Vintage Fender Strats, Custom Shop & Boutique S-types, Guitar Parts, Auctions & Sales!


Guitar Tone Psychology - Clean Signal, Dirty Attitude

Even more riffing off the February (2010) issue of PG article The Psychology of Tone which consults a real psychologist... or maybe a Sears psychologist in a real Mexican poncho.


Clean signal? Dirty attitude/Dirty mind? What's up with that?

Well, a mean, dirty feel in your playing can communicate even through the cleanest signal. Perhaps especially through a clean signal. It's in your guts, and comes out of your hands.

The clip below features the Rev. Billy Gibbons in ZZ Top's A Fool For Your Stockings, a tune with a squeaky clean guitar signal. Now although Billy is a guru of overdriven saturation, the most important element is the attitude first, which he has plenty of. And the attitude in Stockings is so mean & dirty that some people don't even perceive the clean guitar signal.

Currently on Youtube, there are several cover vids of this ZZ Top tune. In nearly all of them the guitar players employ distortion like that Peanuts' thumb sucker Linus with his blanket.

Please pay attention to the tone here. Clean signal, dirty mind...

A Fool For Your Stockings was originally featured on the Deguello album:

If you didn’t read this at Guitar Blog, it’s been bootlegged! ©2006-2013 JP Holesworth. All rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted, distributed or duplicated without author’s written permission.
Pin It Now!