Amp Tone Part 1.5: the Reason to Use a Tube Amp (And for the Love of Sweet Mercy Please do not Riff Every Chord Even if You Are Really Excited that the song is in a Minor Key so it’s Awesome Because It’s Really Hard to Hit a Wrong Note)
Alright, before we get to Amp Tone part 2, I had to post this example. I hope you all appreciate the sacrifice here. I may very well regret this later.
You see, I want so passionately to save the world from bad tone and overplaying, that I am going to subject myself to shame by posting a song. A very special song. A song that I just found two nights ago while digging through some old cd’s trying to find out what happened to my Outlaws game. (Remember Outlaws? The greatest computer game ever created on universe? 1997 was so the year of the computer game! No other game has yet to hike the precipice that Outlaws built with its own sweat and blood. Pixelated, outdated, you can’t tell the bad guy graphic from the background graphic? I call it mojo.) So I find this cd. And as I’m about to burn it (like, literally…in flames), I realize that it would be a tragedy to deprive the world of such a prime example of bad tone, overplaying, and thinking you’re Michael Landau when you only know one riff. (Hey, I was 19. I also thought that liking ‘The Godfather’ was underground and indie. It’s only as you get older that you realize you’re just not that special.)
(Incredibly awesome film. And two of the best actors to ever grace a film screen right there, too. But you just can’t pretend you’re cool and original for watching it. Maybe in 1972. But not now. Yikes, I was scary at 19. hehe)
So here’s the song. And fair warning, the tones you hear in this song may haunt you for the rest of your life…in a bad way; just like it haunts you to drive past a Banner Mattress store, and you just can’t help that stupid jingle from playing in your head every time you see it.
Song: My Glorious (ah, nothing turns a guitarist into a whirlwind of sub-par, self-indulged, pentatonic riffs quicker than a minor key)
Player: me…at 19…and oh so proud of my skills and tone
Guitar: BC Rich Bronze series Warlock (the most metal $100 could buy at Guitar Center)
Amp: Crate GFX-120 (120 watts of pure solid state sweetness)
Pedals: Boss GT6 (clearly on the Mesa Boogie modeling setting)
Band: the rest of the band members’ names have been withheld to protect the innocent. Although the singer’s not bad. And no, I’m not singing. Just tearing it up on the BC Rich Warlock, baby.
So please…use my shameful past as a reminder, a warning if you will, for yourself. Tubes, people. TUBES. And if you have one pedal that costs 4 times as much as your guitar (as my GT6 did over my BC Rich), just stop and think for a second. And everyone is different…I’m not saying that you can’t get good tone out of the rig on that recording…….wait……yes I am. Lying is ugly. For the money I spent on my BC Rich, Crate, and GT6, I could have bought an ’80′s Squire, a Fender Blues Junior, a Fulltone Fulldrive, and a Line 6 Echo Park and still had money left over…and have had infinitely better tone and feel. And remember that when I first heard that recording five years ago, I was oh so proud of it. So think about how you will view what you play this week, five years from now. And maybe that will cause us all to play just a little bit less. Unless you’re John Mayer. Then just play on, brother. Play on.
(The best game ever created. Nope. It is. Mmmm……Outlaws.)
Not even gonna write ‘Splendid’, because that was definitely not.