Nope, actually tone is timbre. Youre making it sound overly complicated. You can however affect the timbre using technique, but claiming that the technique (and therefore hands) are more important than say the choice of amp, speaker, mic position etc is stretching it way too far.The whole debate is about people using the word "tone" to mean different things. Personally I think the word is so ambiguous as to be useless for actual communication. If your goal is to troll, then by all means go ahead.
If one is referring to the voice of the instrument, the sound of a particular rig, the better word is "timbre." For example, you cannot create the timbre of distorted metal guitar using only a nylon-string classical guitar. You cannot create the timbre of a saxophone if you're using a flute. Jimmy Hendrix playing 12-string doesn't sound the same as when he plays a Strat. Changing the value of the connecting caps in your amp changes the timbre. And so on. All this is fairly obvious to all of us.
If one is referring to note choice, timing, phrasing, and vibrato--the better word is "technique." No amount of money can buy technique, go practice. You won't sound like SRV because you don't have his technique. Also obvious.
The trouble is when people use Tone to mean technique to the exclusion of timbre, or timbre to the exclusion of technique, or mean it all sort of muddled together.
I think youre supporting my point by saying reducing the gain on the amp reduces sustainWhile I agree that when people say it's *ALL* in the hands, that can be an overstatement.
But with certain rigs, the tone is almost certainly dependent on the hands and technique. Someone running very high gain with a very delicate touch can get beautiful edge-of-break-up sustain that is the essence of their sound (see Trey Anastasio). Someone with a heavy picking attack, even if they are highly skilled, could make that same rig sound harsh and loud. Reducing the gain would reduce the sustain, meaning the hands/technique are an essential part the tone.
The other end of that argument is having two guitarists play, one of them plays bar-chords, the other plays single notes - and then remarking how much the tone must be in the hands, because they sound so different.How to debunk "tone is in the hands/wood/construction/whatever":
step 1: get the grainiest amp available, dime it
step 2: hit it with a distortion pedal... or five. Turn the gain up to where it's practically white noise
step 3: strum with maximum force at all times
Exactly! And two different pizzas burn to a crisp doesn't disprove anything.
Im assuming that they played different songs, different equipment, possibly even different genres? But still the hands are the most important variable?My opinion regarding where tone comes from is derived from listening to hundreds of people play up close and personal as oppossed to recorded and produced. Redefine the words however you like...
No. I'm saying an essential part of Trey Anastasio's tone is his picking technique. Without the that right hand touch, it can't be replicated.I think youre supporting my point by saying reducing the gain on the amp reduces sustain
This ^^, Jim you hit the nail on the head with thisI think tone is in the equipment and technique is in the hands. If you programmed a robot to play a particular series of chords and notes, the technique would be identical for each song with only the tone changing based on guitar, strings, pedals, amps, mics, room acoustics, etc. Having EVH play his signature riffs on my metal rig, a strat with a clean amp, or even a good acoustic would yield different tonal result, but most people would know who was playing by his technique. What makes a particular performance "great" is a combination of tone (equipment) and technique (hands/brain). I think really technically talented players (guys like Satriani/Vai) could play an SRV/EVH song on SRV/EVHs equipment and sound exactly like him. But neither could ever write a new song and make people believe it was SRV/EVH. The key to the genius/beauty of an EVH/SRV is their technique coupled with their brain.
I personally agree with your definition of tone, but the people who say "tone is in the hands" are using a different definition.Nope, actually tone is timbre. Youre making it sound overly complicated. You can however affect the timbre using technique, but claiming that the technique (and therefore hands) are more important than say the choice of amp, speaker, mic position etc is stretching it way too far.