Whence the Twang?

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Whence the Twang?

Postby roger bayliss » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:28 pm

I agree now that Kon Tiki verses are played at the 1/2/3 frets :|
Last edited by roger bayliss on Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:34 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Whence the Twang?

Postby David Martin » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:39 pm

I've heard lots of guys at the clubs who are very proud of their sound (always dangerous stuff that...) play with far too much treble on their amps because they believe it gives them the "twang" or "bark" of the early Cliff and Shads stuff. But if you plug into an early AC15 or 30, it doesn't cut your ears off... in fact an EF86 channel is quite mellow. So the "bark" comes from somewhere else...

Try this instead... get a really nice, soulful, mellow Sleepwalk tone on the middle pickup, then go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFSgY8Be6Bw. Ignore the early demo stuff - which I find clever but boring, and wait for the bit about how to hold your pick, and how to bounce the string off your thumb. Master that and you will sound as if you are knocking seven bells out of really heavy strings - just like Hank did. But you can get that sound on much lighter 10s...

It takes a fair bit of practice, but then... you didn't have anything more important to do did you? :twisted:

Sample sounds attached (recorded about '99...)
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Re: Whence the Twang?

Postby Mark Burton » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:35 pm

roger bayliss wrote:How about getting the action lowered at the bridge as well so you get a little bit of fret crashing from the strings and a bit more bark. Again this requires patience as it alters the string tension and the trem needs re setting up to balance properly and intonation too.

A lot of the early stuff requires a good bit of deep digging witht he plectrum and very much happens around the mid PU or just in front of it. Some tunes like Frightened City and The Savage demand it others require a softer technique notably the quieter numbers and it helps to angle the plectrum a bit to push through the strings which again causes a little bit more fret crashing. Then those correct PU changes for instance Kon Tiki use the Middle PU for the mid section and bridge for starting and ending and play the main theme up around the 7th fret rather than down on the 2nd fret region. Some will state that Kon Tiki was recorded throughout on bridge PU but to my ears it sounds closer like this. Just my thoughts to add to this important topic.



hmmmn - I'd have said the main theme was played at the first position (2nd fret area) - that's how I've always perceived it and to my mind there's an open 'D' on the E Eb D G# B A E which rings through (adding the 7th into the E chord) .... but an interesting view - and I'm fascinated on how we are all evaluating what and where we play !
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Re: Whence the Twang?

Postby Bluesnote » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:59 pm

I've found(second time round) playing Shads stuff that I've changed the position on the fretboard too. When I first started I took the easy way out and used as many open strings as possible, but now, being more knowledgable I tend to go up the neck a bit and find the sweet notes that gives the sound of this particular guitar more character and less treble and thin sound which it gives down in the lower fret area.
Still striving for a better tone though overall :evil: but I try.
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Re: Whence the Twang?

Postby Bojan » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:18 pm

I agree with Mark, and that is where I play it, and I have always thought that it was where Hank played it too, but that probably requires heavy strings to avoid sounding thin (I use Gibson 12-56).
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Re: Whence the Twang?

Postby abstamaria » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:04 am

Wow, 12-56. I was going to say use heavy strings rather than try to compensate for light-gauge strings. With my 12-52s, I may not be using thick enough gauges!
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Re: Whence the Twang?

Postby Hank2k » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:14 am

To be honest I dont think the sound is that important. If you have the same gear as used by the man himself it will probably good to everyone except a die hard shads fan. I personally prefer to give songs a different sound cos that makes it my version, something unique
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Re: Whence the Twang?

Postby Bojan » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:08 am

That makes perfect sense Steve and I agree with you totally. But, if you are a tribute band, your principle aim is to reproduce Hank's sound as faithfully as possible. Reading some of the threads here we can see to what lengths people go to in order to achieve a faithful reproduction of THAT sound. So if someone is going to the expense and trouble of getting original Meazzi echo machines, Vox amps with EF86 preamp channel, and so on, they will certainly not play on 10 gauge strings. And even if you are not a tribute band, but just a "bedroom player," many people (myself included) take great satisfaction in sounding like Hank (even if they only think they do ;) )
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Re: Whence the Twang?

Postby Martyn » Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:24 pm

Is there any information confirming which make/gauge strings Hank used during the various stages of the Shads' development, including the more recent years?
Having read the various discussions regarding pickups, I wondered if the string selection has been fully taken into consideration when debating which sounds were made using what etc.
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Re: Whence the Twang?

Postby ernie1958 » Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:09 pm

Martyn wrote:Is there any information confirming which make/gauge strings Hank used during the various stages of the Shads' development, including the more recent years?
Having read the various discussions regarding pickups, I wondered if the string selection has been fully taken into consideration when debating which sounds were made using what etc.
Regards,
Martyn

8-) Hey Martyn...I think you could get a satisfying answer from the "Man" himself(Hank Marvin).. :lol:
Check out the Final Tour dvd of the Shads...somewhere along the line Hank explains to the audience why they change guitars so much
when playing their sets...Hank says:"it's because we can!" :lol: Then he explains the fact that he uses different gauges of strings for some of
the older stuff and others for some of the newer tunes...all in the effort to get the best sound!
Hope this helps out,
Cheers,
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