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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Chat about Equipment Info
 #111472  by KCJones
 Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:44 am
Is it just me, or does anybody else get the feeling that some of us (me included) spend way too much time searching for The sound instead of playing our Own sound. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun gear whoring, building, tweaking, etc. to get that sound we're after, but sometimes I let that over shadow the playing and learning. I’ve come full circle on gear, tone, and tweaking so many times it isn’t funny. And in doing so have felt like I've wasted way too much time and cash. Just curious if anyone else has come to this realization. For me there's been no easy answeres. Except for me anyways it's been to strip down to the barest essentials and just play, and not worry about every little nuance of every note and chord. Not sure where this is going but I'll throw it out there.
 #111475  by hippieguy1954
 Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:03 am
Yea, playin is "the" thing. I love when I don't have to think about gear etc., and just play.

I've been at that point for a couple of years and it is the best as long as your tone is good for you.

To an extent, it is a metamorphosis. I was somewhat happy with my tone for years until I wanted it more refined.

Then after the last couple of years of refining it, I'm probably good for the rest of my days.

If your spending more time on gear than playing, that is a mistake. Play the way you want it to sound and worry about the details in between. :smile: :smile: :smile:
 #111481  by jeffm725
 Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:32 pm
You make some good points in my mind, but seeing as the focal point of this board is the minutiae of GD tones this is probably not the place where you a going to get a ton of people admitting about wasting time and money chasing tone.

It ought to be interesting.

I do have some thoughts but for now:

Image
 #111483  by hippieguy1954
 Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:20 pm
jeffm725 wrote:You make some good points in my mind, but seeing as the focal point of this board is the minutiae of GD tones this is probably not the place where you a going to get a ton of people admitting about wasting time and money chasing tone.

It ought to be interesting.

I do have some thoughts but for now:

Image
I agree about this maybe is not the exact, correct forum, but I always thought one of the special things about the Dead, their music and the Dead community was being open and going with the flow!

No doubt, your right about the tone we seek! I have spend a good amount myself, over the years, and am glad I did, but once you have it or even close, if dwelling over it is cutting into your time playing, then what is the point? I think that is what he is asking.
:smile: :smile: :smile:
 #111486  by gr8fullfred
 Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:06 pm
Sometimes I think that I am a better CL, EBAY and RUKIND forum shopper than I am a guitar player. And lately I have been thinking that I better start practicing more, because I have great gear. I can't blame it on the gear.

Recently I have played thru a BF Fender DeLuxe. That amp sounds great no matter what you do to it.

So I am going to agree with you, gear is great, but there is a lot more to it than that. As we have said many times before, Jerry could play a Fender Squire thru a Crate amp and sound great........

Still want an MXR carbon copy though....................
 #111494  by Jon S.
 Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:45 pm
It's like the OP read my mind and began the thread that's been on my mind for some time. Though I may be myself hypocritical - tone and gear ARE important to me. But I do feel like I've passed the critical point on much of it. When you're 95% there, chasing that last 5% can be more distracting than helpful (expensive, too!).
 #111498  by JonnyBoy
 Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:53 pm
I have finally become happy with my tone. I play in a grateful dead band so I am always thinking about Jerry tone too. The basics are needed in my endeavor. Jbl's, split super 2, a good guitar, the right effects and a BF twin rounds it all up. Beyond that everything else is subject to my taste. I play some licks like Jerry but I don't play exactly like him. I think a lot of our jams and improvs are completely unique to us within the grateful dead philosophy. I play blues stuff too and a little acoustic lead with other guys. I don't think it has kept me from learning other things, but again I never had a desire to play anything but GD music. It is so diverse and Plentiful that I rarely get bored with it. Jerry dabbed into lots of different music, and it's a roller coaster trying to stay happy expressing yourself.

I say scratch your itches that itch to stay happy and interested as a musician. Open jams and sit in's are a great way to Challenge yourself and learn new tricks. I have felt like I have been stagnant and bored especially when I meet or play with musicians that are better than me or more advanced at a style i wish i knew well. We gotta remember that this isn't a race. It is our art. I'm just glad Jerry had great tone, he is mindful of live performing. That helps with all aspects of performing. It is simple tone too if you think about it. The execution and technology of it is a little excessive but still effective and unique! Lots of players deal with this same issue I think, at least we have an example of the tone we like and know how to get there! I agree with once your mostly there that's the most you can hope for. The rest is personal choice that will hopefully enhance our playing.
 #111510  by eric
 Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:41 pm
I found myself in my basement tonite trying to build a "faux head" cabinet enclosure for my SMS (only) so that I have the option of running it with different power-amp/cab combinations. I had the dovetail jig out and all...and did come up with a simple, decent prototype...anyway... I finish up for the night and head to my computer to scour EB,CL,TGP, RUK...etc... and this nagging feeling hits me...

IF I ACTUALLY PRACTICED GUITAR FOR HALF THE AMOUNT OF TIME I SPEND SCREWING WITH ALL THE OTHER STUFF, I MIGHT ACTUALLY NOT SUCK SO BAD!!!(although I'm pretty good about getting in at least an hour a day).......

and you know what else; IF I ACTUALLY WORKED OUT FOR AN HOUR A DAY , INSTEAD OF PLAYING GUITAR, I PROBABLY WOULDN'T BE AS FAT AS I AM........damn
 #111521  by strumminsix
 Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:27 am
The more I play the gear that I like the more i like playing and surprisingly, the more I can cop Weir tones.

Ironically, I spend 90% of my practice time on the couche with an Am St Tele unplugged, so no, good here :)
 #111538  by mijknahs
 Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:07 pm
I play better when I'm happy with my tone. Having a good tone makes me want to play more than having crappy tone. Chasing the elusive "tone" should be FUN and should not over-shadow your playing. I am so glad that I've gotten turned on to the things that help get good tone.

But since your playing/technique is also a part of "good tone" you got to concentrate on your playing just as much as your equipment.
 #111658  by aiq
 Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:18 am
The bottom line is if you play electric guitar gear has to be a concern. In my experience that takes a lot of trial and error and trying a lot of gear (unfortunately). I have a pile of pedals that I need to move - nothing wrong with them, just not sympatico.

While I'm not looking for a Jerry/Bobby tone per se, I like innovative ideas so this board is great.

I'm having a guitar Jerryfied just because the design is so powerful with so many options.
 #111672  by Grateful Dad
 Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:30 am
mijknahs wrote:I play better when I'm happy with my tone. Having a good tone makes me want to play more than having crappy tone. Chasing the elusive "tone" should be FUN and should not over-shadow your playing. I am so glad that I've gotten turned on to the things that help get good tone.

But since your playing/technique is also a part of "good tone" you got to concentrate on your playing just as much as your equipment.
Completely agree...plus one step further.....

I think it was in a 1994 interview (linked below) where Jerry mentioned his philosophy of "playing as if your life depended on it". Kind of a strange idea but when you think about it, it makes sense especially the way Jerry articulates it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... JMlRLCNlyI