Lock in and enjoy the original post and a genius response from The Gear Page. There’s a lot of wisdom here regarding mimicry and creativity, enjoy. Copying Artists from The Gear Page.
The original post by BetterMeThanYou can be found here. Otherwise, read on…
Doesn’t anyone find it a little odd that when some famous player uses a pedal, there are so many guitarists out there who fall all over themselves to get that pedal and compete among themselves for it, driving the price way up?
Examples: Hendrix and Fuzz Face, SRV and Tube Screamers, Gilmour and Big Muffs, VH and whatever phaser he used.
It’s like “OMG! I have to have THAT exact sound..I’ll pay anything for it.”
Yet when I consider the aim/goal/intent of these artists, the whole point was to find something completely new or original that no one else had done. And besides that, because of who they were and their inborn creativity, they probably could have turned some other random pedal into the prized obsession of guitarists. It was really just chance and availability for a lot of these guys as to why they chose the particular pedal that now sells for hundreds of $$$.
So to me if you really want to be like these famous guys, you should try your damnedest to not sound like them (or anyone else). Search for pedals no one else wants. The ones everyone else is throwing away. Find a way to sound totally different than anyone else. Take some random shitty pedal and make it into your own. Whatever. Just figure out some freakin’ originality and make it unique!
And the response from Seance from the gear page can be found here.
There are stages to learning music. One of those stages is copying.
Everybody does it.
A six-string guitar can be turned to an open chord, or you can get
a 7- or 8-string guitar, but there are no new notes.
Everything has been done before.
Creativity isn’t about doing something that hasn’t been done before,
it’s about discovering a vibration that resonates with people. That’s
why something I might find deeply meaningful and rewarding to listen
to repeatedly might be something that you find trite and unlistenable.
If you aren’t on the same wavelength, it feels discordant and grating.
As a youngster David Gilmour wanted to play like Hendrix, but couldn’t.
He couldn’t move his fingers that fast, or bend the strings that far. So
instead of just poorly mimicking somebody else he took what he was good
at (and what he was bad at) and arrived at an amalgam that was uniquely
true to himself. Instead of trying to play faster, he played slower.
This, placed in the context of the songs he played on, became part of
When Sam Cooke was a young singer he was hired to replace the lead singer
in The Soul Stirrers. The guy he was replacing had a better voice, with a far greater
range and more power. Sam Cooke couldn’t hit those high notes that his
predecessor did. So instead he sort of danced around the note with melisma. He
was so successful at applying this technique within the songs that he
wrote that an entire generation of R&B, Soul and Rock and Roll artists tried to
imitate what Sam Cooke did (even though he originally arrived at this
technique because he didn’t have a spectacular vocal range). A counter
example to this is Mariah Carey, who does have a tremendous vocal
range. She applies melisma to everything indiscriminately, for seemingly
no organic, emotional or logical reason. The context, the vibration, all of
that makes one use of melisma pleasing to my ears, and the other not.
Others might have the opposite reaction to the exact same two examples.
If you listen to early (awesome) Rod Stewart with the Jeff Beck Group or The Faces,
you can see that Rod Stewart had done some serious “copying” of Sam Cooke.
But he also threw in his own thing and (before the 1980s) delivered some truly great vocals.
As far as trying to replicate for nostalgia sake what was once fresh and a
spontaneous reaction to being in a particular moment, catching lightning
in a bottle—that’s what most human traditions are built upon.
First something is new and fresh. Then it is revered and powerful. Then
it gets overused until it is trite and hackneyed. And then perhaps it gets
reinterpreted and reintegrated until it seems fresh and new by virtue of
a new context.
In other words, a vintage Tubescreamer is just a pedal. Unless it’s
exactly what you need. And if it’s not what you need, that doesn’t mean
that it’s useless for others.
Water isn’t inherently good. When you are dying of thirst it is vitally
important. But that same glass of water isn’t helpful or important
at all if you are drowning at sea.