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Author Topic: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar  (Read 3146 times)

darkandrew

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Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« on: October 21, 2017, 09:46:34 PM »
I've got a trio of ESP Eclipses but no matter which pickups are in them, they just don't feel right when playing clean, funky rhythm guitar. Instead, I find myself reaching for my cheaper Korean Fender Tele FMT. I can't put my finger on it; they're both mahogany/maple set-neck guitars with twin humbuckers but the Tele just lends itself so much better to that style of playing. The main differences between the Tele and the Eclipses are the scale length (Eclipse is similar in shape and construction to a Les Paul and so is slightly shorter than the Tele) and the body shape - would these really make that much difference?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 10:07:09 PM by darkandrew »

blue

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2017, 10:43:07 PM »
What sort of pickups have you used? Iíve certainly seen funk bands use 335ís, so humbuckers can do it. Higher output humbuckers might be better either split or in parallel.  I do agree that strat/tele type guitars do seem to suit the style better, but I know I have gotten some nice funk sounds with a les Paul. Oddly, neck or both pickups seems to work better
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darkandrew

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2017, 10:52:07 PM »
What sort of pickups have you used? Iíve certainly seen funk bands use 335ís, so humbuckers can do it. Higher output humbuckers might be better either split or in parallel.  I do agree that strat/tele type guitars do seem to suit the style better, but I know I have gotten some nice funk sounds with a les Paul. Oddly, neck or both pickups seems to work better

Mules, Crawlers, Nail Bombs and Cold Sweats. At some point I think I've had each of these in all the Eclipses, my Tele and my Showmaster - no matter which combination I use, the Tele always seems to be the best suited to funk. It's not really the sound, it's the "feel" of the guitar and the way that influences how you play it.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 01:48:33 AM by darkandrew »

Telerocker

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2017, 05:25:34 PM »
I can get a decent funk sound with Mules (bridge and neck combination), but it will never be so snappy and funky as a strat neck-single coil.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 02:37:06 AM by Telerocker »
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Dave Sloven

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 01:18:26 AM »
Yeah I would just use a Strat or Tele for funk

Or a low output, bright humbucker like a Stormy Monday in a bright guitar like an SG
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gwEm

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2017, 11:08:14 AM »
a strat is surely the right guitar for funk.

maybe you can use an EQ pedal to make your tone more snappy though.
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darkandrew

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 01:46:49 PM »
a strat is surely the right guitar for funk.

maybe you can use an EQ pedal to make your tone more snappy though.
I can get the tone from the mule neck, the problem is with the feel of the guitar. It could be the scale length, string gauge, bridge position, string spacing - I'm not sure, but I just know that the cheaper Korean Tele feels better for that style of play than the more expensive ESP Eclipses even though the Eclipses feel better for many other styles.

gwEm

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 09:55:21 AM »
a strat is surely the right guitar for funk.

maybe you can use an EQ pedal to make your tone more snappy though.
I can get the tone from the mule neck, the problem is with the feel of the guitar. It could be the scale length, string gauge, bridge position, string spacing - I'm not sure, but I just know that the cheaper Korean Tele feels better for that style of play than the more expensive ESP Eclipses even though the Eclipses feel better for many other styles.

I'm sorry, I only skim read your first post and focused on what other people said.

I still think that Fender single coils, with magnetic polepieces always react different, even if you get other pickups to sound similar. But probably its not this.

I would say then that the tighter radius of Fender boards helps play those funky chords easier.

Quote from: AndyR
you wouldn't use the meat knife on crusty bread but, equally, the serrated knife and straight edge knife aren't going to go through raw meat as quickly

darkandrew

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2017, 03:44:50 PM »
I would say then that the tighter radius of Fender boards helps play those funky chords easier.

Now that's a thought - I hadn't even considered board radius,  it could be that also. There are so many variables in a guitar's design and construction that it's almost impossible to pick out one defining factor!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 03:46:26 PM by darkandrew »

Telerocker

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2017, 05:26:37 AM »
I had F-style guitars, partly Fenders, with 7.25, 9.5 and 12 inch radius. A funky sound depends not particularly on the radius I think, but in the concept: the timbers (ash/alder/maple), the constuction (bold on), the typ of bridge and last bu not least the single coils.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

darkandrew

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2017, 11:40:28 AM »
I had F-style guitars, partly Fenders, with 7.25, 9.5 and 12 inch radius. A funky sound depends not particularly on the radius I think, but in the concept: the timbers (ash/alder/maple), the constuction (bold on), the typ of bridge and last bu not least the single coils.

My Tele is an HH model and I'm pretty familiar with most of the BKP humbucker range but just out of curiosity, which single coil pickups would be recommended in a Strat for that Nile Rodgers signature funk tone?

gwEm

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2017, 02:03:48 PM »
His strat is a '59 I believe. But I saw his sig model has Custom Shop '69s in.

Either way, you'd want something vintage for sure. Perhaps the "slab board" set?
Quote from: AndyR
you wouldn't use the meat knife on crusty bread but, equally, the serrated knife and straight edge knife aren't going to go through raw meat as quickly

Telerocker

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2017, 03:06:44 PM »
His strat is a '59 I believe. But I saw his sig model has Custom Shop '69s in.

Either way, you'd want something vintage for sure. Perhaps the "slab board" set?

Nile's guitar is a 1960 stratocaster with a 59 neck. You come close to his tone with Mother's Milk and the Pat Pend Series.
Mules, VHII, Crawler, MM's, IT's, BG50's.

JoeHenry

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Re: Not feeling the funk playing a Les Paul style guitar
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2018, 05:18:01 PM »
I understand what you mean when you say you can't get the feel.
I play mostly jazz & funk - on a strat, a Les Paul and an old Ibanez AS100 (335 style). On HB guitars the middle position gives you that scooped, boxy sound - dial both vols down a bit and mess with the balance between the bridge & neck further down there. Strat is more disco type funk (Nile) but the HB's give great older school chunky funk. Some of the funkiest stuff ever is from a 2 HB guitar. It takes a while longer to get to as its less immediately apparent - but I think funk is mostly about the feel that you inject into the groove rather than the instrument itself - so I'd say keep trying to get that feel.