Prep: Picks and Playing Position


Recording Rock Guitars


Lesson Info

Prep: Picks and Playing Position

Try this is a this is a segment where those small things that we were talking about make a big difference and this is a very cheap um things to know about and to correct if you're doing it wrong I'm using these three different styles of pics and tell you when when you would use it and when you should not use it etcetera so we must start with I don't know what camera we're on but this is ah popular style of pick it's very thick and it's pointy okay, so a very popular style of picket bands that use these all the time um when you're doing something like leads this is this is really good because it doesn't it's not going to do a lot of squeaking because it's pointy so if you're doing like speed, speed picking or something like that when you would not want to use this in my opinion this is all just things that I've noticed is if you're going to try to do really aggressive sounding rhythm or chugs or anything the problem is whenever you're using a pick like this uh again, this is my just my ...

opinion this tiny little point is the only thing that's hitting the strings so you're not getting a lot of like pick attack and straight like aggression whenever anything that I hear that I really like when it's a super heavy guitar tone you khun really here every single hit every chug if it's really fast andi this is not really going to deliver that but if you're doing leads and really fat fast speed picking is something that this is great now this is another pick when I was younger a lot of people had these I don't know why but there very very flexible very thin and as you know that's me playing the same way with that pick this one is absolutely soft it's not aggressive you cannot really do much with it maybe I can barely dio pick scrape with it but this is like playing with a piece of paper and I would not recommend play with this so if you have super thin picks this is specifically thirty eight point three eight millimeter thickness of a pic if you come into my studio with this I'm going to throw it away so just put it in your pocket this is my favorite type of pick um or anything like this this specifically is a dunlop old tex um point six millimeters um it's not super thick so you can play really hard you play really hard with it um it's going to have that kind of little pick scraping sound on the strings if you can hear that I don't know what that sounds like exactly but that but that's the technique I'm talking about so um one of your playing aggressive music well, any kind of music this is this is my favorite type of pick it's also great too if you are doing effects like guitar scrapes every single notch on this the the wound part of this string is getting hit so it's very clear for doing pick slides is something that this one for instance is a little more rounded on the end so there's like no clarity coming through and then this is just going to break in half when you try to do that was cut right through it um so it's really important to have the right pick you can have a pic like this and have it be too thick because as soon as you start playing aggressively and fast um your stuff is going really sharp and you're also not getting a lot of that picks great pick attack sound it's interesting because for the longest time I thought I was the only guy who used a bunch of different picks I don't just stick toe one pick, especially when I'm recording you know kind of there's certain picks it'll work better for certain parts, you know, and certainly revealed the play a certain part unless you're using the right pick if you're having a hard time playing something really fast, try switching the pick out yeah, that that's a big thing to and it makes a difference in the way that it sounds the way that it feels, you know, so if you're performing better with with one pick opposed to another, you know, it's it's kind of cool to be able to change it up and get different results a lot of times you can make big improvements on, you know, the overall sound and performance of the part by switching the pick exactly it's such a big deal, it's such a small thing like it's like this is really what we're going over in this class is these tiny things that you don't think about because you go straight to your amp, you start dialing the tones and you just grab your guitar because that's what's sitting around and you you want to sound heavy and you want to sound tight and you're trying your best it's not working and that's why? Because it's, all of these tiny little things that were going to be talking about today that you never even thought about made a difference at all. I mean, who would think that switching a pic would make you a better guitarist in certain circumstances? It will if you're trying to play really fast solo, try doing with this tribe, you probably fail unless you're holding it like, really, we're used to playing with it, but then you pick up a thicker one play the same thing and it's going to be clear it will be easier to play it makes a huge difference yeah it's it's a really cheap and easy thing too you know I have like a little tackle box that I keep you know in my desk drawer that scott like one hundred different kicks in and you know and you just you play through him and you're like now this one doesn't feel right doesn't sound right you know and you just you go through until you find the one that works best you know? So the one that I really like is this one just going to say it again point six millimeters by dunlop all text this one it lasts a long time to sometimes picks well, it'll be hard to