Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Round Pear-Shaped Tones - Notes For Guitar Players

I often have total strangers come up to me off the street and say, "MarcO how is it that you coax such dulcet tones from your guitar."

Their statements always brings to mind what Chet Atkins once said when a man walked up to him and exclaimed,
"That guitar sure sounds pretty".

Upon hearing that Mr. Atkins set the guitar up against a chair and said,
" 'how's it soundin' now?"

But I digress. The secret to my sound is not the fact that I have played guitar for 43 years. No sir. Constant daily practice has nothing to do with anything.

Look at Guitar Hero. Folks that spend $199 or so for Guitar Hero are overnight experts. Heavens no, practice and talent all are moot. The quality of your guitar means nothing. The secret lies in the pedal board.

What is a pedal board you ask? Well next time you watch your favorite guitar slinger take a second to look down at his or her feet and you will see little boxes all lined up that enable the guitarist not only to play, but sound magical.Without them they would sound pretty much like...well like uh...you.

So like the masked magician who reveals all of magic's secrets, I will reveal my secret pedal board to all that check out my blog.

I know it's difficult to see what each pedal
does, so for the curious I have pictured each
individual pedal.

The first is the Distortoshreddomatic. It's
possibly the most important box for
today's guitarists. This one is a classic from

a run of the units with a misspelling. I cannot
image what price it would go for on Ebay.

The next is my Kazoo Tone. It captures that classic 1960's tone of songs like Winchester Cathedral, Palisades Park
and Wild Thing.

I would hate to be the guitarist caught without the Mistake Suppressor. This covers a whole lot of what we guitar players call issues and automatically corrects them in real time. It's sort of like the voice correction software that all of today's singers use.

This pedal reminds me of another Chet Atkins story. He taped over the word reverb on his amplifier and wrote the word TALENT on the tape. This pedal brings Chet's humor to life. It's the Talent Simulator. You all just gotta' get one.

Finally I bought this pedal manufactured by the White Company. It's a compression unit called The Trash Compactor. It tightens up the guitar's sound into one neat little compressed and compacted package. Whatever you put into to it comes out tight and sweet and smelling like a rose.

So now that the secret is out, let's just keep it to ourselves...OK? Not everyone needs to know about the Pedalboard. S'hhhh.

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