May 12, 2019 by Klaus Crow
How you can get the best guitar tone? Many amateur guitarists are always pondering about this question. After all, getting the best out of your rig is necessary. It will allow you to play different songs in any given genre. It would also amplify or highlight your skills as a guitarist.
Considering these facts, it is undeniable anymore that listening to a smooth and refined tone is a satisfying experience. Of course, it is not true that only high-end guitars can achieve this finesse. Even entry level guitars can provide such performance. As long as you know the prerequisites for it, getting a good tone should not be a problem.
If you are quite curious that procedures, you might want to read this entire article. In the next section, I will be showing you some unknown but foolproof ways to improve and harness the tone of your guitar. Let’s get started!
#1: Taking Advantage of the Volume Control
There is nothing that I really need to teach you about the volume knob a guitar. As straightforward as it is, this dial can change the overall volume level of your rig. However, you can also use this knob to unleash the best tone out of your instrument.
The use of pedals to amplify the volume of a guitar is quite unreasonable to some extent. I am not saying that volume pedals are useless. But if you to achieve the pure tone of your guitar, you might want to start clean. In short, don’t use a volume pedal if you can.
Using the volume control is quite easy. Just start at the lowest possible setting first. Cranking at the maximum and the sound of your instrument will become too overdriven.
Just apply a gradual increase in the volume, and you will notice that the sound of your guitar becomes clean and acceptable. Using an increment-by-increment approach will enable to take advantage of the tonality of your instrument fully. It can serve as your primary boost without applying too many augmentations.
#2: Getting the Right Pick
One of the most ignored ways of improving a guitar’s tone is choosing the right pick. Now, I know that some of you doesn’t use this accessory too much or are just reluctant to utilize it. However, you should never undermine the capacity of this little guy to revolutionize the tone of your guitar.
Many professional guitarists will not settle on one or two picks alone. They can never go on a gig if they don’t have a pack of different picks. Specifically, picks vary in gauge. You can use the light-gauge picks to improve the sound of your strumming. Meanwhile, the heavy ones are for hitting single notes.
The art of using the pick is not that easy other. But at the same time, you should not avoid it either. The proper choice of the pick can give somehow showcase the power of your rig. For instance, a thick pick allows your instrument to produce a sound too similar to those units with high-quality humbuckers. Meanwhile, thin strings can elevate the presence of your guitar on the mix.
Of course, there is no need to be so doubtful about this technique. After all, a pick is a cheap investment. Just don’t lose it from time to time! That would be too impractical and embarrassing!
#3: The Importance of Overdrive
If you have an overdrive pedal hanging on your pedalboard, then you should utilize it. Yes. It is true that when it comes to power, the distortion pedal can’t be foundered. But take note that you can only unleash the power of this pedal when you can crank it at the maximum. If not, the volume and tone your guitar can never be highlighted.
If this your current predicament, you might want to drop your distortion pedal for the moment and give attention to your overdrive pedal instead. You must get a good amp and pair it with your overdrive. After this, you are already good to go!
From there, you will realize the power and control that this particular stompbox can give. Unlike distortion pedal, the finesse of an overdrive pedal is relatively heard on low or high volumes. Overall, this setup simply improves the tonal quality of your instrument.
#4: Organizing Your Pedals
Talking about pedals, you should pay attention to this part. You and I both know that pedals can change the overall tonal characteristics of your guitar. But regardless of the color that they can put into your sound, your pedals still need to be in arranged and organized
Specifically, some effects are amplified when they are arranged properly. Of course, the “right” or “proper” order of guitars is quite ambiguous. Technically, you can just freely tweak your signal chain based on your preferences. However, you should realize that effects pedal that alter the frequency can obscure the signal path if you placed them “wrongly.”
Therefore, it is necessary that you know the capabilities and nature of each of your pedals. It always pays if you know their interaction with one another. In this way, you can get the best tone out of your instrument.
#5: Mutating the Single Coil Pickup
Did you know that you can make a single coil pickup roar like a humbucker? If you can know this trick, then you won’t rush yourself anymore from upgrading your rig just to get a “better” tone. C’mon guys. Just learn the proper ways of dealing with your instrument, and it should sound the way it should be.
The recipe for this magic still involves an overdrive pedal. Yes. The effect is still crucial as control is needed here. Use a moderate and mid-focused pedal to accentuate your sound with mesmerizing overdrives. Meanwhile, never let the treble (both from pedal and amp) go down below six. Keep it at the range of 6 to 8.
After this, make sure that the volume of your guitar is at maximum. However, the pickup tone of the bridge should be lowered by half. Now, try playing your instrument. You will notice that its sound is more like of a humbucker already!
#6: The Tone Lies In Your Hands
The tone of your guitar is very dependent on your skill and playings style. Specifically, technical concepts like dynamics play a huge factor here. Now, let me clarify that no dynamics is wrong. A particular tonal characteristic may work for particular genres but not for some.
The way you tackle and course through the strings really matter. Pouring too much compression or distortion will result in the dissipation of these dynamics. But once you learn to be less dependent on these components, your dynamics as guitarists will be revealed.
Overall, that would certainly bolster the tonal quality of your guitar, especially if it is a high-end rig. By being pure, you are showing the true sonic spectrum that your instrument has. If the rig is properly set, its tone can benefit the most out of your individuality and dynamics.
#7: Knowing Your Strings
The strings of your guitar directly affect the tone of your guitar. Many seasoned players recommend that you should change your strings on a regular basis to get the right kind of the one off the bat. Of course, using different types of strings from time to time could also serve as an innovation.
For instance, nickel-wound strings produce vintage-type of tone. They are perfect for classic, rock, and jazz genres. If you want something new, you might want to use a set of stainless steel strings. They can produce extremely bright sounds with excellent sustains.
Let me give a quick advice. If the strings of your guitar always deteriorate due to grime, you must switch to coated alternatives already.
These are some of the essential steps that can help you get the best tone from your guitar. They are all basic procedures that can be done with minimal guidance. Just be eager to improve the overall sounding of your guitar. It would eventually help you elevate your skills and affinity in playing this instrument!
Meanwhile, you can check out this video for more details:
Hello. It is Monica Harrison here. I am the site owner of the blog Guitar Trance For the past 15 years or so, I have been geeking out to the world of music, especially on guitars and pianos. If you have any questions, just feel free to ask, hit me on my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Harrison says
Thanks for having me Klaus! I’ll be more than happy to answer any further questions in the comment section.
Klaus Crow says
Hi Monica, you’re welcome.
I agree that the tone of your guitar has a lot to do with your skills, your playing style and the use of dynamics. Experiment with using a combination of the flesh and nails of your fingers or different angles of a pick. It’s a big part of your tone quality that has not be underestimated.
Nethan Paul says
It is a very exciting article for me. I am a beginner just. Don’t know much about guitar setting, tone settings. I have just got the Peter Green Mod Corsa Guitar with the best guitar tone. Best guitar tuning tips shared by you and eventually I got a perfect one. Thanks for sharing.