While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Boy, what a busy weekend! I've gotten all kinds of things done and even manage to spend some quality time with the family (including some "private" time with the Wife, yeah baby!). After all the time I was away, I had some making up to do. I even managed to make some really good meals, Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage on Saturday, and a kick ass Beef Stew today (it was 49 degrees people! That calls for warm comfort food.)

But also, in the last few days, I managed to find an hour to sit and play with my gear. Now, I'll warn you now I'm going deep into guitar speak, so if you're not a dedicated rocker, you may want to skip to the end.

My last gig, I finally got to put the new Brian May guitar through it's paces. Overall, it was great. Both the gig, and the guitar. For the most part, I got all the tones I wanted clean and dirty. I even broke a string on the last song, a sure sign of total release of the body to Rock and Roll. BUT. I did have the same problem that Brian May had.

I have a video where Brian is going over his gear and his playing technique. When describing his rig, he plays is Old Lady clean through his amp. The sound is kind of muddy, which is what I get. He cleaned it up by adding a pedal called a treble booster. It brightens the tone and has the added benefit of driving the amp so you get that great sound that he gets. A sound I'd love to have. However, in order to get that sound, you need to run the treble booster through a tube amp. And tube amps are quite expensive, as in $1500 to $2500 for the good ones (Vox or Marshall). Not to mention, to get that great over drive sound, you need to run the treble booster through it with the amp volume on the max. Somehow, I don't think the churches we play would appreciate me playing at stadium volume. Additionally, playing a guitar through a treble booster at LOW volume makes it sound like crap. So that's out.

So I've been researching tone on line and I learned some interesting things. I've been considering a tube pre-amp to try and get that cool tube amp sound and be able to control volume. But it turns out that the cool sound I'm looking for can't be made with a pre-amp. So I decided perhaps I just need another pedal. I use an equalizer pedal with my SG and Les Paul to brighten up the sound and set the volume. The Brian May doesn't have as powerful pickups as those guitars, so I thought perhaps a second equalizer just for the Brian May might work. I can brighten up the sound to where I like and set a different volume level so I can even out all the guitars. But first, I decided to play with the gear I have what I could do. I did play with the setup using my SG to get a better feel for just how the pedals I have change my sound. Then, I decided to plug the Brian May in and see what happened when I used the compressor/sustainer pedal I have. I don't use it often and it was primarily for punching in leads when playing live. So I tweaked the setings on it, and go JUST the sound I was looking for. As an aside, I also tweaked the mid on the amp and it made a HUGE difference!

Anyway, I'm quite pleased that I don't need to buy any more gear (well, at least for now). Now I just have to get the Brian May adjusted so it plays like a total dream. No rest for this Rocker Guy!


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