Tone Report Weekly Issue 80 - Page 33

G uitar players are an interesting bunch. We laud trailblazing pioneers of music—people who do things their own way—then sometimes turn right around and mock the guy playing at the local club because he’s playing in a manner different than us. A strange duality seems to have emerged, one where players both respect innovation (if at the same time distancing themselves from it) and remain rooted in some kind of unspoken tradition, where those who break the rules are cast out like lepers. Of course, I’m painting in broad strokes here; not everyone abhors creativity or looks down upon those who do things differently. Make no mistake, some guitarists are prone to a mob mentality when it comes to gear preferences and playing style. But, my guitar-loving brothers and sisters, let us remember, innovation requires boldness. It requires taking risks. New sounds are discovered by doing things even just a little bit different than we did the night before. In some of Fender’s original tube amp manuals, users were instructed not to turn the amplifier up to the point of distortion. Can you imagine what music would be like if nobody ever broke that rule? Electric guitars are an amazing instrument because of all of the variables that surround them. Various amps, effects, and speakers all shape the sonic landscape we create with our hands. And with those hands, we often use picks. In my experience, one of the simplest ways to craft a new sound is how I touch the instrument. So put down that pick for a minute—let’s take a look at some ways we can change how we finesse, caress, and attack our beloved instruments. 33