#1
Howdy folks, looking for some basic guidance for setting up my rig for a chunky bluesy tone ala a blues lead guitar at your local dive... (I'm a big Gary Moore fan FYI);

After listening to a local Houston house band last night that kicked ass, it finally sparked me up enough to get back into playing... but my problem always has been poor tone. I've been playing for about 20 years now off and on and never really got the equipment side of things although I've managed to figure out techniques and have played everything from classical to metal. It's the blues tone that really is mysterious to me. I've certainly got a long ways to go before I'm satisfied with my sound.

As far as my equipment setup, I've got a Rivera pubster 45, fender strat american, jackson slat 6 with floyd rose, gibson ES 335 and a Robben Ford squire. On pedals, Digitech RP50, crybaby wah, boss compressor cs-3, boss overdrive sd-1, boss metal zone mt-2, boss chorus ch-1 and boss delay dd-3.

So my real question is this: how should I put all these components together and setup my guitar/amp for a good starting point for good blues tone? It seems like if I follow most of the advice out there on the net with initial amp setup, etc. I wind up with a flat sound that just doesn't have the romantic quality of your typical blues lead guitar. The active pickup jackson and humbucking gibson seems to have the best tone, which is sad since the strat I feel should be the leader with the staggered single coil pickups.

Any other equipment I'm missing that I definitely should have? I typically string up with 9 gauge and play in standard tuning.

Thanks in advance.
#2
Any of those guitars should get you there. I would start with just guitar>wah> Pubster. Turn up the gain on the amp to get plenty of crunch and roll off the volume and tone on the guitar until I found that on-the-edge brown sound. Now you should be in Gary Moore territory. Wail away and adjust guitar controls to taste. The rest is dependent on your fingers.

Example: Gary Moore zone at about 1:30
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5v1_Gd_9lY
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Sep 13, 2014,
#3
You've got the gear for it. The Gibson ES-335 has a legacy in blues, so you're not alone in thinking it's suitable. You probably don't like the Strat because Moore primarily uses a Les Paul (he might occasionally use a Strat, I think).

The only thing I'd change is the overdrive. I don't like the SD-1 for blues (or really, at all. I guess I just don't like Boss pedals). But then again, that's just my opinion.
#4
Well Gary Moore blues is all Gibson and Marshall (yes, I know he flirted with Soldanos for a time but - go away )
The studio stuff is JTM45, live is DSL100. His overdrive was a Mk1 Marshall Guvnor.

I don't know that amp but it's an American sounding amp, no? If so, push up the mids as much as you can before it sounds boxy, stick the SD-1 in front of it for the solos and play the ES-335.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#5
Gary Moore understood the blues and sounded great on everything he played over the years.
Here is a Fender Strat moment in honor of Jimi:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvu7Y91xUKM
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#6
Thanks guys... yeah I agree lots of the sound is in your hands and it really doesn't matter what equipment you have, but I've been guilty of a guitar volume 10, amp low setting lifestyle due to living in apartments or near quarters as to not piss off the neighboors.

Any recommendations on a good overdrive pedal?

The reason I brought Moore up vs. other blues guitarists is the reason that Cajundaddy hit on--he sounds good with any guitar... Gibson and Fender alike...