I never really cared about tone before, but that was years ago.
I had an odd liking for low-bass tone when I was younger, but fit that with distortion, and it sounds bloody muddy, instead of what the guitar should be. Plus I wasn't even playing on a 7 string back then. So what the hell. Haha
I was watching several people on YouTube last night, and finally, I did not look at the way they play, but I only focused on 3 things on their video:
1) Right hand
2) Left hand positions
Different guitars, with different tones. And yes, I arched several coves of Eric Johnson's Cliffs of Dover, and I came across this talented woman who could eat the guitar for breakfast at anytime. She was using a very very beautiful Gibson Les Paul with a gold top finishing. But that was the issue. She was using a Gibson Les Paul.
Her skills were present, she knew what she was playing. Sad to ah, I shut her window down because of the extra boosts, kicks and output that the song did not require.
Of course, she can still eat the guitar for breakfast. She reminds me of Slash too.
I watched this other Thai guitarist. He covered the studio version for Manhattan, and although he nearly had 98% of the tone right for that song, his reliability was in his left fingers.
The fretting fingers, mind you. Now, how does that approach tone? Its just a bunch of fingers tapping on several notes to get whatever it is you wanted out amplified.
That's when you're wrong. Vibrato, string bending, using different parts of the fingertips to play, all these will effect tone.
Of course, he was playing with a Fender Stratocaster, so that's an entirely different thing compared to the Gibson chick.
But still, to achieve that sort of tone by Eric Johnson is a challenge. Years of experience, research, and investment. It ranges from different sort of tube technology, to shaving off the paint on the guitar to get a certain amount of moisture for the guitar to breathe more, or less, to allow the notes to sing.
Yes! Moisture content! So don't paint your guitar too heavily, or not! I don't think I have the heart to shave off the after-shellacking finish once I get my Fender Strat.
But yes, the search for tone begins today. :)
Boy, am I excited! <3