Tag Archives: guitar

What Makes a Musician

Pro Bands Get The Big GigsPeople learn to play the guitar for a variety of different reasons. Filling in free time, impressing girls, a deep-felt love of anything music and ‘everyone in my family plays’ are all common reasons, but regardless of what makes us start, most of us end up at the same place: crazy about great guitar sounds and creating the riffs that might one day launch us into stardom.

So, why is the guitar such an appealing instrument to learn? It’s the attitude mainly. Look at the great guitar players – Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie Van Halen and Slash to name a few of the most popular – while they all play very different styles of music, the thing that they all have in common is their energy and presence when they perform on the stage. This ‘coolness’ is what many guitarists aspire to reach; to get to the point where they too can stand on stage in front of thousands of people and play an incredible guitar solo which touches others deep in the heart, inspiring yet another generation to pick up the guitar.

The guitar is also a naturally leading instrument. Its tonal range means that, along with vocals, it jumps out from the mix during live performance situations and it is an indispensable part of the line-up for most bands today. And here comes the point. A guitarist LP Close Upwho has learned every one of their favourite player’s riffs and solos note for note will want to get up there and share their love with the rest of the band and everyone watching. They have the love, they have the passion, they have the necessary techniques to pull it off and they have the perfect vehicle to use to deliver it all up. But the riffs and style that ignited the passion in the guitarist might not necessarily have the same inspiring effect on those listening. Playing for you and playing with a band are two very different things. To play well in a band it is not enough to be a great guitarist. You have to be a great musician too.

The musician understands that tasteful note choice, listening to the band as a whole and ‘playing the silences’ are integral to the bands success as a whole. The notes that you don’t play are just as important as the ones you do and playing simply but keeping a tight groove with the band can create a much more pleasant experience for both band and audience. The good musician compliments the rest of the band, instead of trying to draw all of the attention. The good musician is always conscious of locking into the rhythm with the bass and drums. The good musician contributes tastefully to the whole sound of the group.

This is what makes the difference between a tight, professional band and a garage band: groups made up of guitarists, bassists, drummers and vocalists can never be successful in the long run, but a group made up of musicians just might find themselves topping the charts and landing the big gigs.

Thanks for reading.  If you’re interested in checking out some of our amps and effects (perfect for musicians and guitarists alike) feel free to check us out here.

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Recreating Famous Guitar Tones: Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing

There are a lot of discussions about ‘great guitar tones’ on the internet.  Blogs, forums and  comment threads on various video streaming websites are a battleground of opinions, speculations and – quite often – heated debate.

Comments often show a clear divide between those who believe that tone is all in the fingers and the way a specific player approaches the guitar, and those who worship at the altar of guitar gear.  Proponents of the former will undoubtedly iterate that there is no way for any guitarist to truly mimic the sounds of their beloved inspirations, insisting that the best way for any player to sound good is to forget about the rigs and setups of others, and really listen to his/her own sound in order to develop a personal tone.  Supporters of the latter will counter with the idea that, with the right setup for the situation, no tone is out of reach.  They will strive to find the exact gear and settings to allow them to sound like their heroes.

Without inspiration, the world of professional performance can be daunting
Without inspiration, the world of professional performance can be daunting

I am going to sit on the fence on this one, as both sides have their own valid points.  While I agree that, in order to be a really successful player, one should try to craft a hard-hitting, instantly recognizable personal tone, I also believe that taking inspiration from the greats is an important first step.

You only have to look back to that wonderful moment which is forever ingrained in the mind of every guitarist:  the time that you heard a lick, solo, riff or even a single note, which to you sounded so breath-takingly beautiful that you decided there and then to grab an axe and start strumming away.  Everyone has a clear memory of the moment they began their musical journey.  I would bet that for the majority of us, that moment occurred while listening to a piece of music written by another person: a tone crafted and refined by someone other than yourself.

This is why the soundtrack for every guitar shop the world over consists of ‘Smoke on the Water’, ‘Stairway to Heaven’, ‘Comfortably Numb’, ‘Hotel California’ and ‘Enter Sandman’.  How often to you hear a player trying out a guitar, amp or effect by playing a piece of original music in such a place?  For me personally, the answer is never.  Maybe I shop in less creative areas.

Luckily, there are many great influential players to inspire us
Luckily, there are many great influential players to inspire us

The point is that we all need heroes, we all need inspiration.  It sets a fire inside of us, pushing us to learn more and play better.  Whenever we may feel that something is too hard, it encourages us to keep on trying until we persevere, and when we get there in the end, it provides a reference to show how far we have come and how much our efforts have paid off.  With this established, it is much easier for personal creativity to flourish, as we have developed the listening, skills and techniques necessary to allow us to better express our inner thoughts and feelings through the guitar.  You cannot write a poem without first learning the alphabet.

It is in this spirit that we at Baroni Lab have introduced a new series of videos about great guitar tones, where we set up the sounds of those legendary rock riffs and solos, with our own equipment.  Our aim is to get as close to the original sound as possible, to show the quality of the products we produce, and to show that it is possible, and worthwhile, to study the sounds of great players.

The second video has just been uploaded to youtube, and you can check it out below.  In it, I tackle that fantastic, catchy main guitar riff from Dire Straits’ ‘Money For Nothing’.  This one was truly great fun to record.  Mark Knopfler, we salute you!

American Rock Band Sonar Lights in the Baroni Studio

American rock band Sonar Lights dropped by the Baroni Studio on their second China tour to hang out, shoot some video and try out some of our latest products.

Sonar Lights and a Baroni Pedal Board
Sonar Lights and a Baroni Pedal Board

Formed in 2010, the Texas rockers deliver a heavy metal tinged hard rock sound, complete with driving rhythm guitar, catchy vocal lines and a tight rhythm section.

They released their own self-produced debut album ‘Here We Are’ in 2012, and since then have been gradually building up popularity among fans and fellow musicians alike. We caught up to them on the Guangzhou leg of their tour, fresh from an outstanding performance at Midi Festival, one of the biggest organised music events in China.

Sonar Lights rock the crowd on their second China tour
Sonar Lights rock the crowd on their second China tour

We recorded a great version of their song ‘Oversaturated’ in the Baroni Studio, and frontman George Miadis was so impressed with the sound of our Tubeheart twin tube overdrive stompbox that he wouldn’t leave without it!

George was impressed with the warm depth of tone from Baroni amplifiers and effects, adding a vintage edge to their modern hard rock style.

Check out the video here:

http://www.baroni-lab.com

http://www.sonarlights.com

Introducing…

Hello world!

baroni

This is the first official post from Baroni Lab. We are an Italian company which produces vintage-modelled tube amplification for musical instruments, as well as an astonishing range of effects pedals.

Keep your eyes open for regular updates of news of our events, as well as links to some of our product reviews and the occasional review, guitar tech tip and general musings of all things tone!

If you like what you see, please feel free to get in touch through our website or email.

http://www.baroni-lab.com

info@baroni-lab.com