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Eric Johnson Teaches You How to Take Your Tone to the Next Level

Every week for the last three months or so, Eric Johnson has gifted us with a wonderful, informative video mini-lesson

The latest of his lessons is a particularly helpful one, covering a topic for which he is very well-known already: tone. 

In the lesson - which you can check out above - Johnson discusses "working the dynamics of tone, coming from when you fret the string, through the sound, through the amp,” and how to generate a harmonious connection between your fingers and your gear.

“For lead playing it’s important to find a congruent setup that matches your intention and the dynamics of your inhaling and exhaling of your playing,” Johnson says. “You want the amp to respond with you in the same harmonious polarity.”

He offers some string-stretching and vibrato tips, before adding “But however I want to negotiate the thing – picking it, stretching it, vibrato – it’s going to be within the congruency of the way the amp responds to you.

“So it’s important to find the right amp. Otherwise you’re going to fight the amp and you’re never going to be able to achieve where you want to go.”

Johnson - who began the video series to help raise money for Feeding America (opens in new tab) - ends the video by encouraging viewers to donate to the organization, or to their local food bank. 

Jackson Maxwell
Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.