Tech Tip:Getting Cool Guitar Sounds From Keyboards

If you’re a keyboard player who’d like to add some guitar sound to the mix, we have a couple of tricks to get you on the fast track. Most keyboards can deliver some standard, sterile guitar sounds, but it’s tough to get hip, realistic guitar sounds out of a keyboard. There are two quick fixes for this problem, and both will put some phat, living guitar tones at your fingertips.


First, score an outboard ribbon controller. A ribbon controller acts much more like real guitar strings than a knob. You can use the ribbon controller to perform hammer4-ons, pull-offs, and bend strings with the greatest of ease. You’ll be amazed what a difference this makes.


Next, find an old distortion stomp box and run your sound through the distortion box to get some really gnarly, living guitar sounds. I recommend digging through a guitarists box of junk, asking him which distortion pedal he can’t stand, and going for it. The older, nastier, pawn-shop boxes seem to be best for getting killer guitar tone from your keyboard.