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Can anybody help me craft this tone? One headlight.


StruckingFuggle
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I've been asked to learn the lead parts for "One Headlight" by The Wallflowers, and it's quite intimidating.  That guy has amazing timing and tone.  

 

I can't figure out how he gets that spongy soft distortion.  Check out the left channel of the song around 2:00.  What a fantastic tone!  I've tried single coils, tapped humbuckers, humbuckers, and I just can't even come close.  It's either way to clean/plucky, or too dirty and shrill.  

 

Any suggestions?  That tone just jumps out of the mix.  When he digs in it gets gritty, but sounds awesome.  When I play along with it using any of the tones I've tried to build, it's just buried.  No pop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I suspect one of the problems you're running into here on getting the right tone may be that you're not working with the same type of guitar.  Even though he's using humbuckers on his G175 that deep resonance in his tone is characteristic of typical hollow body.  There are certain tone characteristics I can only get using my Gretsch Silver Falcon, and that's why I have it in my guitar arsenal.

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That's Michael Ward, a really tasty guitarist. I saw him playing with Ben Harper on the tv recently and he really stood out as a great player. I can't help with getting the tone but I'll be interested in the results.

 

Craig

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I just tried the Matchstick Ch 2 with the Vermin distortion and my Les Paul bridge PU. I think you could make this work. 

 

Vermin

gain -- 2

Filter -- 8.2

level -- 8.5

 

 

Matchstick ch2

ch3 drive -- 2

tone-4

cut -7

presence-6.2

master-10

sag-8

 

cab -- 4x10 rhino

mic -- 57

dist -- 1"

low cut -- 100

hi cut -- off

everything else at zero.

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I suspect one of the problems you're running into here on getting the right tone may be that you're not working with the same type of guitar.  Even though he's using humbuckers on his G175 that deep resonance in his tone is characteristic of typical hollow body.  There are certain tone characteristics I can only get using my Gretsch Silver Falcon, and that's why I have it in my guitar arsenal.

Yea, I think you're right.  I've never owned a semi-hollow.  I wonder if I could get by with an Epiphone 335 or something similar?  Have to be under $500.  Maybe used.

 

 

Thanks everybody for the suggestions!  

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Yea, I think you're right.  I've never owned a semi-hollow.  I wonder if I could get by with an Epiphone 335 or something similar?  Have to be under $500.  Maybe used.

 

 

Thanks everybody for the suggestions!  

 

I think to get that particular tone you pretty much need a full hollow body like he's using.  The 335 has a bit of that feel, but it's still fundamentally a solid body given the center block.  I had one for many years and I could never really achieve that full, round sound of a hollow body.  What you might do is look into maybe a Gretsch 5420T.  Brand new they price out at $700, but I bet you could find a good deal on used one in your price range.  A lot of guys like me started with the 5420 and then went to the premium line.  It's a great guitar.  Not humbuckers but the blacktop Filter'Trons come pretty close to the same sound.  You never know, you might get hooked on hollow body guitars once you start using them.  They're extraordinarily useful for getting a unique sound for certain styles of songs, and there's really no substitute.  I think my band would kick me out if I ever got rid of mine.  They're really workhorse guitars.

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I went and played some hollow and semi-hollow bodies today.  I just could not get into them.  Must have played 15 guitars today.   Came home and spent quite a bit of time tweaking my tone, and I think I'm getting something acceptable.  Using Glen's Dumble OD patch, and coil tapping my PRS Mccarty bridge pickup.  

 

Every time I listen to this track I'm just amazed at how good this guitar player is.  What a tasty track.  The more I play it, the more I realize it's really mostly in his fingers.  The chord voicing he uses puts his track in a different space than then rythm player.  His timing and bends are just....cool.  I know it's a pop track, but that dude can flat out play.  

 

Its so subtle, that if you weren't analyzing it you probably don't realize how great the guitar work is.  

 

I'm learning more about how to use snapshots and how my pickups are going to react with the amps in Helix.  My Mobius tremelo sounds great on the opening, and I've got the fx loop assigned to the expression pedal, so I can mix the tremelo during the verse.  It's cool that I can add a bit of output volume for the snapshots where I coil tap.  

 

I'm getting there.  :)

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I give you props. You're a dedicated dude to have been willing to  buy a SHB guitar just for that section of the song. Sounds like you're on the right track, now, without having to spend the $$$$ on a new guitar. 

 

I am always up for an excuse to buy a new guitar, howeverlaugh2.gif

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Its so subtle, that if you weren't analyzing it you probably don't realize how great the guitar work is.  

 

Because of this post, I stayed up late last night analyzing a song that I've never particularly liked and probably heard a billion times.  By simply dismissing the track as a pop tune or accusing the singer of ridding daddy's coattails, I missed how brilliant the guitar work actually is. Few notes and very subtle, yet roars like a lion.

 

Anyway, let us know how it works out.  It'd be cool if you could capture your performance for us all to hear.

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