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Pros & Cons of finding your sound

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  • Pros & Cons of finding your sound

    I work on developing my sound and trying to make it my signature. 

    On one hand this lets me follow my own path but on the other hand  my style becomes limited.

    But for example Les Paul had his sound and Chet Atkins had his. Both were great but they really only played one style.

    Is this a bad thing?

    I'm not a pro , I'm just in it for the fun.


  • #2

    I would suggest playing as many different styles as you like and letting your sound develop as a result.

    Someone once said to me in a club that when he was outside waiting to get in, he could tell by listening that it was me playing guitar. When I listen to my playing I think of it as a combination of influences - a bit from Jeff Beck or something from Wes or that thing I got from Robben Ford - but others hear the combined result.



    you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

    contentment is true wealth

    Comment


    • gardo
      gardo commented
      Editing a comment

      It is a good thing when someone can hear the guitar and know it's you.

      I guess the bottom line is that I'm driven more by the tone than by the song or the style.


  • #3

    You want to be able to have people recognize your sound when you play, but you don't want it to sound exactly like what you've already done.

    You want people to be able to hear your new stuff and say "Hey, i like the direction [musician] is going."

    That's the way i see it at least. You want to be original but still recognizable. Try new styles and try to put your own twist on them. Take your style and add twists you take from other styles. You want to take something and make it your own.

    Comment


    • gardo
      gardo commented
      Editing a comment

      You're right that I get too locked into one sound and one style . 

      I think this is  how ruts are created, doing the same thing over and over.


  • #4
    Usually your mind will guide you toward a signature tone for each style you play.

    You will hear it in your mind and gradually, reality will sync up to your mind's sonic image.

    This happens on individual musical pieces and phrases and over time on one's entire Styles .

    I say STILES plural because most players have a different tone in their mind
    for fingerpicking, a different tone in their mind for Hard Rock, a different tone in their mind for singing solos etc.

    These mental images influence their hands and gear choices etc over time and on any given day.

    You have to understand this, then relax and let eveything flow and have fun.

    But especially when learning, and also when composing or recording, having a mental sonic.picture of your Tone even when you become advanced.

    Your mind /imagination will guide you, imagine it , then play it.

    Comment


    • #5
      Usually your mind will guide you toward a signature tone for each style you play.

      You will hear it in your mind and gradually, reality will sync up to your mind's sonic image.

      This happens on individual musical pieces and phrases and over time on one's entire Styles .

      I say STYLES plural because most players have a different tone in their mind
      for fingerpicking, a different tone in their mind for Hard Rock, a different tone in their mind for singing solos etc. and play different styles like an Actor playing different Roles.

      Famous Guitarists all have Signature Tones and Styles and are fairly specialized for their Sound and Style:

      Segovia, John Williams, Hendrix , Eric Johnson, Santana, Gilmour, George Benson, Van Halen, Wes Montgomery, BB King etc etc.

      There is another type that don't get as much credit IMO.

      I call them Master Top 40 Guitarists- guys who are extremely good and can somehow accurately NAIL during a Gig the Styles Tones and Chops of 40 or
      More Great Guitarists during their 3 set Gigs !

      I've known a few of these Guys and seen about 5 more over many years and

      it amazes me how well some can do this .

      These mental images influence their hands and gear choices etc over time and on any given day.

      You have to understand this, then relax and let eveything flow and have fun.

      But especially when learning, and also when composing or recording, having a mental sonic.picture of your Tone even when you become advanced.

      Your mind /imagination will guide you, imagine it , then play it.

      Comment


      • PRS_JRW
        PRS_JRW commented
        Editing a comment

        Obviously, the con is that you usually don't have to buy any new stuff. Or is that a pro?

        As far as the biggest con, like you said, there's no need to tweak, lust for new equipment, etc. It allows one to play with confidence and feel good about what is being played. I like the fact that I've found the sound that was trapped in my head. It's a release, for sure.


    • #6
      I don't want "my sound". I want several sounds depending on what I am playing.

      And, I agree, thinking about it in an abstract way doesn't help much.

      Comment


      • #7
        I find that no matter how hard I try I always end up sounding like myself. I have my own sound because I don't really have a choice. I'm totally fine with that.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><i>Information is not knowledge<br />
        Knowledge is not wisdom<br />
        Wisdom is not truth<br />
        Truth is not beauty<br />
        Beauty is not love<br />
        Love is not music.<br />
        Music Is The Best.</i><br />
        <br />
        - Frank Zappa</div>

        Comment


        • Pine Apple Slim
          Pine Apple Slim commented
          Editing a comment

          photon9 wrote:
          I find that no matter how hard I try I always end up sounding like myself. I have my own sound because I don't really have a choice. I'm totally fine with that.

          This. Even tho I dabble in several genres, Country, Surf, Oldies Rock, Blues, Bluegrass to name a few, and own a doz or more elec and acoustic guitars I still sound like myself for the most part.

           

           


      • #8
        Just play. Your sound will find you.
        "Born to Play" MP3 album at iTunes & Amazon.

        Comment


        • #9

          Worry about writing songs, not finding a sound. Most people couldn

          Comment


          • 1001gear
            1001gear commented
            Editing a comment

            I agree with the 'do not overthink' ers. Learn to play and your sound will evolve as a function of musical growth.


        • #10
          I sometimes hear riffs in my head when watching movies. The tone is there in my mind and I do my best to reach it. But I don't try too hard until the real recording session.
          <div class="signaturecontainer"><font face="Verdana"><font size="1"><font color="slategray">&quot;The blues is the recognition of a tragedy, and the optimism to deal with it&quot; (Fruteland Jackson)<br />
          <br />
          &quot;You may think you're playing your instrument, but what you're really playing is the audience&quot; (anonymous)</font></font></font></div>

          Comment


          • #11

            I don't think "they only played one style" is a good description of Chet Atkins or Les Paul's sound at all.  They could certainly fit in to a variety of styles and were two of the greatest guitarist who ever lived. 

            http://www.reverbnation.com/thedubiouscapture<br>

            Comment


            • Dougy
              Dougy commented
              Editing a comment

              I use one 'sound' to play whatever the hell I feel like.

               

               



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