The Tone is more Crucial than the Volume.

Years ago, when my kids were at the start of their communication journey, I taught them if they wanted to emphasize a point – focus on their Tone. Be firm when speaking, you do not need to shout to get your point across.

I’ve never had to punish my kids, the threat of punishment is sometimes more powerful than the punishment itself. You guessed it, via the tone of my voice.

The Tone is also important in music and photography.

Guitarists, drummers, pianists etc. spend precious time and money to get their tone just right. They utilise different gauged strings, wooden bodies, pick-ups, amplifiers, speakers, EQs, effect pedals, even the guitar pick to calibrate their personal sound, even down to the little guitar pick (more on this later). Don’t forget that the size and configuration of the music venue (concert hall, arenas, stadiums etc.) will also affect the musician’s tone.

Album producers also spend many hours just to get the sound of the drums just right at the start of the recording sessions. Sometimes for days. Then the bass and the other music instruments. Singers have their preferred mics and EQ settings.

Blondie’s Chris Stein calibrating his electric guitar tone during the recording of Panic Of Girls album session in Woodstock, upstate New York (above image). In Blondie songs, I can always single out Chris’ guitar melodies, he plays with guitar handpicks.

Chris Stein’s unique guitar handpick (above image) and other luminary guitarists’ plectrums collected over the ears (not typo) of music appreciation, enjoy a special place up on my CD shelf. You can tell my CDs are organised alphabetically.

My other collection of guitar picks (above image), happily expanding over the years.

During the recording of Blondie’s Pollinator album at the Magic Shop Studio in Soho, New York City, I gave out my personalised guitar picks (name cards) to each of the band members. My buddy, the lead guitarist Tommy Kessler liked the gauge of my pick so much that I gave him a few more. He used it to play in the studio recordings of the new Blondie songs (above image).

When I was about to leave the session one day, Tommy gifted me with a kind insight, “You do realise that you’re indirectly involved in the recording of this new album. Because I’m using your guitar pick to play the songs.”

Eric Johnson is the ultimate Tonemeister (above image). Here he spends literally hours on stage before a show making sure his guitar tone is just right.

Tone is Mood in Photography (above image). I like to unleash my tones with my monochrome images.

I like this recent shot of Kitaro on stage right, just behind the curtains, away from the sight of his audience. This was shot during an interlude between his performance.

The poignant black and white image depicts the reflective mood of the solitary subject, on whose shoulders the success of the night’s performance rests solely on.

When done right, the image will invoke differing subjective interpretations. Who knows what’s on Kitaro’s creative maestro mind.

I’m glad my mirrorless R3 camera comes with a “silent” mode, as to not distract Kitaro’s concentration. I’m a Ninja with a sharp Camera.

Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi in his blissful Tone Heaven (above image).

A gorgeous Tone is a Soothing Balm for the troubled Soul.