Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

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Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby jawbone » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:44 pm

Hi guys - I'm usually over on the harp side but I am teaching myself to torture a guitar!!!
I have a little blues band, guitar, bass, drums and myself on harp, trumpet and vocals - I think the guitar needs to have a bigger sound, not louder, but fuller.
What pedal or effect could he try?
Thanx
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby zhyla » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:47 pm

An EQ pedal?
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby jawbone » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:49 pm

an EQ pedal?? - I'm not sure - I'm not up on all this stuff.
I was thinking of a compressor - I can't even describe the sound - not much help am I??
I'm just thinking of those "Power chords" you hear - they sound "Big" but not loud.
I sound like those customers that come in - "I don't know what I want - I just know what I DON'T want"
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby Disciple » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:00 pm

Start with something like a vintage or reissue Fender Blues Deluxe Amp.

The old boys never used effects, just good old tube amps with lots of gain.
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby allanlummox » Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:13 pm

Well, when people talk about "Big fat " sound, they generally wind up meaning boosting the over all signal - but taking away the harsh highs. This is why Z was suggesting an EQ, which is a device for just such a purpose.

Start out by playing with the "Tone" knob on whatever amp you're using. And of course the "Tone" knobs on your guitar.
Any processors you add are going to work on these same parameters - how much to boost the signal in relation to how much "harsh" high end you take out.
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby maxx england » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:13 pm

I'm going to throw in the option of a chorus pedal to go with the tone you settle on. Touch of reverb, perhaps a litle discreet tremolo as well? Experiment and have fun.
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby rockonpapa » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:47 am

Fuller to me also means warmer or more mellow.
No ice pick highs.
Pure nickel string, guitar tone tuned way back - think Clapton woman tone. Amp EQ with mids and highs pulled back, bass up but still clean. Add some overdrive, not heavy distortion.
Add a little delay.
Himbucker works real well.
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby bottleneck » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:25 am

never use effects,yuck,haha.try a big hollow body with humbuckers through a good tube amp.that should do it.

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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby rustyslide » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:03 am

Use the tone knob on the guitar. Also, if you're only using a few strings when playing chords, use bigger versions of the chords.
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby jawbone » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:34 am

Thanx for all the suggestions - I'll see if he will try some of these.
It's tough when you can hear it in your head but can't articulate it to the player.
Maybe I should have him try my Fender champ?
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby wellfleetian » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:14 pm

I've been through all of this myself. Here are a bunch of generalizations that more or less work:

The Champ speaker is too small to give much heft to the sound. I've never been able to make anything smaller than a 10" speaker work for me in playing situations. No "there" there.

To get what you're looking for without effects (gtr, cord, amp), tweak the tone controls (and volume. Very important, as tone changes with volume) for both the amp and guitar, to find an approximate sound you like, first on the amp, then guitar.

Heavier strings give better tone. No question about it. Even going from extra light to light (high E is 10 or 11 instead of 9mm) will add huge tone. LIsten to Albert King who used medium to heavy gauge strings.

Humbuckers have a much fatter sound, more sustain, than single coils, although even with single coils, back off the tone and there's a lot of meat.

A hollowbody will sound fatter than a solid body. Way more. Play a fat jazz box and you'll hear the difference, regardless of the pickups.

A solid state amp may or may not work for you. Tubes tend to sing better, I think, but I have heard nice solid sate amps.

With effects, use a little compression, maybe a tiny bit of chorus, and a little sustain. Distortion to taste. That can take some fooling around. Less is better than more.

When playing chords, choose those with a heftier mid section, like a 9th or 7th with the bass on the 6th string, not the 5th. Surprising variation in sound just changing that
one bass note. Or play triads with accent on bass (very cool sound).

Hope that is some help.

Stefano
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby Lo-Fi » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:42 pm

rustyslide wrote:Use the tone knob on the guitar. Also, if you're only using a few strings when playing chords, use bigger versions of the chords.


Can I get a big Amen for Brother Rustyslide.

It is amazing how many different sounds you can pull out of a guitar with your fingers, pickup selector switch, and knobs.
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby BobHolland » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:55 pm

How about playing through a bass amp? :roll: :blink: :roll:
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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby bottleneck » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:34 pm

i'm sticking with my advice to use a hollow body with buckers and a good tube amp with no effects,but,i realise you could help us by telling us what he's using now.

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Re: Getting a "Bigger, fatter" sound??

Postby leftyguitarman » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:58 am

rustyslide wrote:Use the tone knob on the guitar.


This.

Or, use a compression pedal. I couldn't live without mine.
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