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!

To listen to soundclips, go to You will be able to click on them there.

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.

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. the Nashville studio giant. Its more of a mid-rangy tone…kind of more of a compressed sound. Brent Mason. .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. swears by them. It has 2 single coils or the Nashville tele comes with 3 single coils. 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.

. 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. 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.Gibson Les Paul Joe Perry from Aerosmith and Slash from Guns n Roses were two of the faithful followers of the Gibson Les Paul.


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

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

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. There again. Its very similar to a deluxe reverb but is has a lot a more power and it’s a lot louder. You can crank it up a lot more to get it to . like all marshals.Chapter 2 Amp types and tones The Fender twin Reverb is generally used for clean tones. 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. It Had a single channel but when you crank it up there was no tone like it. brown will use two of them in stereo and have them cranked up and they are amazingly loud. Its an excellent rock amp and breaks up very nicely. they sound very good when you crank them up. if you listen to that guitar. 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. 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. It has two channels clean and dirty. Very smooth and very full. A lot of guys use those. It’s the only solid state amp in this line up of amps we are discussing here. In fact. The Marshall amps JMP series is more of a straight forward rock amp. Some guys like Jr. the old ACDC stuff with Bon Scott especially. excellent dirty tone. which was the most famous in the 60’s and 70’s. It’s a pretty good clean tone. The Fender Deluxe Reverb is basically just like the Twin Reverb except its not near as loud. mostly country some rock and jazz. its all Plexi tone. came the Marshall Plexi. Before that.

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. the twin) to get it to compress naturally or distort.brentmason. Z amp that he uses pretty extensively to kind of simulate a sort of vox tone. Z amp. Brent mason (www. Vox – primarily a country and rock amp. Brad Paisley on his earlier stuff used a Vox and now he has a Dr. Its very midrange has a great honky type of tone breaks up very swears by his 67 fender deluxe.saturate and compress a little bit more so a lot of country guys love it. Click Here to Listen to Brad playing through his new Dr.e. . Brian May of Queen used one of these quite a bit.

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

100% of your signal goes through the effect. you control how much of your original signal leaves the amp and passes through the effect. Many people have found that their sound suffers (great tube amps and . The effects in the loop should be set so that they let out no original signal but 100% effect signal. and is "joined" again by the signal coming back from the effect. So you can mix the dry (without effect) and the wet (with effects) signals. 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. preserving much of your sound.runs through the inserted effect and comes back through the return jack. You decide with the parallel effect knob how much effect you want.perhaps cheaper ran through multiple buffered (non-true bypassed) pedals may result in loss of full bodied tone. The solution was the parallel loop: with the control. now with effects on it. . The "remaining" signal stays in your amp.

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

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

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

Overdrive: Simulates the sound of an overdriven tupe amp and responds to playing touch. Fact is. the nuances of the picking technique are still audible. The only thing you could do was to turn your amp up to 10. resulting in distortion. Check out "Foxy Lady" or "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" or the Beatles' "Sgt. overdrive and distortion. START EDIT . By accident. 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. Some people even say the sound reminds them of a circular saw. A well known example is the Tube Screamer. The names have been mixed up by companies producing effects. 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. there are three different types of effects for "distortion": fuzz.FUZZ . Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" or the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" for examples.OVERDRIVE . that Jimi Hendrix used a fuzz (Fuzz Face) often. so your effect may produce something that's different from what its names says. Basically. A characteristic of its sound is that it radically emphasizes harmonics. The fuzz was created very early.


