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The First Tone That Made You Say... "Whoa!"


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AC/DC Live

Zaak's tone on No More Tears (after that it was just more of the same)

SRV's first solo on Tightrope at the 1989 Austin City Limits performance

SRV's Voodoo Chile from the 1983 Austin City Limits performance

(semi shameless plug, but true none the less)-- the first chord I played though the first amp I built was jaw dropping.

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When I first heard the opening riff of Black Sabbath/Black Sabbath at a party in early '70 I just about flipped my lid, I could not BELIEVE the sound I was hearing! And it only got better from there... :ph34r:

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Brian May in "Play The Game". That was the first time I said "WOW, this guy has a voice of his own!". I guess I just had discovered the meaning of the word "tone".

Years later I was listening to Tony MacAlpine's "Tears of Sahara", and then toward the end there was a slow solo played with another voice, kind of nasal and colorful at the same time. It took me some time to "discover" it was no other than George Lynch, who played two solos on that song. His tone is definitively amazing – not only his chops.

And way before Zakk Wylde I discovered that thick LP tone by listening to Whitesnake's "Looking for love", which became my dream rhythm tone in just few minutes. And man, when John Sykes does his pinch harmonics and then makes them sing with his wide finger vibrato, you can talk about getting chills!

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Van Halen I. The guitar tone on "Runnin' With The Devil" made me say "whoa", then "Eruption" came on and completely knocked me on my ass.

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Tons of tones that I love but a couple that come to mind are more of production tricks:

Steve Vai's tone on SkyScraper (David Lee Roth) and later on Passion and Warfare - smoothest overdrive and harmonizer I had ever heard.

Metallica - The Black Album - This guitar tone is a weapon, great sounding really loud.

SRV - Little Wing - I think I stopped breathing for a bit the first time I heard this track....blew me away.

Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood - Bob Rock does it again, crushing tone.

Joe Satriani - Anything that recent or that has been re-mastered. Singing tone.

John Sykes - Whitesnake album and Blue Murder stuff - WAY under rated guitarist....the tone comes from his fingers.

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I'm basically a big fan of 80's and early 90's alt rock but the first player tone who just knocked me out I would to say would be Billy Gibbons off the Fandango album.. There's been obviously others over the years but that was maybe the first time I noticed tone over style and technique.

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The Beatles, "I feel Fine". .... the guitar feeding back at the beginning killed me.

+1

I read that Lennon was very proud of the fact that he was the first artist to record feedback at the beginning of a song.

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I would have to say the tone that really did it for me and really made me rethink the tone I had and the tone I wanted was probably CC Deville's and those great early Poison recordings............ Seriously though, when I started playin guitar all those years ago, I was pretty naive and mostly concerned with chops/licks etc. I never really considered just how important tone was till I discovered Billy Gibbons and then it just clicked. From then on I would notice different guitarist's tones, how they got them, what equipment they used etc.

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There are many I could think of too. Oddly, some of the first guitar tones I heard that just made my jaw drop were Strat bridge pickup tones. I remember hearing the tones on David Gilmour's 1980 solo album as a teen and being amazed.

Another song I thought was cool when I was a kid, partly for the cool tone used in the solo was "I'd Love to Change the World" by 10 Years After.

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It wasn't the first but I still remember hearing Rick Nelson playing Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape on the Live! in the Air Age album. That is how I've always wanted to sound.... Still do :huh::blink:

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even tho it was Kiss that got me going guitar-wise, MY first time was when i was 15-ish, and my buddy had a *triple-padded* Kustom amp, LIKE 4' HIGH

and i hit that first power chord..

OMG!

to steal a homer (quasi)quote;

*i feel like God would feel, if He knew how to play guitar*

it was THAT cool

like the first time you actually GO to a Nascar race and park in the feild!

It stirs your very essence.

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  • 1 year later...

The opening riff of Zep's Heartbreaker...the hair on my neck stood up & I literally got chills...it was cranked through a quality sereo.

Next up the solo from "Hard Day's Night", the Day Tripper riff, & the Stones "Get Off My Cloud" rhthym tone

My EC Beano moment came much later...

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The one note that turned my head more than any other was the first bend and release note of the solo in "Suspicion" by Crack the Sky from the "White Music" album (Rick Witkowski). It had to just be recorded SO loud and has pretty much always just screamed tone to me.

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Now that this topic has been resurrected, I can fine-tune what I put on here over a year ago to note that EC n "Sunshine of Your Love" was the first tone that made me say "Whoa" AS AN ASPIRING PLAYER.

OTOH, the first guitar riffs that were unique enough to make me pay attention as simply a listener and potential future music fan were Tommy Tedesco on "Out of Limits" and Brian Carman's gurgling glissando on "Pipeline".

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Funny, but I think it was EVH's uncredited solo on 'Beat It' from the 'Thriller' album. That solo saved me from myself, as I was an urban R&B punk until I went over to playing guitar.

After that, it was The Edge's tone on 'Sunday Bloody Sunday', Muddy Water's slide guitar on 'Live at Newport' album, and the live version of 'Killing Floor' by Hendrix--the version where he gets up under it and kicks its ass up over its shoulders. I think he scared Clapton and Beck to death with that one. Still scares me...

I just heard an old Marvin Rainwater track called 'Hot and Cold' on Dylan's Theme Time Radio show the other day. Holy crap, what a guitar tone! Turns out it was Roy Clark. I said, God DAMN the pusher man! that was good tone.

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mmmmmmm, The actual first Time I went whoa, I was 15ish at my cousins in NY for a family reunion, in the Garage, on the turntable they put on KISS Alive. I was lit up. Ace with a LP into a Marshall cranked, tizz was da shzit.

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1978, junior high, after school on recommendation of friend went to caldors and bought VH1, at the opening chords of runnin with the devil i was amazed, by the time eruption ended 5 minutes later i was catatonic, said it before many times but it was the watershed moment in my life...........................

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The very first tone that I can remember stopping me dead in my tracks was the opening to the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction."

Followed shortly after by...

Peter Green with Fleetwood Mac on "Green Manalishi"

Jeff Beck on "Beck's Bolero"

Carlos Santana on "Samba Pa Ti"

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