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Best use of "that strat sound?"


p90jr

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Listening - as I often do - To Richard and Linda Thompson's Shoot Out The Lights record.

 

Someday I will find what Richard's signal chain was on that record... his '57 strat into tweed Fenders and probably an MXR or Electro-Harmonix delay (what other delays were there, really, back in 1980-81)?

 

Anyway, it's a wonderful strat sound.

 

I'd also nominate most recordings by Marshall Crenshaw (underrated as a guitarist in my opinion).

 

Andy Summers' track on "Every Breath You Take"

 

and of course Mark Knopfler on the first batch of Dire Straits records.

 

Gary Sanford's sounds on the first 2 Joe Jackson records (though I think he had a P90 or Firebird mini-humbucker in neck position).

 

"One Thing Leads To Another" and most of the hits I remember by The Fixx made great use of the out of phase strat + chorus + delay thing, which I love (but just got over-and mis-applied as the 80s went on).

 

Alex Chilton on Big Star's Radio City

 

and of course Gilmour and Hendrix and Eric Johnson in places...

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A personal favorite example of Strat tone: "Lenny" by SRV. Also EC's Strat into a "tweed" Champ all over the Layla album.

 

A little off the beaten path, I also really dug the fretless, Foxx Tone Machine octave-fuzzed Strat on "Big Electric Cat" by Adrian Belew.

 

As for the delay/echo used on Shoot Out The Lights-

 

Hmmmnn; are you so sure that the echo/delay wasn't added post-mic at the board, and probably not from an effects-pedal?

 

In any case, he's apparently been seen with both Boss DD-3 Digital Delay and Carl Martin Red Repeat (analog?) pedals in his live pedal-boards.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

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A personal favorite example of Strat tone: "Lenny" by SRV. Also EC's Strat into a "tweed" Champ all over the Layla album.

 

A little off the beaten path, I also really dug the fretless, Foxx Tone Machine octave-fuzzed Strat on "Big Electric Cat" by Adrian Belew.

 

As for the delay/echo used on Shoot Out The Lights-

 

Hmmmnn; are you so sure that the echo/delay wasn't added post-mic at the board, and probably not from an effects-pedal?

 

In any case, he's apparently been seen with both Boss DD-3 Digital Delay and Carl Martin Red Repeat (analog?) pedals in his live pedal-boards.

 

Nope, not sure at all what was used... but he gets the same sounds in 80's live vids I've seen. I have used a touch of the treble-boost setting on the Janglebox compressor along with the clean channel on a SD Twin Tube adding a little punch and a touch of slapback delay on a Deluxe Memory Man to get close enough to the tone to impress people who were hanging out.

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There are a ton of great Strat tones all over George Harrison's first collection of solo songs, All Things Must Pass , starting with both George and Clapton on the Harrison/Dylan opener, I'd Have You Anytime . Since Harrison used Derel and The Dominoes for a lot of the record, I assume that's Blackie supplying many of those supple strat tones, and gorgeous they are. The entire album is Strat and acoustic beauty, and some killer steel tones as well.

 

I use All Things Must Pass a lot as a reference disc. I love its celestial beauty.

 

On a very different path, Ulrich (Uli Jon) Roth supplied early Scorpions records with an incredible variety of Strat tones, clean and dirty. Vastly underrated work.

only love is real,all else is illusion

http://rockguitardaily.blogspot.com/

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Someday I will find what Richard's signal chain was on that record... his '57 strat into tweed Fenders and probably an MXR or Electro-Harmonix delay (what other delays were there, really, back in 1980-81)?

 

You might consider that he recorded the Strat dry and the delays and other effects were added through studio quality hardware effects at mix down. I used to record in those days and the method at the time was record everything flat and dry, and add effects through the efx loop on each channel of the console as the mix was being finalized, then shoot the whole mix with effects into a half track (2 track or stereo) deck.

 

In fact I still use the same method, I record everything sans efx and EQ'ing (other than eq'ing the instrument amp or preamp pre input) Then I use effects as plug ins in my sequencer.

