Full Access Members Only

Black: Gear & Tone


Get Full Access Today To Learn


Plus 11,000 More Guitar Lessons.

Product Cost Lessons Instructors Instructor Help New Lessons Return Policy
Guitar Tricks $19.95 11,000+ 45 Instructors Yes Yes, Weekly 60 Days
Guitar Dvd's $30 - $60 20 - 30 1 Instructor No Interaction No No
Guitar Books $20 - $40 30 - 40 1 Instructor No Interaction No No
Other Sites $20 - $40 100 - 500 1-5 Instructor Sometimes Sometimes 3-7 Days
In-person $40 - $80 1 Hour 1 Instructor Yes Yes No
First let's talk a little bit about the gear and tones that I'll be using for this song, but as always you have to remember that you rarely need any specific gear to be able to play a given song. It's of course going to sound more like the original if you have the same gear, but that doesn't mean it can't be different in a cool way, when you play it on whatever gear you have. So always keep that in mind when we're talking gear.

For the rhythm guitar that plays the strumming parts and the power chords in the choruses, I'll be using a Les Paul, and I'll be running that through a modeled version of a Marshall amp. The Marshall is not turned up all the way- just enough to get some basic crunch out of it. We'll be using this tone for playing full chord voicings, so it can't be too distorted or it gets really messy. For the intro I'm going to add a graphic EQ pedal, with all the bass cut out- that's how you get that transistor radio tone. There are a million different ways they can have obtained this tone on the recording, but an EQ pedal is by far the easiest way to recreate it. If you don't have an EQ pedal you can always experiment with turning down the volume and tone on your guitar. The most important thing is that it sounds a little lo-fi and tinny- rather than a big “full” sound coming in right off the top.

Then for the chorus I bypass the EQ effect and add a distortion pedal similar to a RAT. I have the volume set to be slightly louder than the bypassed volume, the treble cut set to 3'o clock and finally the distortion set to 2'o clock. I also use a compression pedal which I leave on for the whole song. For the verse parts it makes the strumming more even dynamically and for the chorus parts it makes the notes and chords ring out for longer- which is what we call “sustain”. On my pedal I have the sustain set to 3'o clock and the level set to match the bypassed volume. Other than that I just use a little bit of reverb.

For the lead guitar I'll be using my Strat on the neck pickup, and I'll also be running that through a modeled version of a Marshall amp- with a little bit of reverb added. The amp is to dialed to deliver a pretty and clean tone that I use for the whole song- up until the solo. For that section I switch to the bridge pickup and add an overdrive pedal similar to a RAT again. On this pedal I have the distortion set to 2'o clock, the treble cut set to 10'o clock and the volume set to be slightly louder than the bypassed volume. I'll also be using a Wah pedal for the solo. This particular model is a “Crybaby”, but you can use any brand of Wah pedal. You can even play the solo without it all together as well. I'm also adding a subtle delay tail to the lead tone with a mix that's just low enough that you don't fully hear the repeats- it just adds some extra ambience to it. I have it set to 1-2 repeats.