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Shake Your Money Maker: Gear & Tone

 

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For the rhythm guitar I'll be using my Gibson 335 and I'll be running it through a modeled version of a VOX AC30 amp. The important thing for this guitar part is to get it to sound dark and muddy. Even though this guitar kicks off the tune it generally has to stay in the background in order to leave room for the vocals and the lead guitar. That's why it works well with the darker and more muddy tone. I'm using the middle pickup position, where both the neck and the bridge pickup are engaged and I just have a little bit of reverb on it.

For the slide guitar I'll be using my Telecaster- also on the middle pickup position, and I'll be running that through a modeled version of a Fender Princeton amp with a little bit of reverb. The amp is turned up enough to overdrive just a bit, but the most important thing is to get it really bright and aggressive sounding! So experiment with the treble until it cuts through without being painful to listen to.

If you play this song with two guitar players- one playing the rhythm part and the other playing the lead- then the slide guitar doesn't have to play any fretted notes and you can get away with having a high distance between the fretboard and the strings- AKA "action". That makes it easier to play slide because you don't have to worry about about the slide hitting the frets. However, if you're planning to combine the two guitar parts, you'll need to adjust your action so that you can both use your slide and fret regularly as well. I've done this by using extremely heavy strings for the top 4 strings and then my normal 10 gauge strings for the low E- and A-string where the rhythm parts will be happening! So it's my own hybrid of two different sets of strings. The top 4 strings are actually the B-, G-, D- and A-string, from a 12 gauge set. But this may be much easier on your guitar! It just depends how it's all set up, how big your frets are and so on....

I'll be using a metal slide, but you can use any kind of slide for this part- Metal, glass, ceramic or plastic. Just make sure you don't use too much gain or too much ambience like delay or reverb- keep it really bare bones and raw! That's the goal with this style of music.

The slide guitar is in an open D tuning, so you have your I-chord in the open strings and the 12th fret. The IV-chord in the 5th fret and the V-chord in the 7th fret.