I was stumbling through the web looking at some guitar pics, resources, the usual bit, I came across this pretty neat website. On the site was listed dozens of various amplifier settings to emulate those used by famous guitarists and bands such as: Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, ZZ Top, Testament, Thin Lizzy and many more. I just thought that I would share that link for you guys and gals to use when practicing.
The Link: Unfortunately this website is no longer up. No matter, when you read this lesson you'll understand it's actually a good thing! 🙂
I'd also like to take a little time here to talk about "tone", what it is, and how you get it. While adjusting your amplifier settings and gears mods will certainly get you closer to the tone you desire, those elements are only 25% of the battle. In fact, if you want to get better guitar tone, I wouldn't consider hardware to be a key element in achieving it at all. What's most important is your technique.
The reason Eddie van Halen, Slash or your favorite guitarist sounds the way they do is hours and hours of practice. These artists have taken the necessary time out of each and every day to work on their instrument. I bet if anyone of them picked up your guitar they would not sound like you do with it, but actually resemble almost exactly what their tone sounds like.
What I'm trying to get at here is that if you're a beginning guitar player or maybe you're just starting to learn guitar again after several years, don't get too distracted by all the technical hype surrounding this beautiful hobby. You need to be focusing on learning with near-perfect technique and mastering that.
From there your own expressive style will begin to shine through. Artists will put their name on or behind products, making you think that by purchasing these products you'll sound more like them.
Well guess what?
You're wrong. These guitarists are people just like you and I, trying to earn their living, just as we do. Paid endorsements are a fact of life in music, sports, hollywood, everything.
Want a real life example?
Dimebag Darrell, rest in peace, endorsed Krank amplification. He even had his own signature model, played with Kranks behind him on stage... However there was more than meets the eye there, as many fans know. Dime did not play into those black, over-hyped amplifiers, but rather ran his Deans into a Randall rig backstage. I mean, c'mon... What self-respecting guitarist would really rock a Krank amp?
Recently, Joe Bonamassa wrote a piece for Guitar World on this topic that I found very interesting. In the article he discusses how developing one's tone is one of the most challenging aspects of a guitar players journey. He also goes on to describe how your tone is all in your muscle memory.
Over time, a guitarist will develop muscle memory and this is always clear to listeners, even when they have no musical knowledge. This is because the seasoned, well-practiced guitarist has such great muscle memory that he has full control over his or her instrument and the sounds it produces.
I highly recommend the article, which you can check out, here.