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Ok, so recently i've been having a problem breaking out of a kind of "shell" or tonal variety. It sounds crazy, but yeah..

Anyway, lately, my band mates have been asking me to come up with some more distinct guitar tones, and its making me a little frustrated, because I dont really know what they want, and they dont know either, they just say, make it sound meaner or something like that.

My pedal board consists of this: Morley Wah Vol -> Tuner -> Ibanez Tube Screamer -> Line6 DL4 -> MXR Micro Amp -> my amp has tremolo and reverb built in.

So, you see here, i'm lacking in tones, i'm mostly using distortion and "meaner" guitar playing up until this point. And now i've hit a wall as to what I should do.

Can anyone help me out here? I'm not opposed to buying a pedal or two, so perhaps you could give me some suggestions as to what I should look into. I'm thinking about picking up a Phase 90 or something, but i'm not sure if that really fits the music we're playing (indie rock).

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!
 

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I like using preamps, because alot of good preamps give you so much control over the sound, that making your own sound is easy...........
 

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What are you using for an amp?? That might be where you are lacking. I know a 100watt tube head with a 4x12 cab sounds a lot meaner than a 60 watt SS in to a single 10 or 12".
 

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Maybe they want your actuall playing chops a bit harder or more distinct. You many want pre amps as suggested as they will change the character of your amp ie: Boogie pre amp into Marshall amp or pretty much any pre amp combo. Or a cheaper alternative is a Good pre amp modeler into the amps loop. Vox,Line6,Tech 21,Johnson all have high quality affordable units that have lots of Very good models. I have the Pod Xt with all upgrades and you get a huge variety of stunning tones. Good luck.
 

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Ah yes. The never ending quest for 'something different' in your sound, playing, etc. I go through this all time myself, but I'm in the fortunate position of my band members absolutely loving my sound and playing. Everytime I flirt with getting a new amp, my drummer just shakes his head and says 'man, it ain't broken, please don't fix it'. We guitar players are a curious lot aren't we?:food-smiley-004:
 

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Sometimes cutting down on the distortion and losing some effects can get a new tonal effect...look at AC/DC (not metal but snarling dogs mean)

Tarl
 

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yeah, when you take away some effects, you can get a much rawer and nastier sound. (this will also depend on your style of playing of course)

speaking of style, you could also get a "meaner" sound by incorporating certain techniques such as palm mutes, artificial harmonics, dissonant passing notes, and aggressive picking attack to your style.
Choice of notes is also very important, and can get you meaner sound depending on what notes you choose for certain chords/situations.

of course you might already be doing these things... so these are just some ideas.

as for gear, yeah finding a nice pedal could spark creativity and lead you to a different direction.
 

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options are off the scale here.
even picks make a big diff in tone. i use dunlop big stubbies 3.0mm.
everything else sounds weak to me now.
guitar setup is another cheap route to new tones. if you are an aggressive player, don't underestimate what a set of 11's and higher action can do.
don't forget the height adjustment of your pickups. as well as less preamp gain and a more direct tone ( not as many effects in the chain) is more in your face. and that is meaner.
and what the band is doing in relation to one another can up the meaness factor. locking in with a drummer can make for some nasty stuff. accents are everything in this regard.
some intervals are brutal too, nothing is as evil as a flatted 5th imho.
 
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