It’s almost like observing fire-walkers at the
circus. Your brain may understand how the
technique works and how it can be safe.
But your heart and nerves won’t let you
take the chance of barbecuing your feet.
“Rock guitarists are incredibly conservative
and traditional,” says Dr. Millard. “We like
to think of ourselves breaking all the bonds
and we go back to the fifties when rock and
roll was revolutionary. It is not revolutionary.
It is very traditional, very conservative, and
musicians are really stubborn to change.
We have a cultural understanding that old
is better than good.”
As other articles in this series on tone
argue, so many psychological and cultural
factors change our perceptions. Ultimately,
it’s not a question that science can solve.
big part of the answer has got nothing to
do with tone. It’s got to do with other things
that are not tone related. It’s that sound,
but it’s also the look and it’s also whatever
memories and prejudices and desires and
yearnings we already have in our mind.”
Next month—don’t miss part III, The Cult of Tone, in which we explore the con- cept of religion in tone. Do all belief systems allow the heart to rule the mind?
“Tone is everything to guitarists,” Millard
says. “That’s what we all talk about. But a
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