Actual Tone Dreams

Anyone else have actual tone dreams? I mean, actual ones. Not, ‘It’s my dream to play a ’54 Stratocaster’, but ‘I had a dream last night that I was playing out of 4 Matchless amps at one time.’

Ya. I do. I know I shouldn’t……but I do.

1970-gibson-es-335.jpg picture by rypdal95

That’s a ’70’s Gibson ES-335. And that’s the guitar I had a dream about. And I shall tell you why.

Yesterday, I helped some friends out by playing one song at their wedding. When I got there to set up, there was this guitarist playing ambient wedding music as all the guests walked in. Alright, this guy just threw all my lofty tone ideals out into the street and said ‘Go play’ and then ran them over with his car…… in a nice way. He’s playing this really old (looks like maybe ’50’s or ’60’s) hollow body Gibson ES-335. Gorgeous. And the tone is spectacular. Just warm and full and swanky…. everything a jazzy old hollow body should be. And of course I look around for the 1959 Fender Bassman amp he’s obviously playing out of. And I nearly jump out of my skin when I see his cord going from his guitar jack directly into the cheeseball PA system. Ya. Whoa. 

So I’m humbled. And not only that, he’s just going to town on all these classy ’40’s love tunes, playing not just the melody, but harmonizing all the other parts as well. Just beautiful.

bill-coleman.jpg picture by rypdal95

And this is him, Bill Coleman. The guy playing the wonderfully beautiful classic melodies accompanied by himself into a PA system with some of the best tone ever. You can check out his site at . And he was like, the most humble guy ever, too. I told him he sounded incredible, and he shrugs and says, ‘Oh, just some songs I happen to know.’ Ya, right. Totally nice guy. And the best part is, and you can only tell this while sitting next to him, he hums the melodies of the songs like, a half measure before he plays them. It’s really, really interesting to listen to. But, hey, I guess it works! Because the songs coming out of the guitar are perfect.

So anyway, last night I dreamed that I went out and bought a ’50’s Gibson ES-335. The wood was all old and warped and everyone cried when they heard the sound. Oh, yes…..and they were tears of joy. And I woke up still clutching at the guitar…..but it was not there. And then I thought, ‘There is something definitely wrong with me.’

And you’re probably thinking that I’m making this up. I do wish you were right…..but no, I actually dreamed this last night.

So….I’m just wondering…..does anyone else out there, anyone at all, have dreams about music gear? It would make me feel so much better if there is someone else……anyone….

Splendid old Gibson ES-335’s,

11 thoughts on “Actual Tone Dreams

  1. My dreams are that I can actually play. Its very liberating, this overwhelming sense of freedom to play what I’m thinking without limitations. Then I wake up to reality. Gear dreams??? uh…no, sorry friend, that’s beyond sick 🙂

  2. hehe I wish I had those dreams! I can’t play anyway, so I guess that’s why I always end up like, on stage with U2 in my dreams, but hitting all the wrong notes on the solo. Or sometimes I go to start singing a worship song on a Sunday morning service, and realize I don’t have my guitar or my rig. hehe Guess that’s the musician’s version of the naked-in-public dream.

  3. I have..
    I dream about my sweet singing polar bears…

    Naah.. not really 😛

    Right now I try to survive with a POD X3 Live and a not to expensive Les Paul.. It is good, I like it more then many much more expensive guitars. And I get a pretty nice cranked AC30 sound that makes all the musicians I have played with that have some kind of guitar-tone-mind look at it with big eyes when they see that I’m just using a digital multieffect. But I still really miss a real tubeamp and a nice guitar like the Duesenberg Starplayer TV. Must try the new Vox AC15/30c amps.

    But I’m going to work some now under the summer, so I’m hoping that I will save upp some cash and maybe my church will provide with some chash if I buy gear that I will use in church.. 😛

    But i’m just 16 now… well soon 17… But I’m going crazy about my to nerdy toneear.. Why can’t I just be like my guitarplaying friends and think that Marshall MG amps is the absolutly best amps couse it stands Marshall xD

  4. haha Right on, bro! Mmm…Duesenberg are awesome guitars. But I’m sure your tone is rockin’ through the X3. If you’ve got decent hands, you can get some decent tones. 🙂

  5. My Father-in-law has a 68 Gibson 335. Every once in a while he lets me play it and the other day I played it for worship. Not only does it sound like angels singing out of my amp, it plays so good that I almost cried when I gave it back to him.

  6. I actually have tone dreams, too. Back when I didn’t have a nice guitar, I dreamed I was playing a 1970’s custom tele through two 60’s Fender Princeton Reverbs.

    I own a newer Gibson ES-335 and I love it. All the “Gibsons are overpriced, under-crafted guitars” I heard, is a bunch of bs if you ask me.

  7. That is a brilliant dream. 🙂

    And what year 335? I’ve played a couple newer Gibson’s and was a bit underwhelmed. But this was a while ago, so perhaps I should give ’em another shot. 🙂

  8. Mine is an 08′ I bought it used for $1,000 (Really) and the action was unbelievable since it was setup by a pro and not the original Gibson factory job.

    The general consensus is that Gibson doesn’t do a good job setting up their guitars before they reach the stores. I played a 09′ ES-339 at Guitar Center that had terrible action and felt really cheap because of it.

    Maybe try playing one that’s been setup by an individual at a smaller scale music store?

  9. I just ordered a Gibson ES-335 from Musician’s Friend- it’s one of the best semi-hollow electric guitars out there from what I hear as far as factory-made instruments. You can play jazz with it, you can rock it, you can blues, you can get funky- it does it all and very well.

    I am wondering if by the big jazz box Gibson, you were talking about the ES 175. That is a fully-hollow body instrument that is used more exclusively for jazz, although a few rockers pull them out from time to time. Nice warm, rich, pure resonant tones.

    The 339s are not as good I hear. Much smaller body, not nearly as much sustain- may as well just get a Les Paul.

    Amp pairing also makes a difference. I am going with a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, which is a 40 Watt tube amp with 3 switchable channels so you can keep it clean tone when you are comping chords, then switch to a more over-driven sound for some solo riffs with a rock or electric blues sound…

    Do you play regularly in a band or worship these days? What are your guitar and amp of choice?


    Philadelphia, PA
    guitar enthusiast and worship team leader

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