Tech Tip: Playing the Guitar Q&A


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May 26, 2005, Rock House Tech Tips

 

How Do I Use the Bass and Treble on My Amp?

Steve Lockery; Germany

 

Q: How can I set the bass and treble on my amp to get a good sound?

 

A: There are many variables to consider when setting the bass and treble on your amp. Some of the things to think about are:

  • The room that you are playing in - What the room is made of can change the acoustics and make a huge difference in how much bass or treble you need to use. If the room has a lot of glass and tile it will create a high-end sound so you would need to turn the treble down and turn up the bass. But if you were playing in a room that had lots of wood, rug, or sheet rock walls the sound would be warmer and would require more treble and less bass.
  • Size and attendance of a room - The size of the room and how many people are in it will alter the sound and acoustics. If you have a big room with a small crowd it will create a natural reverb or echo-type effect. This will require lowering the treble. But, if you have a full crowd the people will absorb the sound and suck out the treble so you would need to raise the treble to get a good sound.

I suggest in any situation to put the bass and treble halfway up and raise or lower to tweak the sound until you are happy.

Hope this helps!

 

Yours in Music
John McCarthy
Rock House

 

Exercises to Build Pick Speed

Drew Yale; Burlington, VT

 

Q: I'm wondering if you have any exercises I can do to improve my picking speed. I am working on techniques like sweep and tremolo picking but I am looking for a way to make normal picking much faster. Thanks for any help you can give me.

 

A: Two things I recommend are:

  • Practice a triplet lead pattern down your favorite scales. Going down three notes from each scale degree is a great- sounding pattern and because it is an uneven number it really gives your pick a workout and helps to develop speed.
  • Find a single-string classical piece to practice. Most are very challenging and it is much more interesting than only scales. Two of my favorites are Mozart's Sonata #11 and Sonata #16.

    Hope this helps!

     

    Yours in Music
    John McCarthy
    Rock House


What is the B B Box?

Jeffery Watson; Charleston, SC

 

Q: What is the B B Box?

 

A: The B B Box is a group of five notes connected to the first and second position minor pentatonic scales that was made famous by guess who... B B King. It is sort of a "Hot Spot" in the scales that can be used to play entire leads. It's used by many great blues players.

The mindset of blues lead guitar is the quality of notes not quantity, playing a few notes and making them sound like a thousand, making each note count.

Below is the chart showing the B B Box

 

B B Box Chart


Hope this helps!

 

Yours in Music
John McCarthy
Rock House