T Nation

Guitar Players: What Songs?

What songs sound good on a Fender Stratcaster? I have a Washburn Lyon, modeled after a strat. Some of the more punk/metal songs I try sound too twangy. So far the ones that sound good are:
7 Nation Army
Smoke On The Water
Plush

Yes, I’m a guitar newb.

I LOVE music, but am not a guitar player. If you can play Crazy Train as done by Randy Rhodes, I’d say you’re doing pretty good.

Oh yeah, everytime I hear the beginning of Smoke on the Water I get goose bumps and I’m jealous that you can play it.

I am a guitar player–more classical and jazz now, but I started on rock.

Any songs sound good on whatever guitar. Learn what you want to play, that’s the key. I would recommend you try and find a teacher if you don’t have one already. You’ll progress much quicker.

This will entertain you for days, if not weeks.

[quote]boyscout wrote:
Any songs sound good on whatever guitar. Learn what you want to play, that’s the key. I would recommend you try and find a teacher if you don’t have one already. You’ll progress much quicker.[/quote]

I dunno, I’m just asking what songs were played on a strat normally, because when I play “Holiday” (Green Day), the song doesn’t sound as “full” as it should be. Another one to add to the list despite the fact that is causes onset arthritis at the age of 19:

You Really Got Me (Kinks version, although at the highest power chord sequence I play the strings muted)


It’s all about tone…Strats have a “signature sound” due to the layout and type of pickups used…Play around with the tone controls and learn what they can produce (the old school method), or do it the modern (lazy?)way and just buy one of the many guitar processors made these days to dial in various tones to fit the song/type of music you want to play…

(BTW, Ritchie Blackmore always used Strats, which is likely why “Smoke on the Water” sounds “right” on your
'git-fiddle"/:wink:

[quote]DtotheG wrote:
What songs sound good on a Fender Stratcaster? I have a Washburn Lyon, modeled after a strat. Some of the more punk/metal songs I try sound too twangy. So far the ones that sound good are:
7 Nation Army
Smoke On The Water
Plush

Yes, I’m a guitar newb.[/quote]

[quote]DtotheG wrote:
I dunno, I’m just asking what songs were played on a strat normally, because when I play “Holiday” (Green Day), the song doesn’t sound as “full” as it should be.

[/quote]

That would be the pick ups. Strats have what are called single coils. Humbuckers are the bigger pick ups that have a more full sound. I believe the guy from green day plays a guitar with a p90 pick up, another type of single coil with a fatter sound.

Try some pearl jam, that always sounds good on the strat. For a great clean sound, put the 5 position pick up selector (the switch) on the second position up from all the way down, and roll back both tone knobs a bit on the guitar. That’s a pearl jam-ish clean tone right there.

To me, guitar is guitar. I never got caught up in what sounded good on my guitar when I was starting. I just wanted to play Metallica and Black Sabbath so I did. Now a days I want to play Bach and Brouwer so I do, or I want to do some jazz improvisation, so I try. Again: play what you like. It doesn’t matter. As you get more info about guitar gear and how it works, you’ll be able to replicate more sounds easier.

PS: get a teacher if you’re serious about this stuff. Learn the basics, and you’ll avoid that onset of arthritis.

PPS: I play Bach and Jazz because I’m studying guitar in college (music). I like it all alot, but it takes up too much time for me to pursue rock much. Apparently rock and roll isn’t considered “art music”. Who knew?

Guitar timbre is determined by the relative levels of different harmonics. These are a function of pickups and wood. Tone knobs have a very limited effect on relative harmonic levels which produce timbre. Timber is inherent to the instrument, and major alterations are needed to change it.

Harmonics have Node Points - points of zero vibration. The bridge pickup lies a node point for the 4th harmonic. Single coil Neck pickups will detect no vibration at this spot. Humbuckers, due to their fatter width, will - a fuller sound is produced.

Think of Stevie Ray Vaugh and Jimmy Hendrix for single coil pickups. It’s a sound with character. Think of Satriani/Vai, AC/DC for Humbuckers. It is a fuller sound with less character.

Wood type has just as strong an impact.
Basswood produces weaker higher/lower frequencies, emphasizing its mid-range. Complex overtones are muted leaving a strong fundamental note.
Alder produces a broader range of lows and highs, adding to the perception of a weaker mid-range.
Mahogany mutes mid-range tones somewhat, producing a ‘wall-of-sound’ effect - with strong lows/highs. It has a richer, fuller sound.

