Hearing your guitars/rig played by someone else.

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Rowby1Rowby1 Frets: 371
Earlier this week @Lodious came over and had a play on my set up. I’ve noticed before, when ever anyone else plays my guitars and rig it always sounds noticeably different to when I’m playing. Now some of this is down to different technique and skill level (and Lodious is pretty handy to be honest) but I heard detail in the sound that goes right by me when I’m playing. 

Anyone else experienced this?


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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 6006
    edited March 11
    ...is cos your senses are detached from the sound.

    When you play you feel stuff and consequently all your attention is divied-up elsewhere.

    A bit like when you're cooking, you don't smell/taste the same as if you walked in and it on the plate.
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 9391
    That's why I often fine tune EQ settings using a looper. 
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  • Rowby1Rowby1 Frets: 371
    p90fool said:
    That's why I often fine tune EQ settings using a looper. 
    Now there’s a clever idea! Never thought of that. Have a Wis.
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  • vincechu89vincechu89 Frets: 25
    57Deluxe said:
    ...is cos your senses are detached from the sound.

    When you play you feel stuff and consequently all your attention is divied-up elsewhere.

    A bit like when you cooking you don't smell/taste the same as if you walked in and it on the plate.
    Nailed it.

    Sometimes it's depressing as it shows up my lack of skill ;-)

    I think having someone else play your gear is nice though, it makes me think and reflect on my playing and gives me new ideas
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  • ecc83ecc83 Frets: 846

    This is so common in the Home Recording scene. 1000s of posts a year in just the two forums I infest are to do with "why can't I capture THE sound I hear when I am playing?"

    Guitarists call it "feel" . As a non-guitarists I call it a "real time feedback loop"!

    Dave.

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  • MajorscaleMajorscale Frets: 664
    @57Deluxe is right about being "detached from the sound". I love hearing my gear played by other people, even those with less playing experience, because I get a great feel for the base tones of my rig in a listeners context... something I don't experience in the same way when distracted by playing and/or positioned with my back to the amp. 

    Before I realised this I made a few errors - several times people have come to my house to buy & collect guitars and as they are trying them out I'm left wondering why I'm letting such a beautiful sounding instrument go (@eqlsql ;))
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  • jeztone2jeztone2 Frets: 1024
    I love it. Tone is really in the fingers. 
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  • PlectrumPlectrum Frets: 490
    I've had a pro guitarist play through my rig. Unsurprisingly he sounded a lot better than I do  ;)
    One day I'm going to make a guitar out of butter to experience just how well it actually plays.
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2123
    jeztone2 said:
    I love it. Tone is really in the fingers. 
    Please, not that old hackneyed and 101% plain wrong expression. Sorry but its a real bug bear of mine.

    Tone is in the gear...period. Skill is in the fingers that gets the best out of that tone. If you don't believe me try playing a stock strat through a Fender Blackface and then try using your fingers to make it sound like a Les Paul through a cranked Marshall JCM800 with an SD1 or tube-screamer!  ;) 


    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 458
    All in the hands!
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 19290
    edited March 11
    Voxman said:
    jeztone2 said:
    I love it. Tone is really in the fingers. 
    Please, not that old hackneyed and 101% plain wrong expression. Sorry but its a real bug bear of mine.

    Tone is in the gear...period. Skill is in the fingers that gets the best out of that tone. If you don't believe me try playing a stock strat through a Fender Blackface and then try using your fingers to make it sound like a Les Paul through a cranked Marshall JCM800 with an SD1 or tube-screamer!   


    I kind of agree with both of you. A good player can usually make modest gear sound good - their ‘touch’, vibrato and phrasing ‘transcends’ the set up they’re using. Equally, I’ve seen plenty of people whose touch, vibrato and phrasing is so poor that they make the best gear sound poor. But I also agree - technique will not make an acoustic sounds like a Les Paul through a Marshall....
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  • mixolydmixolyd Frets: 350
    Tone is in everything: fingers, strings, pick, humidity, cable, amp, cab, room, carpet etc etc.
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2123
    mixolyd said:
    Tone is in everything: fingers, strings, pick, humidity, cable, amp, cab, room, carpet etc etc.
    Agree...except the fingers bit.  ;)
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2123
    edited March 11
    All in the hands!
    Skill yes, technique yes, tone no. 
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • Marktigere1Marktigere1 Frets: 58
    edited March 12
    Voxman said:
    All in the hands!
    Skill yes, technique yes, tone no. 
    As someone who plays with fingers for the last 30 years and no pick, couldn't disagree more ;)
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  • DrJazzTapDrJazzTap Frets: 922
    I used to play an SG through a marshall tsl clean channel in a funk band setting. I'll admit it didn't sound great, I'd try warming it up with a compressor pedal. Eventually I ended up with a 335 style guitar through a fender tweed amp. The first thing my old sax guy said was "it actually sounds like an instrument now".

    I think a lot of it is psychosomatic, trying to justify spending more money on ourselves. 
    I would love to change my username, but I fully understand the T&C's (it was an old band nickname). So please feel free to call me Dave.
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  • riffpowersriffpowers Frets: 120
    edited March 13
    I've noticed this a few times now, !!

    I recently guested on my friends album using his gear. I still sounded like me, and nothing like him!!

    A few years ago now I was doing some recording in pro tools with another band. I'd played the song, but there was one lick that the bass player wanted to show me, he took the guitar off me and continued recording. 
    Sma eguitar, same everything, he sounded differnet and even the waveform on the screen looked different on his part.
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 14748
    Voxman said:

    Tone is in the gear...period. Skill is in the fingers that gets the best out of that tone. If you don't believe me try playing a stock strat through a Fender Blackface and then try using your fingers to make it sound like a Les Paul through a cranked Marshall JCM800 with an SD1 or tube-screamer!  ;) 


    But using more or less pressure holding the strings down affects the sound.

