Why Details like Guitar Tone Matter on a Kids’ Album

Late in his career, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio was asked why he hustled on a play in a blowout game that wasn’t going to affect his team’s standings. “Because there is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time,” DiMaggio explained. “I owe him my best.”

When Steve Jobs was questioned about his perfectionism over the appearance of a part located deep inside the computer and confronted with the notion that his customers will never see that part, Steve answered “I’ll know it’s there.” He went on to explain how his father insisted on painting both sides of the fence, including the part that didn’t face anybody.

This is how I feel about making the very best recordings and putting on the best shows I can. Every audience is made up of kids who are seeing their first rock concert. Many kids are hearing their first rock album in the car or in the kitchen and I want it to be an awesome experience – one they’ll want to return to again – and even play this music for their own kids one day!

Jason Didner after a recording session with his new Blackstar HT Stage 60 amp and his Paul Reed Smith SE Custom 24 guitarWith that in mind, I considered the mechanical failure of my old guitar amplifier to be a positive thing because that incident which threatened to cause lots of problems onstage, forced me to get a much better sounding amp — a Blackstar HT Stage 60 tube amp – one that compelled me to re-record all my electric guitar parts on 8 songs that will be on my upcoming album “Lollipop Motel.”

I don’t expect a 3 year old to say “Dude! He’s using a solid state amp!” but there is a subtle difference in tonal quality between guitar amps. And when you have a great amp and the opportunity to use it to improve your record, there are plenty of reasons to go for it. Kids will discern the difference between something that sounds authentic, warm, from the heart – and something that sounds like the artist was going through the motions.

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What little details mean a lot to you – that you’ll go the extra mile for = whether or not that result jumps out at other people? Please comment below.