Scott Gailor

Guitarist - Tone Junkie - Producer - Clinician - Teacher

Guitarist - Tone Junkie Chronicles - Clinician - Teacher

Filtering by Category: Guitar moments

What makes a great tone?

What makes a great tone? How do you get your tone?

Two questions that I get almost daily.

The first one is easy. What sounds good to you? Do you want a scooped mids metal tone? How about a jazzy old solid state clean tone? Maybe the good ole brown sound via Eddie?

That's where you start. I started out wanting to sound like Eddie, Randy and Jimi. I read every issue of Guitar Player, Guitar World, and Guitar For The Practicing  Musician. I asked a ton of questions to everyone and anyone who played guitar. I played all my friends gear. Went to every music store and played every amp and pedal I could get my hands on.

Then I was lucky enough to find the core of my tone when I was about 15/16. I got a used 1982 Mesa Boogie Coliseum 300 MKIIB head and a 69 Marshall Bottom.

The chase for tone got kicked up about ten notches. I was hooked. After that I owned every big name amp but alway went back to that boogie.

Hit up a local big box or if you're lucky enough to have a high-quality mom-and-pop go there and check out every amp you can.

Bottom line is if your tone inspires you and makes you feel like you play better because of it then you have your tone. It makes no difference what name plate is on the amp. Or how many pedals you have etc.

Tone lives in between your ears and manifests itself in your finger tips. I think that's why people get so emotional about it. It's the connection to the first time that sound (insert your favorite tone here) moved you.

A big a-ha moment for me was when I saw the video of me at a guitar contest in 2004. I wasn't allowed to use my own amp. I plugged straight  into a Line 6 (HD187 I think) and found a usable tone fairly quickly. When I saw the video I sounded like me. When I watch video stuff from NAMM or any of the trade shows, It still sound like me. It's almost kinda of funny. Watch the Keeley Electronics video from the Dallas International guitar Festival. Its borrowed guitar (that I never played before) and I didn't touch a knob on any of the pedals or  the amp. Robert dialed it in and it sounded and felt great. And still sounded like me.

 

For new players or parents of my students. I always recommend buying a Line 6 spider, Roland Cube or Fender Mustang (read the rest before you write me a hate filled pm lol)that way you can get a taste of effects and different tones. Once you spent a good few months with one of the above amps you can then put together a budget based on the tones and effects you like. Then it's off to the races building your dream rig. Plus you will still have a decent bedroom amp for practice. 

Guess what the chase for tone never ends. But It's such a Beautiful chase.

SG

T.J.C.

 My live rig opening for Cinderella.  

My live rig opening for Cinderella.  

Practice vs Playing

 

Practice vs Playing 

How do I make the most of my practice time?

First off there is a huge difference between playing and practicing. 

Playing things that you already know is not practicing in my mind. Practice should be about learning something new. Not playing the same ole stock licks. 

You need a plan. A simple "practice" plan. Make a list, things you want to improve on, goals, both short term and long term. 

Break your routine down into simple small chunks. 

Here is a sample. 

Scales - 20 minutes 

Chords - 15 minutes

Song(s) - 10 minutes a piece 

Licks - 10 minutes etc

An egg timer or the alarm on a phone will help you stay on the course. 

Remember practice should be just that, practice. Having a practice schedule helps. 

Now with all this being said. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just playing! Running though things you know and enjoy. Most of all have fun! 

One last thought. You should play at a little everyday, just to keep your hands in shape. 

It's funny for me practice is almost zen like, very close to Meditation. I almost guilty if I don't play or practice everyday. 

Nothing happens overnight. It takes desire, discipline and dedication to improve as not only a guitar player but a musician. 

Happy Saturday 

SG



 

 

©Scott Gailor Music 2017