Surf tone

Guitar Tricks Forum > Tone and Effects > Surf tone

theburp

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Joined: 09/24/15

Posts: 54

As a beginner, I have been playing surf, because I like the sound. I experiment, I just have trouble getting the surf tone. I have a Strat and a Frnder Twin Reverb(reissue) amp.

Can anyone out there suggest settings to use with this to get that sound?

Thanks.

#1

As a beginner, I have been playing surf, because I like the sound. I experiment, I just have trouble getting the surf tone. I have a Strat and a Frnder Twin Reverb(reissue) amp.

Can anyone out there suggest settings to use with this to get that sound?

Thanks.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7356

Originally Posted by: theburp

As a beginner, I have been playing surf, because I like the sound. I experiment, I just have trouble getting the surf tone. I have a Strat and a Frnder Twin Reverb(reissue) amp.

Can anyone out there suggest settings to use with this to get that sound?

Henrik did a tutorial on that topic.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1094

He recommends rolling off some bass, turning up the reverb & picking near the bridge. Some vibrato bar wiggling will help too!

We also have a few tunes in that style.

https://www.guitartricks.com/songs/artist/the-ventures

https://www.guitartricks.com/songs/artist/jan-dean

https://www.guitartricks.com/songs/artist/the-beach-boys

Hope that helps. Have fun with it!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#2

Originally Posted by: theburp

As a beginner, I have been playing surf, because I like the sound. I experiment, I just have trouble getting the surf tone. I have a Strat and a Frnder Twin Reverb(reissue) amp.

Can anyone out there suggest settings to use with this to get that sound?

Henrik did a tutorial on that topic.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1094

He recommends rolling off some bass, turning up the reverb & picking near the bridge. Some vibrato bar wiggling will help too!

We also have a few tunes in that style.

https://www.guitartricks.com/songs/artist/the-ventures

https://www.guitartricks.com/songs/artist/jan-dean

https://www.guitartricks.com/songs/artist/the-beach-boys

Hope that helps. Have fun with it!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

theburp

Full Access

Joined: 09/24/15

Posts: 54

I did look at his lesson, but might be too advanced for me. My amp has these controls called intensity and speed, of which I haven't a clue.

I try to play near the bridge, but it is difficult.

Terms like rool off don't mean much to me either, I am guessing that it means to reduce the bass.

BTW, thanks for the swift reply

#3

I did look at his lesson, but might be too advanced for me. My amp has these controls called intensity and speed, of which I haven't a clue.

I try to play near the bridge, but it is difficult.

Terms like rool off don't mean much to me either, I am guessing that it means to reduce the bass.

BTW, thanks for the swift reply

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7356

Originally Posted by: theburp

I did look at his lesson, but might be too advanced for me.

Fair enough, but you got to start somewhere! :)

Originally Posted by: theburp
My amp has these controls called intensity and speed, of which I haven't a clue.

That sounds like the vibrato channel. I'd have to know exactly which model to be sure. If it is a vibrato channel, then you can just turn that all to zero for now. Vibrato is a slighty to heavy warbling sound. It's not necessary or essential to surf style guitar. But it can add a nice effect if you like it. Check out this demo.

https://youtu.be/HTD-016tLpg?t=310

Originally Posted by: theburp
I try to play near the bridge, but it is difficult.

Yes, it is at first. But that's where the surf tone is! So it will be worth practicing & developing your technique in that area in order to get the sound you want.

It will also help to use the bridge pickup on your Strat.

Originally Posted by: theburp
Terms like rool off don't mean much to me either, I am guessing that it means to reduce the bass.

Yes, turn it down a little. Try to start with bass, mids, treble all at 5. Then start to experiment with adjusting them. Turn the bass down a little, try 3. Turn the mids & treble up a little, try 7. Adjust it according to how it sounds when you play it. Experiment!

Turn the reverb up to 5 & listen if that is too much or too little for your tastes & how close you are to getting a surf tone that you like.

For now turn the vibrato speed & intensity off.

Give it a try!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#4

Originally Posted by: theburp

I did look at his lesson, but might be too advanced for me.

Fair enough, but you got to start somewhere! :)

Originally Posted by: theburp
My amp has these controls called intensity and speed, of which I haven't a clue.

