Table Of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Several Guitar Types 3. Amp Types and Tones 4. Effect Pedal Types and tones 5. Amp Box, Amp stand or on the ground? 6. Tube pedals vs. non-tube pedals 7. Effect Pedal Mods 8. Multi effects vs. pedals 9. Modeling amps vs. real amps 10. Solid State or Tube Amps? 11. Recording with mics 12. Direct Recording with Modeling Devices 13. Finding YOUR Tone 14. Amp/Effects Debates 14. Your Guitar 16. The Absolute truth... 17. In closing--People, Knowledge, and Skill...SO HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR TONE?

Hi! Welcome to and’s “Introduction to Guitar Tone and Effects”! This is an essential manual for getting the best sounds from your electric guitars, your amps, effect pedals, digital processors and

equipment. This book and the accompanied audio also features easy to follow instructions with tons of photos, teaching the basics of guitar tones, effects, amps and guitars. The CD or the provided link for the download provides many audio examples. Readers of this will learn all the different types of guitars, what type of music they are best suited for, who plays them, what different configurations of amps, what tones are best, rock or country. In the other book, we’ll discuss how you can modify your effect pedals for maximum tone without paying premium money as well as what some hot pros are using. I’ll also put everything in extreme detail for you. Not only that, I’ll also show you some of the best ways to set your effects, and amp to achieve tonal bliss!

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Fender Strats
Fender strat usually features 3 single coils or 2 singles and a humbucker. It may also feature 2 humbuckers at your neck and at your bridge and a single in the middle, although that is not as common. The 3 single coils, it is more known for a ‘quacky’ type of sound and used on a ton of recordings, and is very common. Neck position is very good for blues, its very full and warm. Stevie Ray Vaughn used that quite a bit as well as the fourth position, which is a combination of the middle pickup and the neck pickup. Most guitars nowadays are patterned after the strat. Many of the them have taken the good things about the strat and changed the tremolos and different pickups, and maybe a little bit different radius for the fret board and so on. The Fender strat is very good for rock, blues or country and it is still used for those types of tones today.

It has a very smooth mid range and though its used primarily in country it is also very good for rock and blues as well. It has 2 single coils or the Nashville tele comes with 3 single coils. swears by them.Fender Telecaster A fender telecaster is more known for a honky type of tone…and that’s really the easiest way to explain it. as do most country pickers. Brent Mason. the Nashville studio giant. Jimmy Page used to use one on some of the older recordings until he switched to a les paul and there are many other guys that use them too. Its more of a mid-rangy tone…kind of more of a compressed sound. .

Gibson Les Paul Joe Perry from Aerosmith and Slash from Guns n Roses were two of the faithful followers of the Gibson Les Paul. rock n roll or maybe every now and then some light pop-ish type of music though more dominantly in the hard rock or rock n roll. . They are primarily used for hard rock. The Les Paul is kind of mid rangy like a telecaster-just more ‘in your face’ and ballsy… and has much more bottom end than a telecaster. Usually configured with 2 humbuckers one at the neck and one at the bridge or 3 humbuckers.


Paul Gilbert loved his Ibanez. which included locking floyd rose tremolos to do whammy bar dives and lots of whammy tricks. They’re very full sounding but they don’t cut through as easy as a fender or a Gibson. A lot of guys use them for hard rock and rock n roll.Ibanez came out with many different models probably the most popular were custom models for Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. There was just a ton of guys especially in the late 80’s when it was a fashion statement to have an Ibanez. . They are a favorite of ‘shredders’ typically.

They kind of took the place of Ibanez was the guitar to have in the 80’s. as they are called-everyone calls them PRS. It is very full sounding plays excellently but they are expensive. . A lot of guys starting buying the PRS. rock or hard rock. It has very hot pickups.Paul Reed Smith guitar – primarily used for new metal. The PRS is considered by many to be the guitar to have this decade.

The Marshall amps JMP series is more of a straight forward rock amp.Chapter 2 Amp types and tones The Fender twin Reverb is generally used for clean tones. A lot of guys use those. the old ACDC stuff with Bon Scott especially. It Had a single channel but when you crank it up there was no tone like it. It’s the only solid state amp in this line up of amps we are discussing here. excellent dirty tone. It has two channels clean and dirty. its all Plexi tone. if you listen to that guitar. they sound very good when you crank them up. like all marshals. Before that. Its an excellent rock amp and breaks up very nicely. Its very similar to a deluxe reverb but is has a lot a more power and it’s a lot louder. The Fender Deluxe Reverb is basically just like the Twin Reverb except its not near as loud. In fact. came the Marshall Plexi. brown will use two of them in stereo and have them cranked up and they are amazingly loud. If you are standing in front of them they will almost knock you down--they are that loud! The 1965 black face is the most famous which is also reissued in the 90’s because of it being famous and the ability that people were buying the old 65’s and paying ridiculous money for them. You can crank it up a lot more to get it to . mostly country some rock and jazz. The Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier was primarily for heavy guitar driven music but a lot of bands nowadays who play new metal and hard rock use them too because they are so full and aggressive sounding and very almost a fuzz type of distortion. Very smooth and very full. The Roland Jazz Course has excellent clean tones very loud without distorting so its great for jazz and some rock and country guys use it too. There’s no distortion channel and its very loud but it really shines when you can crank that thing up and get those tubes hot. which was the most famous in the 60’s and 70’s. Some guys like Jr. There again. It’s a pretty good clean tone.

brentmason. . Click Here to Listen to Brad playing through his new Dr. Some rock and jazz guys use it but not so much jazz because you don’t have to turn it up to such a loud volume (i.saturate and compress a little bit more so a lot of country guys love it. Brian May of Queen used one of these quite a bit. Z amp that he uses pretty extensively to kind of simulate a sort of vox tone. Brad Paisley on his earlier stuff used a Vox and now he has a Dr. the twin) to get it to compress naturally or distort. Its very midrange has a great honky type of tone breaks up very nicely. Z amp.e. Vox – primarily a country and rock swears by his 67 fender deluxe. Brent mason (www.

