Top Six Things to Make Your Guitar Sound Amazing

Posted in: Guitar by iainjames on August 15th, 2008 | 3 Comments

A list of things that you can do to make your guitar sound better than it ever has done before!

A nice guitar sound is what all guitarists long for. There is nothing worse that getting on stage with your guitar, or playing to some mates, your slickest, tightest licks and have them brush you off as your guitar sounds naff.

There are some ways to improve your sound, and they’re not beyond you at all.

Your Strings

Often overlooked by many a guitarist; your strings play a vital role in your guitar playing. No matter how many pedals you hook up, or how great you are fiddling with your EQ (equalisation), all of these things work from your original sound, the most basic sound that comes from your guitar, and your strings are vital to this.

If you have an important gig coming up, try to change your strings about 2 or three days before hand. This way your strings sound fresh, without the tuning problems associated with re-stringing too late.

Distortion

Although I love rocking out to the guitar greats, I know when a guitar is over-distorted when I hear it. And believe me, it doesn’t sound great. Over distorted guitars lose their tone, completely! Although it may sound awesome to you, and the pinch harmonics are plentiful, the over-staticyness, the complete loss of pitch does not sound good, at all. When playing a gig, try to keep those “Gain” knobs below 11.

Even the guitar gods don’t over-do the distortion. Malcolm Young, of AC/DC, hardly used any distortion at all. In-fact, if you listen carefully enough, you can hear that his guitar is just turned up really, really loudly.

Maintenance

When playing an awesome gig, we all know just how sweaty we can get. And when I say sweaty, I mean drowning in the stuff. That sweat can make your guitar sound horrible. How? Well, leaving the sweat on your strings, your pickups, and along the neck can seriously duff up your sound.

After a gig, or the next day if you have one too many, just give your guitar a wipe down with a dry cloth to keep your axe sounding awesome.

If your guitar is being used for a while, take the strings off to reduce unnecessary tension, and dust it down every now and again.

Your Lead

When looking for a new lead for your guitar, always ask if you can try it out in-store. Although you might get a strange look from the other side of the counter, it’s well worth it. A lead can have a small effect on your sound, but when added to the rest of tips in this list, it makes a massive change.

A good quality lead is a must, as a broken lead during the sound-check is a nightmare!

Also, make sure it is of a decent length. It’s always fun to jump about the stage = ]

Pick choice

I bet while reading this, your thinking, “What? That’s obvious!”. Pfffft, I suggest you say that to the thousands of people who still mess this up.

This one is pretty basic. The type of music you play is directly proportionate to your plectrum. Heavy music – thick pick. Melodic acoustic – thin, maybe a nylon pick.

And Number 6…

Practice!

 

 

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3 Responses to “Top Six Things to Make Your Guitar Sound Amazing”
  • jrguitar666 December 3rd, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    compression & overdrive.

  • Mike B. (Orange Park, FL) February 9th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    How about a good set of pickups and a Tube amp. There are some really inexpensive deals out there that will make you sound better. I started using Dragonfire pickups and they sound great. I also go a Bugera V5 Tube amp. Wow! What a difference in sound and I didn’t have to spend a small fortune. You can get both of these for under $200. Now thats a deal.

  • tatikos February 25th, 2010 at 11:17 am

    very useful advice for us rockers

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