“ALL MUSIC IS MADE UP OF MELODY, SO YOUR WORK WILL EITHER HAVE an interesting melody, or it won’t,” cautions Adrian Galysh. “Music is a language,
and your goal should be to expand your vocabulary as much as you can.”
The Los Angeles-based Galysh has to call upon his melodic powers time and
time again as a session player, a sideman to Uli Jon Roth, and as a solo artist
who has just self-released, Tone Poet. Given his job description, Galysh is surprisingly
stingy with his main rig, which includes an iGuitar Workshop/Brian Moore
Adrian Galysh C90F Signature (strung with SIT Power Steel Stainless strings),
a Marshall JMP1 tube preamp, an old Alesis Quadraverb, and a Peavey Classic
50/50 tube power amp running into a Marshall Vintage 1960 4x12 cab. Hanging
on the floor are a Morley Bad Horsie Wah, a Seymour Duncan Dirty Deed Distortion,
and an MXR Phase 90.
“People raise an eyebrow when they see the rig—and again when they hear
how good it sounds,” he says.
Galysh typically crafts his instrumentals by trying, as he says, to “put my fingers
on the fretboard in a way I haven’t before,” and auditioning tones for how
they sit in the mix with the other instruments.
“You need a healthy amount of midrange for lead tones, and not as much for
rhythm guitars so that the sound isn’t fighting vocals and other key parts
for sonic space,” he says. “And less is more with distortion. You actually
get a fuller, heavier tone if the distortion is at 60 or 75 percent.”
When conceptualizing guitar instrumentals, Galysh sees that some
players may be limiting their audience by willfully going obscure.
“I like to challenge myself when I write, but I never do it at the
expense of the composition,” he says. “Some artists may write
instrumental music that is complicated for the sake of sounding
complicated. Don’t make the mistake of not writing a guitar
instrumental as if it were a vocal song.”