But if you want to use your amp's overdrive channel.Preamp (generally responsible for sound and .if you want . Therefore.overdrive) . Some amps have a series.Chapter 3 . Why? For example. experiment! Normally.labeled "send" and "return" . Some effects (see the following Topics) work and sound better if they come after any distortion or gain that is applied to your guitar signal. "leaves" your amp through the send jack. Chances are. not an overdriven reverb. you should have all the stomp boxes that should come before overdrive between your guitar and the amp's input and all the boxes that should come after overdrive after your amp's preamp in the effect loop. and others have a parallel effect loop. although with tube power amps the sound is also shaped). With a series effect loop. . This is where the effect loop comes in. 2) It the effect boosts the signal. put it before overdrive. your amp also has two. you put all your stomp boxes between your guitar and the input of the amp. You want a reverb on your overdriven signal. it would not sound too good if you put the reverb before the overdrive. The signal comes back into your amp through the "return" socket. put it behind any preamps or overdrive/distortion boxes. 3) There are no absolute rules! Break them. Basic rules: 1) If the effect modulates the signal (see following Topics).effect pedal types and tones What is an effect loop? Most amps today have more sockets than the one labeled "input".the effect loop. The guitar signal comes from your amp's preamp and through "send" goes into those effects that should be put behind any overdrive. you get the problems described above.Power amp (generally responsible for volume. the guitar signal (your sound) comes from the preamp of your amp. The signal that "travels" through your amplifier normally takes the following way: Input . The following Topics will give you information on which effects belong to which group.

and is "joined" again by the signal coming back from the effect. Many people have found that their sound suffers (great tube amps and .perhaps cheaper ran through multiple buffered (non-true bypassed) pedals may result in loss of full bodied tone.runs through the inserted effect and comes back through the return jack. The "remaining" signal stays in your amp. So you can mix the dry (without effect) and the wet (with effects) signals. preserving much of your sound. now with effects on it. you control how much of your original signal leaves the amp and passes through the effect. but keep in mind that you won't hear much of the effects if you only put a tiny part of your signal through the effect box. 100% of your signal goes through the effect. You decide with the parallel effect knob how much effect you want. The solution was the parallel loop: with the control. The effects in the loop should be set so that they let out no original signal but 100% effect signal. .

. if the signal is below a set threshold level it is made louder. the compressor kicked in. the compressor again needs time to respond and increase the gain again. Sustain: Sets the length of the period during which weak signals are amplified. The instrument sounds smoother. the volume level is more consistent and sustain is increased.making louder passages softer. A compressor has to be used carefully. It reduces its gain when the signal level is too high . If the input signal is above a set threshold level. Therefore. If the signal becomes too soft. the signal is made quieter. you limit your own range of playing dynamics drastically. For example. Attack: The compressor takes a little time before the gain is adjusted to the new input level. it tries to maintain a constant level of output by amplifying the incoming signal to maintain that constant level. A little compression will keep the instrument's level from dropping too radically after it's plucked. Release: When the input level exceeded the threshold.COMPRESSOR A Compressor reduces the dynamic range of a signal. If you overuse it. When the input level falls under the threshold. You might call a compressor a variable gain device. Some people say that if you hear that there's a compressor at work the effect was overdone. The amount of time the compressor takes to decrease its gain when the input level rises above the threshold is called attack time. The gain here is not perceived as "distortion"!! Controls: Threshold: Sets the level where the compressor kicks in to make the signal softer. the sound produced by the pickups gradually dies away. This is the release time. which is perceived as increased sustain. after sounding a string on a guitar.

it's even more important: If your signal exceeds a certain peak. the naturalness of an instrument's sound will get through before the compression sets in. When do you need it? Sometimes a song or even a certain style requires the notes you play to fall in a certain (sometimes very narrow) dynamic range . One too strong pick attack and you've distortion on tape. If attack and/or release time is too short. It would be very hard if not impossible to achieve this just by controlling our picking hand . This happens easily without a compressor because you normally set the input level in such a way that the average signal is loud enough.Using an appropriate attack time.especially at high speed. Set the threshold in a way that your signal does not exceed the point where distortion occurs. If recording. there will be distortion on the tape. which is often perceived as "pumping" and generally not desirable.some funk songs for example. ruining a whole track. you get very quick changes in gain. The compressor helps here. Examples of settings .

It also can be used as a booster for solos or to give your guitar sound more punch for playing rhythm. .

there are three different types of effects for "distortion": fuzz. Fact is. that Jimi Hendrix used a fuzz (Fuzz Face) often.FUZZ . START EDIT . A well known example is the Tube Screamer. Overdrive: Simulates the sound of an overdriven tupe amp and responds to playing touch. resulting in distortion. The high input signals overloaded the tube preamp and output stage as well as the speakers. guitarists discovered that the result didn't sound too bad. overdrive and distortion. By accident. Some people even say the sound reminds them of a circular saw. A characteristic of its sound is that it radically emphasizes harmonics. the nuances of the picking technique are still audible. Check out "Foxy Lady" or "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" or the Beatles' "Sgt. The names have been mixed up by companies producing effects. Basically. The only thing you could do was to turn your amp up to 10. The fuzz was created very early. The resulting distortion is warm and smooth.DISTORTION It all started in the 60s when the PA systems and amps weren't as powerful as today. so your effect may produce something that's different from what its names says. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" or the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" for examples.OVERDRIVE .


