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Big Empty: Gear & Tone


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Big Empty

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"Big Empty" features three different guitars being played. Not everything is playing at the same time, but in order to cover all the parts we will be using an acoustic guitar for the slide parts, and two electrics to cover all the different tones that you hear.

Guitar #1 is our main electric guitar that will play all throughout the track. I am using a Gibson ES335 hollow body, with 11 gauge strings to help nail all the different tones. This will include our clean tone during the intro, interlude, and verses; along with the big open chords during the chorus sections. We will also use this guitar during our bridge to play some cool counterpoint melodies with the bass, and you will kick on a rotary effect during the verses as well.

The tone and effect settings for Guitar #1 are:

- Middle Position
- Small, 1x12 Tube Amp Emulation
- Compression with Gain @ 30% (slight compression)
- Spring Reverb, Mix @50%, Decay @ 50%
- Rotary/Leslie Simulator, Rotary @ 25% (Slight Modulation) - END OF VERSES ONLY!

- Neck Position
- JCM 800 through 4x12 Cab Emulation
- Gain @ 60%
- Room Reverb, Mix @ 30%, Decay @ 60%

Guitar #2 is our second electric. I am using a PRS McCarty with dual humbuckers and 11 gauge strings. This guitar can easily get all the proper tones for the different techniques and colors you will play in this song. You will use this guitar to double the big heavy tones in the chorus sections, and you will pick up the slide and play the haunting slide melody that is played during the bridge with this guitar as well.

The tone and effect settings for Guitar #2 are:

- Bridge Position
- JCM 800 through 4x12 Cab Emulation
- Gain @ 60%
- Room Reverb, Mix @ 30%, Decay @ 60%

BRIDGE (Slide)
- Bridge Position
- Vintage 2x12 Amp Emulation, DC Overdrive (Gain @ 60%)
- EQ Boost for Top End
- Spring Reverb, Mix @ 50%, Decay @ 70%
- Tape Echo @ 550ms, Mix @ 20%, Feedback @ 20%

Lastly, Guitar #3 will be our acoustic guitar using a slide. You can use whatever slide you are most comfortable with, and for this tutorial I will be using a metal slide on my pinky finger. My acoustic guitar is also slightly altered in the tuning, with my high E string being tuned down to D. This helps create an open G tuning on our top strings to help nail some of the licks. We will be using this guitar in different points during the song, mainly during the intro and interlude playing some really cool blues melodies. You will also hear this guitar coming in and out during the verses with our slide as well. I am using my Taylor 614 with medium strings, and a smaller medium pick.

Where as we are using a variety of guitars and tones for this song, at the core of each part is the main guitar parts played by Guitar #1. After we have worked through all the different parts, and heard it all played together; I will then show you a quick and easy way to play "Big Empty" with just one guitar.