finding the right tone


bbzswa777
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bbzswa777
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03/09/2014 5:57 am
First off, I haven't been playing guitar too long (5 months), but I've been obsessed since I've started and I play at least 2 hours every day. I'd like to think I'm advancing pretty fast in some areas, while I'm still a novice in others. Particularly how to achieve the perfect sound:

For example... I've been learning the chorus of Black Star by Yngwie, and I've finally got it down (yes, even the fast alternate picking). But I haven't yet mastered the crazy solos in the rest of the song, of course.

But anyway, f you know the song, you'll know there are a few very important bends in the chorus. I'm actually using a Fender Strat (just like he did), but I only have a small Fender Mustang amp. But here's my question: is it unreasonable to think I can match his tone with my small amp and guitar? I basically just put it on a high gain setting. Because even though I have the bends down, it doesn't sound quite as emotional as his. But I'm pretty clueless when it comes to recording and live performances. It sounds like he might even have another guitarist playing the same thing at the same time, maybe even in another octave? Or maybe I need an actual tube amp with some pedals?

Again, I'm fairly clueless on the matter, and would welcome any advice!

~Rusty
# 1
fuzzb0x
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fuzzb0x
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03/09/2014 10:20 am
it's possible the guitars on the recording are double tracked which can help create a richer tone. Valve or solid state amps are down to personal taste really, i have both and use them for different bands. The valve amp gets used for rock or blues and the solid state amp gets used when i play with my punk band.
It's also worth remembering that it's not only the type of amp used that creates your tone, it will also be affected by the speakers you are using and the pickups in your guitar, if you are using any effect pedals and if those pedals are true bypass or not.
My advice would be to try out as many amps as you can and at different volumes, when you find the one that has the right tone for you, you will know. Trust your ears and you will find the right amp for you :)
# 2
bbzswa777
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bbzswa777
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03/10/2014 6:40 am
Thanks for the advice. You're saying that not only the type of amp matters, but also speakers as well? Isn't the speaker part of the amp? (I guess this question shows how much I know lol) I definitely have a few things to Google now
# 3
maggior
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maggior
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03/10/2014 1:42 pm
People will often change out their speaker. Also, you can get an amp head and a separate cabinet (cab). Think Marshall stack in the head/cab scenario. Celestion is a popular speaker. Back in the day, my Peavey amp had a Scorpion speaker in it that was considered desireable.
# 4


Joined: 04/24/24
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03/10/2014 9:59 pm
iam gonna be blunt,dont take it the wrong way.trying to macth his sound,will be slime to none.imo you need to know what pickups he uses ,what kinda off marshall he uses.and allot has to do with his playing style.effects he has,how he sets his delay pedal ect.i wish you the best in finding his tone,but its gonna be rough and very time consuming,is it really worth it.you i think u said you been playing guitar for 5 months,i would put my focus elsewere.i mean be happy you can play some yngwie malmsteen.hes a hard player too follow.best to ya.
maybe theres a yngwie pedal,like the EVH HAS BROWN SOUND.and use google it helps allot.good luck my friend.
# 5
bbzswa777
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bbzswa777
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03/11/2014 4:36 am
axe2: that's definitely what I needed to hear. I keep telling myself not to worry too much about these kind of things right now, but to just keep working on my ability. One of the instructors (Chris) gave me a run down on all the different things it would take to get that tone (kind of like you did). And you're right: for now, it's really not worth it. And even if it doesn't sound exactly like his version, it still sounds badass!

But I'll definitely get into it when I have more time (and money haha).

Thanks for the advice.

~Rusty
# 6
Binners333
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Binners333
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04/09/2014 2:46 am
Hey Rusty,
you had a number of questions. Ultimately there is no definitive right or wrong answer when it comes to tone, you either like it or you don't, but I have been playing for about 25 years & used to trade guitars, amps, etc, so I can pass on some of what I have learn't (i won't call it advice) & you might want to consider it in this order.

Effects - if you are going to use effects a lot, all you need is a clean amp - let your effects do the work. if you want best bang for your buck look at a Zoom multi effects unit as they have pretty much everything in one package, you can fiddle with it, figure out what you like best & invest in higher end stomp boxes when you know what you want. They also model amp sounds, which will give you various famous amps sounds as well. BTW the "two Guitars" sound you are hearing can be replicated using an Ocatve effect (zoom has one of these in their multi too).

