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Blues Tones Alternatives

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Off He Goes
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I was reading an article about the John Mayer Trio, and they were asking him about his setup. It basically consisted of his Strat, two Tube amps, a vintage Tube Screamer, and a clean boost. So I got to wondering, besides heavy strung strats, tube screamers, and tube amps, what are some other good blues tones setups. Alternative ways for SRV tones, Clapton, etc.

What if you use a Les Paul. Or modelling units? Or other equipment? How do you achieve good tone for the blues?

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Ricochet
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With just about any sort of guitar and amp you've got. Blues isn't about gear.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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paul donnelly
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I know guys who swear by their Les Pauls for blues tones. They like the fat round sound. I agree that it's a nice sound, but like Ricochet says, it's not the tone that makes the blues.


   
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yoyo286
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With just about any sort of guitar and amp you've got. Blues isn't about gear.

Amen, brother! I heard that some famous blues guy (Really lost for names right now) got the idea for a slide guitar from seeing a dude at a train station sliding a knife up and down the strings! :shock: (Or something like that)

Yeah, pretty much anything will work as long as it got at least 4 strings ( :shock: :lol: ) and is relitively in tune... 8)

But to answer your question, Clapton, in his early days, recorded through a Les Paul screaming at top volume (No kidding!) through a Marshall Bluesbreaker... Duane Allman had a Les Paul through a Marshall... Buddy Guy uses his signature Polka Dot Strat with Lace p/ups through... umm... :oops: I'll look it up... :lol:

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greybeard
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As Ricochet say, it's not the gear - BB King says that it doesn't matter what guitar or amp he's using, he's still going to sound like BB King.
The one constant in EC's setup is tube amps (Marshall, Fender, Matchless.....). He's played Strats, an SG, a 335, a Les Paul. BB King plays a version of the ES345 (335 with no F-holes). Muddy Waters played a Tele. Gary Moore plays an LP.
You can make any setup work - you just have to work to find "that" tone.

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Anonymous
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If you're gonna play the blues, why waste your money? :wink: :wink: Try THIS out.

I can't wait until BB King uses it as his main amp. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Seriously though, I think ZZ Top used it for 5 seconds on their last album.


   
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Shift
(@shift)
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A strat and a fender tube amp seem standard fair, as far as the blues scene goes.
John Mayer seems a bit of a gear snob, prefering crazy expensive vintage strats, dumble amps ect.. Although he has a great tone.


   
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Shift
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double post, oops, delete, if ya want


   
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PVTele
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Don't forget the humble Telecaster, either - some great blues players have used 'em - Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, Mike Bloomfield (though he's as well known as a Les Paul player too) - and don't forget Clapton began (Yardbirds days) playing excellent blues on a Tele through a Vox AC30.

Amp: any tube amp or really good model of a tube amp (hybrid amp (Vox Valvetronix etc.) or processor (V-Amp, Zoom GFX series, POD etc.) that will respond organically to pick attack - play softly=clean(ish) - dig in=dirty. You want to aim for a moderate, warm overdrive sound, much subtler than out & out distortion.

But truly 90% is in the hands and ear - listen to some of the real masters of blues tone, Buddy Guy, BB King, Peter Green, Mike Bloomfield to name just 4 - all use very different guitar/amp setups, and produce very different sounds - but they all sound blues to the bone.


   
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PVTele
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Just a thought - there are several inexpensive boost pedals designed specifically for blues (Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal http://www.marshallamps.com/product.asp?productCode=Bluesbreaker%20II ; Behringer Blues Overdrive http://www.behringer.com/BO100/index.cfm?lang=ENG ; Boss BD2 http://www.samedaymusic.com/product--BOSBD2 and others) which seem to have good reputations. I've not tried them myself, but I don't imagine e.g. the Marshall can fail to deliver, given that they've stuck the name of that seminal amp of theirs on it!

You may need to make friends with your local music shop, and just go and play for an hour or two ... :D


   
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teleplayer324
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With just about any sort of guitar and amp you've got. Blues isn't about gear.

Amen, brother! I heard that some famous blues guy (Really lost for names right now) got the idea for a slide guitar from seeing a dude at a train station sliding a knife up and down the strings! :shock: (Or something like that)

It was W.C. Handy who told that story, he is reputed as being "The Father of the Blues"

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DemoEtc
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Another great Tele guy is (was) Roy Buchanan. Instant goose-bumps.


   
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xg5a
 xg5a
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Don't forget the humble Telecaster, either - some great blues players have used 'em - Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, Mike Bloomfield (though he's as well known as a Les Paul player too) - and don't forget Clapton began (Yardbirds days) playing excellent blues on a Tele through a Vox AC30.

Jimmy Page on Led Zeppelin I...


   
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Ricochet
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Albert King with "Little Lucy," his Gibson Flying V.

Elmore James had some cheap old acoustic guitar with a DeArmond pickup in the soundhole.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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Primeta
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R. L. Burnside on a Danelectro and my Fender catalogue claims a Squier strat. i also heard Knopfler pounding out some mean blues oriented riffs on an overdriven Gibson historic series LP.

That's funny about Clapton, an instructor taught me the riff to Before you accuse me. Always liked it best on my Mex tele. :D

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