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 Post subject: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:35 pm 
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There is a particular tone that he used on songs like "stinkfoot" and "grand wazoo" and the only way I can describe it is it sounds like an acoustic...something about the way the strings sound when they're picked.....anybody know what I'm talkin about?

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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:56 pm 
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It sounds like an acoustic played through a wah pedal. They had pickups installed in acoustics for a long time. That's how John Lennon recorded some of his stuff with the Beatles. Since the wah pedal was relatively new at the time, and Frank was always trying to find a new sound, he tried it with an acoustic one day and thought it sounded pretty good. He even used it with saxes and keyboards (if I'm not mistaken).

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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 3:12 pm 
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he would use a lot of pedals on keyboards and saxes.  (such as those of Preston, Underwood and Bunk)  My favorite sound of his is the distorted wah-wah sound that he used on a lot fo his songs.  I especially like the mellow tone he used on the Burnt Weeny Sandwich solo.

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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 3:31 pm 
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I really liked that squeaky sound he got in the '80s. I wonder what he did to his Strat to make it sound that way. (Can you be of any assistance, jimmie d?)

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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 5:18 pm 
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when strat's came out in the fifties they were fitted with a three way switch for the neck pickup, middle and bridge settings. guitarists found that if you moved the selector in the middle of those settings you could get both the neck and middle or the middle and bridge both on. both of those settings give the type of tone your looking for. think funk/knofler/stinkfoot on make a jazz noise, etc. fender subsequently went to a five position switch. i don't know all of the effects and tweezing that he did over the course of the eighties


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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 8:29 am 
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acoustic through a wah-wah definetly sounds like it but I remember reading an interview where he actually described how he got a sound like that on the electric....I think it may have been this book called Frank Zappa Companion which has tons of interviews. I'll try and dig it up ;D

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 3:38 pm 
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[quote author=wakajawakka link=board=rant;num=1061858147;start=0#0 date=08/25/03 at 17:35:47]There is a particular tone that he used on songs like "stinkfoot" and "grand wazoo" and the only way I can describe it is it sounds like an acoustic...something about the way the strings sound when they're picked.....anybody know what I'm talkin about?[/quote]<br><br>just watching the cosmic debris video clip (osaka) with my brother, he noticed frank's tone on the solo; we paused/zoomed-in & it looks like fz is using a heavy gauge metal pick or even a coin; he said (comparison only, no flames) brian may gets a similar tone using a filed down english shilling coin....<br><br>anyone know if this is true ??? (about frank using a metal pick to get that twangy tone)

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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 3:43 pm 
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On a slightly related note, Billy Gibbons uses a Mexican peso as his "pick". <br><br>As for Frank's "acoustic" sound, could that be as a result of him using Barcus-Berry pickups?

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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 7:48 pm 
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Guitar Player Magazine, 1977:<br><br>Q: Are you still using an SG? <br><br>FZ: I'm using a variety of things now; I've branched out quite a bit in the last couple of years. I've got a couple of Strats wired up funny ways. Both of them have preamps built into them, and one has a special tone control switch which lets you put each of the pickups out of phase and that kind of stuff. The other Strat has a Barcus-Berry located in the neck, which gives it a really interesting sound, because I do a lot of stuff with my left hand, and it helps the notes speak a lot faster. It's like the whole guitar is alive; you can touch it anyplace and hear where you touch the guitar, because the Barcus-Berry hears all of it. <br><br>Maybe that is it?<br><br>

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 7:52 pm 
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[quote author=Mr. Canadian link=board=rant;num=1061858147;start=0#7 date=09/22/03 at 18:42:16]Yes. Frank is using a metal pic. He got the idea for using one after going to a concert with Dweezil and watching Ratt's guitarist Warren DiMartini use one. FZ liked it and decided to try it himself.[/quote]<br><br>thanks, mr. c....never woulda thunk frank would be gettin down at a ratt concert  ???  :)<br>

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:25 am 
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[quote author=slime.oofytv.set link=board=rant;num=1061858147;start=0#6 date=09/22/03 at 18:38:12]<br><br>just watching the cosmic debris video clip (osaka) with my brother, he noticed frank's tone on the solo; we paused/zoomed-in & it looks like fz is using a heavy gauge metal pick or even a coin; he said (comparison only, no flames) brian may gets a similar tone using a filed down english shilling coin....<br><br>anyone know if this is true ??? (about frank using a metal pick to get that twangy tone)[/quote]<br><br>Sure is ture! Also if you look at his pick on Does Humor Belong in Music? Video he's using a metal pick there also. <br>


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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 8:02 am 
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[quote author=swiftkicknow link=board=rant;num=1061858147;start=0#8 date=09/22/03 at 22:48:06]Guitar Player Magazine, 1977:<br><br>Q: Are you still using an SG? <br><br>FZ: I'm using a variety of things now; I've branched out quite a bit in the last couple of years. I've got a couple of Strats wired up funny ways. Both of them have preamps built into them, and one has a special tone control switch which lets you put each of the pickups out of phase and that kind of stuff. The other Strat has a Barcus-Berry located in the neck, which gives it a really interesting sound, because I do a lot of stuff with my left hand, and it helps the notes speak a lot faster. It's like the whole guitar is alive; you can touch it anyplace and hear where you touch the guitar, because the Barcus-Berry hears all of it. <br><br>Maybe that is it?<br><br>[/quote]<br><br>\<br>Thats exactly it swiftkick!!!! thanks...thats exactly the interview I was talking about ;D :o

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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 9:25 am 
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Cool. That particular interview was a classic. That was also the same interview that gave me the fretless guitar idea. <br><br>By the way, I've always had the theory that the word "wakajawaka" came from the sound of a wah-wah pedal. No quotes from Frank on the subject, just my own guess ;D

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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 7:07 am 
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I know that FZ used a fretless guitar on "can't afford no shoes" and "po-jama people".<br>Is this true? ::)

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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 7:32 am 
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Here's the article that I was talking about, which includes the fretless guitar, etc:<br><br>Guitar Player Magazine 1977 FZ Interview

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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:19 am 
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[quote author=swiftkicknow link=board=rant;num=1061858147;start=0#12 date=09/24/03 at 12:25:15]Cool. That particular interview was a classic. That was also the same interview that gave me the fretless guitar idea. <br><br>By the way, I've always had the theory that the word "wakajawaka" came from the sound of a wah-wah pedal. No quotes from Frank on the subject, just my own guess ;D[/quote]<br><br>I always thought that too....specifically I thought that part of the "big swifty" head sounds like "wakajawakka" on the album....the part just before the "DUH duh duh DUH DUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHH"<br>

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 Post subject: Re: FZ's guitar tone
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 7:19 pm 
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I've wondered that myself. It sounds like FZ used a microphone next to the strings, to hear the picking. He also loved to use a PIGNOSE amplifier back then.

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