Skip to main content

Choosing a Guitar

Lesson 6 from: Studio Pass with Steve Evetts and Ben Weinman

Steve Evetts, Ben Weinman

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

6. Choosing a Guitar

Lesson Info

Choosing a Guitar

Choosing guitar uh consider yeah you're in tone what you have is what you'll get you know if you have a strategy if you have a strike and you want a les paul sound you're not going to get a les paul sound it's like if the quacks like a duck there use that this is not going to sound like this no matter how much you try right different tones without even in an so exactly you can hear it so you know but again it's I don't want to force like ben doesn't really play les paul saleh guitars and he's not comfortable on them so I don't want to force that I want to still make sure he's comfortable because honestly player comfort is is key it's very much key if he's going toe if the player is going to if it's his own instrument and he plays really well and he's comfortable on that he responds well to his guitar I mean it's hard to a lot of lot of guitar players you know it's like it's like a stevie ray vaughan type of guy like he had his one guitar that was like his that's it that's pretty much w...

hat he played you know what I mean like the srv like that was an extension of him you know and you most part the guitar is an extension of you so that is right that you get all around like just an extension right. So if the player can respond to the instrument it's so much easier to coax the tone out of it so you know that's something to consider again like, you know, go back to those incidents where it's like well, yeah, well, that's great kid. Yeah, you got taken time, it's good. Now use this when I get to play my guitar because I know I know because I know I can get a good sound out of this. Yeah, it's not right. Um, excuse me, what if you only have one or two options? We found that out well, plenty of times in the early days because again, I work with I worked with so many, like poor punk bands and they had a guitar like, well, do you have anything else because no that's it, you know, so I mean, if you only have one or two options, you know you have to make it work fortunately, on this day in age and this goes towards recording here too, with microphones and preempts but, you know, goes to guitars. You know, we really live in a great for a musician for a guitar player for an up and coming to talk later, we live in an amazing age because there's lots of really inexpensive guitars that actually still sound great whereas when we were growing up, you know the inexpensive because we like the courts and on they were terrible and they just they sounded like really weird and blocking and he's like well, you know they didn't balls really expensive right? It was like there was there was more of ah divide there wasn't really a lower middle class or middle classes on guitars there was there was the upper class and then there was less like all the guitar's like they were just no matter what you did to it, you could set it up great and it would still you know you never get set up properly if you set it up too low it would everything would fred out if you set it up too high you couldn't get any couldn't get intimidated, you know now there's so many chief guitars that and on the other side of it just having a lot of options doesn't mean you should you should use them like you play you speak it ours and we've had some times arrange with the espys in there and we found that the cheaper one sounded better for what we're doing we had the high end espn then exactly dea lower and l l t d, which is basically just made with a little bit cheaper components maybe a different metal or different plastic on some of the components inside and it just sounded better that guitar sounded better from what we were trying to achieve it was more had more attack it was more aggressive sounding exactly ended that we would just we just kept going back to and I always go back to the you know, like going on base but I think it's hard to like the mexican fenders that mexican the mexican, the defender jazz based p bases and stress there they have like their lower end line there were assembled in mexico and the mexican stratos sounded amazing squires squad yeah, I mean, like it doesn't you know, if it works for you, it doesn't really matter what your uses the prices you know expensive doesn't always mean great and cheap doesn't always mean bad, so and, you know, again like, go back to like, you can't, you know, round peg in a square hole, you can't you can tweak and you can sit there and tweet, but you have to be realistic about what you have you have to really make do with what you have, so and yeah and don't ever and this is something we talk about don't ever not make music because you don't have the best gear like whatever you have just get to work so that's really I think pick ups or matt and get to work tio thiss really great mastering guy allen, duchess you've used this phrase all the time and then it goes to everything it's close to here it can goes to guitars, pick a form and get to work because ultimately what are we doing? We're making music and that's the end result uh okay selecting the guitar once you have an idea of the tone um audition guitars until you get close you should be able to tell a lot of times you khun tell acoustically even just like you said you showed like you can hear without even plugging into an and given extra pick you can hear the difference what this thing is not in tune but I'm turning up the violent nothing plugged in but here the difference in that and now this is different from that now ben's business is, um a market difference because this is a solid body then actually a semi hollywood in f hole so there's a there's a resident chamber inside of tar but and also that the fretboard is different than this one which is also affecting the tone so you can you know if you're really depending on if you're going for a bright, aggressive sound, if you're going for a mellow a warmer sound, you should be able to tell acoustically at least there's a you know rough thing because they're all going sound similar but you can really if you're listening in I get what I was talking about focusing in on like, what is the top and sound like what's the bottom and just just resonating just sitting in your hand feeling you can you can get a little idea of any of what the the issue of the just the instrument itself is resonating at I have a guitar meant of particle board, and it feels like is a feather, but it sounds so distinctly different just from hitting it, not plugged in on and when you plug it in has those calls, you see, you know exactly, yes, so it wouldn't it doesn't hurt to have a things a list of things to look for as you audition, so it's, like I said, if you're looking for ah brighter, more