Controls: Drive: Adjusts the distortion of the effect unit. Besides producing an overdriven or distorted sound that your amp only amplifies. A few tips: Don't overdo it!! . A guitar sound that really cuts through and screams is the result. use the "Gain" control (see below) sparingly and use "Level" to set the level of distortion. If you do this.AGGRESSIVE OVERDRIVE Distortion: Produces harder. metallic distortion with many upper harmonics. you may even have controls for Bass. Middle and Treble). overdrives (and less often fuzz and distortion) can also be used to boost your guitar signal so that it actually overdrives your amp. Level: Adjusts the output volume of the effect unit. Boss DS1 (Distortion) or Boss HM3(Hyper Metal) are examples. Tone: Adjusts the highs and lows (if you have a more comfortable unit.

Downside: A lower gain setting leads to less sustain. Another thing you perhaps have already experienced is this: You dial in a distortion sound you really like and as soon as you play together with other people. A Compressor comes in handy here. try using less distortion instead of turning up your amp and/or turning up the mids on your amp/pedal/eq. If you want your guitar to cut through in a band context. Very often. If you use too much. . you seem to have not enough volume.CLEAN BOOST MILD DISTORTION HEAVY CREAMY DISTORTION HEAVY CRUNCH DISTORTION If you listen to Rhythm guitars on CDs you'll very often notice that the amount of distortion used is not that much. even if your amp volume is wide open. the rhythm guitar was recorded twice or even more often to get that huge sound. your sound becomes muddy. Another disadvantage is that gain/distortion reduces your dynamic range.

resulting in a thicker. This produces a swirling. like the Arbiter Fuzz Face. Some use it to imitate the sound of a 12string. rich sound.In the effect chain. A stereo chorus adds spaciousness and dimension. a compressor comes before a distortion device. It combines a slightly delayed (20 . CHORUS A chorus belongs to those effects that modulate and double sound. Often used overdrive/distortion units are: Ibanez Tube Screamer (TS9). but it's not a perfect imitation. Controls (maybe with different names): Rate: the speed of the modulation Depth: how intensive the modulation is Filter: adjusts how much time there is between the original signal and the modulated one Effect level: volume of the modulated signal.80 milliseconds) and pitch modulated signal with the original signal. Tech21 Sans Amp. Fuzz pedals still exist. . ProCo The Rat. shimmering effect. This swirling effect makes the two signals sound slightly out of tune as they would be if there were two instruments.

Legend says it originated while the Beatles were producing an album. warrant. etc. skid row. With some more tinkering and mixing of signals. slaughter. hence the name 'flanging'. The delay time is so short (1 to 10 or maybe 20 milliseconds) that you don't hear an echo. reverb or a delay. RICH CHORUS SUBTLE WARM CHORUS Music example: Extreme chorus used throughout 80’s rock…listen to any dokken. Other words to describe the effect are "whooshing" or "a jet plane flying overhead". The rim of the reel is also known as the 'flange'. A tape machine was being used for a delay and someone touched the rim of a tape reel. phaser. In the effect chain. Instead. The length of the delay is constantly changing. slow song and you’ll definitely hear chorus! If you want to use your amp's overdrive. the delayed signal interferes with . that characteristic flanging sound was created. a chorus belongs in the effect loop. just as a flanger. all these effects should come after overdrive/distortion! FLANGER A Flanger creates a slight delay and combines it with the original signal for a "swirling doubled" effect. changing the pitch.DEEP.

With it. If you listen to Van Halen's "Ain't talking 'bout love" you can hear a delay (about 100ms) and a flanger (slow spead. sounds drier and has a shallower "whoosh". you can take a portion of the flanger's output and route it to the input. the other at its minimum). A Flanger is very similar to a Chorus.50 milliseconds) and no feedback. a flanger comes after the overdrive/distortion.of signals. the frequencies affected also change. Well. The delay time is so short (1 to 10 or maybe 20 milliseconds) that you don't hear an echo. . Rate/Speed: Adjusts how quickly the notches move up and down the frequency spectrum. a phaser sounds very much like a tamed flanger. delay changes). In some cases. but the Chorus has longer delay times (30 . Instead. in my humble opinion. A large amount of feedback can create a very 'metallic' and 'intense' sound. Just like a chorus. This creates "notches" in frequency response. hence the name 'flanging'. one delayed for a short time). resulting in the typical sound of the flanger. a flanger belongs in the effect loop if you want to use your amp's overdrive. It does nearly the same (see "Flanger": creating notches in the frequency spectrum) but it uses a shorter delay (0-5ms). Delay: Sets the minimum amount of delay (remember. As the delay time changes. The rim of the reel is also known as the 'flange'. Feedback/Regeneration: Only some units have this control. PHASER A phaser combines an out-of-phase signal with the original signal to produce a sound similar to the "spinning" sound of a rotary speaker. Some frequencies are eliminated (one sine wave is at its maximum. the delayed signal interferes with frequencies of the original signal (picture two sine waves. Controls Depth: Maximum delay time added to the time you set with the Delay control (see below). In the effect chain. that characteristic flanging sound was created. moderate depth with regeneration) in the intro riff. you can also specify whether to add or subtract the feedback signal.

