Best Electric Guitar Tone? Highly Subjective…yet these tips are a great place to start from!
Mojo…Soul…Chime…Growl… – All are metaphors used to describe guitar tone! And everyone’s ears are opinionated, that’s Here’s a list of a few things you can do to improve your tone for sure!
I’ll first make an argument for you to actually play your guitar. Practice, practice, practice. take breaks, have fun! Try out online lessons like at justinguitar. Make sure that however you learn, that technique is emphasized.
Whatever your setup is, here’s a great way to account for the pieces of your tone.
- The Guitar itself – wood, nut, bridge, strings – all play a part in the output
HOW IT IS WIRED TOGETHER IS HIGHLY IMPORTANT! Read about ‘Jimmy Vaughn’ Wiring for your Strat!
- Pickups – Pickups make a huge difference in the width and variety of frequencies ‘picked-up’ from the string vibrations (Use the search in the upper right hand corner to read about all sorts of pickups for your Strat/Tele/Les Paul!)
- Cable – Low capacitance and the shorter the better (Just ask Billy Corgan).
- Amp – Tube or solid-state, warmth or coldness of bias all plays a part. Try a Vintage Sound Amp!
- Speaker – Don’t miss this one. A G12H30 and a Vintage 30…vastly different, but great in combination.
- Effect Pedals!
These parts are essential to the rig. Now if adding effects and you want to keep that ‘purist’ mentality as my buddy Chris does, follow this process.
- Get a friend to help listen – Important, as you by yourself are biased.
- Play your base signal – as outlined before
- Add in one effect – let each stand alone vs. your base signal.
- What will you add into your chain? Does it add or detract from the tone you are after?
Enjoy the ride but don’t try and take shortcuts – as in, don’t break the bank in this pursuit.
Remember, this is a lifelong process!