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Distortion? Really? - Hurtling Butt-First Through Time [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)

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Distortion? Really? [Oct. 25th, 2017|12:08 pm]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)

"Distortion" is for texture.  It's not really even "distortion" in the context of electric guitar sound, because you're creating something from scratch, not (hopefully) producing a facsimile of something else that you could "distort" by not reproducing it faithfully enough.

Unadorned electric guitar tone is like shiny chrome and slick naugahyde; it has its uses but gets boring really quickly.  It's sterile.  Acoustic guitar has quite a bit more texture naturally, but electric guitar sound needs help.

You need to think of it the same as adding texture to a drawing or painting.  Artists will intentionally smudge paint or charcoal to add texture, or maybe apply a filmy wash over the whole canvass, but one you can still see through.  Add "distortion" artistically to create textural effects, but apply it with a paintbrush rather than a fire hose.