Mix/Level: Sets how much of the filter output (the delayed signal) is added to the original. a phaser sounds very much like a tamed flanger. A phaser is very often used for clean rhythm guitars in pop and funk music. the delayed signal interferes with frequencies of the original signal . As the name implies. Controls Rate: Adjusts how often the notches move up and down the frequency spectrum per second. . Feedback/Resonance: The phase shifting effects can be made more intense by using feedback . By putting more allpass filters in line. sounds drier and has a shallower "whoosh".e. one delayed for a short time). all frequencies pass through the filter (i. Lenny Kravitz' "Are you gonna go my way" is an example for a phaser at work. It does nearly the same (see "Flanger": creating notches in the frequency spectrum) but it uses a shorter delay (0-5ms). a phaser belongs in the effect loop if you want to use your amp's overdrive. Just like a chorus or flanger. none is "absorbed") to the output. called allpass filters.just like the flanger (picture two sine waves. The MXR Phase 90 contains four stages for example. The Flanger indeed is a special kind of phaser. more notches are created. If you now mix the two signals.Well. in my humble opinion. The way the effect is produced differs a little bit from the flanger. But not all frequencies are delayed by the same amount. The notches in the frequency spectrum are created by passing the signal through a special group of filters.adding part of the filter output to the input again. But the signal needs a certain time to pass through the filters so it is "delayed" in comparison to the original signal. This control determines how much of the filter output is routed to the input again. the other at its minimum)and some are made weaker. Depth: Sets how far the notches move up and down. so only some are eliminated (one sine wave is at its maximum. This creates the "notches" in frequency response.

SLAPBACK ECHO .Lenny Kravitz' "Are you gonna go my way" is an example for a phaser at work. In the effect chain. Just like a chorus or flanger. a phaser belongs in the effect loop if you want to use your amp's overdrive. a phaser comes after the overdrive/distortion. DELAY A Delay samples the original signal and plays it back delayed to simulate "echo".

Controls Delay time: Sets the time between original signal and delayed signal. "Cheat": Selecting a delay time that matches the song tempo (see below). The result sounds similar to two guitars playing in unison => fatter sound. often used effect. Keeping the direct sound and delayed sound separate for a stereo effect makes it sound like recording left and right cannels separately. Doubling: Use a short delay time (50ms or less) and cut feedback so only a single delay is produced. creating the impression that you are . It's a very versatile. you can play notes at a constant speed and have a delayed signal right between those notes. Feedback: How many delayed signals do you want? This control sets the number of repeats. Reverb: Use about five delays at 100-200ms and set a low volume and you have a reverb-like sound. the effect is quite different. Depending on the time between original signal and delayed signal.

EG you want a 16th note delay at 120 BPM: 60/120=0.5 (500 ms) then divide by 4 (to get 16th)=125ms Examples: Generally. In the effect chain. and then you just multiply or divide that to get the desired note value. but how do I calculate the delay time needed to fit the speed of the song.playing twice as fast (for example: play constant eight notes and have the delay set to repeat your eight note right between two of your notes => sounds like sixteenth notes being played: your note . if you allow more repeats than only one! Slapback: Use a short delay time (40 . U2's the Edge uses a lot of delay to make his sound fatter or to create the impression of playing twice as fast as he actually is (for rhythm and lead guitar. The Stray Cat's "Rock this town" provides an example for a slapback delay. Generally.120 ms) and no feedback and you have the sort of delay you hear on many rockabilly songs. a delay should be put after overdrive/distortion. the delay belongs in the effect loop. to "cheat" or to play harmony? Delay time for quarter notes =60/Tempo(bpm). . listen to "Brighton Rock".delay repeats note . Brian May often used a delay to play harmony lines with himself. check out "Pride (In the name of love)".) You get even more interesting results.your note .. You get the delay in seconds. If you want to use your amp's overdrive channel.delay repeats note . creating the impression of two guitars playing in harmony a third apart.).. then an E and finally a G: the delay repeats the C at the same time you sound the E and the E repeat sounds together with the G. setting the delay so that it matches the speed of the song produces a highly musical effect! Ok. Harmony: Using long delay (800ms or longer) is good for creating harmony: you play a note and the delay repeats this note at the same time you play another note that creates a musical interval with the first one (example: you play first a C.

Controls . Longer times mean that the sound stays in the room longer before being absorbed. Thus. furniture. In a room. This diffuse reverberation is considered to be the primary factor establishing a room's 'size'. After these early reflections. clapping or snipping loudly with your fingers works best. floor. These are the early reflections. ceiling and the floor. because they had to travel a little further. Reflected sounds arrive a little later at our ears as the directly heard signal. BUT: The materials the walls. This is the time it takes for the sound intensity to 1/1 000 000th of its original value. One measure used for the reverb in a room is reverberation time. These reflections are more random and difficult to relate to the physical characteristics of the room.REVERB A reverb adds the natural acoustic ambience present in rooms and halls. curtains or people absorb a lot of the signal. with less reverberation. If you want to test the natural reverb of a room. and it decays exponentially in good concert halls. This is called the diffuse reverberation. the rate of the arriving reflections increases greatly. an empty room will sound bigger whereas during the performance it will sound differently. They are also a little weaker. ceilings are made of also plays an important role: concrete or brick are highly reflective. or the late reflections. every noise is reflected by walls. that you can't discern any echoes anymore and you just hear a "reverb". the larger the room). For a short period after the direct sound. The reflected signal is again reflected and so on until so many echoes are created. Reverberation time is often associated with the size of the room (the longer the time. carpets. as well as the position of the source and listener in the room. there is a set of well-defined and directional reflections that are directly related to the shape and size of the room. because walls and other surfaces absorb some of the signal.

