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Thread: clanging rhythm guitar

  1. #1
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    clanging rhythm guitar

    Does anyone know how to get this guitar/amp tone?Listen to the great but old tune by the Falcons, "Your So Fine", for very good example of what I mean, clanging rhythm guitar.The guitarist is hitting on the backbeat a simple downstroke, percussive type rhythm.Any help will be much appreciated.That tune is on youtube.

  2. #2
    Gravity Jim
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    What I'm hearing is just the sound of a cheap guitar and amp being played in a good-sized room. That bright "clang" is, pretty much, the unrefined sound of an electric guitar... I think the sound you're describing has more to do with the way it's being played than anything else. It sounds to me that the guitar is being played without a pick, and that downstroke is played with the nails of all four fingers of the right hand. Just guessing, of course.

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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    It sounds good!

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    Wow, great stuff. That was Lupine records IIRC, Detroit. About the same time Barry G started Motown. Was the original label for the Supremes. I'd suspect that may be Eddie Willis, it was Detroit and it was for sure his style, and too early to have been a copycat recording.

    And so it probably being Eddie, I'd go with a Firebird. He used that a lot, as well as an ES335.

    From there all I can guess is a small amp with no reverb.

    Point of interest, that would not be referred to as "clang", rather is was called "chank". Hence the nickname Eddie "Chank" Willis!
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member Rickenjangle's Avatar
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    Yep, I have to agree with Chuck on this one...probably some kind of smaller Supro or similar Valco-made amp (they were made in Chicago and were cheaper than the Fender or Ampeg amps). The key, I'd have to say, is no reverb.

    That old stuff is fun, fun, fun to play, even though it's simple, because it's all about the groove.

    "I'm gonna find myself a girl
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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    Maybe, but I'd suspect a rather high-end amp. The guys who played on all those records - in this case probably Willis, were accomplished jazz players who played nice stuff.

    Unlike the Mississippi Delta guys that played crap, the Detroit dudes where highly schooled, great sight readers and had some fabulous gear that will make any guitar player drool when you look at the pictures from the day.

    It was three tracks to tape back then, so the cats had to be able get it right off the bat. It wasn't uncommon to cut three or four songs a day for them! That why those songs are soooooo good. They had GREAT musicians.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member Rickenjangle's Avatar
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    So, you're thinking maybe a Fender tweed or a pre-reverb brown combo, like a Princeton, a Deluxe or a Concert?

    "I'm gonna find myself a girl
    that can show me what laughter means
    And we'll fill in the missing colors
    In each other's paint-by-number dreams..."

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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    Thanks for the information.I think it sounds great on many different songs.Some of Buddy Holly's early rockabilly songs, that can be heard on his records.

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    Forum Member Kap'n's Avatar
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    The tone is pretty bright - brighter than I would expect from most of the amps from the era. Probably a Fender, but possibly something like a Magnatone. Definitely not a period Valco, Ampeg or most Gibsons.

    Probably not a brown amp, John. The only browns at this point were the Pro, Super, Vibrasonic. This doesn't sound meaty enough for those.
    Several guitars in different colors
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    Forum Member buckaroo's Avatar
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    The song was released in 1959?

    I agree a Fender amp. It sounds bright and clean. But many amps could be adjusted to "sound bright". I would guess single coil pickup based on the sound of it not to mention that in '59 that was the was the dominant pick up style.

    I hear what was written earlier about "no pick" and that the sound of the fingernails could be heard across the strings and that might be the case....but my money is betting on a pick.

    The fact that it is clean suggests that the amp may be somewhat more powerful than a Deluxe. The brightness suggests maybe smaller speaker(s)? Say 10's?

    I would guess a P 90 in the bridge position on a Gibson. Or any Fender product.

    It could be a cheaper guitar/amp but who knows based on a sound clip...but at least with these speculative comments you can start to recreate that sound. I assume that was your goal?

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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    I'm really enjoying all these comments, keep them coming and I will keep checking back to this forum. Yes,I would like to see if I can close in on that tone, it sounds good on lots of rock music,do wop.I have a single coil Fender Strat and a HRDeluxe with two 10" speakers,Jensen ceramics which should help in this tone chase.I was wondering two things, can we rule out studio compression?Also I will try the bridge/middle pickup combination.I rarely hear anyone talk of this combination for rhythm guitar, maybe because it's never adviseable?Finally Eddie "Chank"Willis.It was interesting to learn of this guy.The word chank is slang for chinese and the guy is a pleasing looking fellow who does look a little on the oriental side,maybe thats where it started, and then was applied to his rhythm style.I did get some advice to improve articulation by using a NOS long plate 12AX7A in the first position next to the inputs. I bought a Sylvania. The advice concluded the stock one was poor in that department.I will advise if that helped any as I think the amp needs it, but my speakers aren't broken in yet so who knows.You just have to take some chances it seems.

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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    So we've narrowed it down to a single coil solid hollowbody humbucker guitar with a cheapish expensive, smallish large, tweed blackface supro amp.
    "It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up." -Muhammad Ali

  13. #13
    Forum Member Kap'n's Avatar
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by tugboat View Post
    So we've narrowed it down to a single coil solid hollowbody humbucker guitar with a cheapish expensive, smallish large, tweed blackface supro amp.
    Pretty much.

    On the other hand, knowing the era of recording means it was almost certainly recorded in the room live without the benefit of post production EQ.

    If I had to make a wild guess, I would say something like a tweed Harvard or Princeton, less than half way cranked. Bridge pickup on a tele or Dynasonic Gretsch - something with magnets for polepieces.
    Several guitars in different colors
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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    xmark, the bridge/middle is very common for rhythm playing.

    As far as good rhythm playing, it's not about the tubes or the guitar.
    Its all about feeling the groove and playing the correct pattern. In other words, it's not about the gear, it's all about technique.

    Most people can't play rhythm. Any yahoo can solo, but rhythm separates the players from the posers. When you can get the rhythm of the music into your solo you've arrived.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    On my all single coil Strat I had installed a 57/62 pickup in the bridge position but I wired it wrong and it was out of phase with the middle pickup so I stopped using that position.When I corrected the wiring of the bridge pickup last week I was surprised at the clang I got with the bridge/middle position combination (wired correctly).

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    Forum Member boobtube21's Avatar
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    I call humbuckers, possibly an ES335 or similar, in either the bridge position or middle with the neck rolled down slightly. I can get pretty close to that sound with my 335 into my SF Vibrolux.

    I agree with Jim that some of the clanginess may be the room sound, but I also think OSA is right that getting that sort of a sound is probably more about the attitude/attack of the right hand than having the *exact* same gear.

    However I can't agree with the notion that any yahoo can solo! I think if your skills are limited, it will be far less noticeable if you're just following along with the rest of the rhythm section than if you try to step out in front.

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    Forum Member refin's Avatar
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Unlike the Mississippi Delta guys that played crap, the Detroit dudes where highly schooled, great sight readers and had some fabulous gear that will make any guitar player drool when you look at the pictures from the day.
    "My flesh and my heart fail...but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
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  18. #18
    Gravity Jim
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    Re: clanging rhythm guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by refin View Post
    Roger that.

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