills it out a bit.
     
  7. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    It's true. My fingers naturally emit fuzz-like distortion and ring modulation.
     
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Who has seriously said it's ALL in your hands? The problem is, many hear/read that extra word whether or not it's actually said/written.

    :smug:
     
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego

    Brad, you have over 250,000 posts. You've seen it as many times as I have.

    PS. Did you know we share the same birthday? What an honor ...
     
  10. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I've worked on my right hand technique to the point where I can do sample & hold just by changing my plucking angle.
     
  11. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    I built a wah pedal into my fingers, if I tilt them, the bass wahs...............
     
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Actually I haven't, Munji... far more often I've seen people twist it into that.
    :D

    I can't count the number of times I've talked about the tonal variations that are available through varying your technique just to have someone pop in with "What do you mean the tone is all in your hands?:mad:". Even though I clearly didn't say it. Kind of like the "Wood isn't everything" folks who bring that gem up whenever tonal variations are referenced to wood types.
    :hyper:



    No, I didn't know we shared the same birthday. Considering I set a reminder on my Treo just so I don't forget mine before the day is over... :smug:

    Happy birthday way in advance.
    :D
     
  13. I play multiple basses at once for a natural chorus sound.
     
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I do the same thing. It works great if you slightly detune one of them.
     
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Oh, you just like to argue. Anyway, I'll give you a happy happy a couple months late.
     
  16. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA


    ... come on.


    Hands do make a huge difference, if you can't play the bass, it's not going to sound right. Attack and where your hands are sitting... various subtle nuances... sure, hands make a big difference in that regard. But... come on. AND, to make my point I was making earlier, from your profile:

    Current Setup:
    Amps:Trace Elliot AH-250
    :Markbass LM11
    Cabs: Eden 2x10 (old)
    :Bergantino 4x10 (new)
    Rane DC-24 (compressor/limiter/gate)
    Sadowski outboard pre./D.I stomp box
    Basses:1966 Fender Jazz,
    :1972 Fender Special Edition Jazz
    : 2 Fender Custom Shop Precisions
    (fretless & fretted p/j's)
    :1997 Sadowski Jazz
    :1985 JayDee
    :1989 Custom JayyDee
    :2001? 1 Rob Alan
    :1982 "12th Fret" P/J-style bass with EMG's,
    :1991 F-Bass (fretless 4-string)


    ...
     
  17. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Cincinnati
    Sorry to be so retarded but I need a little help understanding the difference you are drawing between "Sound" and "Tone". These terms are pretty close to the same thing in conversation*. Could you, by 'sound', be refering to some aspect of 'style'. Or are you making a little joke by inferring that without hands there would be no 'sound' for your amp to turn into 'tone'.

    *A few months ago I swapped out my Hartke speakers for Emanence speakers and it really changed the tone. The sound man said he really liked my sound. Of course we don't employ a 'Tone Man', so his comments might have been from his own POV.
     
  18. Maybe it should be...

    "The tone starts in your hands"

    After all, you can plug into any kind of gear with any kind of cable, but you won't get any kind of meaningful sound until you use your hands to move the strings.

    Just a thought...

    Charles
     
  19. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Unless you play with a pick!:D
     
  20. René_Julien

    René_Julien

    Jun 26, 2008
    Belgium
    Depends on how you hold the pick with your fingers. :smug:
     

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