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Rock Me Baby: Gear & Tone

 

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We're going to look into the quintessential blues tone today. I'm playing a hollow body guitar and I'm going to be on the bridge position pickup. What we're going for here is a tone that will cut through the band but is also very dynamic. This is key when it comes to the solo, for instance, because we'll be using the same tone for lead and rhythm. You should go for an old tube amp type of sound with very little overdrive here. It's almost like the overdrive is purely coming from the sheer volume of the amp when it hits the tape in the recording. So forget about all fancy overdrive pedals, today we're going for a pretty clean but loud tone.

I have the bass rolled off quite a bit, it's set to 2; the mids are at 7, and the treble is all the way up. I'm also adding some nice tube reverb from the amp that just gives a nice little tail to the notes. Absolutely nothing washy or too effected.

What you really want from this tone is big dynamic differences. So that when you pluck the strings harder you get a lot more gain from your amp. If you have an amp with a master volume as well as gain you want to roll the gain down and the volume up so that you end up with sort of "spanky" tone. If you only have a master volume just dial it in where it just starts to barely break up when you pluck the strings a bit harder.

Another thing that is very important when it comes to this type of guitar tone is how you pick. Really try to pay attention to what's going on in the right AND left hand to get the right sound out of the guitar.