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Guitar Tone: Pursuing the Ultimate Guitar Sound [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Mitch Gallagher

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15. November 2011
"Guitar Tone: Pursuing the Ultimate Guitar Sound" is the ultimate resource for guitarists searching for not just the 'best' tone, but those searching for their own distinctive, individual tone. First it covers the instruments and components that create tone. It then examines the sounds and tonal approaches used in different styles of music. The last section includes interviews with today's hottest guitarists to learn the secret to their idiosyncratic tones and includes gear lists and suggestions for re-creating specific tones.

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Guitar Tone: Pursuing the Ultimate Guitar Sound + Tone Manual: Discovering Your Ultimate Electric Guitar Sound
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1. Instruments and Components that Create Tone. 2. Sounds and Tonal Approaches Used for Different Styles of Music. 3. Interviews with Popular Guitarists Noted for Having Distinctive, Recognizable Tones.

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29 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An Exceptional and Useful Resource ... 2. Dezember 2011
Von DACHokie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
With over 30 years of guitar playing under my belt, I feel very comfortable working up and down the fret board, but still consider myself technologically "naïve" when it comes to understanding and explaining tone. The trial and error method of changing pickups, string gauges, tunings and adjusting dials of a multitude of stomp boxes has always served me well in developing a tone that I find appealing. But, my lack of fully understanding the dynamics of my amplifiers (solid state vs. tube amplifiers) and even some stomp boxes (overdrive vs. fuzz vs. distortion) is something that has frustrated and even embarrassed me over the years, especially when talking to other guitarists. Mitch Gallagher's GUITAR TONE: PURSUING THE ULTIMATE GUITAR SOUND provided exactly what I've needed (for decades); a simple, but very comprehensive breakdown of virtually everything that makes an electric guitar sound the way it does. I found this book to be an essential "go to" guide that will serve me for years to come and it instantly became a permanent addition to my personal library.

As a musician that prefers to play-by-ear (although I can read music), I have always "felt" my way around developing a guitar tone that suits a particular style of music. While playing notes correctly and in-tune rank high on the list of importance to most players outside Keith Richards, the guitar's tone might just as well be #1 on the list for many guitarists. After all, the tone is arguably the trademark that not only separates the great guitarists, but permanently identifies their iconic status. Many fellow guitarists have spent a great deal of money and time trying to emulate "that sound" of a particular guitar hero (for me, it was the watery twang of Stevie Ray Vaughan or the nasal tone of Jimmy Page's live performances with Zeppelin). While it is easy to assume that simply playing the same equipment (such as Fender Stratocaster for Stevie and a Gibson Les Paul through a Marshall stack for Jimmy) would be the logical first-step, however, this is not always the case. Like snowflakes, no guitar, amp or effect is ever the same (regardless of what the manufactures state) and we all hear things differently. I wonder how many people purchased a Gibson Les Paul or double neck to emulate the tone on the studio version of the "Stairway to Heaven" solo, only to discover Jimmy Page did NOT use a Gibson to record that stellar moment? What Mitch Gallagher does with GUITAR TONE is organize the huge list of factors that affect an electric guitar's tone and explain the how and why aspects of each to better inform the guitarist of what is and isn't important in developing a guitar's tone. From the wood used on the guitar's body to the winding of pickup wire to the shape and material of the guitar pick, Gallagher covers huge ground in a simplified format that I found to be both entertaining and highly educational. GUITAR TONE explains things in great detail, but does not require a degree in electrical engineering to comprehend ... and this is music to my ears.