hold them and they'll slide they'll change positions as you're playing with them so uh think about the grip and some pics just fall apart quickly so uh that was a very durable brand specifically and I really love that one so another thing what we're talking about that uh is you're playing position um that will change the way that everything sounds just like everything else so if you if your guitarist and you play like this and you're you have some kind of weird a position that you like you're choking the string out too much you're playing over this pickup which is making it sound really boxy but if you just um position yourself so you're closer to this pick up this is the uh the the bridge pickup is my favorite one whatever it comes to aggressive so if you're over this one more it's a lot easier to make it sound clean, aggressive, tight and you can also experiment with the different riffs and where where your pa muting it for instance, here's a really open one whereas the sustained will be long but then your chugs aren't very tight so that might not cut through so you might want to move it up I think there's another technique where it's kind of a hybrid as you're playing, you're adjusting the palm the palm mute so let's try that so you're palm use your scribbles I like to call him will be tight, but then the sustained will still be there and that's by rolling your fist back a little bit. So if you can really get that down, you could make it really the perfect sound. So, uh, you see, just by these small little adjustments your pick your hand placement, your palm placement you can get completely different sounds. Keith, I'm sure you have some thoughts on this since you are by far the best guitarist in this room, I don't know that, but um yeah, I mean, how you play the guitar is that ultimately, what translates to what you hear? You know, if you're recording guitars and you know it's it's really up to the player to get the sound you know if if you're going for something specific, you know, sometimes it comes down to moving your hand one where are another by a half inch you know, especially when it comes to aggressive and palm muted types of riffs and things like that I mean the way that you play it is everything you know um lutely it's kind of hard to force someone like especially when you're in the studio you don't have a lot of time to learn like when I'm recording other people they don't have a lot of time to learn sometimes I have to grab the guitar to play the part right it's not that they wouldn't be able to do it it's just that they don't know how to play for two sound correct when you're recording so something that that I really like to do something that I think can help people out if you do have an amp or something like that. This is fun and it's a great way to learn howto play correctly but just crank your amp, turn on a great tone and just start trying different things you're going to feel the difference while you're playing what's whatever is coming out of your amp yeah, I mean unless you're completely oblivious you kind of know if you're making it sound good or bad as soon as you put it. It's almost automatic hewlett you'll adjust your hand, like as long as you understand those techniques that I just went over, which is further up or down, and the different picks that you have, it will be become automatic, and that translates into a studio that translates live but that's the fun times if you just listen back to what you just did and you're you know, you're like that doesn't sound good, you know, if you you got to think about why it doesn't sound good and is it something that you can improve, you know, is it something in the way that you can play it differently, you know? And sometimes the hard part is knowing what you have to do tow to make that difference, you know, if it sounds really choked out in boxy, you know, then you know, you need to slide your hand back the little knowing your options. Yeah, sometimes you know, it's it's, hard to know what you need to do and that's why you just have to try a bunch of different things, you know, like, for me. Sometimes I wanted to sound really choked out in boxing, so I'll choke up further on the strings, you know, if you wanted to sound a little bit more open when you're doing pom mutes or something like that, you know, you slide your hand back a little bit more, so it's that they're really comes down to a technique thing exactly very good stuff, but all these things very small, but they are going to make the world difference when you combine them all in your final tone remember when I was kind of first learning how to, you know, playing guitar for a long time, but I didn't record it until a couple of years ago, which of course is two very different things. And you remember when I was first learning this stuff, I was trying to get this one part those palm meter to sound right? And just no matter how a cuter, I just couldn't do it, I couldn't get it to sound right remember al told me he was talking to me about hand placement stuff, and I was like, you know what? Maybe I'll try playing it differently. I choked up a little bit more, got rid of all that bottom in that I was trying to get rid of with the q instantly it sounded right, so you know point is that people think you know that the answer to solving your tone problems is always in the computer or, you know, an amp setting or something like that but more from the knot it's something you know you do with the guitar before it even gets to the computer it always starts with the player I mean, ultimately you know what you what you're performing is what is what's going to end up on the record