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The easy way to get a classic rock guitar sound

Above is a song I published to YouTube, Red Can. Just something quick I put together. It has that classic rock guitar sound going on with it, and I'll explain how I did that.

There are basically three things that captures a classic rock guitar tone.

1. Less overdrive/distortion

Classic rock is not all about throwing as much overdrive as you can to a guitar sound, but rather turning that drive down - and I mean way down - so chords can be heard more clearly without it being a nasty, ratty-sounding mess.

2. Doubled-up guitars panned hard

Two guitars are heard in the song, one on hard left and the other on hard right. This creates a "bigger" sound because of stereo separation. Works well. Each guitar is playing a different variation of the same riff.

3. Simplicity

This is the part that is, ironically, the most difficult for players to understand.

While there is complex guitar playing in a few classic rock songs, the vast majority of them just have simple riffing in them.

What I play may sound complicated to some, but it's really not. The complication you hear, if any, is from the fact there are two guitars being heard and not just one.

Drive it less, double up, keep it simple

Do these 3 things and you end up with a pretty cool classic rock guitar tone. 🙂


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