What separates GUITAR TONE from most everything else I've read is that it serves as a one-stop-shop for all things tone-related ... everything I could think of and much more is covered in this book (Gallagher does not simply cover the obvious). Starting with an introductory definition of guitar tone and why it is important, the book wastes no time before going to the sources of tone, starting with the guitar itself (shape, wood-type, frets, chambers, finish, etc). Subsequent chapters cover everything from strings, cables, speakers, hardware material and a plethora of effects (stomp boxes and multi-effects processors). While the list of material covered is extensive enough to require almost 400 pages, it is very easy to consume. Full of analogies and humor, Gallagher makes the learning process a relatable and enjoyable experience. What is obvious throughout the book is that the author has definitely done the research and knows how to simplify information to a level that most readers will appreciate and understand. Adding to the simplifying process, Gallagher implements at-a-glance boxes throughout GUITAR TONE that summarizes the range of impact the subject matter has on guitar tone, so you guitarists may be a little more knowledgeable before spending an arm and a leg on gold tuners that don't do anything but possibly get your guitar stolen. Additionally, much of the book clarifies myths about things that alter tones ... like the unnecessary decimation of the tortoise population to generate a few guitar picks that are no more functional or cooler-looking than the man-made alternative. Three quarters of the book is dedicated to the items that affect guitar tone and the subject matter is up-to-date (we even get an explanation as to why the feds are hassling the good folks at Gibson guitars the last few months). Good stuff.

The last chapter of the book is dedicated to the tones of various guitar legends themselves. While most all the heavy-hitters are provided, inevitably an issue for some will be those guitarists who weren't highlighted ... the difference being a 400 vs. an 800 page book. The guitar legend section offers rundown of gear and throws in some of the individual idiosyncrasies that make these axe-men so legendary in the first place. Nothing tremendously ground-breaking is revealed, but I found this section of the book both informative and entertaining (like a convenient conglomeration of highlights from guitar magazine articles over the years). If the introduction/explanation of guitar tone and the components of guitar tone serve as the appetizer and entree of this book (respectively), then the section on the artists is the dessert ... a perfect way to complete the meal.

GUITAR TONE is a highly informative book that is presented in a manner that I found to be particularly addictive and fun to read. Mitch Gallagher provides a resource that amplifier or effects pedal manufacturers have continuously failed to provide in their owners' manuals ... useful information. GUITAR TONE has already proven to be a handy tool that allows me to explore my guitar and equipment to hone my tone with more confidence and authority than ever before. Although some graphical content (pictures and/or drawings) would have enhanced the overall presentation, the lack of it does not diminish the book's value. The book fills a niche that has long been needed ... a non-technical explanation of why your guitar sounds the way it does.
46 von 53 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Perfect Guitar Tone is Elusive, A Never Ending Journey 15. Dezember 2011
Von Bob Feeser - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I have been playing guitar for over 40 years. I bought a 1966 Telecaster or should I say my parents bought it for me brand new back then; cherry picked it, and I still have it. Oddly enough the Fender Squier Classic Vibe Customs remind me of it in the way it plays and feels but that's fodder for another post.

The author of this book Mitch Gallagher I often see on documentary videos from Sweetwater one of the larger stores. I had no idea that he had such an in depth knowledge of all aspects of the guitar. This book goes into everything and most importantly how it affects tone.

In a popular Tele guitar forum, one of the members has a signature line that reads, "Tone will beat a thousand notes every time". The reason why I mention that tone is elusive is because Mitch says exactly that in the book. He wishes he could say, "Ok use this type of wood, and this particular set of pickups, etc. etc. and get this exact tone". It doesn't work that way. For example even the same wood species is going to vary somewhat. As a matter of fact there can be major tonal differences between wood taken from the same tree based on where from that tree it was taken, how was it sawn, where was it grown. The elusive tone that we seek therefore is a journey. It seems like we are always arriving at that next pickup change, or string type, or installing that bone nut, but as soon as we make the change, there is some further refinement that we seek.

The impressive thing about this book is the in depth knowledge that is provided in each and every aspect of the guitar; how pickups are made yesterday, today, and what new developments have recently been achieved. The different magnet types, Alnico 2, 3, 4, 5 and their tonal variations. Many people feel that the old pickups are better. He explains all of that and also mentions that since they were manually wound there were a lot of variations. Once again, you think that you can put your finger on something, only to realize it slips out from under just as you acquire it.

