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Who was the first guitarist with "singing" overdrive


tribalfusion

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When does the SINGING lead tone emerge?

 

Is there any credible singing lead tone before Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton of any real note?

 

I don't mean buzzy distortion or growling guitar like Link Wray and others but gain used for a more singing lead tone (like early Beck and Clapton did for example)

 

Who were the first guys to do this and preferably do it well?

 

Thanks!

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Look into electric blues from the late 40's forward. Lightning Slim, JB Hutto, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, a lot of lesser known guys too. That's where Clapton, Beck and everybody else from that era got it from.

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Look into electric blues from the late 40's forward. Lightning Slim, JB Hutto, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, a lot of lesser known guys too. That's where Clapton, Beck and everybody else from that era got it from.

 

Thanks...I have looked into it many times but am unaware of any actual recording of theirs which has that tone. They were generally made to turn down in the studio and some of them lamented that in fact. They were certainly cool and an influence on the people I mentioned but didn't have that singing tone yet on record at least.

 

If you can think of some tracks more like what I mean from the Beano Clapton or early Beck tones, I would love to hear them.

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Carlos Santana certainly played a big, influential part in the evolution of that style and sound. While the earlier Blues players that picker pointed out started it, with B.B. King doing a cleaner version of it, and Clapton, Beck, and the other Brit Blues players upped the ante, Santana was one of the first to really do that "singing" style- with both that type of phrasing with long, wavering notes and the sustaining, "singing" heavy overdrive.

 

lightbulb.gif An argument could be made for the lap and pedal steel players of the '40s and '50s, not to mention Blues slide players who plugged in...

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Beck was the first I heard over here who really used a compressed note to hold it - story goes he put the head of his guitar through his Marshall Combo & blew 2 of the tubes, turned up full & found this heavily compressed & distorted overdrive really by accident, and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

Don't know whether it's true or not.

 

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Look into electric blues from the late 40's forward. Lightning Slim, JB Hutto, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, a lot of lesser known guys too. That's where Clapton, Beck and everybody else from that era got it from.

 

excuse me, hit the trigger too quick.

 

but yep, you got it.

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Sister Rosetta Thorpe.

 

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SRT, a conservative "Granny" who still rocked as hard as any of her contemporaries- damn, what a special talent. :)

 

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What I've heard from old timers around here (Louisiana, around New Orleans) is that Guitar Slim was much more overdriven (and a wild, ahead of his time showman) live than was allowed on recordings, and people like Buddy Guy and Johnny "Guitar" Watson experienced it live and cranked their own amps up to get that sustain and overdrive and recorded that way and those recordings influenced people like Frank Zappa and Eric Clapton...

 

It seems that the sound of wailing sax and some vocalists were what pushed some people to get "nastier" tones... I mean, John Lee Hooker and Howlin' Wolf have wonderfully distorted voices, the guitar had to match.

 

Listening to this now, and lots of nasty overdriven guitars pops up in otherwise slick 50s r&b production...

 

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In his autobiography Andy Summers mentions stopping by Clapton's pad one day in the early '60s and there was something on the phonograph player and he asked Clapton "Wow, when did you record this?" and he looks and it's a Buddy Guy record. "A HA!!!! So, that's your secret... you're the only guy in England with a Buddy Guy record!!!!"

 

Apparently Summers also found a couple of Les Paul standards in a shop off the beaten path for cheap (no one wanted them), bought one (which he used very little) and when Clapton asked where he got it sent him to get the other one... later, EC's was stolen and he bought Andy's in time to record Fresh Cream.

 

At the time Fender was devising ways to make sure it's amps DIDN'T distort or overdrive (being devoted to the country and jazz and (polite) surf markets as far as design, thinking the "un-polite) blues and rock and roll to be fads that would burn out quickly)... I don't know much about Gibson amps...

 

Clapton wanted a Les Paul because Freddie King and some of his other heroes had them on record covers... but those guys didn't have Marshall or Vox amps, whose take on the Fender Deluxe/Bassman/Twin concepts produced a nice overdrive...

 

So, somewhere in between there probably lies the genesis of the entire thing.

 

The Bluesbreakers or Yardbirds might mark the point in time when recording equipment (and the people who ran it) could accept the sound. I have to think the folks in the 50s with Les Pauls and 335s and Flying Vs and Strats and Teles who plugged them into Silvertone amps and little Champs and Princetons and turned them all the way up had to go "now, wait a minute!" Even if fashion at the time was geared more toward the Chet Atkins/Scotty Moore/James Burton clean picking thing or Chuck Berry and Link Wray and Duane Eddy.

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I started playing in 1964, my first amp was a Fender black faced Bassman head with a 2-12 cabinet. I played in a band with someone who had a hundred watt amp so I had to put the bassman on 10 just to hear myself, that is how I found that sound so I would say anyone with a small amp back in the 50's could have done the same thing. So I would say it just evolved over time by trial and error. I also had a Black face Deluxe Reverb at the time also and that thing sang like a birdie when everything was on 10 (Except the reverb and bass controls).
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  • 6 months later...

While this is GREAT music excellently performed by EVERYONE involved, I don't hear ANY "singing" guitar or "singing overdrive" with the exception of the lap/non-pedal steel-guitar playing of "Herby" (Herb Remington, I presume?), near the end...

 

found this thread while I was looking for something else...here's Junior Barnard, who played with Bob Wills for a couple of years in the mid-'40s.

 

[video:youtube]

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~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

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It's all here in this thread. My mini-cliff notes of what's already here would be like this: Sister Rosetta Thorpe, Hubert Sumlin, Albert King. I have to throw in Elmore James as I think a lot of what ended up in later tones was already in "clean" tones.

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