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I've been playing for 2 1/2 years and just tonight I realized how much the sound of your guitar depends largly on what part of your finger you use to fret. When I used the meat of my fingers to fret (not quite the tip of the finger) the sound of the guitar was typical, nothing special. When I used the very tip of my fingers to fret, the guitar came alive. The notes had more chime and sustain. The notes sounded much more solid. My guitar (01' S+P) sounded like it was worth 10 time what I paid for it. It's funny to think of how much money people waste on products to improve their tone when all it comes down to is how you play your guitar. I used to be one of thoes people (I'm glad I haven't spent too much money on snake oil). I have now realized to sound good on guitar, it's not the guitar you play, it's technique more than anything else.
 

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yup you are correct with what you are saying..I find if I have been playing a lot my finger tips soften and make the clarity and sustain of the notes diminish. If I give myself a bit of a break and let my finger tips harden up the playing and clarity becomes more alive!
 

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Rest is a good idea

Stopping to rest not only lets the callouses dry out but also provides an opportunity to head off the debilitating effects of stenosing tenosynovitis. That wordy-sounding condition is a form of tendonitis sometimes called 'trigger finger', where the tensor tendons (the ones that give your hand its grip) develop little nodes which eventually hang up in the pulleys, causing the fingers to lock up. Some of us call it "barre cramp" which is actually a warning sign as the tendons in the BACK of the hand begin to get sore from unflexing the fingers.....

.....it's always a good idea to stretch both before, during, and after playing, especially if rehearsing the same thing over and over to imprint muscle memory. Overdoing it will lead to more than memory! Ouch!

I now have to take anti-inflammitories and massage the ravaged index finger tensor for ten minutes before playing, or suffer the consequences....
 

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" I now have to take anti-inflammitories and massage the ravaged index finger tensor for ten minutes before playing, or suffer the consequences...."

That sounds down right inconveinient. Is it very painfull?
Blewbyou
 

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mandocaster said:
I now have to take anti-inflammitories and massage the ravaged index finger tensor for ten minutes before playing, or suffer the consequences....
My tendonitis was so bad that I didn't play for four years, and even then it hurt. Then three years ago there was a hatha yoga class in Calgary specifically for people with music related injuries. The instructor was a guitarist and the class was small enough to focus on each person's problems, and a lot of general posture and relaxation. Now I can play for 3 or 4 hours a day without problems. I never thought I'd be able to do that again. Unfortunately that class isn't around anymore, but if you come across a yoga class give it a try. I was really surprised by it.
 

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I only buy the "tone is in the fingers" stuff up to a certain point. Yes, the way you play is obviously going to effect how you sound. How you fret, pick............all sorts of stuff.

But "tone" is a pretty wide ranging word. For example, you can't give someone an electric guitar and say "play it so it sounds like an acoustic". That is a tonal difference that can't be reconciled with the tips of your fingers and a certain gauge of pick.

You can't give Eddie Van Halen or some other guitar hero dude a 10 watt solid state amp and some '60s POS surf rock guitar and expect him to sound like his signature sound. That's because there's a lot of other factors in what constitutes a person's "tone".

I think that a lot of times, the people that like to repeat "tone is in the fingers" tend to use it in a dismissive fashion to look down on people that they perceive as being less enlightened than them in the voodoo art of tone. Makes them feel special or something. :banana:
 

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nine said:
I only buy the "tone is in the fingers" stuff up to a certain point. Yes, the way you play is obviously going to effect how you sound. How you fret, pick............all sorts of stuff.

But "tone" is a pretty wide ranging word. For example, you can't give someone an electric guitar and say "play it so it sounds like an acoustic". That is a tonal difference that can't be reconciled with the tips of your fingers and a certain gauge of pick.

You can't give Eddie Van Halen or some other guitar hero dude a 10 watt solid state amp and some '60s POS surf rock guitar and expect him to sound like his signature sound. That's because there's a lot of other factors in what constitutes a person's "tone".

I think that a lot of times, the people that like to repeat "tone is in the fingers" tend to use it in a dismissive fashion to look down on people that they perceive as being less enlightened than them in the voodoo art of tone. Makes them feel special or something. :banana:
I agree with this also. What is in the fingers is personality and expression; the component of your tone that other people can't duplicate. People like Jeff Beck for example, who pick with their fingers get their personal sound whether they play a Les Paul, a Strat or an Esquire. Vibrato is also a very personal tone component.
 

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Blewbyou said:
Nine I agree with you 100% it's hard to sing like a canary when you sound like a duck
How'd you know what my singing voice sounds like??? Haha. :food-smiley-004:
 

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Blewbyou said:
" I now have to take anti-inflammitories and massage the ravaged index finger tensor for ten minutes before playing, or suffer the consequences...."

That sounds down right inconveinient. Is it very painfull?
Blewbyou
Actually more inconvenient than painful. My left index finger locks up. SOOO...I flex it until I feel the lockup condition beginning, then I very deliberately massage the jamming tendon pulley until it stops jamming, something that takes a few minutes to accomplish.

It won't stop me from playing, dammit.

So, in a real sense, tone is in the fingers, so it is important to keep them safe from injury. Practise ECONOMY OF MOTION. Unnecessary movement is possibly half the reason for injury. Showy flourishes and excessive wobbling when playing vibrato notes can be hard on those tendons, while contributing little to 'tone'.
 

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That's the amazing thing about music....the other day I just said "32 years and I just realize this now?" no joke :food-smiley-004:

Andy
 

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nine said:
I only buy the "tone is in the fingers" stuff up to a certain point. Yes, the way you play is obviously going to effect how you sound. How you fret, pick............all sorts of stuff.

But "tone" is a pretty wide ranging word. For example, you can't give someone an electric guitar and say "play it so it sounds like an acoustic". That is a tonal difference that can't be reconciled with the tips of your fingers and a certain gauge of pick.

You can't give Eddie Van Halen or some other guitar hero dude a 10 watt solid state amp and some '60s POS surf rock guitar and expect him to sound like his signature sound. That's because there's a lot of other factors in what constitutes a person's "tone".

I think that a lot of times, the people that like to repeat "tone is in the fingers" tend to use it in a dismissive fashion to look down on people that they perceive as being less enlightened than them in the voodoo art of tone. Makes them feel special or something. :banana:
Tone is in the hands of the palyer, given that the gear is reasonable.

One case in point that comes to mind is from a Guitar Tech that lives in Hamilton, and who was the tech for Cheryl Crow (among others). At the time, Crow was dating Eric Clapton, who would show up at some of her gigs/sound checks. Every now and then he would pick up a guitar that was not his own setup and presto - instant Clapton Tone. The guitar was handed back to it's owner and the Clapton tone was gone.

Haven't seen much of the "tech' lately, but I did find the following: http://www.gibson.com/whatsnew/pressrelease/1997/Oct24b.html

"Vegas" is the tech
 
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