Amps, Pedals & Tone


FREE

Amplifier (amp)

Amps, Pedals & Tone
An Amplifier (ǽmpləfɑ̀yər), sometimes referred to simply as an “amp,” is a device that increases the audio signal made by a guitar. A high quality amplifier is judged by its fidelity, which means the clarity of sound it maintains. Technically, the perfect amplifier will boost the sound wave output of the guitar while keeping it's original signal’s shape. The better the amp, the better it will increase guitars output while maintaining the correct signal shape. No amplifier will boost a signal with zero distortion, but there is a certain level of distortion the human ear can't hear, which is the “sweet spot” high-end amp manufacturers aim for.
...Read More

FREE

Chorus Effect

Amps, Pedals & Tone
The Chorus Effect (kɔ́rəs əfɛ́kt) is a sound effect applied in music to add richness, fullness and an ethereal quality to a sound. This effect is accomplished by layering sounds like guitars, pianos or voices of almost the same pitch and timbre over one another to create a single sound. The Chorus Effect got its name because its sound is comparable to a traditional chorus of voices, performing together in similar tone to achieve this “shimmering” sound. The Chorus Effect can be generated physically with a choir performing together or with guitarists playing the same piece, or it can be created programmatically with digital signal processing hardware, electronic sound effects units or with specialized effects software and a digital audio workstation. Regardless of the source or method used to achieve it, the Chorus Effect can add an otherworldly quality to any piece of music or live performance.
...Read More

FREE

Clean Tone

Amps, Pedals & Tone
Clean Tone (klín tón) is a term used to describe an amp setting with relatively low distortion. This type of sound is often exemplified by country, jazz players and R&B guitarists. For tube amps, Fender, Vox and Peavey are hailed among guitar players for their clean tones. Solid state amps from companies like Roland, Pritchard, and Peavey have less inherent distortion due to their design and also have their champions, but are sometimes accused of sounding sterile by tube amp diehards. The term clean tone can also be used when referring to fretting strings articulately. For example, when a guitar player picks or strums notes without muffing any of the played strings with his/her fretting hand, he/she is producing a "clean tone."
...Read More

FREE

Compression

Amps, Pedals & Tone
Compression (kəmprɛ́šən) is an electronic method of leveling sound dynamics to a narrower range. Compressors bring up the signal of quiet passages and reduce the volume of loud passages according to the ratio and threshold and level settings for a more even, consistent volume output. There are times when the dynamic range, or the difference between the quietest and loudest notes of a guitarist's playing, is too wide, making the music sound uneven. Rather than trying to increase and/or decrease the volume while playing, this difference adjusted is through compression.   Guitarists will often use compression to get notes to sustain without distortion, by prolonging the decay of notes that are getting quieter. Country guitarists are known to use compression to achieve a clean sustain where the notes seem to pop out with each pick stroke. In funk guitar, compressors are used to achieve an "in your face" presence on recordings.
...Read More

FREE

Crunch

Amps, Pedals & Tone
Crunch (krə́nč) is the musical term used to describe a highly distorted guitar played with a palm-mute picking articulation. The distortion creates a heavy, crunchy sound that embodies a lot of tension. Achieving the standard crunch sound is usually accomplished by running an electric guitar through a distortion pedal and into an amplifier with low- and high-end frequency equalization. The guitar is played with a pick, usually on the lower bass strings. The crunch guitar sound is most often associated with rock, metal and punk rock music.
...Read More

FREE

Delay

Amps, Pedals & Tone
Delay (dəlé) is an audio effect used by guitarists, which repeats a note electronically after the original is played. There are commonly three adjustable parameters that the guitarist can set for the desired delay effect: number of times the note is repeated, the volume of the repeated note, and the length of time between repeated notes (usually in milliseconds). A delay effect can either be produced by pedals or rack-mounted effects, and can be used in varied applications, such as the generation of "fill" notes or to mimic the "water tank" reverb sound found on many rockabilly recordings. 
...Read More

FREE

Dirt Tone

Amps, Pedals & Tone
Dirt Tone (də́rt tón) is a term that refers to the fuzzy, overdriven sounds that can be obtained from an electric guitar. To create a dirt tone, the gain control on the guitar amplifier must be turned up until there is a significant blend of distortion and clean tones. Next, the treble tone controls on the amplifier and the guitar (if it has one) must be turned down to about three quarters of the way. This will create a muddier, heavier sound and result in a dirt tone. Volume and gain can be adjusted until the player has the desired sound. This kind of guitar sound is used mainly in music with a rockier edge, such as alternative rock, heavy blues and metal.
...Read More

FREE

Distortion

Amps, Pedals & Tone
Distortion (dɪ̀stɔ́ršən) is commonly known as harmonic distortion, which is an effect created by clipping parts of the guitar signal, usually by an amplifier or an effect pedal. This clipping changes the shape of the waveform, thus changing the sound. Distortion (guitar) produces a sound with more sustain and more harmonic content; the sound is described as fuzzy or gritty. Distortion (guitar) can be applied to either an electric guitar or any other instrument that produces electrical signal, such as an acoustic guitar with a saddle pickup. Distorted guitar tones gained popularity with the rise of rock and roll in the 1950s, and saw greatest use in the 1970s by bands such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, who used distortion to produce dirtier and fuzzy guitar sounds.
...Read More

FREE

Ebow

Amps, Pedals & Tone
The Ebow (ee-baw) or electronic bow (also sometimes referred to as an "energy bow") is a hand-held device used to augment the sound of a guitar as it's played. With an ebow, the strings are played with an electromagnetic field. This is done in the place of picking the strings with fingers or a guitar pick. The electromagnetic field created by the ebow creates a continuous unique tone, which is unlike any other sound that could normally be created by playing a guitar. The sound and tone the ebow creates can be changed by altering the linear direction of the device on the string, which changes the string harmonics.
...Read More

Welcome to StrumSchool!


Sign up for free






Why StrumSchool.com?

Easy to Follow

Watch short & sweet videos (5-10 minutes) that will actually teach you something useful.

Tips from the Pros

Learn from masters level musicians with a minimum of 15 years full-time teaching experience.

On the Go

Get anytime access to guitar instruction your computer, tablet & mobile device!

Everything You Need

Master basic guitar fundamentals, chords, scales & your favorite styles of music or song.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

We do everything we can to make our members Happy! That includes our 30 day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee.

Learn What you Want

Be heard. We love questions & lesson requests. New articles & videos publish constantly.