Where does the sound of your electric guitar come from? ·
Source: YouTube/Jim Lill
The term “tone” is used every day by millions of guitarists around the world. And often used to sell products, whether guitars, amplifiers, pedals, or guitar-centric records. But where does the sound of your electric guitar actually come from?
Where does the tone come from?
It certainly emanates either from the equipment we choose to use, or perhaps even from the player himself. And yet, the debate continues today: where does the sound of your electric guitar come from? An interesting video has been online in the last fortnight, posted on Youtube by content creator jim lil. In the video, just below 12 minutesLill tries, as best he can, to break the guitar down into its constituent parts, to try to pinpoint where exactly the sound of the guitar is coming from.
Jim asked three luthiers he respected, “What are the 5 factors in an electric guitar that make the most difference in amplified sound?” Everyone gave different answers to this, including things like the player, the woods used for the neck and body, the pickups, the hardware, and the construction.
What’s quite funny to watch is Jim slowly but surely breaking down an electric guitar component by component, and gradually moving from a Telecaster-style instrument, to a bridge, a pickup and a set of pegs okay with a nut. Along the way, we get comparisons to the original guitar tone of his Anderson T-Style guitar, which uses the same pickups as his test guitar. This allows us to assess tonal similarities, as the instrument is slowly stripped back to the essentials.
No body, no neck
I like that he uses a 2×4 piece of wood at one point, and finally manages to get rid of both a guitar body and neck at the very end of the video. If you haven’t already, I suggest you take 12 minutes out of your day to watch this video and see what you think of this attempt to find where the sound of the electric guitar comes from.
Did the video confirm your opinions or did you disagree with any aspect of it? Let us know in the comments section below.