Recreating the Essence of Guitar Greats
15 Apr 2013

Recreating the Essence of Guitar Greats

As a guitarist, I love to play with tone and effects. I enjoy playing with great effects generators and building “new” sounds. Of course my favorite way to play is straight through a great tube amp. My ’67 ES-335 generates beautiful tone that warms the room and steals the show through a Fender Vintage Reissue ’65 Twin Reverb or similar high-quality tube amp.

When I listen to music, I love picking out specific guitar sounds and trying to recreate them. Of course, it’s nearly impossible if you don’t have the same guitar as the artist in question, but it’s still wonderful fun to attempt. Most guitarists don’t think to create something entirely new when playing. We have in mind the sound of some guitarist and his sound. We want to emulate the essence of it and we let those sounds influence the way we play. It’s the way of life. With that in mind, some genius at ProSoundWeb wrote this article that I think you should read.

Jon Chappel, the author, says:

Guitarists are constantly seeking their own sound or unique voice. However, producers often resort to giving instructions like, “Give me a raunchy blues sound à la Stevie Ray Vaughan,” rather than “Give me something wholly original that I’ve never imagined before.”

It’s not that producers are unimaginative or that they deliberately want to mimic another guitarist’s sound; it’s just that categorizing sounds saves a lot of time and gives you a point of departure

He outlines in the article the setups of 14 master guitarists. I can’t wait to get some time to fool around with these!

Here’s one to get you started:

Steve Vai
Everything starts out normally enough in Steve Vai’s rig, with a distortion pedal, wah, and whammy pedal, but a switching controller steps in to turn this setup into something ingenious and unconventional.DialASoundFig9

The switching system selects between the various time-based effects in the rack while sending the pedaldriven signal to the amps’ inputs.

The amps’ effects loops bring in the effects via the send and return jacks, and the amps’ slave outputs go into two VHT power amps.


Daniel Pendergrass