If you want to use your amp's overdrive channel. But let's assume that you want to put all your stomp boxes in line between your guitar and your amp. On the previous Topics I've already given some "rules" . no matter if the reverb effect is between your guitar and amp input or in the effect loop).Pre-delay: Sets the amount of time before the first reverberations of a signal are heard. No matter if you use your amp's overdrive or not (i. The following order is one that I feel results in useable sounds. the response is cut off (in contrast to a normal reverb where it fades away). There are some effects mentioned that I haven't explained yet.remember that rules can be broken! . This does not mean it is the only one possible.e. I’d like to address the question in which order to put the effects. the reverb belongs in the effect loop. After a certain amount of time. Direct level: Adjusts the volume of the direct signal. Also. There ARE more. This time is the gate time.and on the first Topic you can find info on the effect loop. Here a sound is allowed only a certain number of reflections. In the effect chain. Reverb Time: Sets the duration for the reverb (see "reverberation time" above). Sometimes reverb units also contain controls like High Pass or Low Pass Filter. Order of effects By now we have covered most of the basic effects. it's best to have reverb as the last effect in the signal chain. A special kind of reverb is the Gated Reverb. a reverb should be put after overdrive/ distortion. but to have it all on one Topic . Effect level: Adjusts the volume of the reverb. but these are the most common.

Equalizer .Chorus . .besides the parameters for the preamp.up to a certain amount (for example +/-15 dB).Delay .I include them here. guitar . And I guess most of us have been frustrated because a) the controls are not as effective as we would like them to be b) the settings influence each other too much. up to maybe 6. controlling the intensity of the overdrive.Compressor .Octaver . Some companies offer EQs as stomp boxes and most multi-effect units also contain extra EQ . 200Hz.Wah (1) Distortion/Overdrive .Volume Pedal (2) . The result is two sounds: one with the EQ turned off and .if you want . You might want to put a Noise Gate before the Compressor and/or after Flanger/Phaser/Pitch Shift. Having an additional EQ is nearly like having a second amp. Phaser or Pitch Shift . EQUALIZER Most of us use . With most "extra" EQs you have an enormous influence on your sound. You can't change the frequencies the graphic EQ offers you to cut or boost.our amp's EQ to get the sound we want.. 400Hz. 800Hz .4kHz) and the opportunity to boost/cut each of these bands individually .Flanger.Reverb Notes: (1): If you put the Wah in front of the overdrive/distortion unit. It is also possible to put the Wah after the overdrive/distortion effect. (2) A Volume Pedal can also be put in front of the overdrive/ least to a certain degree . A graphic EQ normally offers you certain "bands" of frequency (for example: 100Hz.Auto Wah .. it influences the overdrive.a completely different one if the EQ is turned on.


and move your foot. You put it before. and. and then turn it down in steady patterns to create an effect. Some folks some like to use EQ before the preamp. For overdriven solos boost the middle frequency bands slightly . its going to boost the frequencies. you need to put it behind the preamp or even better in the effects loop. Its going to give you different tones. an overdrive pedal or a fuzz pedal. Tremolo A tremolo will basically raise the volume in your signal. It won’t boost the frequencies like bass. I’m just using the term ‘pre-amp’ generically. Now I say ‘pre-amp’ generically here what I mean is it could be a distortion pedal. more or less basically adding distortion. . mids or treble. A good example of wah use is jimi Hendrix. it’s the type of eq to use if your wanting to notch out a bit of hiss. For a metal sound cut the middle bands around 800Hz and boost the lower and higher frequency bands. General guidelines: For sharp rhythm sounds cut the middle frequency bands around 800Hz and boost at around 1. as well as cut out feedback in a pa or guitar rig. if you want to add bass. treble or mids like it will behind it.A parametric EQ lets you choose exactly which frequencies you want to boost or cut. some folks like to use EQ after the pre-amp.6kHz.voodoo chile. A wah pedal changes the eq range of the pedal as you step on it. or noise in your signal.make sure you put the EQ after the overdrive. So. or alice in chains’ ‘man in the box’.

I suggest that unless you true bypass your wah. running ‘a’ signal to your amp. the best thing may be to have a buffered pedal or two and much of them as you can true bypass. If you really have to have a tuner in your chain. You do not want that. The buffer helps to correct this. I suggest you have an AB box. you do not want that thing in your chain!! I suggest you use a true bypass box. True Bypass While on the subject of true bypass. instead of mechanically (like true bypass). -Finger picking which is like a classical or country style. and the ‘b ‘signal straight to your tuner or just put it in a true bypass box. in an attempt to not color the tone. I don’t like to and I recommend you don’t. Picking Techniques Picking techniques for tone – there’s all different styles. You don’t want your tone colored like that. . It buffers the signal-meaning it boosts the level of the signal. ten pedals. A Buffered pedal is a pedal that switches the pedal on and off electronically. it will take some high end off. is wah pedals. however. as well as boosting the signal so you don’t lose quality of tone when using long guitar cables. If you have a wah pedal. I don’t think its really necessary if you are only using one or two pedals but if you are using five or six pedals. You are not going to have a pure guitar signal. and tuners…they will color your signal in a bad way if they are in the path of your guitar signal to your amp. You will destroy your clean signal to your amp. Long guitar cables will also tend to take some high end (treble) off of the guitar signal.Tuners Some guys like to use their tuner in their effects chain. Too many buffers or too many buffered pedals you are back to losing some high end off your tone. is it hype or is it real? I believe it is kind of a selling point for some companies. You’ll take off some high end if you don’t have it true bypassed. you basically want to do the same thing. The general exception.