You’re more likely to be memorable anyway, if you produce a strong version of a song - with your own sound. You shouldn’t be picking songs to fit your guitar. The best guitarists in the world won’t produce perfect replicas of each other. The limitations of guitar individuality on what you can play are few. Unless you’re playing a Steve Vai song which needs you to say, pinch a 4th harmonic WHILE using the non-lead Bridge pickup (possible but unlikely), I see no limitations aside from some neat timbre differences.

My toy: anIbanez Joe Satriani model, JS100. I changed the stock pickups to:

  1. Bridge - Steve Vai Evolution (Very HOT pickup, I was worried about a mismatch with the PAF Joe (below). It has great harmonic overtones, tight lows, and highs with a lot of presence.
  2. Neck - Dimarzio PAF Joe (a sound between the PAF Pro and a 50’s humbucker). Satriani calls it a ‘tubular sound’, a result of clear lows and warm mids/highs.

Lightweight Basswood body and rosewood fretboard for those strong mids, warm highs, and great sustain!

Only thing it needs is a Fret Filing which will extend the life of the frets for another 6-12 mos.

And here it is. My favorite toy.

[quote]diesel25 wrote:

You’re more likely to be memorable anyway, if you produce a strong version of a song - with your own sound. You shouldn’t be picking songs to fit your guitar. The best guitarists in the world won’t produce perfect replicas of each other. The limitations of guitar individuality on what you can play are few. Unless you’re playing a Steve Vai song which needs you to say, pinch a 4th harmonic WHILE using the non-lead Bridge pickup (possible but unlikely), I see no limitations aside from some neat timbre differences.
[/quote]

Good post. To the OP:

Someday you may succumb, as I have, to GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), and try to have different guitars and amps and gadgets for different styles of music. Then you may, eventually, realize that it’s more fun to chase music, instead of focusing on gear.

At that point, you’ll try to find sounds that you LIKE, rather than ones that imitate a recording. You’ll find that a Strat can be a great tool for an extremely wide range of stuff. So, really, don’t analyse it too much right now.

Tweak the knobs you have (amp/guitar/gadgets) until you find a sound you like. Then go learn as much music as you can jam into your head. And go play with other folks as soon as possible. Good luck

[quote]DtotheG wrote:
What songs sound good on a Fender Stratcaster? I have a Washburn Lyon, modeled after a strat. Some of the more punk/metal songs I try sound too twangy. So far the ones that sound good are:
7 Nation Army
Smoke On The Water
Plush

Yes, I’m a guitar newb.[/quote]

Santana

Any song sounds good on a Strat as long as the instrument is in capable hands. 7 Nation Army and Plush should sound fine because it’s pretty hard not to be capable of playing them. You can play Bach’s Gavotte on a Strat and make it sound good, as long as the hands are capable.

If you want to sound good, pick a song to which you can commit yourself and follow it through until it sounds exactly how you want it to sound.

Strat music? Stevie Ray Vaugh, Eric Johnson, Hendrix, Eric Clapton (though he uses a Telecaster also), and a lot of blues, though Gibson gets a lot of credit there too.

[quote]DtotheG wrote:
What songs sound good on a Fender Stratcaster? I have a Washburn Lyon, modeled after a strat. Some of the more punk/metal songs I try sound too twangy. So far the ones that sound good are:
7 Nation Army
Smoke On The Water
Plush

Yes, I’m a guitar newb.[/quote]

Nirvana is good for a punk strat sound too. Many Nirvana songs are fairly easy to learn too. If it’s too twangy sounding - turn that selector switch to the 4th or 3rd position from the bottom. Like the others said-play with the tone a bit and you fill find a sound you like. Have fun man.

[quote]diesel25 wrote:
And here it is. My favorite toy.[/quote]

That’s what I have, except it’s electric blue.

I didn’ think they made it in blue!

…except the higher-end model JS1000 or JS1200 (both of which come Joe Satriani’s pickups in the first place (PAF Joe and FRED), Joe’s signature neck).

I love this baby!!!

[quote]diesel25 wrote:
I didn’ think they made it in blue!

…except the higher-end model JS1000 or JS1200 (both of which come Joe Satriani’s pickups in the first place (PAF Joe and FRED), Joe’s signature neck).

I love this baby!!![/quote]

My Dad bought it for me a few years ago for christmas. I have no idea of the cost. I never asked.

Any Jeff Beck song.


Check it out, they do make a blue JS1000 - which sells for upwards of a grand vs the $700 I paid before pickup update.

Is THAT your guitar? It’s wicked sweet…