Guitar - I have assumed that your guitar feel, etc is ok, but with a strat you are playing with three single coils, just like Yngwie appears to be, but he is given guitars & technology that is simply not accessible to you on a budget (i.e. fully scalloped neck). One of your real issues here is the output of a single coil strat pickup. To play the type of music you are listening to & to get the output you need, have a look at a single coil (size) bridge humbucking pick up or Rail. this will boost your output instantly & significantly, improving sustain also. you may need to get someone to install it, but as it is single coil size you wont have to replace pickguards, etc & there are plenty of really good quality units out there that are not big brand names & marketing budgets, that do a great job.

Amp & speakers - bigger does not necessarily make better. If you are after tone & using a lot of effects just look at a speaker upgrade. Do a youtube search "celestion vs" and there are pages of comparisons. Warehouse Guitar Speakers have some really good products for the money & significantly out perform the chinese made celestions, but check out what Yngwie uses in a gear review & choose a speaker that is relevant for the sound you are after.

If you want an idea of what guitarists will do to get "their" sound, check out Vernon Reeds Rig review on youtube - mind blowing! his base 2x150Watt Mesa boogie amp heads played in stereo...I saw him play live with living colour & I have never heard a guitar sound like it before, amazing! But Remember, these pro's are awesome guitarists even if they just plugged their guitars straight into an amp, no effects. Regardless of all the tricks & tech, nothing beats hard work, time, dedication & progression, so keep at it.
I hope this helps a bit.
# 7
aschleman
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aschleman
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04/11/2014 6:52 pm
It's important to remember that professional guitarists, especially instrumental guitarists, will more than likely have thousands of dollars worth of gear that you simply won't have access to.

It's not unreasonable to get a tone somewhere close, no. But to get a tone as rich and noise-free as his is only going to be obtainable through racks of compressors, noise gates, sonic maximizers, and other signal prossessing that allows them to dial in pitch perfect tones...

Keep at it, you're only in the first steps of being on the same journey that every guitarist and hobbyist to ever search for tone has set out on. Welcome to the journymans club.

People will tell you that solid state v. tube is a matter of taste but when you get deeper into the tone search you will eventually find that tube saturation is the epitome of tone and digital circuits are largely the enemy to tone. Digital effects are nice to start with so you get an idea of how effects work together and you get an idea of what tone you actually want... but there is no modeling amp or effects modeler that will replace the originals. Remember that. If you can afford the real thing, go for it. You won't be sorry.
# 8
2gross4u
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2gross4u
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06/10/2014 3:22 pm
One thing that you mentioned in your question was that "emotion" just wasn't there. You're never going to achieve that from your guitar, your amp or from a pedal, that comes from you, your fingers and your heart (and mind). I think it's fantastic that you're only 5 months in and you're already tackling Yngwie. I d say don't rush things too much. You're learning more than how to play notes and chords, you're learning feeling, "emotion" and techniques.Sounds to me that you're progressing very well. Keep up the good work. Jimbo
# 9
bbzswa777
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bbzswa777
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06/14/2014 1:25 am
Sorry for the late response. Thanks for the feedback and encouragement! And yes, some people have been telling me that I'm progressing very fast, but I play at least 3 hours every day. But to be honest, I am progressing fast in some areas while other areas are lacking. But this is because I spend all my time on lead and speed building and playing difficult songs, so I really neglect rhythm and chords. If you saw me playing some open chords, you'd be like Wow you suck! So I am progressing fast at lead, but it's at the expense of my rhythm playing.

About the emotion, I realized it wasn't sounding emotional enough because I didn't even know there was a second guitar playing the same thing in octave thirds! lol. So now it sounds a bit more emotional, and because I've gotten much better at bending and vibrato.
# 10
maggior
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maggior
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06/14/2014 2:07 am
It's awesome that you are flying ahead with your lead playing, but you really should take a step back and sure up your rhythm playing. This is especially true if you want to be a bit of a rounded guitarist.

As you may know, I participated in a band at a local music store/school. The other guitar play focused on nothing but lead and fancied himself a blues player. Because of this, he had a very limited roll in the band because I had to take every single rhythm role. Rhythm doesn't have to be boring... you can do a lot with it, especially if you combine rhythm and lead.

Just something to think about...
# 11

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