I'm Vegas Wierdo. Apparently I spelled "Weirdo" wrong when I registered! :eek:
My problem is dual, I think.
1. I have a Mexican-built Fender Stratocaster in the Humbucker-Single-Single (HSS) configuration, with a Floyd Rose tremolo, with an alder body, maple neck, and rosewood fingerboard. Of course, I intend to upgrade the pickups. As for the tone I am looking for... shrill, ear-splitting, teeth-grinding, butt-puckering, eye-bulging, as dirty and unclean as competent soloing can reasonably be, far more bright than warm but not all ringy, and extremely ridiculously loud but without gain that is too terribly uncontrollable (i.e. thirty seconds of feetback if a cat farts ten feet away) if it is possible to mitigage for that and still get what I want. Enough low end, but emphasis on the high end and shrill/terrible enough to qualify as torture by North African standards.
When I wrench the slide up past the 12th fret on the high strings I want seasoned headbangers to clutch the sides of their skulls in shock and in searing agony as they sprint to the glowing exit sign - a green blur through the streaming tears of pain - in an effort to save what is left of their ruptured, bleeding eardrums.
Fingers on the chalkboard, the screech that roving zombies emit in zombie movies to rally other nearby zombies when they spot live humans, a freight train derailing (EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECCCEHKKKEEHCCKKK!!!!!), a microphone shoved down the throat of a mountain lion being tortured to death by sadistic hillbillies, screaming artillery shells as heard from the trenches of World War I, an elephant being microwaved alive after frantically stampeding into a signal repeater station, giant screaming eagles getting in a fight with a pod of dolphins as downed powerlines fall into the water tank... *catches breath*... yeah.
If anyone has heard that Japanese noisecore band "Melt-Banana", the track "Bored Elephant" where the guitarist Agata is doing all this awful-sounding slide stuff is about what I'm after. Except maybe more shrill and more intolerable, if that is even possible. Also, some of Kirk Hammet's solo work... I guess his guitar has a maple body so it's really bright/loud sounding compared to the other famous metaleros, where I guess mahogany is the norm.
Oh let's see... who else... King Crimson on that one track "Red" (Robert Fripp is his name?)... uhhhhh... whenever bands like Zao, Dillinger Escape Plan and the other weird math/metalcore acts are doing low crunchy stuff and then suddenly and without warning they hit the really high strings out of nowhere and catch you off guard... *chunkachunkachunka / ngooooh-WWWWAAANG!!!!* :eek: Or sort of like when the 80s hair metal guys would hit a high string out of nowhere (first thing that comes to mind is the opening riff of "Get High On a New Thing" by Enuff Z'nuff... or the screaming high parts in that one solo in "I Remember You" by Skid Row) except a lot dirtier and nastier.
I'm more of a soloist than a rhythm player and I usually play with a hard pick or with my fingers, and I sometimes use an aluminum "Firecracker" slide. What kind of pickups, what kind of half-stack, what kind of strings, and what kind of effects would achieve this awful, horrible, ultra-shrill, horribly high, equipment-wrecking engineers-refuse-to-work-with-me audience-abusing tone? If I ever want to focus on rhythm as well I'll just get another guitar, though I don't want to completely forsake it.
Can I do this on the guitar I have? Or will I have to get another one? I realize that this may be kind of unrealistic, and I do tend to exaggerate in my breathless descriptions of what so far may have only existed in a sound engineer's wake-up-screaming nightmare. I also know very, very little theory, so I'm unable to deliver this in proper technical terms. I hope you tone expert-type people have been given enough to work with!
2. As mentioned above, I play pickless a lot, and I actually prefer it. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same "bite" as when I use a pick, and chords sound like they're being done on rubber bands. When I've messed around with an archtop that has big fat jazz strings on it (which I guess is a suitable setup for fingers), I find that I can pull way, way more stuff on it than I can on my Strat. Should I just get an archtop and stick to picking the Strat, or is there a way to modify my Strat (within reason) to accomodate?
Also, I've heard of these fingerpick thingies called "AlaskaPik" which are these hard plastic-type picks that fit on your fingertips (I gather that I can wear three for my index/middle/ring and can even put one on my thumb); would those work?
As you might have guessed, I've been a bassist for far longer than I've been a guitarist (I never ever used a pick for bass playing), and my main rig was/is a 5-string fretless that I played three-fingered (index, middle, and ring) with the occasional thumb thrown in (not for slap, but as a fourth finger on the B/E). When I use that technique on an archtop guitar I have an absolute blast and am able to just go to town on it, but that technique doesn't work nearly as well on my Strat (currently strung with midweight nickelwound D'Addario strings). I wonder what would happen if I put really thick strings on it... but then it might sound weird and foul up the (bolt-on) neck.
A good friend of mine is a professional sound engineer and a semi-pro drummer with a lifetime of musical training, and he thinks I am a very, very evil man. :D