Steve Baker’s got buckets full of tone. Want to know how he does it? Check this out. Dig the Fabulous Thunderbirds “Girls Go Wild” (my favorite T-birds record) poster in…

Steve Baker’s got buckets full of tone. Want to know how he does it? Check this out. Dig the Fabulous Thunderbirds “Girls Go Wild” (my favorite T-birds record) poster in the background.

Tone matters. As Steve pointed out to me once, if you’ve got good tone, you’re going to sound good pretty much no matter what amp you play through; if you don’t, you’re going to sound weak and whiny (albeit louder) no matter what the amp does.

While you’re at it, check out this discussion of tone by classical harmonica virtuoso Robert Bonfiglio and our piece on breathing for a big sound.

And just to make it utterly clear that our man Steve ain’t just blowin’ smoke when he talks tone, here’s a vid he made in September 2012 live at Kulturbastion with Steve Goodman on guitar and vocals. Listen to the first 4 bars of “Who Do You Love” and tell me true: is that a modern blues master, or what?

2 Comments

  1. My latest thoughts about tone, that finally sound is anyway mechanical waves in the air, not the electronic waves in the wires. That means that most important parts of the eletcric tone are input (acoustic tone and microphone quality) and output (speaker). Everything in between can make sound worse or not (get smth out of tone). Sometimes worse can be pleasant (vacuum tubes reduce some unwanted parts of harmonica tone), or limited tone (overdrive) but anyway any electronics means nothing without good acoustic tone, good mic and proper speaker of proper size (I prefer to have small speaker 5-10”, not the twitter..

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