aggressive tone then listened for the guitar and listen to and try and select something if you have a bunch of options, obviously, if you only have to then it's like I'm going for brightest and which ones writer it's very simple a b right not right, okay picked out let's start with that one that you're that you're jumping off point um mashing the idea and also what the song calls for goes to the same thing uh, is that a rhythm part is elite part, you know, isn't it? Is it ah and augmented like is it just a is it a secondary guitar part that's augmenting you know is it like a little chinese thing isn't a clean partisan distorted part um so it's we change and people have different philosophies you know I've always felt and I think we both feel the same that when you're making a record is not supposed to be like live you know life is a different animal so like we'll change guitars earth get amps or whatever or even picks for like apart you know because you know we're trying to create dynamics and mood and energies and vibe so um yeah we'll pick a different guitar different tone for specific parts that could be like just like and literally is and again goldar and again going to the theory of committing and like I said I basically pick it on take the analog approach even though I'm going digital like there's plenty of times where we'll just punch in if on the rhythm track will just punch him with a completely different sound I'm not going to new track like this is the rhythm the rhythm is changing in these parts and I'm gonna punch in with a different tone so yeah well literally switch will stop guitars mid midway through through a track just because steve one of the comments from the internet help don't let me interrupt yeah from j rs is asking how many anti you personally own and I guess do you supply the amazon a kind of you kind of went over it but do you supply them for the artists or how often do you kind of balance like artist here for you? I only know about ten amps ten guitar amps I don't have I don't have a massive selection like I know a few of my producer friends probably have a bigger selection than I do but I have about ten between, you know, heads and little combo amps and other things um and I do supply them they're there they're there to utilize anybody wants to use them is more than welcome to use it but again I always encourage back to what I was saying I always encourage the players live set up unless he comes in like because I hate my and which is what happened more than not they come and they go I hate my guitar sound over sector help me help me oh yeah yep the span pronged that I recorded they've been around for a while and uh perfect example like tommy comes in and, you know, he's trying to get his guitar sound and he's using all of my amps he's like, you know he's just totally until like using what I have and we're dialing the tone medallion still can't get the sound he wants he's just like I can't I'm not not feeling like I'm like ok, well what did you use on uh you know I beg to differ like one of the classic records on cleansing would you use it does have a marshal valve state eighty one hundred I was like really he goes yeah I said get it and you know it was like it was a simple is that we grabbed it as soon as he turns it on like there there it is so like that record sounds like problem there's guitar sound so default to exactly what the artist comes in with me I mean, like I said, I tell them I encourage it its like let's bring in your live rig for bringing your life set up because that's your sound like that's what you play out with your wire why are we going to use what I have just because it's better quote unquote you know? Cool. Yeah, thank you. Continue. Thank you. Um okay, uh next in selecting the guitar some things to think about besides the wood and what it sounds like acoustically is you know what pickups aaron the guitar that's a that's a big thing, you know? And somebody says, well, how did you get this guitar sounds like, well, and how do I get that it's like, what pickups do you have, you know, you know, like going for the metallica thing james had field you know and using the md eighty one's active pickups and you know, in the gibson like that's a big thing and you know you're not going to get the same characteristic with a passive pick up at that time you know? So what pickups in the car what pickups on the guitar are the pickups hum, bucking or singing coil you know that's another thing big difference like a difference between an a les paul different scene a p ninety and the and the ca after the fifty seven's you know, big difference andi again mg active versus passive active active pick ups or active electronics versus just all passive or a combination of both what do you feel is the main difference between pickups? I mean, obviously some people know but maybe some people out there who don't know tio start shopping for what are some of the characteristics of different, you know, active or some hamburgers were single yeah, well, I mean, it starts to the passive thing goes you know, some to me I've had a lot of success getting using without with like heavy set ups it's actually believe it or not the opposite of what you think it's pickups that have a lower output as opposed to like a high super high output with a lot of wine dings on the pig a coil um to me the high output pickups usually sound well too saturated and they don't have they're not aggressive enough so the low gain low output pickups actually then coupled with like a high gain and but not necessarily with a lot of gain on it but that gives you a more they tend to give you a more aggressive sound single coils there they can be very aggressive and they could be great like peanuts and the gibson are just amazing the only issue you can have with those is hung which is why the you know, some bunkers are called that for a reason because they get rid of him but you know that that sometimes can be a little problematic in the studio but there's ways around it and you know, it really depends on the type like for medal a lot of pot. You know, most of the time people are using some sort of hum bucking pickup and as far as like the really extreme kind of like heavier medal a lot of times it's ah it is active pickups and then those have a battery. They have a battery on next howard their power, their powered and uh they tend to toe I mean it's it's a very smooth, even response but in the lends itself to you like that lends itself to a lot of attack as well and you know, it's I've it's funny because we've shied away we've more moved away from them a little bit recent we'll know the ps one the original one the one that we had on the record that did not have we actually every we did almost everything on a lot of them but then we want going back with some active picnics and also live in the studio does