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Goin' Old School: Gear and Tone


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Brian Setzer plays either a 1959 Gretsch model 6120 or one of the current Gretsch Brian Setzer model guitars. During the time this recording was made, his stage set up included two 1963 6G6-B Fender Bassman heads through 2x12 Fender Bassman cabinets loaded with Celestion Vintage 30's. A Dunlop Tremolo pedal and a Roland Space Echo tape delay were employed. The echo should be set to produce one repeat and have a fairly short delay time.

There are several options for achieving this tone. You'll want a guitar amp that produces a warm natural guitar tone (preferably a tube amplifier), and some kind of echo device (ideally producing an analog tape like echo effect). As far as the guitar to use, ideally a Gretsch or other arch top hollow body electric with a Bigsby tailpiece, and two pickups.

If you don't have this gear, you might use a guitar that produces a clean twangy sound probably with two pickups, and a vibrato tailpiece. You can also use an archtop guitar or even Fender Telecaster type instrument.