An amp box will redirect that bassy frequency directed out toward the front of you and a lot of companies will say it will give you a 412 or _ stack sound. Not really. you are actually going to lose bass because it is not resonating through the floor plus the speaker is pointing directly at you so its going to sound kind of thin if you have the speaker facing you. Topic 8 . Amp stand or on the ground? An amp box will send the sound from the back of the amp to the front. some guys like and some guys don’t. With a regular metal amp stand. I prefer to have my amp sitting on the floor so it resonates through the floor. It colors the tone a bit but I feel it makes it a lot fuller and sound better. For an example. Topic 7 Amp Box. Basically when you play an open back guitar amp. you have a lot more bassier frequencies coming out of the back and your crispier clearer tone coming out of the front. take an electric guitar that’s not plugged in and lean it against a kitchen table that’s made out of wood and strum it a bit and you’ll notice its louder and plays a little bit fuller that’s just because it is resonating through that wood.-Alternate picking…which a lot of guitar solos and ‘shredders’ will alternate pick and that’s the most standard picking -String mutes which is a kind of chunky type of tone old Metallica and a lot of the new hard rock which is more of a string mute type of picking. its just going to be more bassy and fuller and that’s just a preference.

This is basically because they are running more voltage and its more like true tube pre-amp. put nice stereo systems in them. but a bit clearer. He’s very well known for his original compressor designs. They mod almost anything and they do custom mods-turning your wimpy overdrive pedal into a beast!! So. etc.. what do you feel sounds better? Effect Pedal Mods Why mod any pedal? I'm glad you asked! For the same reason folks buy a tube amp instead of a solid state amp. but SO MUCH MORE! Seriously. but other ‘car enthusiasts’ like to fix them up. It's everything the stock pedal is. Keeley’s mods are more geared like the original pedal. Kind of made to sound more like a vintage type of tone. Clipping diodes generally creates distortion of the overdrive but some of the tube pedals with the in internal transformers sound better than the ones with the ‘wall warts’. It’s not for everyone. Tone Jam and Indy Guitarist are kind of the new breed of modders out. The same reason Folks prefer a ferarri to a hyundai. His mods are more subtle. The real decision is what you like. or the same reason folks buy a Les Paul instead of a rogue. its sort of like 'hot-rodding' your car. probably the top ones you hear the most about is Robert Keeley. non-tube pedals -Most tube pedals run 12 volts or less so the effect is not the same as a tube based amp. and Indy Guitarist. Some folks like their car just fine. you just might dig it! Which one? Listen to the mods.. . Tone Jam. But. basically you can tell them you want a Boss DS1 with nothing but more mid range and they’ll do it.Tube pedals vs. but if you approach it open-mindedly. nice wheels. Analog Man. I say all in all a lot of its hype. Keeley and Analog Man are probably the most well known. Analog Man is very well known as well.

box tones everything you need is right there with a click of a and do your own mods. To sum it up. real amps A modeling amp is basically a jack-of-all-trades. Topic 11 Modeling amps vs. however. Topic 10 Multi effects vs. . use your ears-play on both and see what feels right and sounds right to YOU. for example. If you wanted to go from this clean sound to a dry high gain lead sound or a rhythm crunch then you have to do the tap dance. Also. for some. There’s an easy to follow guide there that teaches you how to mod your own. fender tones.guitartone. pedals Pedals are ideal when you want to ‘flavor’ your original signal. if you need a good marshall tone.From what I’m told. or just want to save money. you can always go to www. But. they don’t do custom mods. If you like to work on your own equipment. A Multi effects generally is liked for the one footswitch to change a load of FX on/off in one quick tap of the toe! Some players prefer that when playing live. This issue. if they are using a ton of effects. you can’t beat a couple of premier or modded single effects. is debated daily! With a multi FX you can preset all your sounds into patches. You have your marshall tones. and run them into a tube amp. With stomp boxes you have to do a tap dance turning on/off several FX-if say changing from a 80's style clean tone with Compression>Reverb>Chorus>Delay>EQ. Keeley and Analog Man only offer certain mods. you’re not going to get an exact replica out of any modeling amp or any modeling device really. You are going to get good tones but it is not an exact replica. A modeling amp is good for a cover band where you don’t need 12 amps on stage for example.

IMO. I've owned both and. a nice amount of mids. As the technology progresses I think you'll even see some die-hard tube snobs taking a closer look at this technology. For Blues. Solid State or Tube Amp? The debate goes on and on and on and on. Jazz or Pop you're probably better off with a tube amp. these are worth a look. its going to be totally different. . both have their place. If metal is your chosen genre. C&W.If you put a JC 800 or a Marshall JC 800 right next to a modeling amp on the Marshall setting. Topic 12 Recording with mics I like to put 2 mics on my amp. My biggest gripe with most of the modeling technology is their lack of dynamics. If variety is important to you as a player. Its going to be similar but its not even going to compare in terms of the ‘ballsiness’ factor-the feeling and tone you get from a good cranked tube amp. with a very nice ‘feel’ to it. R&B. I own a v-amp and for some things they really work well. and just the right amount of highs. Most people refer to ‘ballsiness’ when they are speaking of a guitar tone that has bass. But let's not forget the Digital Modeling amps. Solid State may be the ticket.

is the choice of many a player. however. For example. . or v-amp. really. I feel it’s best for my needs. I go my line out from my v amp directly into my stock sound card on my computer. and the prices range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars! Topic 13 Direct Recording with Modeling Devices Direct recording with modeling devices such as the pod. some guys like to use 1 mic. I just like doing it that way. It’s a pretty good tone.I like to put 1 mic towards the edge of the speaker that gives it a little more bass and I like to put 1 mic towards the cone and I mix those two together to get as full of a sound as possible. professional or amateur. direct recording with them is where they shine. There are endless possibilities when it comes to microphone type. I record from my guitar straight to my v amp. It’s sounds very realistic just like a mic’d amp. Not actually necessary. whenever I record direct. In my opinion.

