Recently, GP sat down for an interview with the one and only Billy Gibbons. During the discussion, the ZZ Top legend offered up some tone tips, while testifying to the benefits of Auto-Tune and turning it up loud. Read on!
"It used to be you’d go to a music store and there would be half a dozen pedals. Now there’s half a dozen rooms of nothing but pedals,” Billy Gibbons says with a laugh. “But I think today, in the hands of a skilled user, there’s no end to what sounds can be dreamed up. It’s now reached a level that a certain sound can be so inspirational, it can actually create the germination of a new song.
“And there’s some really good stuff out there. Now you can even do it on an iPhone. I suggest you get online and check out Korg Gadget. It’s an application you can actually put on the phone. Talk about a world of gear at you fingertips! It’s modeling amps, it’s drum machines, it’s synthesizers. It’s really interesting, and pretty user-friendly. I think that in a week’s time you’d be up and running.
“Regarding gear, how important is it? I don’t know if gear is so important. It’s what gear does that’s important. It’s in the hands of the user now. Recently, I got in a really heated argument when it came to the question, ‘Do you like or do you not like the fascination with Auto-Tune?’ I say, ‘Hey, it’s just another piece of gear, and as long as you learn how to abuse it - don’t just use it, learn how to abuse it - then you got it.’ [laughs] So I’m okay with it. I don’t know too many people that purposely don’t tune their guitar. Why not tune with Auto-Tune? If it’s out, it ain’t gonna fix itself.
“As for any tone tips? Clean strings. A stack of pedals. And I’m quite fond of the new Magnatone amplifier line, and, of course, the Marshall amplifier line, which is a standout. You can’t go wrong with either of those. And in closing, the most important thing: Turn it up loud. That’s capital L dash O dash U dash D: loud.”