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Why can I get a twangier tone than my band's guitar player?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by phxlbrmpf, Jan 28, 2006.


  1. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    One of our songs started out as a home recording with a really twangy guitar riff which our new guitarist seems to have trouble nailing during our rehearsals. I really have the feeling that with my treble knob maxed and the bridge pickup soloed I can get a twangier tone than he does when I play with a pick even though my strings aren't the newest.

    Last rehearsal, he played a Greco Les Paul copy through the mandatory Marshall tube amp with a custom-built 4'12 cab.

    My rig consists of a Status Energy strung with Rotosound Swing Bass strings into a Peavey Firebass with a 4'10 Warwick cab. I also have a bit of compression dialed in at all times.

    Do you guys have any suggestions as to how we could help him get more "twang"? The Ibanez RG he sometimes brings to rehearsals doesn't seem to sound a lot brighter, either. He also owns one of those sinfully expensive EHX "Memory Man" things for chorus and delay, which doesn't seem to help much either. I always thought a compressor might help, do you guys think the same? I suggested him to get one ages ago but he still won't listen to me. :spit:

    Does anyone have any reasonable suggestions other than "have him get a Telecaster" or "get a new guitar player"?
     
  2. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    you could try picking harder...
    not sure if that will help.but it might
     
  3. plexibass

    plexibass

    Jun 30, 2005
    unfortunatley my suggestion is.......telecaster. they dont call tele players "twangbangers" for nothing. if that is not a resonable answer, he may want to try and listen to some recordings by "twang" masters such as don rich [country pickin':don rich anthology], bill kirchen [hot rod lincoln live], jimmy bryant[any cd will do], buck owens [guitar player, vinyl only] or really any recording pre 1975 of buck owens that features don rich. in my opinion don rich was the best tele player in history.the anthology cd is probably the best bet. it is available at sundazed.com or you could try half.com. good luck!!! if you cant find it email me and i'll send you a copy. twang is a style and a feeling. danelectro makes a good stomp box for that rockabilly twang sound. it's called the DAN-ECHO. ebay has one now for 59.00 buy it now price.
     
  4. plexibass

    plexibass

    Jun 30, 2005
    i forgot to mention THE HELLECASTERS. they have 3 cd's out. pick one or 3
     
  5. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    Thanks for the suggestions, davetakis, but I didn't really mean "twang" as a genre, I meant the picking low notes with a clean tone near the bridge so you get lots of "snap" and attack type of thing. The song itself is pretty dark and gloomy, but it still has this clean guitar riff with lots of "snap".

    I really doubt I could get him into listening to those records as he really isn't into this kind of music. Do you think adding compression will help?
     
  6. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    Well, he has an EHX Memory Man Deluxe, do you think this thing should do the trick?
     
  7. Dave is right. A Les Paul (even a copy) is a very poor substitute for a Tele and a Marshall is a very poor substitute for a Fender amp. Now that we have that out of the way, if you are looking for clean snappy tones from up near the bridge you have to have a stiff pick. Most people these days seem to think that 0.8 mm is stiff; it's not. I primarily fingerpick guitar, bass and steel guitar. But when I use a flatpick (for just the type of tone you are talking about) it is at least 1 mm thick and I prefer 1.2 to 1.4 mm. If the pick bends, the energy of the stroke is going into the pick. The point behind the pick is that the energy of the stroke should go into the string, thereby making the string vibrate and produce sounds. I wonder about how heavy his strings are also. Lots of guys use 9s or even 8s. The reason Fenders and Gibsons come into the store with 9s on them is because there are lots of incompetent wankers who think that easily bending the strings is a sign of a good guitar. His string should be at least 10s. I use 11s on my Tele and 13s on my acoustic guitars.

    Once he has a stiff pick and adequate strings he needs to use an energetic snappy stroke. This is often difficult for inexperienced people to do with some control at first.
     
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You are the twangmeister!
     
  9. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    Thanks for the advice, Aaron. He does use pretty thick strings so I guess I'm going to suggest to him to use a stiffer pick. I think he uses Dunlop nylon picks at the moment, (as do I, by the way, I like them a lot.)
     
  10. plexibass

    plexibass

    Jun 30, 2005
    the danelectro gets my vote. i could send you one from the states if you want. might be cheaper. i will speak with my guitarist toninght and show him this thread. he may have some ideas. he is a great guitarist. if jeck beck and eric johnson had a baby........
     
