Ask any keen guitarist what it is that makes them tick, and you can bet a 1959 Les Paul they will tell you it is all about the tone.
I remember walking to school when I was 12 years old and hearing for the first time a song that would stay with me forever.
Rainbow’s “All night long” was blasting from a radio, somewhere and I knew that was my music. Richie Blackmore’s simple, but amazing riff, stills echoes in my head today. The raw energy and vocals in that song were amazing.
It was the first time I had really heard rock music and I was sold.
I was brought up on the Corries, various other Scottish music and whatever was on the radio, by a very musical mother. Then Rainbow came along. Once I had the taste, I was hooked, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, AC/DC and many more.
I had a friend at school who had just bought Back In Black and he lent it to me. I had found the sound. Angus Young wasn’t the world’s best player, technically, but his sound was incredible. I wanted to get THAT sound.
I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 14 and the first guitar I bought was from a guitarist in my brothers band. A Les Paul copy. Over the years I tried various setups but still couldn’t get the sound. I thought that it was an easy thing to do and boy was I wrong.
Today I have taken everything back to basics and I have to say I love my sound.
So what do I use?
I play a Gibson SG Standard through a heavilly modified Fender Hotrod Deluxe. Post Guitar, I have a Behringer Wah. In my effects Loop I have a Planet waves Tuner, a Behringer Pre-amp boost, a Behringer Chorus and a Behringer Delay. Sure Angus Young Uses a Marshall, but he plays massive gigs and I don’t want to kill anyone at the smaller gigs we visit.
My amp also has a channel switch between clean, dirty and extra dirty.
That’s it, fairly simple and a classic rock sound that sits well in the Big Tuna mix. Remember, you have to make your sound to fit in with the other band members. Crucial. There is no point in having a massive sound, if you cannot hear anyone else in the band. Teamwork.
Long live the rock!