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kinglerch

Good tone for tapping - HD500X

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I am looking for a good custom tone for (goes by many names) 8-finger tapping, touch technique...Stanley Jordan. Since there is no picking, I need a tone that has a lot of sensitivity and sustain, but not a lot of distortion. Does anyone know of or have a tone like this they can post or direct me to?

 

Apart from the HD500X, what is recommended on the pickups for this? Single coil, series, parallel, bridge, neck, distance to the strings, etc?

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I am looking for a good custom tone for (goes by many names) 8-finger tapping, touch technique...Stanley Jordan. Since there is no picking, I need a tone that has a lot of sensitivity and sustain, but not a lot of distortion. Does anyone know of or have a tone like this they can post or direct me to?

 

Apart from the HD500X, what is recommended on the pickups for this? Single coil, series, parallel, bridge, neck, distance to the strings, etc?

There are basically 2 guys in the universe who use that technique (no, I'm not counting the Chapman Stick dudes ;) )...Stanley Jordan as you mentioned, and TJ Helmerich. Might help to research their gear...don't know how much help you'll get from those of us who have a more "standard" approach.

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It is an obscure technique, but there are others to varying degrees. Tony Keck and Hanspeter Kruesi have instructional videos but neither one describes their gear too much. Michael Angelo Batio uses a device that keeps his strings vibrating. Even Night Ranger have been known for 8 finger tapping, though with distortion it is a much easier thing to pull off sound wise.

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But, that is going to be the issue - Volume/distortion. 

 

I tap. Mostly because it looks cool on stage. But everything I do is going to be distorted. 

Tapping without distortion requires a lot of help with the volume. Whether you are tapping so hard that you bruise your fingertips, which is considered poor technique. Or if you are tapping and have to jack your volume up all the way. But then you better be prepared to to lower it when you start picking.

 

So try to raise the volume before you try to make tone.

Maybe even add a compressor to level out the soft stuff. 

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I've used reverb and delays with some success, and changing some pickup wiring but I will try the compressor. I just wondered if Line6 helped this in some way, or if someone out there worked on a sustainy tone to keep the sound going for a bit longer than normal.

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Distortion, reverb/echo, and a Sustainiac are all cheating. We can use them, but we need to make sure that we aren't using them as a crutch.  

 

First we need to get the volume situated, which includes taking care of your pickups. 

Then, and only then, since volume affects tone, can we start building tones. Which could include distortion, reverb. echo, and a Sustainiac pickup. 

 

I think the Stanley Jordan tone is just your typical smooth jazz tone. Probably a Fender or Vox amp. He uses Humbuckers, so that seems like a good place to start. 

 

 

*i just read a SJ interview. He said that most compressors may help level the volume, but will ruin tone. 

https://www.guitar.com/articles/stanley-jordan-interview-jammin-and-jazzin 

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I found the same thing. The compression made the sound last longer, but the sound was not worth listening to. The sustainiac is an *option* but installation is a bear and not appropriate for all guitars, due to the intensive drilling/routing. I'm also not sure if that is exactly the effect I am looking for.

 

I have been trying with the pickups and it is having a decent effect already. Pickup type, active vs passive, distance to strings etc. Stanley suggested moving the pickup closer to the strings for volume, but that does affect vibration and sustain so...lots of things to try.

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Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai I guess are cheaters.  I personally don't use a Sustainiac but if you want to do string tapping, nothing is better.

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With Steve Vai at least, I never liked his sound when he uses a Sustainiac. It always sounds like a kazoo.

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I lost respect for Steve back in 1990 when he did an interview for Passion & Warfare, when he stated how computerized the album was. 

Every note was ran through a computer to make sure everything was perfect.

Every note was tuned after the fact (auto tune). Every note was moved to the perfect timing (synchronizing). Bends were perfected by doing both tuning and timing. 

 

Sure, the guy can play. But apparently his albums are more fake than a Milli Vanilli concert or Pharell album. 

 

 

And ever since he got into 'mysticism', it has just gone down hill. 

Art rarely interests me. As I have said many times --- the audience is paying for a service, not to listen/watch you pleasure yourself. 

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Wow, tough crowd.  You must really hate Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and RAP (people talking in rhymes and making scratching noises on a fake turntable).  Not that I like it either but if you're busting on Steve Vai for touching things up, well atleast he's a great musician - not many people got to play with Zappa.  Man, and I thought I was the grumpy old guy...lol.

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The "grumpy old man" runs deep in this forum.

 

I do two hand touch style on an 8 string. For me, a teeny bit of drive and a little compression is okay, but some of the comps are lacking in the HD.

 

I know it's kinda cliche but with this technique, the tone really is in the fingers. Building finger strength is key and learning to be consistent in tapping velocity between fingers will get you farther than any effect or patch will.

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You must really hate EDM and RAP.  Not that I like it either but if you're busting on Steve Vai for touching things up, well atleast he's a great musician - not many people got to play with Zappa.  

 

Touch ups and punch in, even multi track and over dub. That is part of the business. Recordings need to be cleaner than live performances. 

But every note was run through his music computer. It wasn't just a couple dingers that needed fixed. It was everything. 

 

And as far as EDM, I actually like it for what it is. They aren't pretending to be anything. It is blatant what they do.  

I sometimes am a featured performer for an EDM troupe. Sometimes I get out the neon spiderweb guitar and dress like a zombie to play raves under the black lights (ala Babymetal and Here Comes the Mummies). And I have been the guitar player for a Rap label for years, both live and studio. 

Lol, I don't think I've ever hidden the fact that one night I am playing in a rock band, the next night country, and then pop. Which is the abbreviated list. But that is also why an Android EDIT would be nice, so I can swap files in and out without going home and hooking up to Microsoft. 

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Wow, tough crowd. You must really hate Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and RAP

EDM is probably wonderful if you have a head full of ecstacy, or whatever club drug(s) is fashionable these days. Otherwise it's push-button noise. Don't forget your giant mouse head...

 

Imho, the words "rap" and "music" should never appear in the same sentence. "Rhythmic entertainment" is a better description. One of my favorite musician interview moments was with Adrian Legg (wonderful acoustic guitarist for those who don't know him), commenting on his former label going to a mostly hip-hop roster...he said that they would have to re-name the company "Screaming Misogynist Records".

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