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San Quentin: Gear & Tone


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San Quentin

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So let's start out with one thing that's very important for this song - we need to put a capo on the first fret of the guitar! This means that we'll be playing what looks like open A but we'll actually hear Bb.

As for the tone of the acoustic you're going to want a nice well-rounded clean acoustic sound; no reverb or effects. Just a nice and dry, strum-friendly acoustic sound.

For our electric we're going to want to dial in a bit of overdrive and reverb. The overdrive is from a tube amp that cracks up slightly, in a fuzzy sort of way. The reverb is just there to add a little tail at the end of our notes.

The guitar tone itself is pretty plucky sounding and I'm using a hollow body guitar with P-90 pickups. I'm on the bridge position on the pickup selector, and the tone itself doesn't have a lot of bass. It's pretty typical for that 60's guitar sound.

Try starting with the bass on 4, mids at 6, and treble at 7. It shouldn't be shrill but not too boomy either. Just a nice plucking tone with some sweet overdrive that cracks a bit when we hit the strings a bit harder.