    So does letting the plectrum (assuming you use one) flap about more.

    Just by playing harder or softer you can change the sound.
    Parachutes are great, for dogs and Frenchmen. 
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2185
    mixolyd said:
    Tone is in everything: fingers, strings, pick, humidity, cable, amp, cab, room, carpet etc etc.
    Tone comes from the soul everyone knows that! or is it funk comes from the soul...
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  • peteripeteri Frets: 931

    I love hearing my stuff played by someone else

    Recently this stopped me selling a wonderful, rare guitar - just because I was being an idiot and approaching it like I looked at my other guitars.

    Hearing someone else play it, made me realise just what it could sound like without my prejudices - and I appreciate the guitar much more

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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 11482
    I particularly notice that my Taylor acoustic sounds better when oldest son plays it. Jokes about how naff I am aside, I think that it's just the projection and sound quality when you are in front of it rather than behind.
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  • TrudeTrude Frets: 329
    Tone vs Sound:

    "Sound" is the basic noise that a physical system makes when it's vibrated by an arbitrary signal. Your gear has a basic sound, as does your voice or anything else. Here is the difference between Marshall/Fender/Gibson/Strat etc

    "Tone" is the character applied to that sound by the player via technique, emotion, touch etc. This bit most emphatically IS in the fingers.

    I don't know when or why people started describing gear as having "tone" of itself, but it annoys the hell out of me.



    Trading feedback here
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 14748
    Those are your personal definitions; if you'll excuse the pun they are not definitive.

    Wikipedia, for example, has both under "tone".

    Hence all the disagreements.
    Parachutes are great, for dogs and Frenchmen. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34002
    ecc83 said:

    As a non-guitarists I call it a "real time feedback loop"!

    And this is exactly why it's both.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • TrudeTrude Frets: 329
    Sporky said:
    Those are your personal definitions; if you'll excuse the pun they are not definitive.

    Wikipedia, for example, has both under "tone".

    Hence all the disagreements.
    Yep - fair enough.  And of course amps and guitars have tone controls, a sine wave is a pure tone, and you could describe an EQ curve has having a certain tonal balance, so there's a lot of semantic overspill.

    But for me, "tone" in this context is all about the human element.  Tone of voice, tone of a conversation etc.  

    When someone uses the expression "tone is in the fingers", some people react as if they have said "the ability to replicate any amp and guitar sound is in the fingers", which would clearly be bollocks.  But, I don't think that's what they are really saying.  I think they are saying "the ability to get a good, musical sound is in the fingers", which I'd agree with.
    Trading feedback here
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 14748
    It would be nice if we could all agree to use two different words for the two different concepts.

    But it'd make guitar forums very quiet. Must be 10% of the on-topic traffic is basically arguments about which definition someone is using...
    Parachutes are great, for dogs and Frenchmen. 
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  • TeetonetalTeetonetal Frets: 6049
    axisus said:
    I particularly notice that my Taylor acoustic sounds better when oldest son plays it. Jokes about how naff I am aside, I think that it's just the projection and sound quality when you are in front of it rather than behind.
    Totally. 
    Where you hear gear from has a big impact. It's why wireless is so awesome!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34002
    Trude said:
    Sporky said:
    Those are your personal definitions; if you'll excuse the pun they are not definitive.

    Wikipedia, for example, has both under "tone".

    Hence all the disagreements.
    Yep - fair enough.  And of course amps and guitars have tone controls, a sine wave is a pure tone, and you could describe an EQ curve has having a certain tonal balance, so there's a lot of semantic overspill.

    But for me, "tone" in this context is all about the human element.  Tone of voice, tone of a conversation etc.  

    When someone uses the expression "tone is in the fingers", some people react as if they have said "the ability to replicate any amp and guitar sound is in the fingers", which would clearly be bollocks.  But, I don't think that's what they are really saying.  I think they are saying "the ability to get a good, musical sound is in the fingers", which I'd agree with.
    The confusion comes partly from the fact that the actual *sound* is affected by the player as well - as in the basic frequency content, or what many would call 'tone'. While (obviously) no-one can make a Strat into a Twin sound as *distorted* as a Les Paul into a Marshall, it's sometimes surprising how much difference to the frequency response a player's touch makes.

    The reason for this is exactly what I quoted Dave on above - the player's ears/brain/fingers are inside a real-time feedback loop and you subconsciously (or consciously if you want to) modify your technique to produce the sound you want as you play, in the same way as you turn the 'tone' controls on the amp to give you the sound you want when you set it up.

    The two things aren't separate, which is in my opinion why modelling equipment often sounds less 'natural' to the player in the room, when it might sound indistinguishable from the thing it's modelling to a listener or even when a sample of a guitar being played is put through it - because it doesn't always respond to subtle changes in playing in the same way.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 14748
    axisus said:
    I particularly notice that my Taylor acoustic sounds better when oldest son plays it. Jokes about how naff I am aside, I think that it's just the projection and sound quality when you are in front of it rather than behind.
    Totally. 
    Where you hear gear from has a big impact. It's why wireless is so awesome!
    They have wireless for acoustics now? :astonished: 
    Parachutes are great, for dogs and Frenchmen. 
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  • TrudeTrude Frets: 329
    Sporky said:
    axisus said:
    I particularly notice that my Taylor acoustic sounds better when oldest son plays it. Jokes about how naff I am aside, I think that it's just the projection and sound quality when you are in front of it rather than behind.
    Totally. 
    Where you hear gear from has a big impact. It's why wireless is so awesome!
    They have wireless for acoustics now? :astonished: 
    Detachable hands (or ears). That's what we need! Why has nobody invented this yet??
    Trading feedback here
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