So here it is the the gear post. The sole reason why I created this blog cause all the questions I get about my sound. So here we go. So I’m a guitar player. (You Don’t Say?) Anyways, I’ve been playing for little over a decade and played in a few places around the south east, mainly churches and youth camps. But anyways, I’ve always get the question who I get my “sound.” See the thing is I really don’t fall into the very technical style of playing. I’m a huge gear-head and I like to incorporate a lot of effects into my playing. So I’m gonna break down my gear pedal by pedal, guitar, and amps. But first let me start by my influences that I build off of.
This is my favorite guitarist. I get the majority of my sound from him and most of my tricks. He plays with John Mark McMillan and he plays in a band called All the Bright Lights (Both worth checking out) He has also has done work with Jason Upton and a few other artist. He has taught me not to be afraid of using a lot of delay but not to much to overpower the song. Also, he has taught me how to use the slide for more atmospheric and swell style playing.
This is the man that made me want to play guitar. I heard Wish You Were Here and thought to myself, “man I want to learn that song.” So I saved up and bought a crappy Squire acoustic guitar and began to learn. However, Gilmour was a genius when it came to experimenting. (Watch Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii) He taught me how experiment.He also taught me not to be afraid of it and not to worry about what anybody thinks about your sounds.
Th Edge, the guitarist for the band U2 and a personal favorite band of mine. The Edge has taught me everything I know about delay. I’ll listen to U2 just to listen to The Edge’s guitar work. Cause he has a different delay sound to every song. He has especially taught me the wonders of rhythmic delay and tap delay.
The guitarist of The Gaslight Anthem. He has taught me how to use the guitar in a way that is much more than just playing chords and rhythm. He has taught me to use lead throughout the entire song to add to the song instead of just playing rhythm. To clear up what I’m talking about listen to The Gaslight Anthem’s album American Slang. He doesn’t play a single chord that entire album just lead licks and riffs.
Fender Blues Junior:
This is the main amp that I use on Sunday’s for my churches worship service. It’s nice small tube amp with a lot of power. The settings on this
Yes, I like my bass high because I’m a sucker for lows in my tone. I really think its because I listen to a lot of The National and they use a lot of low tones in their music and I get a lot of influence from them.
Fat button engaged
The fat button gives it a more deeper tone in my opinion.
2006 Fender Frontman 212R
This was my first amp. It’s a solidstate but this thing has been through a bunch of shows and I have worked on it to where it sounds really good in my opinion. I keep it clean and use distortions and overdrives through my pedals. The settings for this amp:
I usually feel like getting slapped in the face when I’m going from tube to solidstate but I really enjoy this amp. Its all beat up and has attitude.
2007 Fender Frontman 100H
This is pretty much the head version of my 212R. I have the settings the same and everything. I have it running through a Marshall 12 single cab. This thing is loud and I love it.
2009 Gretsch 5120
This is my main guitar. This guitar is wonderful for everything still being factory. The only thing that I changed on the guitar is the pickguard, which was an ordeal because it came from Canada. (That throws UPS for a loop if its coming from a cross borders) I usually keep the pickup toggle switch to the neck pickup. I keep Ernie Ball 10s on it.
2008 Fender Telecaster
This is my main slide guitar. I usually use this guitar for most of my slide parts or when I want to imitate Brian Fallon. (Haha) I actually dropped the stock pickups and put in some Fender Vintage Noiseless. Great pickups. This guitar has a great neck and feel to it. I keep the toggle switch to the neck pickup as well cause i feel the bridge pickup is way to harsh for my style of music. Plus it sounds way to twangy. When I’m playing slide I turn the tone down to give it a smoother sound. I keep Ernie Ball 11s on it.
My acoustic that doesn’t get enough love. Its a cheap Martin but it’s still a Martin. But for being a cheaper Martin it has amazing tone and a big sound. Plus a Fisherman electronic system in it which is really easy to work with. I keep Elixer 10s on it.
Board and Pedals
SKB Pro Board
This is my board. I love this board but the thing cost a fortune and weighs a ton when the board is fully loaded. (around 40lbs) But this board has it all. It’s flight ready with a locking case. Also, it has a built in power supply that can power up to 8 pedals and 3 separate outlets to power other pedals. It also has inputs and outputs to actually run lines from your amp to your guitar. This is a pretty awesome board and I would consider checking it out if your looking at buying a nice board with a lot of pedals.
Dunlop Crybaby Wah
I don’t use this pedal much, in fact as of tonight I took it off cause it was getting in the way and like I said I hardly use it. In fact the only time I ever use it was for the intro to the song Mighty to Save, Oh Praise Him, and when we play a gospel song during church.
