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Shredding From the Lutheir's End

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages and IQ levels, please allow me to intro duce myself. I’m Tachi. Lead guitarist for BETTY. I am the new columnist for IG. Primarily I’m the guy to ask questions to concerning all things of a technichal nature. No, not technique – TECH. The nuts and bolts of your guitar. Granted I’m a shredder, but shredding puts a lot of wear and tear on your axe. And who do you run to? THE DOCTOR! (Lutheirs).

Being a part time Lutheirs apprentice I’ve got enough knowledge on how to save your ass some money – time, and possibly brain cells depending on the level of severity the repair requires.

Now how many shredders have a trem on their guitar? Just about every single one. How many people play off of a scalloped neck? A few. Every one has his or her own set up. Learning to maintain that set up is half of what being a shredder is – a master of your instrument. That means none of this "I broke a string and my Floyds fucked up" or "how do I change my strings?" and my personal favorite "why won’t my guitar make distortion?"

All of these mind boggling mysteries with be subject to epiphany one by one as requests are received. At the end of this article I will post my email address, and you may contact me with your questions comments and or concerns, rants raves and death threats.

And for today’s topic:

Tone: The Sound of Shred.

What is tone? Pick ups? Strings? The woods your guitar is made out of? The shape of the body? The tuning pegs? The fret wire? The effects? The Amp? Speakers? Speaker cabs? The cables? EQ? Compression? Bridge style? The way you play? The amount of blood oozing from your finger tips down onto your fret board?

All of it. Everyone has theirown unique playing style, and their for their own sound. Understandingwhat kind of tone is needed to get the job done for any kind of shred isimperative. Nothing makes a good guitarist sound horrible than bad tone.

First lets examine the guitar. 6 string or 7 sting? A 12? All of that factors into how your guitar soundsplugged in, on both clean and gain channels. Step one is understanding what tone you want.

Are you a snarling beast? a cool cat? A dark and demonic anti Christ? How do you want to sound? Are you playing a happy song? Sad?

Find the emotion you want to convey – that’s what shred is all about conveying an emotion… at light speed.

Lets take 3 different shred classics and examine the tone shall we?

  1. Black Star – Yngwie Malmsteen.
    Smooth… Dark, sinister…Desperate. Intense. Super sonic.

    How do we create a tone that makes you feel that way? We have the notes they’re in a minor scale… the mood is set – now we just need that sound that makes you -FEEL- that way…

    • Fender strat
    • dimazrio yjm custom woundsingle coil pickups
    • Ernie ball custom gauge strings – 0.9-0.48 mm
    • Brass nut at a 1 3/4 in. length
    • stock fender tuners
    • body – alder or ash neck – maple
    • fret board – maple/rosewood
    • stock fender tremolo

    — All of those aspects of his instrument are what make the tone he uses on black star. The amps also has an OBSCENE amount to do with it but that’s for the next article

  2. The Frayed Ends Of Sanity – Metallica

    • ESP MK II “Skully”
    • 2 – EMG 81 Active hum bucking pickups
    • dean markly 0.10-0.46 steel nickel-plated strings
    • Floyd rose double locking tremolo system
    • neck – maple body – ash
    • fret board – rosewood

    — The emg pickups do most of the work here. with a preamp built inside of the pickup all the extra boost needed for this heavy metal classic. with a 24 fret neck al of the notes are slightly pinched due to the lack of space – on the fret board – giving the solo a very hasty sound – thus the sanity becomes “frayed”

  3. Crazy Train – Ozzy Osborne

    • Jackson Randy Rhoads V
    • Alder body
    • maple neck
    • rose wood fret board
    • two Duncan designed hum buckers
    • and a licensed floyd rose trem.
    • 22 fretter

    Crazy train…. – Truly an awesome blend of Neo classical and modern shred. The guitar in question is probably one of the best embodiments of the era and attitude of shred. While awkward and difficult to play on at times (sitting down…) the guitar itself screams to be heard. with a slightly lower action than most and some sincerity in the playing he’s able to get a truly crazy tone out of his guitar.

That’s three different tones all in somewhat the same context. I hope you guys have kind of learned a bit today – when it comes to tone – and this is the VITAL rule of thumb “when it comes to tone – one mans zucchini is another woman’s banana” You -never- know what tone will inspire you – so stay in a constant search for the Tone that sets you free and binds you down. That will be all, take care

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