Quest For Tone

I'm glad to see so much discussion on the TONE thread, and glad to see so
many of you "setting me straight"

Robb Bingham contributed:

> John Mayall has, IMHO, lousy tone [but your point is
> still valid].

Right, John Mayall is a good songwriter, Great Bluesman, revered Mentor (of
many Great guitarists), but NOT defined by his harp-playing.

I should have included Robb's Qualifier in my first post on the subject:
(but that wouldn't have been incendiary enough for my taste!) ;-)

> Qualifier: In the above statement I'm talking about
> once we're PAST a certain level of expertise- which
> all mentioned surely are.

TONE seems to be (for me) the toughest part to MASTER. I'm learning all I
can, as fast as I can, with the time I have available to put into it. The
more I learn & hear better players, the more I understand I NEED to learn. I
believe it's the same for MOST players of ANY instrument. Arpeggios, scales,
chords, theory - technique - is the first part of mastery. But I think that
TONE is a crucial defining factor of good (or GREAT) musicianship whether
we're talking penny-whistles, guitars, or harmonicas. It's not the ONLY one,
and I'm not saying we all have to sound like Cham-ber Huang, or Kim Wilson
to deserve the respect of our peers. I'm not about to try to DEFINE "good
tone", but I don't think a person has mastered their instrument until
they've mastered their tone.

Some posters on this thread have claimed that this or that "revered" player
didn't have "great" tone; again, I'm not trying to define good tone as "Kim
Wilson's tone", etc., just GOOD. Pleasant to listen to. Captivating.
Interesting. For every player you can point to that "had great chops, but
lousy tone", You can find TWO that are BETTER KNOWN and MORE RESPECTED that
had it "all". That's what separates good from great. Let's face it, nobody's
gonna want to listen to your fastest runs, cleverest phrasing, etc. - if you
don't SOUND GOOD. You just won't hold your listeners' attantion.

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