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?

Introduction
Hi! Welcome to Indyguitarist.com and Guitartone.net’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 www.indyguitarist.com/tone You will be able to click on them there.

Guitars
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.

Brent Mason. 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. as do most country pickers. 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.Fender Telecaster A fender telecaster is more known for a honky type of tone…and that’s really the easiest way to explain it. Its more of a mid-rangy tone…kind of more of a compressed sound. the Nashville studio giant. swears by them. . It has 2 single coils or the Nashville tele comes with 3 single coils.

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. 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. Usually configured with 2 humbuckers one at the neck and one at the bridge or 3 humbuckers. .

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They are a favorite of ‘shredders’ typically. 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. Paul Gilbert loved his Ibanez. There was just a ton of guys especially in the late 80’s when it was a fashion statement to have an Ibanez.Ibanez came out with many different models probably the most popular were custom models for Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. . A lot of guys use them for hard rock and rock n roll.

rock or hard rock. It is very full sounding plays excellently but they are expensive. as they are called-everyone calls them PRS. A lot of guys starting buying the PRS.Paul Reed Smith guitar – primarily used for new metal. . It has very hot pickups. 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.

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

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

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

. now with effects on it. you control how much of your original signal leaves the amp and passes through the effect. You decide with the parallel effect knob how much effect you want. and is "joined" again by the signal coming back from the effect. preserving much of your sound.runs through the inserted effect and comes back through the return jack. The effects in the loop should be set so that they let out no original signal but 100% effect signal. Many people have found that their sound suffers (great tube amps and . The "remaining" signal stays in your amp. 100% of your signal goes through 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.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.

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

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

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

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

CLEAN BOOST MILD OVERDRIVE AGGRESSIVE OVERDRIVE .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Stray Cat's "Rock this town" provides an example for a slapback delay. EG you want a 16th note delay at 120 BPM: 60/120=0. In the effect chain.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 . a delay should be put after overdrive/distortion. listen to "Brighton Rock". if you allow more repeats than only one! Slapback: Use a short delay time (40 . If you want to use your amp's overdrive channel. check out "Pride (In the name of love)". 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.). Brian May often used a delay to play harmony lines with himself. 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.) You get even more interesting results.your note . creating the impression of two guitars playing in harmony a third apart.delay repeats note . Generally. but how do I calculate the delay time needed to fit the speed of the song. 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.5 (500 ms) then divide by 4 (to get 16th)=125ms Examples: Generally. and then you just multiply or divide that to get the desired note value.. You get the delay in seconds. to "cheat" or to play harmony? Delay time for quarter notes =60/Tempo(bpm).120 ms) and no feedback and you have the sort of delay you hear on many rockabilly songs.. the delay belongs in the effect loop. setting the delay so that it matches the speed of the song produces a highly musical effect! Ok.delay repeats note . .

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

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

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

METAL TONE ROCK/BLUES TONE NU-METAL TONE .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

play with the tips of your fingers. try using your other fingers to pluck strings. The Absolute Truth The key to your tone is not in the equipment as much as it is in you. Know the gear that you own. Humbucker scheme (H-S-H) with coilsplitting ability for the humbuckers. or picks that feel most comfortable to you. Experiment with using larger gauges until you reach a happy balance between gauge.Try using larger strings. Clapton. Spend the extra money to get a good instrument-you’ll never regret it. and Beck each take turns playing through the same Fender Strat -. Single coil. 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. while rock guitarists typically use 9's or 10s. In an issue of Guitar Player he recounted an experience watching Page. Or. I think Pat Martino actually uses 15s or 16s! Ouch! Fusion players often use 11s or 12s. stays in tune. and is made with quality components and woods. Try fretting the string different ways utilizing different finger angles and portions of the fingertip. playability and comfort. combine pick and fingers for a different sound. they each sounded different. This will diminish the amount of finger contact on the fretboard itself. and skill. Versatility in the electronics area might mean a Humbucker. Don't get too wrapped up in the gear thing. Find a pick. Heavier string gauges will help your guitar sound bigger and fuller. If you are looking for speedy speed. Guitar playing and getting "The Tone" is not about things but people. Also. Even Seymour Duncan admits as much. .no surprise. Great tones can be had from almost any kind of amp and guitar combination. Jazz guitarists routinely play with 13s or 14s. knowledge. Buy a guitar that is versatile.

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

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