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

Another disadvantage is that gain/distortion reduces your dynamic range. If you want your guitar to cut through in a band context. the rhythm guitar was recorded twice or even more often to get that huge sound. 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. try using less distortion instead of turning up your amp and/or turning up the mids on your amp/pedal/eq. even if your amp volume is wide open. your sound becomes muddy. you seem to have not enough volume. Very often. If you use too much. .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. A Compressor comes in handy here. Downside: A lower gain setting leads to less sustain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

setting the delay so that it matches the speed of the song produces a highly musical effect! Ok.your note . check out "Pride (In the name of love)".) You get even more interesting results. listen to "Brighton Rock".. but how do I calculate the delay time needed to fit the speed of the song. In the effect chain. 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.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 . 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. if you allow more repeats than only one! Slapback: Use a short delay time (40 . Generally. to "cheat" or to play harmony? Delay time for quarter notes =60/Tempo(bpm).). 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. a delay should be put after overdrive/distortion. creating the impression of two guitars playing in harmony a third apart.120 ms) and no feedback and you have the sort of delay you hear on many rockabilly songs. .delay repeats note . and then you just multiply or divide that to get the desired note value. the delay belongs in the effect loop. The Stray Cat's "Rock this town" provides an example for a slapback delay. Brian May often used a delay to play harmony lines with himself. You get the delay in seconds.. If you want to use your amp's overdrive channel.delay repeats note . 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.

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

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

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


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

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

Topic 8 . 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. With a regular metal amp stand. its just going to be more bassy and fuller and that’s just a preference.-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. 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. you have a lot more bassier frequencies coming out of the back and your crispier clearer tone coming out of the front. Topic 7 Amp Box. Amp stand or on the ground? An amp box will send the sound from the back of the amp to the front. Not really. 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. Basically when you play an open back guitar amp. It colors the tone a bit but I feel it makes it a lot fuller and sound better. For an example. I prefer to have my amp sitting on the floor so it resonates through the floor. some guys like and some guys don’t.

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

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.guitartone. To sum it up. . they don’t do custom and do your own mods. if they are using a ton of effects. You have your marshall tones. or just want to save money. This issue. if you need a good marshall tone. for example. But.From what I’m told. you’re not going to get an exact replica out of any modeling amp or any modeling device really. Also. you can’t beat a couple of premier or modded single effects. You are going to get good tones but it is not an exact replica. If you like to work on your own equipment. There’s an easy to follow guide there that teaches you how to mod your own. is debated daily! With a multi FX you can preset all your sounds into patches. pedals Pedals are ideal when you want to ‘flavor’ your original signal. box tones everything you need is right there with a click of a button. for some. Topic 10 Multi effects vs. Topic 11 Modeling amps vs. A modeling amp is good for a cover band where you don’t need 12 amps on stage for example. fender tones. 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. 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. use your ears-play on both and see what feels right and sounds right to YOU. Keeley and Analog Man only offer certain mods. you can always go to www. real amps A modeling amp is basically a jack-of-all-trades. and run them into a tube amp. however.

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

some guys like to use 1 mic. I go my line out from my v amp directly into my stock sound card on my computer. For example. I feel it’s best for my needs. I record from my guitar straight to my v amp. . whenever I record direct. or v-amp. There are endless possibilities when it comes to microphone type. Not actually necessary.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. It’s sounds very realistic just like a mic’d amp. 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. really. direct recording with them is where they shine. however. In my opinion. professional or amateur. is the choice of many a player. It’s a pretty good tone. I just like doing it that way.

In short. 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. Think about it this way. Are you going to shove another bright Strat into the mix? . etc. vocals. "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. you can take any guitar and amp in good working order and get plenty of useful sounds. With the addition of another vocalist. Topic 14 Finding YOUR Tone You ask…”how do I find the perfect tone??!!” There is no perfect tone. audience. The "ultimate" tone (The Tone) does not exist. bass. Most of these people are sitting in their bedrooms or are gear collectors perpetually in search of excuses to buy more stuff. you've got your drummer pounding away. genre. plus whoever else is in your band. physical environment. 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. 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. The real discovery comes when they play with a band or try recording.In fact. emotional context. venue. another guitarist. Instead of looking for "The Tone" you need to think about finding your place within the frequency spectrum. Some of the "best" guitar sounds are rather lop-sided when analyzed in isolation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful