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General Tone Tips

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  • #91
    Re: General Tone Tips

    Originally posted by raglor
    Strings are a huge factor in tone. Many brands of strings are completely unusable to me (such as GHS). Some will sound dull, while others will give you a crisp attack and a clearer sound (Elixir NanoWeb, DR Hi-Beams, etc). It's all personal taste of course. But I highly recommend trying out every brand of strings that's out there. Try also buying single strings so you can make up sets that have better tension distribution. For example, on a standard 10-46 set, the 26 and 36 will have several pounds more tension than the .046. An example of a balanced set of strings, would be 9-12-16-24-32-44 or 10-13-17-26-36-49. Doing this makes playing even easier and improves tone IMO.
    Be a real man and play 7-string guitars
    I've been using GHS Boomers and they don't seem 'completely unusable' to me at all, but it maybe worth trying Raglor's suggestion just for the fun of it.
    What I would like to add as a logical suggestion is the use of at least 0.11
    Logical because there's more metal matter involved and therefore more tone. The sound of all my guitars (Tele, Heritage H150 and H535) improved quite a bit as did the tuning stability.

    Bending 0.11 strings requires real men , but the GHS Boomers do well.
    My guitars & sounds:


    • #92
      Re: General Tone Tips

      Play guitar like you really mean it.
      Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
      My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.


      • #93
        Re: General Tone Tips

        Check the intonation of the it sounds horrible even when the tone is right but if you do some double stops etc. and the 2 notes donīt match holy grail of tone will help ya
        Originally posted by Guitarist
        Honestly, I like Scott's words. "There is a rhythm to life. Ride the waves."

        And keep in mind that while nothing lasts forever, nothing is lost.


        • #94
          Re: General Tone Tips

          I find a high action and heavy strings (11s) work well. Might just be my playing style though, that likes this setup. But I feel you can get more bang for your buck, more sustain, and you have more to adjust the pup height, and such
          My 'gear':

          3-Tone Sunburst U.S Fender Floyd Rose Strat, bridge Fender DH-1

          Off-white Fender Prodigy with Duncan JB in the bridge. Dodgy single coils, too...

          Vox V847 Wah, true-bypass :saeek:, Dunlop Crybaby.

          Ibanez Tubescreamer, true bypass :saeek: .

          ISP Decimator Noise Reducer.

          Current Guitar longings - creme U.S Fender Floyd Rose Strat, with DiMarzio Super Distortion in teh bridge.

          An Ibz JS1200CA.


          • #95
            Re: General Tone Tips

            1. all speakers need a serious break-in. take them to the country and crank the heck out of them. eminence vht pitbull speakers go from "bright+harsh" to in a few days of serious work.

            2. every piece of wood sounds different. I have way-too bright mahogany guitars and mellow-sounding basswood guitar and vice versa. never judge the tone by the composition

            3. preamp and power amp tubes make as big of a difference as the preamp and power amp. try some JJ's. throw those sovteks in the trash or on e8ay,.

            4. pedals should be used sparingly, if at all. my pedals change channels on midi or through channel change jacks.

            5. whirlwind leader cables are the best value, usa made, last >12 years in my experience.

            6. weber beam blockers are awesome. don't listen to cork-sniffing d-bags like TLBonehead.

            7. almost flat eq settings are better than scooped mids

            8. turn your gain down to 4-5. it sounds better.

            9. learn music theory. don't buy into the "knowing nothing opens the doors of creativity" theory. Teaching the 3rd guitarist what the minor scale is is a f-ing pain the anus. it' not worth the trouble.

            10. parametric eq's are better than graphic eq.s.

            11. wah will cover talent discrepancies. the audience will also be able to tell the difference.

            12. open backs are great for blues/rockabilly, but they suck for metal

            13. solid state pre + tube power = much better than tube pre+ ss power.

            Egnater M4
            TC 1128
            TC 2290
            VHT 2150


            • #96
              Re: General Tone Tips

              - Keep your nuts clean ;-}
              "There's a hell of a lot of freedom in this Rock n' Roll's where all the freaks go - it's the place for me"

              -Les Paul Standard w/ Alnico II on neck, and Duncan Custom on bridge
              -Fender Stratocaster
              -Fender Precision Bass
              -Marshall JCM2000 DSL 100 head
              -Marshall 1960V cab
              -Marshall MG30 DFX practice amp
              -Dunlop CryBaby 535Q wah pedal
              -Ernie Ball Power Slinky strings 11-48
              -Dean Markley NickelSteel Electric Med. strings 11-54
              -Monster Cables
              -Dunlop Ultex 1.14 picks


              • #97
                Re: General Tone Tips

                Don't get lost in the details. Keep it fun.


                • #98
                  Re: General Tone Tips

                  Increase your strength of your weakest point as a guitar player.Your head!!!
                  Try to "undertsand" what rythm is.Try to understand what "pronounce" is ,try to understand what "harmony between players" is and try to be a good member in your band ,if you have one.

                  If you don't hear yourself ,try first to change your position and distance to your amp and don't turn your amp louder as first

                  If you don't hear others ,don't want them to be louder ,just turn your level down

                  If you think you are the king in your band and without you ,there is no way to make good music , open a browser and look how many guitar players are in your town.And compare it with Drummers and Bass palyers.!!!

                  Be nice ,not a biggot ,not a dumbass ,and try to accept the people as they are.The differences in personalities creates more vivid colkor in music ,diverse new ideas and a better feeling.

                  Feel free to say your mind.Never have fear to say what you think to your musicians ,and be prepared to sccept what others thing of your new solo!!!
                  Not every new idea is the best one!!!

                  Give your solos ,riffs and some melody lines time to fit the big picture ,and don't try to change the pig picture first.The main "emotion" and the meaning is mostly more important than your ego!!!

                  Try to learn some basic rythm theory.A good Guitar player have to understand the other musicians ,since a good musician writes music as he/she "imagines" it.If you imagine things they are not possible for your musicians ,or even all musicians ,you can't reach what you dream of.
                  And be prepared to be overhelmed from ideas of Bass players and Drummers ,since they have the same problem with the imagination ,but they have a greater "odd" imagination on rythms and chord changings!!!


                  • #99
                    Re: General Tone Tips

                    Often overlooked tip: Donīt spend so much time obsession about gear and posting about it on message boards, but spend more time playing it
                    Zerberus Industries: Where perfection just isn't good enough.

                    Listen to my music at and


                    • Re: General Tone Tips

                      Originally posted by Zerberus View Post
                      Often overlooked tip: Donīt spend so much time obsession about gear and posting about it on message boards, but spend more time playing it

                      One more thing about choosing gear:
                      Getting a signature tone is something you get by wanting to get a certain tone not by using gear... try to imagine your desired tone instead of just obssesing about gear and about getting a classic PRS, Strat, Tele tone.
                      EVH, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour used a bunch of different guitars and amps they got their tone because they were aiming to get a desired tone... not because they had the same guitars, or because tone were in their fingers...


                      • Re: General Tone Tips

                        1) Try picking/strumming at various points along the length of the strings, as extra tone control. Towards the bridge is more treble, towards the neck is more bass. But you should also discover some thrilling options just around where the neck joins the body. You'll have to see how this works on open strings as well as adjusting it's position when you fret at various positions along the neck. Right beside the bridge is fine for extreme twang, more like a sound effect for a solo than for regular use, but it's one of many using this trick alone. Try fretting the normal three-finger E-chord and strum right beside the left hand! See!

                        2) Alternate tunings will affect your perceived tone by accentuating certain combinations of notes. You'll be able to play around with tone there too.

                        3) Try out the extremes available via your tone controls alone.

                        4) Dynamics affect tone, so get used to different thicknesses of picks for different effects, different attack angles of the pick, picking with your fingers, partial dampening of the strings with your palm, etc. If you strike a string with the back of your hand, being your fingernails, the tone is harder than if you picked it using your fingertip. So consider the hardness and impact style of the picks, hand features and other things used to contact the strings. Try using a drumstick for a 6-string instant impact chord! Works well if the radius sets the strings close to linear. More curved necks will make that trick sloppy.

                        5) Experiment with reasonable techniques and insane techniques. You'll learn. What are you using for a slide? Use two picks at once, holding one normally and the other in the next finger, which creates a 12-string effect. Try using fingerpicks of various types, like the banjo-players do. Different thicknesses and different materials with sanded or smooth surfaces. Sanded makes a nice tone! Smooth is fat-producing.

                        6) Practice your vibrato like it was the only way to save your family's life! Tonal properties can be coaxed out of the strings with vibrato that can't be produced by non-vibrato, tremolo or all the juiced up fine-tuned pickups and effects boxes in the world.

                        7) For live bands, be sure the house turns down the bass overall, in a carefully selected range, since rooms of all sizes with audiences in them carry bass far better than treble, and MOST pubs and venues have a boosted bass problem that your average attendee on stage or at the perfectly placed engineer's box won't detect. Meanwhile, everyone else takes a bath in very muddy sound and the whole show basically sucks and refunds are in order.

                        8) If you're using a PA system with a dynamic mic in it, expect to roll off the bass of the mic more than usual to compensate for it's bass-boosting (most stage mics have this hassle), which means, don't expect the guitar's to be tuned through a PA. Stay separate from the mic system.

                        9) Take up sports instead if the places to play live at in your area aren't yet smoke-free!


                        • Re: General Tone Tips

                          Try to make everything in time & in tune.

                          Call me a crazy, but practice to a metronome, once that's easy -- experiment with playing on top or behind the beat with it. Get a good solid hardtail guitar with good tuning machines & a Korg rack tuner or Peterson strobe. & for godsakes, PLEASE have your intonation & setup dialed in with whatever tuning your using for that axe (& don't change it unless you have to).

                          Practice, record, listen..,repeat.


                          • Re: General Tone Tips

                            & try plugging your guitar into a good clean treble booster & then into the low gain input of your amp & cranking it.


                            • Re: General Tone Tips

                              For A cool scooped metal sound, follow this advice.

                              Scoop the mids.
                              turn up as much gain as you can, without making the sound mushy.
                              turn up the bass as high as you can without the amp "farting"
                              set the treble for just enough high cut.

                              this produces an awesome tone.


                              • Re: General Tone Tips

                                dont scoop for a live setting, because you will be doing just that, scooping your sound away, the guitar will disapear.
                                KISS AINT METAL!!