How to Get Guitar Tone You Want Without Scooping

There are hundreds of sources out on the vast internet that can explain THOUSANDS of ways on how to get great guitar tone. There's explanations on getting guitar tone for punk, classic rock, metal, and etc. I can't tell you the best way how to get guitar tone you want, BUT I can tell you something that beginning guitarists tend to do that can be detrimental to your guitar's tone.

I'm talking about scooping your guitar tone.

Am I making some sort of metaphorical association with an ice cream cone? Not really. Scooping your guitar tone simply means using extreme neglect on one tone range versus the others. In most cases, the mid range knob on a guitar amp is turned completely down to zero and the guitar tone suffers.

I've played with a lot of beginning guitarists that just don't have the experience to get guitar tone without realizing that cutting one tone source completely out of the mix isn't the best solution. They usually cut out their mid range, and then their guitar gets lost in the white noise or underneath the bass during a tune.

Here's a few tips on how to get guitar tone for different kinds of tunes that you may play. These tips are NOT set in stone, but work for my particular preferences of where a guitar should be in a live mix on stage.

* Punk, Pop Rock, Rock and Rhythm guitarists

Put the most emphasis on your mid range knob keeping it around 3 quarters up while your bass and treble knobs should be a little below the halfway mark.

* Metal and Lead guitarists

How to configure your guitar tone here is with your treble know at 3 quarters up. Keep the mid range at a little less than half and your bass range at about half.

* Jazz and Classical

I actually don't have much experience in how a live jazz or classical guitarist would like to have his tone, but I imagine it's pretty even across the board but leaning more towards the bright side. Probably keep everything halfway with the treble about a notch to a couple notches higher for brilliance.

Obviously, these are not hard and fast rules about how to get guitar tone that you want, but scooping the tone is never a good idea. Of course, there are studio engineers who do some really neat things with guitar amps that are not encouraged for live performances, but that's something entirely different.

So, from now on, try to work all three ranges into your guitar's tone mix and then tweak them each by a couple notches to find that sweet spot that can really kill.

photo from Radioactive Culture


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