like I used a t n g eighty one to eighty five now I have switched back and forth have in the neck and eighty five than anyone and then and I find especially live they're consistent those active pickups, so if you are kind of like trying different guitars and things like that, I've found throughout the years that one I've changed guitars or wanted anything new guitars or played in the life form different clubs, different frequency things thie active pickets have been very reliable but and also, you know, and even sometimes guitar players with a cheaper guitar they can achieve that kind of sound because the one thing that the active pickup does it, it doesn't it's not influenced by the guitar itself by the actual wood and the the acoustics of the guitar uh oh, that could be good or bad that could be good or bad, but yeah, it's ah it is a way that you could like cheaply quickly get a certain thing if you had a cheaper guitar you could throw like mgs in there and then it doesn't factor some of the other acoustic features it doesn't factor in them as much you can always just used to joke that you could like take a baseball bat and string it up pretty energies on it and you're still going to get like a halfway decent guitars but but options I think having all the off having the actions his grace is great okay so then and then just really quick when we're selecting we could just show the various things we've got when we have twenty three five six uh fender strat those who don't know this is one of these pretty much this and les paul were like pretty much the original electric guitars that really made them brought him into the mainstream back in the fifties originally and this use a single kilo pickups three three pickup configuration and then selectors and selecting in between you've got the main uh you know front pick up dot pick up middle pickup but then combo of the two in between and there the's air kind of to give you kind of a phase e thing because they ah the's pickups that believer out of phase with each other and then that that gives you different tonal variations so you've got that going through go back to the nonetheless paul's and the other rocks standard and these use him backing pickups passive passive yeah, the stat the standard one is their their passive pickups um and this has the cinematic bridge which is completely different than the standard fender bridge which feels and sounds different yeah it's very and it's it's a very heavy guitar and you know it's a it's you know it's a great guitar for rock um and you go in between and this is more of the modern take on the I guess it's almost like a combination of the two but this is a paul reed smith also with him backing pickups and on a coil tatp which converts the one pick up tio single oil and now we've got ben's guitar this is ben zone you can take it away this is yours my sig model gets that tries to sell it but um I just this is just the guitar created based on many, many years of touring and being the studio. So the guitars I played some of them had features like some of them had features that didn't work out for me. So I've kind of create a guitar that I felt being a eclectic musician that you can use in any scenario with any kind of style of music so I think this says a combination it's a neck through has a some a hollow body component to it um and the guitars that um I use now on that are for sale this is a prototype but it has something called an ever toobin bridge which I have another guitar here which is a great tool for the studio do you wantto talk about it? Um yeah we're not going to pitch e on it it's ah it's relatively new technology it's all based it's a completely mechanical based system but ah, it basically keeps the tuning and intonation completely constant no matter pretty much what you throw it yeah so it has its pretty each string is actually spring loaded right? And what it does is it remembers the tension of the string so that's really what tuning is it's a tuning is just turning in tuning strain to a certain no is just it's zero each drink is that a certain tension so remembers that tension so as it changes that adjust the spring it but if you if you don't know if you can focus and zoom in on it but as you bend you can see I'm betting the string and this the saddle is actually pulling forward and compensating for the tension I'm doing so I pin literally if you can hear that but the tuning is not changing as unbending the strength right? So what is so like? He said it's compensating as a changes so what's great about this is for a guy like me who plays very aggressively in live obviously, of all kinds of conditions, you have weather, you have throwing guitar around, they can you know where in terre tuning pegs sometimes and bump and not, you know, so there's all kinds of things that can put a guitar tune, but obviously, but in the studio, it saves a tremendous amount of time because tuning is so important, and I'm sure steve will get into that so much, but it could save this time, attorney, but you want to really quickly we'll go through it further, but you want to go through to the show the last one as well. What we have is good. Yeah, really quick, just tell us this is a custom guitar by a company called lows are, and they made this for me, but this has just accustomed to pick up that he made himself, which sounds completely different. Um, so we have options and you can you can do all kinds of combinations of the pickups and tones so similar to the, uh, les paul or the fender, you have a lot of options of combinations, so I'm backing, right? Yeah, they're they're home bunkers, so, um, it's great to have all the options, every combination has a different sound, and so there you go well, seems like much of the art is actually in selecting. Your resource is here on day wonder. I mean, just in general, is kind of like a checklist that you actually runners, the mental processes mental. Like I said, it's, the all these things we never think about, and this is what we're doing today is deconstructing our thought process. Like I said, I never even thought about it until I started prepping for this class.

Class Materials

bonus material with enrollment

Steve Evetts - Studio Pass

Ratings and Reviews

Ashton Thebault

Some really great stuff in here that helped me better understand how to coax out the nuances in mic placement, amp and cabinet selection and performance. Tips and tricks are sprinkled throughout the course that deal with guitar technique, recording, performance, etc. and are nice to make note of. Towards the end it gets a bit focused on Pro Tools functions, which is not useful to me as a non-Pro Tools user, but you can take some concepts and apply them in other circumstances.

Joshua Rathbun

Good basic knowledge, which delves into more detailed stuff later on in the course.

Haunt Luma

Student Work