#1
So it's basically a list of little ways to improve your tone. If it grows enough, a mod should sticky it.

1. Use a different pick.
2. Clear up your technique.
3. Add a shaggy rug in your music room. Cushions and throws and shit can help here too. Anything fluffy basically.
4. Change your pickup height. If it's too low, it won't pick up much and if it's too high, there won't be much note clarity.
5. Try facing your amp towards the wall. I did it with my Roland Cube and it sounds great. In fact, just move your amp around and find the sweet spot.
6. Check your cables. Long and cheap ones will have a weak signal.
7. Strings. When they start sounding like rubber bands, change them! Also, thicker strings tend to last longer and have more sustain, whilen skinnies last less and have less sustain. The catch? Thicker strings are harder to play on.
8. Frets. Clean them regularly. It will also make your guitar more enjoyable to play.
9. Try changing the volume control on your guitar.
10. Try changing the tone control on your guitar.
11. wipe down your guitar strings after you play, on top and underneath - prevents grime buildup [gman something]
12. Use a product like Fast fret to lubricate your strings so you can play faster and cleaner [gman something]
13. Set all the EQs (gain, tone, mid, bass, etc...) on your amp at zero and go from there. [GB4000]
14. Rewire and replace your potentiometer and capacitors with better ones, especially when using entry-level instruments. [Lumban]
15. Turn the volume knob on your guitar down. This will kill a lot of hiss, pick, and finger noises. [jpnyc]
16. Don’t crank the gain. [jpnyc]
17. A little bit of reverb can make a guitar sound a lot bigger. But not when you play teh br00tz. [jpnyc]
18. Change your strings as soon as they start to sound or feel lifeless. [jpnyc]
19. Don’t try to make your lone guitar and amp to sound anything like the complex mixes on albums. [jpnyc]
20. If you're getting a second (or 14th) guitar, get something different than your first one. [Rebuildld]
21. Try lots of different guitars, beg borrow or - no, don't steal, but definately borrow. [Rebuildlt]
22. Try different strings, yeah you'll have favourites, but variety expands your mind. [Rebuildlt]
23. Try sharper picks [JKHC]
24. In terms of gear, a $20something Danelectro EQ pedal can make a huge difference [TJM2482]
25. Try different pickups that are already on your guitar. [technoguyx]
26. Midrange is your friend, especially if you're a lead player. Scooping mids out sounds like shit and makes your guitar dissapear in a mix. [T00DEEPBLUE]
27. Learn to tune by ear. Tuning is shockingly overlooked. Simply ensuring that you're in tune can improve your tone significantly. [T00DEEPBLUE]



Please add more.

Post them in the same format as above, and put your username in brackets at the end [on the same line] so I can give credit.
Woffelz

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Last edited by Woffelz at Nov 21, 2011,
#3
On an acoustic, try keeping your right forearm off the body. It dramatically changes the dynamics of the guitar.
#4
11. wipe down your guitar strings after you play, on top and underneath - prevents grime buildup
12. Use a product like Fast fret to lubricate your strings so you can play faster and cleaner
#5
Set all the EQs (gain, tone, mid, bass, etc...) on your amp at zero and go from there.
#6
This is aimed at electric guitarists. GB4000 and gman, your stuff has been edited in.

Remembed to put numbers and usernames in guys,
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#7
Quote by GB4000
Set all the EQs (gain, tone, mid, bass, etc...) on your amp at zero and go from there.


I'd actually say set them at 12 o clock and then go from there
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#8
i wouldn't say set the EQ to zero. Most people would agree it's more beneficial to to start at the EQ at noon and adjust as needed. Also, it's not really cheap, but money saving...don't buy loads of cheap gear and a lot of pedals to try to make your 10w MG sound better. with the money you put into you could come out with a nice amp just by having patience. I really wish someone had told me this in the beginning :/

EDIT: Got beat to the EQ bit :/
Last edited by shecter guy at Nov 20, 2011,
#10
Rewire and replace your potentiometer and capacitors with better ones, especially when using entry-level instruments.
#11
Turn the volume knob on your guitar down. This will kill a lot of hiss, pick, and finger noises.
Don’t crank the gain.
A little bit of reverb can make a guitar sound a lot bigger. But not when you play teh br00tz.
Don’t try to make your lone guitar and amp to sound anything like the complex mixes on albums.
Practice with no distortion or effects so you can hear your mistakes.
Change your strings as soon as they start to sound or feel lifeless.
#12
If you're getting a second (or 14th) guitar, get something different than your first one.
Try lots of different guitars, beg borrow or - no, don't steal, but definately borrow.
Try different strings, yeah you'll have favourites, but variety expands your mind.
That is all the same advice, said three different ways.
#13
Quote by jpnyc

Practice with no distortion or effects so you can hear your mistakes.


I don't agree with the no distortion,
Mistakes are more apparent with distortion. The only way it would cover up your mistakes if it also makes the note you were hitting inaudible.
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Last edited by Kyleisthename at Nov 20, 2011,
#14
In terms of gear, a $20something Danelectro EQ pedal can make a huge difference.
#15
Quote by Woffelz
shit can help here too. Anything fluffy basically.




Well, not helping much but I was always complaining about my horrible tone until I switched to a sharper pick. Just thought it would be helpful to tell beginners (aka most of the people who would take interest in a thread like this) that sharper picks drastically help you to cut through a mix.