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Loads of great example of great Strat tones of which there are many. I recently wrote a piece in my blog about the incredibilty of the Strat and it's wide uses.

 

You wanna find your guitar voice? Picking up a Strat will sure do that. The instrument itself seems to invite individuality. I wish I had a doaen of 'em....Thank you Fender, Carson, etc...

only love is real,all else is illusion

http://rockguitardaily.blogspot.com/

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You wanna find your guitar voice? Picking up a Strat will sure do that. The instrument itself seems to invite individuality. I wish I had a doaen of 'em....Thank you Fender, Carson, etc...

 

Yeah, I think that's true, a Les Paul/335/you-name-it-'bucker equipped guitar will definitely guide you into certain things by virtue of the kind of sound it makes. A Strat will definitely make you work harder, and I think that's where the invitation to individuality comes in.

 

But there is nothing like the lovely scream of a G string bent somewhere in the middle of the neck with a little vibrato, picked up by humbucker and pushed into a cranked tube amp. It's pure sex. I really only make the sound I hear in my head when I'm playing my Hamer or my V through my Boogie. That's when I sound like me.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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You wanna find your guitar voice? Picking up a Strat will sure do that. The instrument itself seems to invite individuality. I wish I had a doaen of 'em....Thank you Fender, Carson, etc...

 

That's an old wives tale. What you need is a good instrument. I have a strat that I like a lot, and I also have and SG that I like a lot. I've lived with both long enough to know how to coax various things from either one.

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A Strat will definitely make you work harder

 

Only on the overdriven sounds, for cleans the shorter scale hbbkr equipped guitars are peaky-er and harder to get real clean pickin done. That is my experience anyways. Although it can be done with time and practice.

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I have a strat that I like a lot, and I also have and SG that I like a lot. I've lived with both long enough to know how to coax various things from either one.

 

Yep, there it is, experience with either or any guitar will do the trick.

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The thing is, the versatility of the Strat eclipses every other mainstream design. Buddy Holly, John Prine, Willie Nelson, Kris, Dylan, Clapton, Jimi, Jeff Beck, Jeff Healey, George Harrison, SRV, Terry Kath, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, Blackmore, Gilmour, Randy Hanson, Trower, Rory, Eric Johnson, Knopfler, Malmsteen,.... the list is endless, have all come up with their own voice on a Strat. Vai and EVH cut their teeth on Strats, which also inspired their dream guitars. Ya may prefer your LP for some things - I certainly do - but nothin' gets me cookin' like a Strat, or one of the fine axes it has inspired, but which push the envelope further. Blades and Tom Andersons come to mind.....
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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Sure there'slots of distinctive voices that go the humbucker route. Some of my favorites (Schenker, Gary Moore, Billy Gibbons - to name a few instantly recognizable voices) go that route. Heck, I go that route. I'm a '59 Les Paul guy (mine was hand built by super luthier Mark Kaiser).

 

Still, that list of Strat users is very impressive in it's range of sounds and techniques, so I'll still give a lot of sway to my "old wife's tale."

 

It's not a rule, but a pretty dependable guideline.

 

peace, an old wife (?), tony conley

only love is real,all else is illusion

http://rockguitardaily.blogspot.com/

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Only on the overdriven sounds, for cleans the shorter scale hbbkr equipped guitars are peaky-er and harder to get real clean pickin done. That is my experience anyways. Although it can be done with time and practice.

 

Where I have to work harder on a Strat is in that brutal tone somewhere in-between overdriven and clean(think Pete Townshend on Live at Leeds), or perhaps more accurately, getting the guitar to feel right in that tonality. On a Les Paul, it just happens, and that's with either P90s or 'buckers. On a Strat or Tele, you really have to work to keep it from sounding shrieky in that range.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Cool blog, Tony. I'll have to read it all later... anxious to read the Doug Gillard thing.

