Author Topic: How to get a good Ventures sound  (Read 2799 times)

Offline oldflogger

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How to get a good Ventures sound
« on: December 30, 2011, 09:11:12 am »
1st start out with an American made Fender Jazzmasters, Jaguar or Strat,  although I have several Japanese Fender Strats with Fender Noiseless pickups in them that sound great too .  Then you'll need a good Fender amp. I have a early Fender Vibrolux amp that sounds terrific.

Of course you'll need a few fans of The Ventures to help you make great music too. Perfect pratice makes for a perfect performance.

You can never have enough time to practice. I can't rememebr who said this but it goes something like this, " If I don't practice for 1 day I know it, if I don't practice for 3 days the critics know it, if I don't practice for 1 week my fans know it." It makes a lot of sense.

Many great sounding guitar runs are actually quite easy to play once you put in the time and practice. It also helps to have a great picker, such as Walt Stagner to help walk you through the part. 

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Offline wstagner

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Re: How to get a good Ventures sound
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2011, 10:15:15 am »
Whose he? Neva herda him. :o

Offline oldflogger

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Re: How to get a good Ventures sound
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 10:25:29 am »
you are the man

Offline abstamaria

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Re: How to get a good Ventures sound - but which one?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2012, 12:41:56 am »
I think the problem is that there is not one Ventures "sound."  Even if one were to focus on the "early" Ventures, one would find I think a wide range of very different sounds, not to mention styles.  There's Bob Bogle's Jazzmaster sound, then Nokie playing I am not sure what, and then the odd session guitarists using whatever guitars they had.  This is quite different from the Shadows, whose early years had clear eras defined by the guitars and amps used. For the Ventures, one almost has to listen to each piece, as the sound can get get very different, even among selections in the same album.

In general, and with due respect to the Ventures, it seems the Shadows were more careful about their sound and also their recording (after all, they recorded at Abbey Road).  This has made chasing the Ventures sound more elusive and sometimes frustrating.  It is like to trying to get the sound of seberal different bands.

The book "Walk Don't Run" is very helpful and tells us what was used for the original recording of Walk Don't Run.  But there seems very little discussion out there on technique and gea - for instance, how Bogle played, what strings he used, what amps, and so forth.  The best discussion I've read on the Ventures sound is in the Telecaster forum -

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-196587.html

Having been playing Shadows for a while, our amateur band is going to try to play the early Ventures pieces/  Since we are severely handicapped by my playing skills, we hope at least to get the "sound" of a few of the early pieces. While capturing Hank Marvin's sound may technically be more difficult, I am daunted by the marked differences between the Ventures pieces.  And the sheer lack of information!  Perhaps someone can point out some leads.

Wish us luck.

Andy

Offline wstagner

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Re: How to get a good Ventures sound
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2012, 05:36:42 pm »
You don't need any luck, Andy.  I've heard you play. ;)
Just record some stuff and post it.  You're right.  Lotta variation in Ventures stuff.  Hank's sound is much more structured.

Offline Noel

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Re: How to get a good Ventures sound
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2012, 12:29:26 pm »
Great question. I think the case is that the Shadows intended to have a distinct and consistent sound. The Ventures had a different business model. As they "venturized" everything from Lawrence of Arabia to Telstar to The Lonely Bull to Paint it Black, I don't think just one sound would have worked. Plus, as Nokie has pointed out, the switch to Mosite guitars just made their sound much more over-driven. And, they've used all sorts of different amps and other gear through the years. Reverb tanks have come and gone. Fender, VOX, Peavey, and I don't remember what else all have different tonal properties that end up on their records. And not the least contributor is that Nokie, Bob Bogle, Bob Spalding and Gerry McGee don't sound exactly the same on lead, irrespective of their gear. All these factors can give every performance a different sound.

One of the things I like about them is that they don't just cover their own material. The same tune listened to from recordings made over the last 50 plus years always has something new to hear.

Offline wstagner

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Re: How to get a good Ventures sound
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 05:18:26 pm »
I don't think today's Ventures make a conscious effort toward achieving any particular sound.
Especially when you consider which era's "sound" would you be talking about.

I fact, I'd say that their "sound" has more today with the individual players.  You can easily tell the dif between whomever is playing lead. Don's rhythm style is unmistakeable.  Mel had a unique sound.  Leon can sound like Mel, but he has his own character as well.




Offline geoff1711

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Re: How to get a good Ventures sound
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 02:28:39 pm »
As a new member here, although long time member on the Shad's sites, it's probably best to remeber that the Shadows became very family acceptable quite early in their careers, having started out as rock and roll.

But from my side of the Atlantic the Ventures were a Surf band along with The Surfaris, Beach Boys etc, it was only much later all instrumental bands got lumped together as a genre.

I was at school in the early 60's when all of this started and many considered The Ventures as much cooler than The Shadows.

As for me, I find quite a lot of Ventures recordings we get over here as not great, a lot seems just fast for the sake of being fast and the tune gets a bit lost, having said that a lot of people regard The Shadows later offerings as "lift music" nice enough but just instrumental covers of famous vocal numbers.

But I think all of the 60's instrumental bands in the USA and Europe had good and bad, probably all down to the record companies demanding another record when the bands had nothing much to offer, you can't just whistle up brilliance on demand.

So to try and say one band was better is a bit like trying to compare say Dylan with Cohen, Vai to Satriani, or even Sinatra to Davis all have similarities but have their own identity.

But for me long live guitar music, coz whilst the fingers still move OK the voice is getting - lets just say err weaker??

Geoff

Offline wstagner

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Re: How to get a good Ventures sound
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 02:35:48 pm »
We like your attitude, Geoff and we welcome you here.   ;)