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Can You Get An Accurate Idea Of Guitar Sounds In Video Clips?

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Can You Get An Accurate Idea Of Guitar Sounds In Video Clips?

Can You Get An Accurate Idea Of Guitar Sounds In Video Clips?

Haywire Custom Guitars Video Clips, guitar sounds

Haywire Custom Guitars Feather Light Quilt Top Limited Edition Guitar

Sounds in clips? The answer is clearly-maybe but probably not.  Videos?  Sound files? Accurate sounds from instruments being demonstrated by instruments for sale are almost impossible. Why?  There are too many variables in the way a guitar can be made to sound such as; the speaker used, the amp (is it tube or solid state?), the EQ settings on the board when recording, any effects being used, gauge of strings, the player’s style, proximity of pickups to the strings. A small change in any one of these things can and will change the sounds coming out of an electric guitar.

Can you get a true read on the actual sound of any guitar in a sound clip

It’s very difficult if not impossible to get a true read on the actual sound of any guitar in a sound clip being used to “demonstrate” how an instrument sounds. It’s smoke and mirrors on the part of the sales team. They want to sell you on what a guitar CAN sounds like with a fabulous player at the helm of the demo. You still don’t get it?  You can get a close idea of what a guitar sounds like sometimes in a clip however when you plug in to your “rig”-it will be lots different!  Don’t expect miracles by relying too heavily on sound clips and sound files when buying guitars and pickups. You’ll be disappointed every time.

Great playing makes you sound great

If you’re relying on a “sound clip” to get what you need then you’re setting yourself up for problems. The best you can do is get close. What you have to do as a guitar player is find an instrument with an ergonomic shape that you can tolerate, a weight you can live with, next and unfortunately on the list-color,  neck feel, neck profile and fret size with the last consideration being-pickups. All you need is a good signal from your pickups-period. Guitar players have lots of choices in ways to over-process themselves and their instruments. Look up-guitar effects pedals for instance.

Pickups won’t make you sound great

Bottom line-let me repeat, the last consideration of a guitar purchase being-pickups. It’s not rocket science. Pickups won’t make you sound great. Sorry to give you the bad news but someone has to do it. Great playing makes you sound great-period. Guitarists: let that simmer for about six months while you practice and before your next gear purchase. Guitar players are vain. That’s almost a given. They are sometimes a bit shallow and therefore are subject to and sensitive to what people have to say about their rig, their sound, their gear, their playing. They look to blame everything for not getting the right sound with the exception of their own skills. They almost never question those. How do I know this? I deal with guitar players every day. The favorite is to blame the elusive sound they seek on the “pickups”.

Guitar players seem to have an excessively high opinion their abilities

The best advice I can offer is to make a decision-then make it right. What do I mean by that? Get an instrument that has all the comfort, feel and weight you need then learn to adjust it so the action is perfect, the strings are just right, the signal is strong then learn how to play it. It sounds easy enough. Let me repeat myself one more time-guitar players can be very superficial. How do I know this? I work with guitar players every day. Now, not all of them are that way-just 95%.  Let me give you just one example.

guitar players can be very superficial


A customer in Arizona this year received his guitar from us. He promptly returned it with a terse message. “I can’t play this guitar-is unplayable”. By the end of the message the reason for the return was very apparent. A screw was missing from the pick guard rendering the whole guitar useless. I can go on with many stories like this about the ways guitar players embarrass themselves and give away their superficiality, but I don’t want to bore you with the details. I am sorry to say there are however lots of similar examples.

a sound clip of guitar pickups is just another players interpretation

The goal here is not to complain about guitar players but to simply point out that listening to a sound clip of guitar pickups is just another players interpretation of what sounds he can get from a particular rig-and that’s it. Please don’t think you’ll be the next Hendrix or Stevie Ray because you bought a $300 set of pickups-it won’t happen. Just learn how to play properly and find a style you’re comfortable with-preferably your own. You don’t have to sound like someone else to be good.

We have to be dedicated to something and it’s either build great guitars or be great at recording them. We are similar to the Fender and Gibson custom shops except-we use everyone’s pickups including our own. We can put in anything you like in a guitar but the unique sound you play with. You should know we do put every guitar through quality control. If it feels, sounds and looks great only then, do we sell it. We can help you become a better player by providing all the tools you need. You must provide the skill.

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By | 2019-02-13T11:31:31-05:00 May 18th, 2018|Guitar Education, Guitar Pickup sounds, Guitar Pickups|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Rick Mariner Owner and Founder and CEO of Haywire Custom Guitars Inc. He is a member of The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (A.S.I.A.) as well as a guitar player. Rick holds a bachelors degree from University of Md. and a Masters degree from George Washington University. Rick developed his exclusive 8 – Point “Gig- Ready” guitar process that allows for Custom Guitars that are “GIG-READY”. With Rick’s many years of development and guitar set-up experience, Haywire Guitar shop “Builds satisfied players… one Haywire guitar at a time”.

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