02 July 2009


Joe Satriani playing “Surfing with the Alien” on a random guitar through a Digitech RP200 and a Peavey Backstage 30:

Without his guitar, pedal-board, or amp, Satch still sounds like Satch. It’s often put this way: Tone is in the fingers.

What I want to rant about today (inspired by an episode of MusicRadar’s podcast) is the way that “tone is in the fingers” is too often used to dismiss questions about what gear a guitarist uses. Just because “tone is in the fingers”, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t value in knowing what gear somebody used for something. The question doesn’t automatically mean that the questioner is just looking to clone that person’s tone.

Here we have Eric Johnson playing through a Fender G-DEC amp:

Yes. EJ sounds like EJ even without his rig. Although, the point of this video is that the G-DEC allows him to practice things without his rig that were harder for him to practice without his rig before.

If gear didn’t matter at all, EJ wouldn’t bother with the rig he has. Satch wouldn’t have worked with Ibanez to create his JS series of guitars or Vox to create his line of pedals.

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