  11. The pick should be stiff but thin (because thicker rounded picks lose some snap), and he should make sure he strikes the string as flatly as possible.
     
  12. Hey, I don't play steel & Tele for nothing. Gotta be good at something.:hyper:
     
  13. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    The compressor will help a bit, IMHO.

    The easiest way to get this tone is to dial it in with the Marshall. Unfortunately, that would mean having the treble knob maxed the whole show... which I'm guessing is unacceptable.

    So, since we can't do that, I'll recommend an EQ pedal, the guitarist's tone swiss army knife. I have 2 EQs on my pedalboard right now - one dialed in for a punchy, bright tone with mids cut, and the other dialed in for a lo-fi "wah half open" tone. As soon as I can get access to the new Behringer EQ, I'll probably pick one of those up to get another tone on my board.

    It's funny. I just did some recordings and was trying to record with as few effects as possible. "I'll fix it in post," was my creedo. So I recorded with just a distortion pedal into my amp. One of the songs we were recording required that "wah half open" tone for the intro, so when I was mixing, I popped up a EQ plugin and mirrored the settings on my pedal. Nowhere even close. No amount of tweaking could duplicate what my little EQ pedal could do.

    Also worth mentioning - with a lot of those LP clones, the humbuckers aren't wound very tightly, resulting in very dark and muddy pickups. If this is the case, a "twang" will be very difficult.

    Just go with the EQ. He can use it for anything - solo boosts, acoustic emulation, and it can come really close to almost any tone you want. And even if it can't get you the "twang," it's still quite useful, and you won't have to take it back to the store.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/BOSS-GE-7-EQUALIZER-EQ-GUITAR-PEDAL-IN-BOX-NICE-MANUAL_W0QQitemZ7384467087QQcategoryZ22669QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
     
  14. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    Hmm, the EQ pedal sounds like a pretty good idea, unfortunately, I think he's not going to want one unless I find him one that's analog. :rolleyes:

    He replaced the Greco LP's stock pickups with Seymour Duncans, by the way.
     
  15. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    Well, that helps somewhat. Kind of like souping up the old Nomad engine, though, isn't it? ;)
     
  16. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    WHen utilizing my Stratocaster or my Ibanez 570 I also have the added benfit of a Mesa Boogie F-100 amp. These are all pretty typical off the shelf items. When I want that 'burning Nashville steel sound, it is a matter of very little distortion, more treble than mid, and less bass with bridge playing.

    I have 10's on the strat. 9's on the Ibanez. Bridge pickup or center, the tone happens.

    It helps to develope the instincts to get that 'twang as well. It is not always a generic thing like a 'Marshall Crunch' tone that you can dial in.

    It takes some work to develope.
     
  17. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    Ok, the problem seems to have been solved for most of the part.
    He always kept on telling us how badly he wanted a Mesa Boogie Rectifier amp, and he finally ended up getting a decent deal on one. (Can't remember the exact model, though, it has a funky-looking steel plate on its face with the logo.)
    All of us prefer the Mesa's sound over the Marshall's. Is it a common characteristic of Marshalls not to have a lot of high end? It really sounded a bit dull in comparison.
     
  18. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    EXACTLY!!! I thought I was going crazy! Every few months I'll sit down in the music store in front of their wall of Marshall stacks and try to dial in a sound that I like... Impossible. Dull and dark and thin. And yet, about twice a year (so I don't get too much GAS for it), I'll go to the only store in town that sells Mesa and plug into a dual rec or triple rec... No tweaking - the tone is just there.

    The only thing I don't like about Mesa is that EVERYBODY sounds like a Mesa. My sound is more like a Mesa, but a little bit different than that (I am running through a few stompboxes and a Fender amp, after all).

    But yeah, I can't get a tone I like out of the Marshalls. Maybe it's because I can't crank the amp up in the store. But hey, I don't need (or even want) 100 dB coming out of my amp at all times, you know? I want a good tone at both high and low volumes. Is that too much to ask? And I'm sure that if I put my pedalboard in front of the Marshall, I would hear something I'd like, but what's the point of getting an amp known for distortion and then using a distortion pedal to get the distortion you want? Who knows...
     
  19. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    I think it's weird too. Perhaps Marshall amps are supposed to be "vintage" sounding?