Tortex .88s forever! I'm never going back to fender picks now...
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#16
Use different pickups, they're there for a reason. I used to always use the bridge only on my Strat, but now I use mostly middle+bridge for crunchy tones, and neck+middle and middle for cleans.
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#18
Guitar cables are directional.
One end in the amp will sound better than the other end in the amp.
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absolutely what will said

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#19
Quote by will42
Guitar cables are directional.
One end in the amp will sound better than the other end in the amp.


Ummm... I'm pretty sure guitar signals are in AC so they flow in both directions... so there shouldn't be any difference if you plug a cable in one way or the other...
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#20
Please don't scoop your mids in a band setting ever and complain you can't be heard so you need a louder amp -_-
#21
Quote by Krauser
Ummm... I'm pretty sure guitar signals are in AC so they flow in both directions... so there shouldn't be any difference if you plug a cable in one way or the other...


it's not due to electrical flow it's the way the cables are made.

http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/guitar-cords-1015-2011/

penultimate paragraph.
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absolutely what will said

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#22
two things.

the first for my idea is to make sure the screws are tight on a bolt on guitar every 6 months, or year. obviously don't crank on it until they strip. sometimes the screws back themselves out a very tiny little bit.

the other is again on a bolt on, making sure the neck pocket is tight. there shouldn't be any visible space there if so, shim it (be careful) go a little bit at a time.
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#23
14. Midrange is your friend, especially if you're a lead player. Scooping mids out sounds like shit and makes your guitar dissapear in a mix.
15. Learn to tune by ear. Tuning is shockingly overlooked. Simply ensuring that you're in tune can improve your tone significantly. [T00DEEPBLUE]
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Nov 21, 2011,
#24
Quote by Mehtabb
Please don't scoop your mids in a band setting ever and complain you can't be heard so you need a louder amp -_-

THIS, I'm a bassist on a metal cover band and even I'm bothered by the guitarists scooping their mids like hell, I barely hear them
Professional lurker since 2009.
#25
Quote by will42
Guitar cables are directional.
One end in the amp will sound better than the other end in the amp.


This is the biggest load of BS I've read in a long time.

I read that article you posted, and I think if you try the cable both ways, and really listen hard... I mean REALLY listen hard, you can hear the author of that article laughing at you.
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#26
Edited again. And thanks, T00DEEPBLUE, for actually adhering to format of the OP.
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#27
Quote by technoguyx
THIS, I'm a bassist on a metal cover band and even I'm bothered by the guitarists scooping their mids like hell, I barely hear them


Isn't it usually the other way around?
Quote by FEngHLyan

She will join the prom.

She insists to wear this lights.

I don't think so.

How can I persuade her?
#28
The only time scooping is OK is if you're tuned really low (around F or E) and then scooping a little bit can help make your guitar sound less muddy.
#29
Who the fuck tunes down a whole octave? That's insane. I hate scooping just a much as you guys, it's like shoving a blanket in the speaker cone.
#30
Practice.
Know what kind of sound, roughly, you are looking for (so you have something fairly specific to aim for when buying new equipment).
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#31
Quote by Woffelz
1. Use a different pick.
2. Clear up your technique.
4. Change your pickup height. If it's too low, it won't pick up much and if it's too high, there won't be much note clarity.
9. Try changing the volume control on your guitar.
10. Try changing the tone control on your guitar.
7. Strings. When they start sounding like rubber bands, change them! Also, thicker strings tend to last longer and have more sustain, whilen skinnies last less and have less sustain. The catch? Thicker strings are harder to play on.
17. A little bit of reverb can make a guitar sound a lot bigger. But not when you play teh br00tz. [jpnyc]
25. Try different pickups that are already on your guitar. [technoguyx]
26. Midrange is your friend, especially if you're a lead player. Scooping mids out sounds like shit and makes your guitar dissapear in a mix. [T00DEEPBLUE]
27. Learn to tune by ear. Tuning is shockingly overlooked. Simply ensuring that you're in tune can improve your tone significantly. [T00DEEPBLUE]

These are the important ones, I think. The others either say much of the same, or in my experience, don't make a significant amount of difference. (others I have no experience in, so I thought it best not to comment)

Quote by Woffelz

6. Check your cables. Long and cheap ones will have a weak signal.

I disagree with this one.


The only difference I tend to notice between cheapies and expensive ones is that if you accidentally step on a cheap one and it pulls tight in your amp or guitar jack, the cheapies will be more likely to bend (at the bit that isn't meant to bend) or break (the solder.)


I have one to add.

Long signal chains involving many pedals can affect your tone. One or several of them may be buzzing or humming, among other things. Try to pinpoint which pedal is making which nasty noise, and when you don't need to use it, and when you find a convenient time to do so, bypass it (if it's a true bypass) or remove it from the chain, (this can be hard if you're gigging.) [Butt Rayge]

TL;DR - Pedals can buzz. Remove them if you're not using them. [Butt Rayge]
Last edited by Butt Rayge at Nov 22, 2011,
#33
Quote by FearMyLightning
Who the fuck tunes down a whole octave? That's insane. I hate scooping just a much as you guys, it's like shoving a blanket in the speaker cone.


If you're using an 8 string the low E isn't very far away from the F# they usually have.
#35
Quote by will42
it's not due to electrical flow it's the way the cables are made.

http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/guitar-cords-1015-2011/

penultimate paragraph.


That negates it... it doesn't matter... cables aren't directional. The current that travels in them travels both ways equally... that's how AC current works. There's nothing about cables (instrument cables for guitars at least) that do anything different based on directionality... it's not how they work... maybe on some scientific level there's some truth to the way electrons flow, but that has nothing to do with the audible sound that is carried on them. It's a load of rubbish.
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Last edited by Krauser at Nov 22, 2011,