Are you going to shove another bright Strat into the mix? . Instead of looking for "The Tone" you need to think about finding your place within the frequency spectrum. The real discovery comes when they play with a band or try recording. bass. another guitarist. Say you join a band where the other guitarist plays a Strat and a Fender Twin. I hear players all the time say they finally found the perfect tone or they're still searching for the Holy Grail of tone. With the addition of another vocalist. Most of these people are sitting in their bedrooms or are gear collectors perpetually in search of excuses to buy more stuff. you can take any guitar and amp in good working order and get plenty of useful sounds. In short. "Tone" is a shifting object that varies depending upon song. a lot of the spectrum is taken by instruments and voices that would compete with another guitar. physical environment. emotional context.In fact. plus whoever else is in your band. The "ultimate" tone (The Tone) does not exist. Topic 14 Finding YOUR Tone You ask…”how do I find the perfect tone??!!” There is no perfect tone. genre. etc. Some of the "best" guitar sounds are rather lop-sided when analyzed in isolation. vocals. venue. a lot of studio guys use them even more so now on a lot of the pop records and country records rather than dragging a lot of equipment in there they set up a pod and plug away at it. you've got your drummer pounding away. I've gotten what I thought were perfect sounds from my guitar only to find that they didn't work at all when you take your sound out of your garage or bedroom. Think about it this way. audience.

if someone soloed your mixer channel. lastly. in your band or when you record. in some situations. the vocals and drums are going to be the least flexible elements. temperature. and not just a guitarist. And.? If you want to sound like EJ or whoever then do not read this! . and then divide the relatively small portion of space left over between the guitars.Why? Rather than trying to compete (‘VOLUME WARS!’) you've got to cooperate and find a space that you can occupy that does not step all over other people that might just mean finding a sound that you don't like (say. Start there. So. humidity. Find a cool groove to get into with the drummer and the bassist. let the bassist take the bottom. finding a thicker sound (say a Marshall-type middominated sound with humbuckers) and let the Strat guy have his sparkle and snap. your tone is going to be the product of being reasonable and considerate. in isolation) but sits well in the mix or work well in comparison to some other guitar tone in the group. That might mean. Unless you are also the singer or you are a featured guitar god. What’s that? How do you sound like Eric Johnson/Eddie Van Halen/Yngwie etc. and every venue. You are the guitar player. And when the vocalists are singing select a sound that will compliment. Your tone will sound differently at practice. and the amount of people and sound absorbing objects in the room. Your tone may sound like crap. Be prepared to alter it based on the room. in the above context. You will not be appreciated if your ‘awesome tone’ conflicts with what other people are doing. but remember the whole is greater than the parts so what might sound like crap by itself could very well sound super in the total mix. When there is a vocal-free space you can go for something with more substance to it you might find that in any given song. even if you use the exact same equipment and settings. Cooperate with your band members. Likewise. a paper-thin guitar sound will cut through a mix that is heavy on bass and mids. at sound check. That's how to be a musician. you'll need two or three different sounds for different areas of the piece. you will be pretty much ignored.

Equipment. That is a never-ending argument that will probably never be won. so lower wattage amps tend to be favored. two Fender Deluxe Reverbs and a vintage 50 Watt Marshall. take out a loan on a vintage. .500) + vintage TS808 Tube Screamer ($500) + vintage Marshall JTM45 ($1200) then you will have all the gear necessary to sound like EJ…note that I said you'd have the gear for the sound not the sound itself.Instead. So. you probably won’t sound exactly like Eric Johnson… Don't get me wrong. literally. pre-CBS Strat ($12. in and of itself. solid state vs. King can get their sounds out of. please realize that just because you own a 1954 Strat. When playing within the context of a band. is only part of the battle. rests in your hands and fingers. I've seen many tube purists who couldn't tell the difference between solid state and tube when they had to rely solely on their ears. and inspires you to play it! Don't worry so much about the power or wattage an amp has. your going to mic the amps anyways. DO get something that sounds good to YOU! Do get an amp that will be reliable. But great tone comes from the heart. digital debate. Wonder why I would say a thing like that? Read on! Amp/Effects Debates Don't get caught up in the tube vs. For Example. that would be a good starting point. If Mike Stern and B. and in King's case an old Gibson Lab Series amp. Tube amps are going to sound better cranked. B. then the matter is really pointless. in Stern's case an ancient Yamaha G100. durable. Great tones can be coaxed out of any kind of amp as long as it is well designed and in good working order.there are many of those amps that sound plenty bad. so loudness shouldn’t be so much a factor as some folks think. trust YOUR ears and don't get something merely because it has tubes -. The remainder. and versatile. soul and fingers of the person playing.

