Quick and Easy Ways to Change Your Guitar Tone - dummies

Quick and Easy Ways to Change Your Guitar Tone

By Dave Hunter

Part of Guitar Amps & Effects For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Have you grown bored with the way your guitar sounds? You don’t have to buy a new guitar, amp, or effects pedal to craft a fresh sound as long as your existing equipment is serviceable and of a decent quality. Try these simple ways of mixing things up a little:

  • If you’re in the habit of playing on one pickup all the time, switch to a different one, adjusting your amps to suit, if necessary.

  • If you keep your guitar’s volume and tone controls full up, maybe dial them down a little to see what happens.

  • Turn all your amp’s controls to 0, take a few minutes to forget your usual settings, and dial in something completely different.

  • Check out some guitar forums and chat rooms to discover what settings players with the same gear as yours are using to achieve different sounds.

  • Listen closely to some music you like that’s made using a completely different rig from yours, and then try your best to replicate the sound with what you’ve got.

Ultimately, be aware that the key to sounding the way you want lies in your hands and your head more than anywhere else. The way a player attacks the strings — the nuance, dynamics, and subtleties of the playing technique — usually has a bigger influence on how he or she sounds than any other single ingredient in the rig. Try to play mindfully, being keenly aware of the variations in sound produced when you simply play the guitar differently, and you will quickly develop an original voice.