Electric Guitar Rig Tone Tip: How To Dial In Your Amplifier
Trying new and different electric guitar rig tones can literally open your mind up to a whole new world on your guitar. You don’t have to be an expert to create a sound that exceeds your expectations, but you do need to have some relatively decent equipment and know the inside scoop on creating a sound that you love.
Your Musical Equipment
The most important electric guitar rig tone secrets are the ones that point to having decent equipment ( I don’t mean Mesa Boogies or high-end Marshall’s and Gibson’s), but rather, for example, a Bugera Amplifier. If you have a low-end, second rate guitar and amp, you simply won’t be able to produce the sound that you are trying to achieve, especially at higher volumes. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get great equipment, however. Make sure that your guitar has good pickups and a guitar that doesn’t easily lose tune easily. If it does, then you can easily replace the pickups and overhaul the guitar for a better overall sound. There are also some tricks that you can use to get a great sound out of the equipment that you have if you don’t want to spend more money.
You can also think about your sound in terms of what the audience is hearing. If you sit next to your amp to dial it in and then listen to your tone from a few feet away, you may notice that there is a real difference in the sound your guitar and amp are producing. Make sure that you walk around, and away from your amplifier while you are playing your guitar. You can adjust the tone so that it sounds great no matter where you are. If you play a combo amplifier, you may want to consider building an amplifier stand to raise your amp up slightly, so that the speakers aren’t obstructed on the stage.
Getting the Ultimate Guitar Tone
Okay, so I stressed equipment and gear, but now we need to look to the amplifier EQ settings. To enhance the EQ settings, I would strongly suggest investing in an EQ Stompbox or Rack for really bringing that tone out. But for now, we’ll adjust the amp’s EQ. You most likely have “High”, “Mids”, and “Low” controls on your amplifier. Highs are for the treble, Mids are for… well the mid-range and the lows are bassy. Some amps have a contour or blend control as well.
Is there a particular sound that you would like to recreate from your favorite band? Start off by adjusting all the EQ controls to noon (arrow straight up), find the volume range you want to be at, and one-by-one adjust each EQ control. Start with the highs and tweak each control little by little, and repeat through-out each control until recreate that sound.
Tip: If you scoop your mids too much, you may find it difficult for your tone to cut through the mix.
Playing the guitar doesn’t have to be complicated. Take these electric guitar rig tone secrets, and use them next time you think you don’t have the sound that you want or need for your application. If you are looking for a simpler solution, I would suggest investing in a Multi-Effects Processor; see Vox Tonelab, Line 6 POD, Digitech RP series. Multi-Effects Processors are designed and set up to recreate your favorite amp head and cab out of the box. Instead of buying eight high-end guitar amplifiers, just buy one Multi-Effects Processor and get the tone of those eight amps (and more).