The other thing that is well covered is what do the guitar greats use, and how do they use it? Did you know that Eric Clapton places a block of wood in his Strat to lock the tremolo bar? What kind of amps did he use? What years did he go use pedal effects, and what years did he just use the maxed out Marshall stacks, and what does he use today? How is his custom shop Strats equipped? All of these things and more are covered, and he includes a lot of the all time best guitar players in there as well, giving each their own section.

If you want to join into the guitar forums, and really be in the know, you want others to realize that you know your stuff, then get this book, read it cover to cover, and then be able to go back in and use it as a desk reference whenever you are deciding on how to do that latest mod. I wish this book had been written a long time ago. Very, very highly recommended.

Update: I do want to add that anyone who criticizes this book because it doesn't have enough pictures can't be a serious guitarist. I found each sentence each paragraph so chock full of interesting information pertinent to my quest for the perfect tone that any concerns of having nice pictures to look at was the last thing on my mind. I don't think there is another person out there who knows even half of what this book has to offer. If you seriously love guitar, and know how crucial good tone is to enjoying it, this book is for you. I'm still pouring over it. It is almost too much to absorb in one reading, and it will be a prominent fixture in my studio for constant reference especially when I am pondering new gear.
19 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Music to your ears? 13. Januar 2012
Von David Field - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I have a major issue with the subject of this and similar books, so I'll review the book and then have my rant in the comments.

This book deals with all aspects of guitar tone, and how each part of the guitar and amplifier combo contributes to the sound. From the type of wood used in the body and neck of the guitar, Mitch Gallagher goes through the obvious things like pick-ups and tube/solid-state amps. He goes on to explain things in considerable detail, so you can see how the various parts of the signal chain contribute to your sound.

Each part is explained in easy-to-understand language (there's a whole chapter on things like nuts and bridges, for instance), and I'm sure that even if you're a guitar fan, you'll find something new here.

The last part of the book is a series of more than a dozen chapters dealing with "Icons of Tone" - the guitarists who've shaped our understanding of what the instrument can sound like, over the last almost 50 years. Clapton, Hendrix, Jeff Beck, and others have their gear discussed here - what they used all through their career, not just what they're using now.

For instance, I knew that Jimmy Page was a session guitarist almost 50 years ago, but the chapter on him talks about the guitar he used in that period (a Gibson Les Paul Black Beauty) and even mentions some of the groups he helped out in the recording studio.

Gallagher tries to suggest which parts of the signal chain have the most effect on tone (and probably annoys some people who won't play a guitar made of "the wrong kind" of wood). He even includes a section on "tone is in your fingers" which is an important part of the whole thing. It's a minor pity that there is no CD included or Web site where you could download examples of tone differences - I think it would make things very clear to people who don't have the wealth of experience that Gallagher has.

But this is a small caveat in a book that went further than I expected, and I doubt anyone will find it lacking or incorrect. So, if you want to improve your guitar tone, this is the book to get.

But . . . I've come to the conclusion that searching for "the perfect tone" is a waste of time and money. There is a world of difference between that and "a good tone," and that's what I think people should aim for. See the comments for more on this.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Deeply detailed and very well written 8. Februar 2012
Von Chris Rutkowski - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Mitch Gallagher has succeeded at a very difficult task. He has written an incredibly comprehensive text on a specialized topic, but also written a book that the untrained reader would enjoy and can get lost in. Furthermore, much of his discussion is not specific to the guitar world, but very useful to a number of varied fields. I'm thinking of his excellent explanation of amplifiers and the theory of amplification, with one of the best descriptions of how a vacuum tube works that I have read. I was equally impressed with the range of styles he addresses. For example, in addition to providing comprehensive analyses of how iconic rock guitarists such as Jeff Beck achieved their signature sounds, he also includes jazz and fusion players like Larry Carleton and Robben Ford.

This is a very enjoyable book.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Reads like a Sweetwater catalogue. 23. Januar 2014
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Thorough list millions of toys and nothing about how the legends adjusted them to achieve their golden tones. Disappointingly dreary.
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