How To Add Warmth To Guitar Tone

If you the sound you're getting out of your guitar is too jangly or bright, you're probably wondering how to add warmth to guitar tone. There are a few different ways to do this, and depending on what kind of guitar you play, you will want to experiment with several.

  1. Use your neck pickup. You may be surprised just how much warmth you can add to a guitar's tone by using the neck pickup instead of the bridge pickup. Lots of rockers have their pickup-selector set all the way to the right, 100 percent of the time. Unfortunately, this just isn't conducive to getting a lot of warmth. Move that pickup to the left for a more round, full, warm guitar tone. Note that if you're playing a Gibson, this pickup position will read "Rhythm.
  2. Adjust the "mid" and "low" settings on your amplifier. Another great idea for those looking to add warmth to guitar tone is to turn up some of the knobs on the amp—in particular, the "mid" (mid-range) and "low" knobs. This will add more depth to the guitar's sound and cut down on the cold, icy bite of excessive treble. Be careful not to turn the "low" up too much, however, because a booming bass may overpower what you're trying to achieve tone-wise, which is greater warmth.
  3. Turn up the reverb. Turning up the reverb will also give you a warmth-boost. Musicians wondering how to add warmth to guitar tone often overlook this simple adjustment. Greater reverb means your sound permeates throughout the room even for a few moments after you quit playing, and this effect provides an overall warmer tone. Be sure not to turn the reverb up too much, or you won't sound like a guitar player at all—just a noisy echo.
  4. Get a tube amp. If you've got some money and you're still not satisfied with how much warmth you're getting in your guitar tone, you should consider getting a tube amp. These amplifiers are universally-acknowledged as having cleaner, warmer sounds than solid-state amps. These can be quite pricey, however, so make it a point to shop for used amps first.
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