“You can’t make ACID without a 303!”

It’s not about the tools, it’s about the person using the tools. Give a tool to a fool and see what happens.

“But wait a minute! You cannot make ACID without a 303! You simply can’t!”, you might say.

Of course you can!

It’s like saying: “You can’t play the blues without a Fender Stratocaster!” Many guitarists on YouTube are playing blueslicks using a strat. They are striving for that Stevie Ray Vaughn tone. They will use the same old equipment. Use exactly the same string gauge. Without these things they think their bluestone will suck big time. They hate people using transistor amps. And they hate people using digital stuff even more. “Stevie would never have used that shitty stuff!”, they are all saying.

Who cares what Stevie uses?! Stevie sounded great, but that doesn’t mean I should sound like him! If Stevie loved tubes I might try digital instead. Finding my own sound.

So you really think you can only sound great on a Stradivarius? That will cost you a lot of money.

Same for ACID or any other genre. Fuck that Roland TB-303, just use what you have available right now. Make it work. Be creative!

If people say “you can’t do that!” what they really are saying is this: “I am a purist and you are breaking the rules.” I find these people not creative. In fact they are stuck in non-creative believes.

Playing an A flat (minor third, blues note) over a F7 chord as the IV chord in a blues is tricky but you CAN make it sound good. THAT is creativity.


Also published on Medium.

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3 Responses to “You can’t make ACID without a 303!”

  1. John Pazdan November 15, 2018 at 4:15 pm #

    Electric Chicago blues was born in taverns in the 50s, played by African-American musicians from the south, who had migrated to the north for jobs. I have been fortunate to have played with some of them. In the 50s and 60s, these men had some of the fahnkiest guitars and amps youve ever seen, yet they played some of the best music ive ever heard. My personal favorite was Howlin Wolf’s guitar player Hubert Sumlin, a man I played with a few times. I have never heard phrasing like that before or after..Marc Ribot with Waits is the closest. When I first listened to him, I was a kid who thought the Brit blues guys were the real deal. I was enamored with big amps and Les Pauls. But when I saw Howlin Wolf the 1st time, Hubert was playing a Rickenbacker! through a department store amp. But of course, he sounded exactly like..Hubert. Later on, I learned that he sometimes lost his guitar, maybe stolen maybe pawned, and would just get whatever was around (maybe a stolen one…). AFA as Acid..I think the 303 was simply the cheapest tool available at the time. I worked in a music shop in the early 80s and we couldnt give them away. 909s, 808s either.until..a few brothers who were doing this sorta disco/dj thing at a club called the WareHOUSE (get it?) started coming by and buying them. Horses for courses Marco. Good rant today. I think I will fire up my ancient ! copy of Rebirth today 😉

    • Marco Raaphorst November 15, 2018 at 5:40 pm #

      Yes and I think it’s cool not to use the same tools everyone is using. Money decisions make perfect sense as well. That’s why hiphop was done on cheap machines, budget devices like the 808 or early samplers like the SP1200 and speeding the vinyl to 45 rpm to grap more time into those 12 bits and slowing it down afterwards. Making a very lo-fi sound. But guess what’s populair now? The cheap old stuff from the past became legendary.

      I live in Holland, which is a couple of miles away from Blues Country. But I am glad that stuff flew over. Bebop, Blues, Beatles and Bach in the Blender.

  2. John Pazdan November 15, 2018 at 6:16 pm #

    Western Europe and the UK was the salvation of a lot of american musicians, as they provided a livelihood through some dark stupid times here. Still do.

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