Electro-Harmonix Micro Pog
This is one of my favorite pedal on my board. This pedal comes on when I’m doing most of my atmospheric stuff. It’s initially an octave generator that use the octaves high and low. Also, if you turn up both the sub and the high octave you can make your guitar sound like an organ when you swell your guitar. I actually have used that sound on a couple guitar parts that I have recorded for a buddy. But mainly I use it to make a swirling sound for my atmospheric sounds.
This is the cheapest pedal on my board. Literally I bought this pedal off Amazon for 30 bucks. But for being cheap and a brand that is not really known this tremolo pedal is pretty awesome and gets the job done. It has two settings intensity and rate. I usually keep the rate somewhere between 12 and 6 and sometimes even turn the rate up to 12 for some intense tremolo effect. Its not a pedal that I keep on all the time but when I do some arpeggio with chords work I usually turn it on.
Ibanez TS-7 Tube Screamer
This is the cheapest tube screamer that Ibanez makes. The next level is the TS-9. I’m in the market for getting one of these pretty soon. But anyways this stays on all the time a trick that I learned from reading about James Duke’s setup. I keep the drive usually around 9 or 10 ‘O clock Tone at midnight and Volume at Midnight. The drive is low enough that it has some distorted drive but not overpowering. Actually the fat tone button on the amp makes up for a lot of distortion when I crank up my guitar.
Boss Blues Driver
I use this pedal to get more drive or distortion during big chorus parts. Also I use this for solo’s. The settings for this is Gain at 10-11 ‘O Clock Tone at Midnight and Volume at 10-11 ‘O Clock. There is nothing really special about this pedal, it just does what the title says.
Ernie Ball Volume Pedal Jr.
I use this pedal more than any other pedal on my board. Actually my foot rarely leaves this pedal. I control all my volume with this pedal hence the name volume pedal. I use it to do volume swells or whale noises as my friends like to call it when I use my slide or eBow. But basically when I do all my atmospheric sounds this is the base to the foundation. I use to have a Boss Volume Pedal but it broke from being overused and also being plastic. But the Ernie Ball has a string mechanism which seems to be working out very well right now. I would strongly suggest getting one of these because it helps working with your volume and EQ.
This is a simple cheap tuner. It’s no Boss but it gets the job done. The only complaint that I have about this tuner is that it’s not as quick to response as say a Boss or Fender. But usually I don’t have many tuning problems during sets. Also it has a dry so I can hook it up to my VP. All I have to is step on my VP and tune up without muting my guitar completely.
Let me start by saying that I’m a delay freak. A huge delay freak. I keep this on most of the time and its a key component of how I make my atmospheric sounds. The settings on this pedal are; E. Level 2 ‘O Clock, Feedback 3 ‘O Clock, Time 1 ‘O clock and I have it sitting at 800 ms.
Line 6 DL4
This is my favorite pedal on my board. This pedal has 3 stomps to store different delays and a tap setting. Also it has a loop built in it and has the ability to overdub. Currently I have in the first bank an Analog delay setting. 2nd bank Low Res delay. I’m currently using the second bank the most and mixing it with my DD-3 during atmospheric or even lead parts. My 3rd bank is an analog setting that I have tapped out to 4/4 rhythmic delay. (Think the opener to The Streets have No Name by U2) it’s basically the norm to have this setting for a worship band. But this little pedal has pretty much every delay possible. I honestly use it for the tap feature and the analog sound because I like to mix analog and digital to get a cool sound.
Boss RV-5 Reverb
This is also another favorite pedal on my board. It has a few different settings for different types of reverbs for example: Spring, Room, Hall, Gate, and Modulation. I keep my E. Level at 2 ‘O clock Tone at Midnight and Time at 2 ‘O clock. I also keep it on Modulation. I had been reading about different effects that guitarist from bands like Robbie Seay Band, Leeland, Hillsong United, etc. and everyone of these guys used Modulation for that wet saturated sound that works well with atmospheric sounds. But I use the room setting for my slide work on other stuff besides worship music because the modulation is just a little to wet for slide stuff in my opinion. However, I do use modulation and slide to do some atmospheric stuff.
This is an electronic bow. It’s a little gadget that uses to magnets working against each other to sustain a string. It has two settings. If you switch it to the left it plays the note that is being sustained. If you switch it to the right it plays the octave. This is a pretty cool toy to use if your not really doing much just adding to the song. Great sounds using delay and reverb.
Dunlop Glass Slide
Glass slides are the only way to go. Its smooth, warm and gets great tone. Metal slides are just to harsh and metallic in my opinion. I usually keep this on my middle finger and mute with my index. But wherever you wear your slide is up to you.
I tried to explain my style the best I can through this post. Basically the only thing I can say is sit down and experiment with things. To be afraid to try new things if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work. Find things that fit what your playing and run with it. But don’t ever quit experimenting. Take influences and then build on them to make your own sound.