Re: TONE [ain't ~sound~]

Furrther to what Rainboe Jimmy wrote here:

amc>  From a Virginia Tech website has 
amc> this as a definition of tone:
amc> "The particular sound of an instrument or voice, as well as the performer¹s 
amc> particular coloring of that sound. For example, the tone produced by a 
amc> certain clarinetist could be said to be rich, dark, and mellow; this is the 
amc> result of the natural sound of the instrument, combined with the performer¹s 
amc> particular technique of playing."
amc> Good tone obviously is subjective. Obviously many things affect the 
amc> tone-amp, mic, recording techniques, eq, effects, etc, as well the 
amc> performer.

and what (I think it was) Robb Bingham wrote here:

RB> When is one man's, ~fat, well-placed, full TONE~, another man's shabby,
RB> thin shallow tone? When is someoneís thin, ill-conceived, weak tone
RB> someone elseís ~GREAT TONE~.  Answer: Never.].

Not _never_. And that's the point. Although Robb is using extremes
here in an effort to bolster his argument, the point really is that
"good" or "great" tone is made up of shadings (as it happens, shadings
of--among other things--many of the techniques that Robb quite
corectly and generously mentioned as being a part of getting great tone).

And it is the shadings--not the reductio ad absurdum extremes--that
people take into consideration when they are talking about "great"
tone or "good" tone.

However, when all is said and done--and played and done--there is
still the niggling fact that people _like_ the results or don't, for
whatever reason. And there is no reason people should be "forced" to
say that a sound they don't like is "great" tone simply based on
another persons assertion. Simply put, a tone you don't like is not
"great" for you. It may well be "great" for someoene else, or even a
majority of someone elses.

To use the word "tone" without qualifiers only indicates a sound that
does or might exist when played. It says almost nothing about the sound.

The use of the word "tone" by itself certainly doesn't indicate some
inherent level of quality. We use words like good, bad, mellow, shrill
etc to make those quality distinctions, and once we've used those
terms, we still have very little idea how the sounds will affect any given

Example: would anyone here call the sound of Robert Plant's harp on
Dazed and Confused "great tone"?? Heh heh, I love it :-). Great to me,
but I wouldn't want to play like that, or sound like that.

Go figure.


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