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Thread: Playing clean

  1. #1
    Forum Member S. Cane's Avatar
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    Playing clean

    Chuck, I was reading this post again:

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post

    The #1 mistake I see aspiring guitars player make - by a WIDE, WIDE margin - is using too much effects, especially OD and distortion. Delay is the third. Hey, SRV played pretty danged clean if you really listen. Hendrix did too most of the time.

    It almost always ends the same way. The player doesn't have clean playing down to where they get the sustain and fullness they want, so they add an OD, that mushes the signal and they then say " I can't hear myself'. So they turn up and the mush is worse. Next thing you know there's a hideous mix onstage and the whole band is too loud. Plenty of dB's but not much music. Many newbs actually tend to use the dirt box more for it's ability to add compression, they just don't realize it yet.

    I grew up playing with old blues guys and they cured me of that habit toot-sweet. As I moved through southern rock I learned how effective a clean guitar is. Synyrd, the Dregs, Hatchet, Outlaws, etc., all pretty clean solo styles. Yes, the amps' power sections are pumping it out, but the front side is usually very clean. Maybe an Orange Crush style sound on the front but that's really more of a dirty compressor.

    In my band, for example, I almost never allow effects on the rhythm guitar. That's the number one way to keep the mix sounding tight.

    YMMV,

    Chuck
    So, you prefer to push the power tubes and leave the front end clean to get that blues crunchy tome? I usually do the opposite. I hit the preamp until it starts to break and boost it with a fuzz or an overdrive when needed. Then I use the volume knob on the guitar to add dynamics.

  2. #2
    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: Playing clean

    Hmm. What I have found for myself is if I’m at home, I do use more OD than if I am in a band setting.
    Mark

  3. #3
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Playing clean

    Every amp has a sweet spot where it starts to break up with the guitar volume on full. When you roll off the guitar volume the amp will clean up. Since it cleans up you don't notice the volume drop until you get way down on the volume.

    That's where most newbs don't get it. They buy Deluxe Reverbs or Hot Rods that break up at really high volume, so they dirt up the front end and lose the cut. In reality, most bedroom or small club players can get by on 5 Watts and sound better.

    Listen closely to Lynyrd Skynryd. Those are very clean guitars and not a drive pedal to be heard.

    Chuck
    "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

  4. #4
    Forum Member S. Cane's Avatar
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    Re: Playing clean

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Every amp has a sweet spot where it starts to break up with the guitar volume on full. When you roll off the guitar volume the amp will clean up. Since it cleans up you don't notice the volume drop until you get way down on the volume.

    That's where most newbs don't get it. They buy Deluxe Reverbs or Hot Rods that break up at really high volume, so they dirt up the front end and lose the cut. In reality, most bedroom or small club players can get by on 5 Watts and sound better.

    Listen closely to Lynyrd Skynryd. Those are very clean guitars and not a drive pedal to be heard.

    Chuck

    This is exactly what I did, I used to play through 40 watt amps or louder, and ditched those to get a Blues Jr as my main gig tool. It gives me a great tone at lower volumes.

    However I never got a good crunch out of the power section. I drive the front end instead. Sounds very nice. And if I have to really drive it for harder rock I hit a pedal.

    Since I am very accustomed to riding the volume knob on the strat I can raise or lower just enough volume to play behind the singer or solo through the mix without much decrease in gain. I like to play guitar instead of tap dancing.

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