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I Ain't Superstitious: Gear & Tone

 

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I Ain't Superstitious

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The main guitar tones in this song come from the classic sound of a Stratocaster going more or less straight into an overdriven Marshall amp. It's all played with your fingers instead of a pick, and this gives you a very controlled and highly expressive sound. I mostly use my thumb, but you can combine that with your index finger if that makes it easier for you.

That's the basic tone we'll be using for both guitar parts, and we're going to leave it all on the bridge pickup. Of course, you don't need a Marshall amp or a Strat to play these parts- But that's where the tone comes from on the recording. If you play the parts well they'll of course sound cool with any tone. The most important thing is to keep your sound really dry and with medium distortion.

I'll also be adding a Wah pedal. This particular model is a CryBaby, but you can use any brand of Wah pedal. You can even play the parts without a Wah as well, but it's definitely more unique sounding with it. If you need extra practice with the Wah before tackling this song, Guitar Tricks has some very useful lessons on it.

Then you need a whammy bar. He does a ton of cool tricks throughout the song with this, and it plays a huge part in the overall sound. If you don't have a whammy bar, you can still play the parts, but you'll definitely lose some of the finesse.

Finally, the magic component that makes the guitar sound so unusual on this track is a stereo delay. All it is is one single repeat, pretty quickly after the original note- also known as a “slap back delay”. But then his dry guitar is in one side of the mix while the delay is in the opposite. It's a super cool sound that's somewhat easy to imitate when you record and mix. However, if you wanted to do it live you'd need two amps and a pretty advanced delay pedal. Instead I recommend using a regular slap back delay with a pretty loud delay volume or “mix” as it's often called. Just make sure to keep the delay time short and with just the one repeat.

I'll be using a metal slide, but you can use any kind of slide. For this song we have to use our slide and fret normally as well, so you have to find a compromise where the strings are high enough off the fretboard for the slide playing and also low enough for the regular fretting. I've done this by putting 11 gauge strings on my guitar instead of the 10's that I normally use.