That sounds like the vibrato channel. I'd have to know exactly which model to be sure. If it is a vibrato channel, then you can just turn that all to zero for now. Vibrato is a slighty to heavy warbling sound. It's not necessary or essential to surf style guitar. But it can add a nice effect if you like it. Check out this demo.

https://youtu.be/HTD-016tLpg?t=310

Originally Posted by: theburp
I try to play near the bridge, but it is difficult.

Yes, it is at first. But that's where the surf tone is! So it will be worth practicing & developing your technique in that area in order to get the sound you want.

It will also help to use the bridge pickup on your Strat.

Originally Posted by: theburp
Terms like rool off don't mean much to me either, I am guessing that it means to reduce the bass.

Yes, turn it down a little. Try to start with bass, mids, treble all at 5. Then start to experiment with adjusting them. Turn the bass down a little, try 3. Turn the mids & treble up a little, try 7. Adjust it according to how it sounds when you play it. Experiment!

Turn the reverb up to 5 & listen if that is too much or too little for your tastes & how close you are to getting a surf tone that you like.

For now turn the vibrato speed & intensity off.

Give it a try!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

theburp

Full Access

Joined: 09/24/15

Posts: 54

The amp is a Fender Twin Reverb-Amp. Its a re-issue.

#5

The amp is a Fender Twin Reverb-Amp. Its a re-issue.

theburp

Full Access

Joined: 09/24/15

Posts: 54

BTW, thanks for the numbers. Now at least I have a starting point.

In passing you said something else that I have overlooked. Do I have vibrato turned off. That certainly would affect tone. Need to check that.

#6

BTW, thanks for the numbers. Now at least I have a starting point.

In passing you said something else that I have overlooked. Do I have vibrato turned off. That certainly would affect tone. Need to check that.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7356

Originally Posted by: theburp

BTW, thanks for the numbers. Now at least I have a starting point.

In passing you said something else that I have overlooked. Do I have vibrato turned off. That certainly would affect tone. Need to check that.

You're welcome! Best of success with it.

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#7

Originally Posted by: theburp

BTW, thanks for the numbers. Now at least I have a starting point.

In passing you said something else that I have overlooked. Do I have vibrato turned off. That certainly would affect tone. Need to check that.

You're welcome! Best of success with it.

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

theburp

Full Access

Joined: 09/24/15

Posts: 54

Actually I had some success. The vidio link you provided didn't help much with tone but it did help with playing close to the bridge, I still have work to do, but after observing him do it, I changed my hand position and it isnot as hard as it was. Plus your starting numbers actually worked pretty well.

Maybe I'll take a 1 on 1 with Henrik to help with tone, and help me understand.

#8

Actually I had some success. The vidio link you provided didn't help much with tone but it did help with playing close to the bridge, I still have work to do, but after observing him do it, I changed my hand position and it isnot as hard as it was. Plus your starting numbers actually worked pretty well.

Maybe I'll take a 1 on 1 with Henrik to help with tone, and help me understand.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7356

Originally Posted by: theburp
Actually I had some success.

Excellent!

Originally Posted by: theburp
The vidio link you provided didn't help much with tone ...

Bummer!

Originally Posted by: theburp
...but it did help with playing close to the bridge, I still have work to do, but after observing him do it, I changed my hand position and it isnot as hard as it was.

Good deal!

Originally Posted by: theburp
Plus your starting numbers actually worked pretty well.

Thanks for letting me know. I'm glad something helped. :)

Originally Posted by: theburp
Maybe I'll take a 1 on 1 with Henrik to help with tone, and help me understand.

That's a great idea. But you should definitely keep working on your technique so you can get the most out of the lesson. Have fun with it!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#9

Originally Posted by: theburp
Actually I had some success.

Excellent!

Originally Posted by: theburp
The vidio link you provided didn't help much with tone ...

Bummer!

Originally Posted by: theburp
...but it did help with playing close to the bridge, I still have work to do, but after observing him do it, I changed my hand position and it isnot as hard as it was.

Good deal!

Originally Posted by: theburp
Plus your starting numbers actually worked pretty well.

Thanks for letting me know. I'm glad something helped. :)

Originally Posted by: theburp
Maybe I'll take a 1 on 1 with Henrik to help with tone, and help me understand.

That's a great idea. But you should definitely keep working on your technique so you can get the most out of the lesson. Have fun with it!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory