Playing Your Electric Guitar-unplugged

Discussion in 'Lessons & Techniques' started by Biddlin, May 10, 2015.

  1. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I must become more charitable toward the humourless.
    ;>)/
     
  2. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me that you are both Charitable and humorous.

    But there's a lot I miss.
     
  3. lineboat

    lineboat Well-Known Member

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    Good bourbon is good bourbon, regardless of the name on the bottle. I think you should try at least half a bottle of each, just to be sure!
     
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  4. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    NO send both bottles to me.....oh fook bottles send a cask of each....and I will get back to you on the test results! :thumb: HEY I am a giver, what can i say.:rofl:
     
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  5. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    The Post office and UPS both declined to deliver it, eS.G., but my cousin Marianne is goin' visitin soon and her husband, Elray, is a good driver and has experience carryin' alcoholic beverages. Now they are a gonna be in Georgia for awhile, cause that's where Marianne's daughter, from her first marriage to Mr Gott, the embalmer, goes to cosmetology college. She thought it was about astronaut training, but since the government paid her tuition, she decided to go, anyhow."Biddlin, you know they're gonna need stylists in space. All that 0-G and meteorite showers, it's nothin' but a growth industry." So after they visit her and if Marianne's momma, Lucille, is over her bout with the gout, they can drop on by with the bottles. Now I should warn you that Elray is an inveterate drunk, so some contents may have settled in his gut and he isn't above drinkin up most of yours, but he does play a solo on San Antonio Rose that'd make Bob Wills tap his tiny little feet. He stole that from me, too, but then I stole it from Tiny Moore 46 years ago, so it must be public domain, right?
    ;>)/
     
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  6. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    :bowdown: Well crafted Mr. "B" well crafted indeed! :cheers::bowdown:
     
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  7. Crazy_8

    Crazy_8 Well-Known Member

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    It's not just you, Biddlin. They are very harsh mistresses. I can, but it took me some time to learn to coax it out. In fact I use them often to practice new material. When I get it to sound good on my Tele, then it positively flows and sounds glorious on my other guitars.
     
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  8. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    My favorite electric to play acoustically.
     
  9. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    What's this thread about?
     
  10. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Tonewood, Tony, at the end of the day, it's always tonewood.
    [​IMG]
    Nah, guys that practice with their electric unplugged are possibly developing bad technique, but no one cares.
     
  11. deMelo

    deMelo Well-Known Member

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    My 2 cents...

    First off, stop saying you can't tell one bourbon from another, guys. Sacrilege, to say the least.

    About playing guitars acoustically.

    The wood does affect the pickups, but only slightly.

    The density of the wood affects the way the strings vibrate, given they are directoy connected to the body of the guitar through the bridge and nut. And the way the strings vibrate is exactly what the pickups pick up (pun intended) and turn into signal.

    But, that doesn't mean playing the electric guitar acoustically will help you (it might, yes, harm your technique) and won't be enough to tell how the guitar will sound plugged in.

    After all, solid body electrics weren't made to be played acoustically.
     
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  12. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    It would be impossible for me to develop bad technique.
    I can only refine the bad technique I am already so good at.
     
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  13. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    Just to break the tension here, let me throw in the brightest guitar I ever owned was a USA BC Rich Mocking Bird, maple neck thru, ebony board, maple wings. Ice pick city.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  14. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

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    I've come to believe the following over the last 40 or so years:

    The materials your guitar are made from affect its performance.

    Performance means everything from playabilty, durability, reapairability, reliability and yes the sound. Thinking that is untrue is just as foolish as believing the block of the wood is the main or only thing.

    Its true that you should practice plugged in - many things that make electric guitar sound good are really subtle and require fine volume/tone controls settings on both the instrument and amp. You should also try to replicate actual jam circumstances as closely as possible. That said practicing unplugged - going through scales or watching you tube vids - is better than no practice at all just be careful not to groove bad habits or go unplugged too often.

    Also it hurts my feelings to know there are people out there that can't get pleasing sounds from a Telecaster.
     
  15. grausch

    grausch Active Member

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    Quite often the big thing that would trip up newbies is gain on an amp. The most obvious item is when two strings ring at the same time on the gain channel. Mostly it leads to a fairly audible dissonance that is not audible when playing clean. Sweet Child O' Mine is a good example of where it is easy to get this wrong.

    Using the same Sweet Child O' Mine example as above, once I realised 2 notes were ringing together at the same time (even if just for an instant), I started compensating for that and suddenly the pull-off to the open strings was audible (there are no open string notes in the intro). Using different fingering (justinguitar.com), switching to the neck pickup and lowering the volume on the guitar reduced the problems, but these are all things hardly noticeable when playing unplugged.

    With Judas Priest's Breaking the Law, there is a quiet bar before the chorus starts. Chorus starts with palm-muted A string picking and then you hit a chord on the GBE strings (not sure what it's called), before you slide it to the nut. In any case, I started fretting the chord during the quiet bar when playing unplugged, but doing so with gain makes the actual fretting of the chord audible. I now get my fingers in position, but only fret the chord once the palm-muted riff starts.

    The worst of all of this is, I usually play with the pre-amp gain (overdrive) on about 3 or lower. Once I take the gain up to 5 or higher, it almost feels like I need training wheels again. Suddenly the guitar is so sensitive to any type of touch that it becomes almost impossible to play cleanly.
     
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  16. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    When I first got back into playing I would often practice in the evening while unplugged, but as grausch points out this can lead to sloppy play that becomes apparent when plugged in, especially at higher gain settings.

    At times I will run a Tonebender MkII clone into a fairly crunchy amp and that will let you know immediately if your letting extra strings ring out.

    One piece of gear I picked up is a Vox amplug, which is a little headphone amp that sounds surprisingly decent. I often use this now for quiet practice, and it even has an input jack so I can play along with music or a drum machine app on my phone, or a video on the laptop.
     
  17. grausch

    grausch Active Member

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    After making such a detailed post regarding some of the pitfalls of practising unplugged, I found myself practising several new barre chord shapes and their respective changes for about 6 hours completely unplugged. I don't think there would be much of a disadvantage to this. Guess it depends on what you're playing / practising...
     
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  18. Tom Sullivan

    Tom Sullivan Active Member

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    I agree with 90% of that - you can take a fairly "low budget" axe, and as long as it's set up properly, a great guitarist can create beautiful sounds, their sounds with that instrument

    Same here - ha
     
  19. grausch

    grausch Active Member

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    Bernie Marsden gigs with his PRS SE model and he plugs straight into the amp. Not sure if he did any mods to the guitar, but from some of the videos I have seen it looks stock. Not bad for an import guitar.

    When he plays, it makes very little difference if he plays the Beast or his SE. With both guitars he still sounds like himself.

    Edit: I would not mind sounding that good through either guitar :(
     
  20. Didds

    Didds Well-Known Member

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    I'm building up my ideal rig for my current situation from ground up. Currently halfway there with a guitar but no amp (I've played it through amps though and it fvckin roars), so most of the time of my playing has been acoustically.
     
    Marcus Carrozza likes this.

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