Pedals as a crutch

Discussion in 'The Effect effect' started by spellcaster, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. spellcaster

    spellcaster Strat-O-Master

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    I'm guessing this opinion isn't going to win me many friends, but I think it needs to be said. I see way too many guitar players using pedals as a crutch. It frustrates the hell out of me that playing classic rock, not every song needs distortion or overdrive, and yet it's like pulling teeth trying to get guys to play without effects pedals. Yes, some songs may require it...I don't disagree with wanting a fuzz pedal to play Satisfaction, and some older music had a bit of dirt from overdriven amplifiers, but it gets tiresome as hell when players want to use heavy distortion and overdrive on every song. When I tried to bring this up to the guys in my band I get a lot of flack, but I see the heavy reliance on distortion, overdrive and fuzz as a way to cover poor technique and inadequate playing.

    I listened to a YouTube video yesterday of a local band, one of whose members has applied for a slot with my band. It was like a breath of fresh air, and it took me a minutes to figure out why they sounded so much better than we do.....and then I realized that they were playing clean. When I listen to most bands, the sound is cluttered, disorganized and smeared, and when I think about why, it's got more to do with overuse of effects pedals than anything.
     
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  2. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

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    Hello, who is " you guys " ?

    I do use a lot of effects, but only when the song requires them.

    I love my Strat on clean, but various amounts of reverb is pretty much a standard for me on most everything.

    Mega drive is cool when needed , ain't nobody gonna stop me now.[emoji4]



    Sent from my HUAWEI VNS-L22 using Tapatalk
     
  3. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Different strokes for different folks.

    You do you, ok? :cool:
     
  4. Tsjackson

    Tsjackson Strat-O-Master

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    I remember going from amps with a drive channel to amps with just one volume. I’ve never used pedals or effects other than amp drive

    I must say I hugely prefer the sounds and sensitivity of a single volume/channel valve amp but I did notice it was way harder to hide sloppy playing. Everything is crystal clear, even with some valve drive if the amp is pushed.

    it really made me improve my technique and be probably 60% more accurate with both my pickin’ fingers and frettin’ fingers
     
  5. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    How the heck would I get my guitar to have a Univibe throb without a Univibe type pedal, or annoy people with a heavy wet Chorus sound without a Chorus pedal, or crank up my Metalzone to let the neighbors know just how horrible I play?

    LOL

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. spellcaster

    spellcaster Strat-O-Master

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    I've got no problem with use of reverb, or other effects that are appropriate for the songs, such as tremelo. What I find objectionable is the fairly common attitude that distortion belongs in every song. It not only sounds artificial in a lot of cases, but it makes bands sound the same, no matter what they're playing.
     
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  7. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Strat-O-Master

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    If possible, post some sound clips of some examples you've experienced/seen of folks using overdrive/distortion to cover up bad technique. I'd be interested in listening to it.
     
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  8. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    Ridiculous. There are lousy guitar players. Their pedals have nothing To do with it.
     
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  9. apm1991

    apm1991 Senior Stratmaster

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    Tom Morello?
     
  10. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Any gear can be a crutch - there are guys with expensive Les Pauls and Marshall amps - little to no effects pedals - and they still sound like garbage because they never developed technique and/or don't understand the use of dynamics in their playing.

    As you can see from my sig I have a pretty massive pedalboard, but it is by no means a crutch. I see it as having more colors to paint with, or a wider variety of spices in the cabinet.
    Now, of course, you don't throw all the colors on the canvas all at once - nor do you throw every spice in the soup. Garlic tastes great, but if you use it in EVERYTHING then it loses it's novelty and/or it's just WRONG for certain dishes.

    What made bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd great was their use of dynamics - both used effects, but used them in the right spots.
     
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  11. Nick-O

    Nick-O Senior Stratmaster

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    Well, my figuring is, you are a guitar player, and you are obviously playing pretty much clean for what your style is, some o/d or whatever when the song calls for it. The guy you auditioning plays clean, so I doubt there is a third guitarist in your band, so problem solved. The rest of your band doesn't play guitar, so why would they care if you are covering your part properly?
    If this is a rant aimed at YT or something, just say it. If it is aimed at your band as stated, you are in good shape now with the problem solved. I hate too much of everything as well when it is not called for, but our other guitarist plays just right to my ears for the way the tunes are called for, and I try to do the same. Our bass played uses synth sometimes, but it works and the song usually calls for it. If the tune on YT doesn't hit me right, I move on. Life is too short to waste time watching or listening to poop of any kind.

    .02¢
     
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  12. Scooter

    Scooter Strat-Talk Member

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    I was going to strongly disagree with you (in the most friendly manner :D) based on the title of your thread, but after reading your post I absolutely agree with you. Many, many players play with way too much gain.

    Gain/dirt has its place. Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is more, and sometimes more isn't enough - but it's all about what the situation calls for, good taste, and the support of the song. It ain't all about the guitar player....
     
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  13. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    On the subject of how much gain, I agree, too much leads to mud. On the other hand, at home, trying to match a sound on a record, I think you often actually need more than you think.
     
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  14. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    skip to 1:35

    This sums it up for me

     
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  15. 33db

    33db Senior Stratmaster

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    I hear what your saying, I use to use delay constantly in the 90's, my friends would joke about it.

    But you know Rush has a lyric about this sort of thing and I find it rings true regardless of how you make the music.

    All this machinery making modern music
    Can still be open-hearted
    Not so coldly charted, it's really just a question
    Of your honesty, yeah, your honesty
     
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  16. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunny Frankenstein Strat-Talk Supporter

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    My question to you is, Have you ever tried to turn everything on your board on at one time? If so, did you need to have your own power sub-station to keep from blacking out the entire grid?
     
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  17. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy Strat-O-Master

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    Personal opinion here...

    If you feel naked when someone takes your pedalboard away, then it’s a crutch.

    If you think you’re a hot guitar player and when your pedalboard gets taken away you suddenly aren’t, then maybe it’s a crutch,

    However if your pedalboard brings you limitless joy, then that’s what it’s all about. And the Hokey Pokey. It’s always about that.

    On a side note, I have mixed sound for tons of bands whose pedals sounded like bees on wax paper with God-awful tone from poor pedal knob position and too much effect, not enough talent and ear common sense :confused:.

    - DSG
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  18. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Most Honored Senior Member

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    I learned that about myself many years ago. Playing with lots of distortion and effects covered a good part of my lack of skill. I figured that if I wanted to get better I needed to play straight.
     
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  19. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Most Honored Senior Member

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    @Chont beat me to it.
    His post of RW stating that they are just tools sums it up for me
     
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  20. stormsedge

    stormsedge Strat-Talker

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    I'm gonna hobble over here to a corner and just watch.