Great sounds can be obtained from all of them. a closed-back cab like a big 4X12 will generally sound much darker than one with an open back configuration. for at least six months or more. Don't settle for the cheapest you can find. In short. and shortcomings of an amp that quickly. over the last few years. Be aware that different speaker sizes can radically affect your sound. Never base your equipment decisions on aesthetics. you must be careful here as well. A cab with 4X10s typically sounds punchier and more immediate while a cab loaded with 12s will sound looser and will allow for a more compressed sound. But. Though. or metal armor should be secondary to the sound. Try them all out and decide for yourself. are paying their bills through advertising dollars). in the pursuit of weird sounds it is fun to hook together an altogether immoderate quantity of effects. incidentally. chicken-head knobs. And every now and then you'll find people making second reviews of the same piece after some use. Never base your amp purchase decisions on the reviews you find in guitar magazines. It all depends upon your sound. you simply can't trust them.. Effects sound best in moderation. they get this . leopard skin. Some people swear that a 4X10 cabinet loaded with Jensen speakers is the only way to go (i. Considerations like tweed. you'd be better off shelling out the bucks for some good ones. Most of these reviews are posted by well-meaning folks just like you and me but most of them have been posted by people after just a few days of owning a piece of gear. The current crop of periodicals has. or guitar. You can’t accurately know the in’s/out’s. the Fender Bassman sound) while others will only play through a 2X12 cabinet loaded with Celestion speakers. Sometimes it's cool to use old digital effects from the 80s and early 90s the ones that sound horrendous in their attempt to emulate tube preamps. Also.e. and boa snake coverings.If you are using a tube amp be sure that the tubes are in good shape. Go to online resources for the reviews that real owners have posted. Look for reviews from people who have owned and used the amp. become nothing but propaganda machines for manufacturers (who.

Maybe you can-I can’t.' I can't tell the difference. and trying to get better. the general rule is the fewer the better. But for most folks. Also. but when you perform. Some love it.terrible fuzz. you can do it yourself. Effects can become a crutch for sloppy playing and a general lack of skill. Be sure that your pickups are adjusted to their proper height in relation to the strings. Use the effects when you perform…you’ll get much better in a shorter period of time. no one will ever know the difference. Make sure that your guitar is capable of being tuned and staying in tune. . or use a power source. which can be accentuated by clipping the input way too far. Try cutting back on what you use if you are practicing. In this instance. You might want to have this done down at your local guitar shop or. if you own a really good tuner. Some people claim that weak batteries will get that 'vintage sound. Try and keep fresh batteries in your effects. better safe than sorry-use fresh power. and most tests won’t show an audible difference. feel free to experiment with pickup height. physical things that you can do to help achieve a good guitar tone. General information There are some simple. You could contact the factory to get the official specs or look it up in a good reference book that deals with setup and repair. Make sure that your guitar has been intonated properly.

and is made with quality components and woods. Clapton. Great tones can be had from almost any kind of amp and guitar combination. try using your other fingers to pluck strings. while rock guitarists typically use 9's or 10s. they each sounded different. and skill. Humbucker scheme (H-S-H) with coilsplitting ability for the humbuckers. . If you don't take the time to figure it out then you might be missing the perfect tone that is already in your amp. Keep your action up high enough that your strings don’t buzz while bending. If you are looking for speedy speed. Experiment with using larger gauges until you reach a happy balance between gauge. Single coil. Don't get too wrapped up in the gear thing. play with the tips of your fingers. Even Seymour Duncan admits as much. Jazz guitarists routinely play with 13s or 14s. Heavier string gauges will help your guitar sound bigger and fuller. knowledge. playability and comfort. or picks that feel most comfortable to you. The Absolute Truth The key to your tone is not in the equipment as much as it is in you. and Beck each take turns playing through the same Fender Strat -. Also. This will diminish the amount of finger contact on the fretboard itself. Try fretting the string different ways utilizing different finger angles and portions of the surprise. Guitar playing and getting "The Tone" is not about things but people.Try using larger strings. combine pick and fingers for a different sound. Spend the extra money to get a good instrument-you’ll never regret it. I think Pat Martino actually uses 15s or 16s! Ouch! Fusion players often use 11s or 12s. Versatility in the electronics area might mean a Humbucker. Or. Know the gear that you own. Find a pick. stays in tune. In an issue of Guitar Player he recounted an experience watching Page. Buy a guitar that is versatile.

skill. will always sound masterful. YOUR TONE IS INSIDE YOU. Ornette Coleman (one of the pioneers of free jazz) gigged with a plastic saxophone. simply send a blank email to info@guitartone. Knowledge. If you concentrate on things like mastering the language and logic of music and mastering your instrument then the tone will develop. please be sure you check out the soundclips included with this ebook. plastic. That's right. set aside a set amount of time every day and just practice. just like you would train if you were an athlete competing in sports. in your is very true!! Your tone is already there. A master musician. and Skill…SO HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR TONE? The key to finding your tone is simple: stop looking for it. and then practice a bit more! Play along with jam tracks. and knowledge get yourself some adequate tools like a dependable amp and guitar that work and stop worrying about searching day and night for the equipment that is finally going to set you free. This illustrates my point. I welcome anyone and everyone to email me with questions/comments/suggestions: Brian@indyguitarist. -.In closing… People. NOW you just need to DEVELOP it! How do you do that? Practice. and listen to examples of what we’re discussing To gain access to all of the free stuff the newsletter members have access to.its free to join! .in your touch. Free your mind and your tone will follow! As simple as this seems -. In closing. playing masterfully. .Links: www.howtoplayguitar.

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