 

A guy I work with here said the other day "Strats are the easiest guitars to play (and build), and so they're the default that every novice grabs and you see so many people who just artlessly strum and pick playing them. But, you notice right away when somebody who's good picks one up, because they use the eccentricities of the strat to do things you couldn't get out of any other guitar. I think people have to play other guitars to learn how to make the best use of strats."

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Someday I will find what Richard's signal chain was on that record... his '57 strat into tweed Fenders and probably an MXR or Electro-Harmonix delay (what other delays were there, really, back in 1980-81)?

 

You might consider that he recorded the Strat dry and the delays and other effects were added through studio quality hardware effects at mix down. I used to record in those days and the method at the time was record everything flat and dry, and add effects through the efx loop on each channel of the console as the mix was being finalized, then shoot the whole mix with effects into a half track (2 track or stereo) deck.

 

In fact I still use the same method, I record everything sans efx and EQ'ing (other than eq'ing the instrument amp or preamp pre input) Then I use effects as plug ins in my sequencer.

 

I've wondered if he didn't have a signal going straight into the board - and into outboard effects - along with a mic'ed amp.

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There are a ton of great Strat tones all over George Harrison's first collection of solo songs, All Things Must Pass , starting with both George and Clapton on the Harrison/Dylan opener, I'd Have You Anytime . Since Harrison used Derel and The Dominoes for a lot of the record, I assume that's Blackie supplying many of those supple strat tones, and gorgeous they are. The entire album is Strat and acoustic beauty, and some killer steel tones as well.

 

Actually that was most likely Brownie, the Strat he used on Layla.

 

From around the same period, I think my favorite clean Strat tone of all time is Clapton's playing on The London Howling Wolf Sessions, particularly in the tune "I Ain't Superstitious."

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I am remembering a cover gig where I'd broken a string on my Tele (didn't have a strat there) and was playing a Les Paul special, and the singer wanted to play SRV's "Heart and Soul," and it was impossible on that guitar... just not possible to play anywhere close... so I played it more like Freddie King or something, to a LOT of smirks and dismissive headshaking in the crowd. The lesson I learned: bring too much stuff to gigs.
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Cool blog, Tony. I'll have to read it all later... anxious to read the Doug Gillard thing.

 

A guy I work with here said the other day "Strats are the easiest guitars to play (and build), and so they're the default that every novice grabs and you see so many people who just artlessly strum and pick playing them. But, you notice right away when somebody who's good picks one up, because they use the eccentricities of the strat to do things you couldn't get out of any other guitar. I think people have to play other guitars to learn how to make the best use of strats."

 

A very good and valid point your friend makes, but I find the slightly shorter scaled Gibsons easier to play personally. Strats make me work, but in a good way. I also like the point about the Strat tones being harder to control in certain frequencies and tones than the Gibson counterparts. Maybe this accounts for the wide variety of solutions people have devised, from Eric Johnson to Gilmour to Malmsteen....

 

Doug Gillard is a great and dear friend whose playing I've admired for years. I've produced him, but never played with him. Perhaps this year. I've done a lot over the years with Robert Pollard and Guided by Voices. We did a record together in 2005 as The Moping Swans, Lightninghead to Coffee Pot. Been friends for 40 years now....wow....40 years.

 

Thanks for the kind words, tony conley

 

 

only love is real,all else is illusion

http://rockguitardaily.blogspot.com/

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http://www.musicdish.com/img/article/2000-07/Lloyd07.jpg

 

Forgot Richard Lloyd... who I guess used a Tele sometimes, but for doing some Television tribute nights the Tele didn't work for me (or a Jazzmaster) as well as a strat for his parts. It wasn't even really the sound, so much... you kind of need the ergonomics of the strat to play some of his stuff.

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For country twang and Knofler type sounds I like the 4th position (between the middle and bridge), for mello jazzy blues stuff I like the 1st position (kneck)...for lots of treble I like the bridge pick up and yes I do use the middle pick up for some clean inbetween...love my strats and for me they take the work out it and are very easy to play...keep the tone controls on full treble most of the time...
Take care, Larryz
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