#1
Yeah so I have a gig in a few days... And I'm covering Steve Vai's for the love of god... But at the minute my guitar is giving me next to no sustain (which is needed really particularly in the opening sequence)... And I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to improve it... I just changed the strings, and its since then that i noticed it. Is it just a case of breaking in new strings or will I need a sustainer pedal sharpish? Any tips please?
And by the way its a fender american strat that I'm using, cheers
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#2
well i know vai uses a sustainer in his guitar which give almost infinite sustain
i dont know turn your amp up and maybe a compressor would help with sustain
or you could install a sustainiac or fernandes sustainer in your guitar
#3
for the love of god has always been my favorite


raising the pickups can help slightly, you could always just pluck the strings harder. what kind of amp are you using? the notes arent held for THAT long that you shouldnt be able to sustain them long enough. also not holding them down hard enough could be killing your sustain try pushing a little harder.
#4
Move your pickups further away from the strings, especially the neck pickup. Raising your action, adding additional springs to the vibrato and setting that against the body of the guitar instead of floating (or better yet blocking & locking the bridge entirely), switching the nut for a high-density solid one, lowering the string retainer bars/trees, using slightly thicker/thinner strings (standard sets of .10, .11 and .12 tend to sustain a note the longest - thinner or thicker tend to not fare so well), getting higher density, solid bridge saddles and of course good ol' refining your technique (especially your vibrato) will all add to your sustain.

Bear in mind that using a compressor/sustainer pedal will mean the more subtle dynamics of your playing will get lost and notes will drop-off very sharply; they'll stay louder for longer but then suddenly die instead of fading off smoothly. Generally I wouldn't recommend it. Some people rely on upping the preamp volume (gain) on their amp to seemingly increase sustain, but again it's not something I would recommend, you lose as much as you gain.

It's worth pointing out too that Steve Vai, in many of his guitars, uses a Fernandes Sustainer, which manipulates a magnetic field at the neck position to privde nearly infinite sustain. It's not something you should ever expect to replicate with a regular guitar.
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#5
Quote by MrFlibble
Move your pickups further away from the strings, especially the neck pickup. Raising your action, adding additional springs to the vibrato and setting that against the body of the guitar instead of floating (or better yet blocking & locking the bridge entirely), switching the nut for a high-density solid one, lowering the string retainer bars/trees, using slightly thicker/thinner strings (standard sets of .10, .11 and .12 tend to sustain a note the longest - thinner or thicker tend to not fare so well), getting higher density, solid bridge saddles and of course good ol' refining your technique (especially your vibrato) will all add to your sustain.

Bear in mind that using a compressor/sustainer pedal will mean the more subtle dynamics of your playing will get lost and notes will drop-off very sharply; they'll stay louder for longer but then suddenly die instead of fading off smoothly. Generally I wouldn't recommend it. Some people rely on upping the preamp volume (gain) on their amp to seemingly increase sustain, but again it's not something I would recommend, you lose as much as you gain.

It's worth pointing out too that Steve Vai, in many of his guitars, uses a Fernandes Sustainer, which manipulates a magnetic field at the neck position to privde nearly infinite sustain. It's not something you should ever expect to replicate with a regular guitar.


+1
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#6
there was no fernandes sustainer used in the original recording of FTLOG, raise your action and lower your pups. you need to get your guitar set up properly.
#7
Maybe even a hint of reverb would help a touch. To the average person, it'll seem like the note is sustaining just a moment longer.

Also, playing at loud volumes tends to increase your sustain depending on where you stand.

EDIT:

Quote by Tyraziell
+1
This guy is a JEM


Fixed.
#8
Quote by ibanezgod1973
there was no fernandes sustainer used in the original recording of FTLOG, raise your action and lower your pups. you need to get your guitar set up properly.


+1 At the time Vai didn't have a sustainer, I'm sick of people saying that FTLOG is down to that. Here is a live vid of him playing it, WITH NO SUSTAINER http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDZuNM3HmU4

In addition to having good gear and having it well set up I'd say having good, solid vibrato is paramount is good sustain.

Good vibrato is your best friend when it comes to sounding good anyway but for sustain it's absolutely crucial.
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#9
Quote by MrFlibble
Move your pickups further away from the strings, especially the neck pickup. Raising your action, adding additional springs to the vibrato and setting that against the body of the guitar instead of floating (or better yet blocking & locking the bridge entirely), switching the nut for a high-density solid one, lowering the string retainer bars/trees, using slightly thicker/thinner strings (standard sets of .10, .11 and .12 tend to sustain a note the longest - thinner or thicker tend to not fare so well), getting higher density, solid bridge saddles and of course good ol' refining your technique (especially your vibrato) will all add to your sustain.

Bear in mind that using a compressor/sustainer pedal will mean the more subtle dynamics of your playing will get lost and notes will drop-off very sharply; they'll stay louder for longer but then suddenly die instead of fading off smoothly. Generally I wouldn't recommend it. Some people rely on upping the preamp volume (gain) on their amp to seemingly increase sustain, but again it's not something I would recommend, you lose as much as you gain.

It's worth pointing out too that Steve Vai, in many of his guitars, uses a Fernandes Sustainer, which manipulates a magnetic field at the neck position to privde nearly infinite sustain. It's not something you should ever expect to replicate with a regular guitar.


This is pretty much spot-on, albeit at the time of the recording, I don't believe the Sustainer had been invented at the time FTLOG was originally recorded.

If none of that works, if you get a soundcheck beforehand, you could always walk around with a roll of tape on your wrist, experimenting with controlled feedback to simulate infinite sustain, and marking where to stand onstage for it with tape. For example;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOsgv_X_cV8

1:25-2:28, over one minute with a single pitch being sustained, just Joe walking around and getting different notes from the feedback.
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#10
Wow thanks for all the feedback... Yeah I'm using .10's and I'm using my mates amp for the gig.. I'm not certain but I think its a carvin V3, which is a lot better than my pile of crap Line 6 Spider... I'll have to try a lot of these suggestions... Thanks again guys
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#11
Quote by DaMarsbarPerson
Wow thanks for all the feedback... Yeah I'm using .10's and I'm using my mates amp for the gig.. I'm not certain but I think its a carvin V3, which is a lot better than my pile of crap Line 6 Spider... I'll have to try a lot of these suggestions... Thanks again guys


Get your guitar set up and work on your vibrato, I'm absolutely certain you can do it with the gear you have, it'll just take some work.
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#12
Sustain is an interaction between guitar,amp and operator. Any one or all 3 in any combination can be the problem. I am sure you can figure. out the weak link in the chain
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#13
Yeah, i dont think Vai uses the sustainer on the song. If i remember correctly the Fernandez sustainer plays the harmonic of the note you play and not the same actual note.

But yea... try using lots of delay and vibrato that always helps. :P
#14
1. Vai did NOT use a sustainer
2. Quite a bit of gain was used for the song
3. TURN UP YOUR AMP. This is absolutely the key to getting that kind of sustain
4. Keep your action at a reasonable level
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