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 Do You Have A "Unique Sound"? 
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Motorman

Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:17 am
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Post Do You Have A "Unique Sound"?
Hey everyone,

I was thinking about this the other day and wanted to know everyone's thoughts. Do you think you have a 'unique sound'? As in a original sound, very specific to you, and not really heard in other players? I know we all have our influences and you can hear elements of other players in each person's playing, but do you still think your sound is unique enough? The reason why I ask is because I was thinking about it to myself and my answer was...well...no. hahahha

be honest and discuss! im really interested in what people think about this


Tue May 11, 2010 6:04 pm
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God Of The Sun
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:49 am
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Location: london baby
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It takes years to start to develop that, and i can finally say yes im getting there, there have been alot of comments on it

iv blended jazz funk and rock in my own little way and am starting to get a sound that is very personal to me. I'm mixing what someone like Charlie Christian or Tal Farlow might have sounded like if they had Brett Garsed and Greg Howe's technique, then i'm applying it in situations that i enjoy playing in.

This has come from alot of transcribing of the early bebop players lines, Christian, Farlow, Parker, Monk etc and also reading from books like "The Bebop Bible for all intruments" by les wise the Jerry Bergonzi books and "How to play bebop" by david baker. Because none of these books have tab in i experiment at play them in ways that could be unique to me, i organise them in areas and use them in a traditional jazz context. Then ill sit down with a rock vamp (maybe a greg howe backing or one iv made) and JAM, after all the rock cliches are out i switch off and see what happens, ill play for hours. If i like something i stop and write it down in a guitar pro file.

at the same time i can still fall back into the gilbertisms when im in a rock context

i also channel alot of guthrieisms when im on auto pilot :lol:

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Tue May 11, 2010 7:14 pm
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Superhero
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:12 pm
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Location: Emmaus, Pennsylvania
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I'd like to say yes, but I'm sure I haven't.

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Tue May 11, 2010 10:50 pm
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Unt! I'm a Moderator.

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:07 am
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Nope.


Wed May 12, 2010 3:56 am
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Viking Kong

Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 3:20 am
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I think my sound is always changing. I used to be a straight shred guy, but I tend to jam a lot more acid jazz and fusion nowadays...and for that I tend to need less pick attack and more fluidity.


Wed May 12, 2010 5:01 am
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Superhero
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:49 am
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For almost any player out there, there is another someone who sounds similar too you.

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Wed May 12, 2010 9:47 am
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Dr. X

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:16 pm
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'Aiming for' or 'overthinking' the concept of having an individual sound is a waste of time. Most famous guitarists who have a 'sound' just had it naturally come about by playing things in a way that is more comfortable to them. That's not to say that the likes of Brian May, or Steve Vai haven't since exploited their sound, but I imagine when it came to their first records, they weren't obsessing about sounding completely different to everyone else.

Considering how many pro guitarists there are in the world, only a handful of them have a truly unique sound. Given the oversaturated market these days, the chance of being individual are slim to none. Do what you do, do it well, play with conviction. Such things are more important than the elusive 'sound'.


Wed May 12, 2010 12:01 pm
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Dr. X
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Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:42 pm
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Location: Illinois
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Yes, I believe I do but judge for yourself. This is a "forum jam" recording I did on another board a few years back. I think it's a good format for judging if I have a unique sound. My solo is the next last one and starts at 5:51.

http://www.matt-b.com/images/my_music/gtcentralallstars+gtblues.mp3


Wed May 12, 2010 12:36 pm
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Search Button God!
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:05 pm
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Nope, no 'unique sound' for me :)

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Wed May 12, 2010 12:51 pm
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God Of The Sun
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I think that sounds like jason becker being very melodic

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Wed May 12, 2010 12:52 pm
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Viking Kong
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I guess that everybody has a unique sound (unless you admit you're a insert guitarist name here ripoff).

That being said, even though we may have some similar licks to our heroes, the mix is always different.

What's really hard to acquire is a certain style that is recognizable in a fraction of seconds. Guys like Brian May, Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie, EVH and Paul Gilbert have that. And see: Paul says he actually stole some licks from guys like Billy Sheehan and Al Di Meola, and yet, he sounds like Paul Gilbert.

Not playing guitar that much anymore, my style has been a mix from my main influences: Jimmy Page, Paul Gilbert, Dave Mustaine and some other great guys that I listen to all the time like Glen Tipton, Zakk Wylde, Randy Rhoads... I'm SURE my playing isn't something like "whoa, that's Matt playing it", but it isn't "man, that's just a Paul Gilbert ripoff" either.

That's enough for a mediocre guitar player like myself, if you ask me.

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Wed May 12, 2010 3:03 pm
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Viking Kong
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My sound is unique in the way that it hasn't developed into what I want it to be just yet.

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Wed May 12, 2010 3:19 pm
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Viking Kong
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The thing that always amuses me is when someone says that they can tell I'm influenced by, or sound like someone I've never listened to or even heard of. This has happened to me on a number of occasions. Of course that is the quickest way to get me to check out particular players...just tell me that my playing sounds like them. :wink:

Sometimes it can be very flattering when I track down a player and he is amazing, other times....well, not so much. :P

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Wed May 12, 2010 3:35 pm
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I don't know who I sound like. I sure as hell know I don't sound like Howe cause I don't know what the hell he's doing so there's nothing to copy.


Wed May 12, 2010 4:38 pm
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Viking Kong
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Sometimes I go into Gilbert mode using the typical patterns then I just give up because I'm a pretty shite player :lol:

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Wed May 12, 2010 5:03 pm
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God Of The Sun
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it's not that i've developed my unique sound but i've developed a unique approach.

i like alternate tunings and usually stray from standard tuning as much as i can when i write my own music. i usually start with 1/2 step down and deviate from that.
one of my songs is played in this tuning: low to high Db-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-Db
it's not crazy but it gets the effects of droning strings i'm after.

i also like to use effects in interesting ways. delays and phasers help. i probably have about five phasers and four delays, each with different purposes. long delays with volume swells, flutter echos...it all comes across.

i use classic equipment: les pauls and orange amps. nothing out of the ordinary. MXR and Boss pedals...pretty standard. I like boutique guys that make interesting stuff, but at the core everything is basic stuff any guy could buy at Guitar Center or Musicians Friend.

my advice to anyone is to not form a unique sound, just form a unique approach to the instrument. sometimes that leads to a unique sound.

Think of the Edge, Matt Belamy, Jonny Greenwood, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix. They took the basic, morphed their approach to playing and in the end formed their own unique sound.

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Wed May 12, 2010 8:21 pm
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