and if you're not playing it, you know the way that it should be played it's never going to sound good again here's the tone pie please eat one slice of it but you won't be able to stop you have to eat the whole pie pig out on tone pie yeah, just what what that means down there bridge versace neck is you're here hand placement that's what that means, like when you play closer to the to the neck and then closer to the bridge so if at home you can hear those differences and some people will like one over the other and it sometimes you just need to know one to use him, etcetera. Yeah, just know what you can do and know that move your hand same thing with the base that's huge bass guitar hand placement is probably even bigger than get our own place maybe because they're probably okay intonation yeah we're not going to a whole great deal about that but that's very important you can get that done down I'm gonna skip down to the bottom uh really quick it says that you khun you can have it done at guitar center or whatever but you confined videos on youtube about how to intimate this is very important especially when you're tuning very low I know some people tuned to g and they'll be on a standard size neck which you yeah I want it today properly but the closest you can get it if you're going to be tuned that well you you need to have ah longer neck so um let's go back out why is this important intonation is so every note is accurate say you tune it to open everywhere you play on the neck even if its way up here in theory will be perfectly in tune but that's where the problem in this studio comes from and that's that's an inner struggle that I think a lot of guitarists and engineers have you like I intimated this perfectly I spent so much time on this and I'm playing upon the neck and it was perfectly into down there it's not in tune up here why there's a lot of factors you could be bending the strings so you could be playing too hard whatever and that's why if you refer back to the tuning techniques that I showed you you'll be able to punch in certain parts that are way up the neck and haven't sound perfect for the recording and that's what I mean it's different live than recording because obviously you can't stop the song live and soon so you play the next rift so just to be clear you'll re tune on a rift by riff basis if that's what you need you sometimes we'll put yes, sometimes I'll play chord by corn just sometimes really weird stuff happens in the studio and it doesn't make any sense sometimes guitars or strange so that has happened I I strive for perfection when it comes to uh tuning and it's difficult because it's a very organic instrument and humans are organic have you ever looked into the ever tuned system for the ever thine bridge system? Uh no is that like a real time adjustment? No, but it basically it's a spring system type of bridge where you know pretty much is harder is lightest you want to pick it it keeps pretty pretty well intimated, you know even all the way up the neck because a lot of time when you pick really hard, you know it'll go sharp, but with that system it's got kind of like a cantilever spring thing and it compensates for it and I have ah couple studio guitars that have that bridge system on it and it really helps a lot really that you should check that awesome I never even knew that existed. Please what is the name of that again? That's ever tune bridge systems that's very cool yeah so be checking that out that makes it makes sense because you hit you hit the streets hard it gives a little is what I'm assuming and so it's not going so sharp if you've ever brought a guitar into sometimes I'll tune a guitar melody I nurse only that as soon as you hit it you can see the pitch spikes up and then goes back down with every single hit that actually yes p in lt idea it might be an l t d I'm not sure but they make a factory ever tune guitar that sums up the bridge system artie on it that is a great it's really crazy system you can actually grab the strings and pull on him and strum it and it'll still be into wow that's pretty crazy that's awesome. All right, well, we got a lot of time wasted in the studio is me setting up the guitarist guitars that they want to use so badly but I also have guitars in the studio that are already set up um so trying to do that if you really want your guitar put all the effort into it you can teo make sure that we can use it and not waste time in the studio

Class Description

A great guitar sound is the centerpiece of modern rock, metal, pop-punk, and metalcore. Join producer Andrew Wade (A Day to Remember, The Ghost Inside, The Word Alive, etc) for an intensive look into the rock guitar techniques every producer and engineer needs to know. In this two-day course, Andrew will teach you everything you need to know about creating huge, thick guitar tones. You’ll learn how to prep and setup, and develop best practices for tracking guitars. He'll cover both real amp and amp sims, mixing in your DAW, and more. Whether you’re recording tracks at home or in a professional studio, this course will give you concrete, easy-to-apply techniques for taking your guitar sounds to the next level.


Chris Dimich

This class was extremely helpful! I learned soooo much. Andrew is a pro and it is absolutely worth the money. Specifically the tuning section of the class. Did not think to put this much effort into tuning, but it makes perfect sense! You can have the tightest band, with the best musicians, the most expensive gear, with amazing tones, but if they are even slightly out of tune its literally a bottleneck for the whole sound of the song. Thanks Andrew!