Cultivating a beatiful tone

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:56 am
by nickjacquet (deleted)

At face appearance this may seem to be a very vague and open ended question, but I would like to start making more of a concious effort to
improve/increase my pallate of tones to use in my playing. But at the moment I am only aware of a few options that I have to use (which I
might add I that these are things that I have been made aware of through Pebber's videos) These options deal with what I am doing with my
right hand) Questions that come to mind are: "What sort of angle am I picking with?...Certain angles yield a more scratchy/ or snappy sound.
Is my right hand partially or fully muting the string I am picking?...This could yield either a chunky or purely percussive sound. But what about
my options for what I am doing with my left hand? I have begun to notice that when I try moving many ideas to certain areas of the fret board,
my tone turns to shit. (Areas that come to mind include frets 10-24 on the EAD strings, and nearly all frets in 1 & 2nd position) I am not asking
about what sort of equipment I need to increase my tone quality; After all, I certainly cannot blame this issue on my instrument as I had saved
up awhile ago to buy one of petrucci's music man models. Any insight that anyone could provide would be greatly helpful.

"Sarod floats like a butterfly...But it stings like when I trill"-Old Shed Proverb

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RE: Cultivating a beatiful tone

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:35 pm
by dlraben • 278 Posts

At the risk of sounding obvious and understating your problem, how about trying to play slow isolated notes in the areas of your fretboard where you think your tone sucks? My guess is that your technique when fretting in those areas is off. Maybe you aren't using your fingertips on the high frets of the low strings? Maybe you don't have a strong enough opposing thumb when playing in that region? If you pick a single note in that region, can you get it to sound good? Just one note? If so, spend lots of time in that region of your fretboard and your tone should improve.

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RE: Cultivating a beatiful tone

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:11 pm
by oddbaugh • 16 Posts

Make a video & post it. Then maybe some of the more experienced dudes here can check out your technique and offer helpful suggestions.

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RE: Cultivating a beatiful tone

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:58 pm
by Debilius • 96 Posts

Copy and shrink the the fingering on high frets, or copy and stretch the fingering on low frets. Stupid philosophy, but it works.

Even more stupid philosophy that works is... practice till you get it.

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RE: Cultivating a beatiful tone

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:06 am
by uderoche (deleted)

Nick brings up a solid point. All of the 6 strings have different tones. And fretting the strings in different places to create notes also yields different tones. Sometimes I find I really enjoy the B string. Different phrases sound better in differrent parts of the neck. Sometimes picking closer to the neck sounds more pleasing. Sometimes flattening the pick out instead of at an angle yields a different tone. This takes lots of time but is worth investigation. When you can change all this up on the fly, then you are getting somewhere.

Also to Nick, I say this time and time again but I am very keen on proper INTONATION. Now, what this means to most is "playing in tune." You know, not bending the strings out of key. And this is true. But also, and just as importantly, the note itself MUST...I stress this to all my students...MUST BE FRETTED PROPERLY. The note MUST BE FRETTED PROPERLY. THE NOTE MUST BE FRETTED PROPERLY.

Your fingers MUST be curved at the proper angle (as shown in MANY of Pebber's videos). The finger must be right behind the fret. Not between the frets. Right behind the fret. Almost on the fret, but not quite.

This is the whole point of curving the fingers as it gives you the most control of the note and aids in the proper intonation.

Now, this gets more difficult as you go up the fretboard. That is why frets 10-24 may be giving you trouble. Tougher to intonate properly up there.

Also, pick angle. There are a few pedal point licks I like to play on the E and B strings where I don't angle the pick. I flatten it out somewhat. Then move back to an angle for more scalar type playing. I find this flattening of the pick "sounds" better to me for these licks.

There is a point on the string where you fret the note properly and attack the note properly with the pick and the note will "bloom" more nicely. This takes much practice and also experimentation.

Keep working on it! Or, post a video here so we can check it out.


Last edited Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:34 am | Scroll up


RE: Cultivating a beatiful tone

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:45 pm
by uderoche (deleted)

I left out something about intonation that is also of extreme importance. Try this...play the G note at the 3rd fret of the low E string. Ahhhhh...a nice G note. Now, play it again and start pushing down harder and harder. Hear that? The note goes sharp. You don't want that. So, your touch must be correct. When playing chords and single notes. Up and down the neck in all areas.


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