Getting Your Guitar Sound

Author: Dan Bowden | Course Code: OGUIT-223

Having a command of scales, chords, styles and techniques is fundamental for any guitar player who wants to play better. Getting Your Guitar Sound provides you with the skills to actually sound better by teaching you to use your ears, hands, and the tools of the trade to play jazz, rock, blues, country and other genres, with a hi-quality, authentic and persuasive tone.

In Getting Your Guitar Sound, you'll examine how a guitar's individual components and overall construction determine it's sound characteristics, so you can maximize the strengths as well as work around the limitations of any particular instrument. You'll learn about amplifiers, speakers and cabinets, and gain expertise using the amazing modeling software, AmpliTube. By working closely with individual amp models (including emulations of Fender, Marshall and Mesa), as well an array of virtual stompbox and rack effects, you'll learn to configure the right setups and to properly work the controls to get the tones you'll need for class projects, as well as real-world performances.

The course covers a wide range of musical styles, teaching you to sound convincing when playing inside, and outside your comfort zones. You'll build customized rigs and recreate the exact guitar parts from a wide range of landmark recordings by artists including, (Blues) Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, (Jazz) Kenny Burrell, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, (Country) Brent Mason, (Rock) Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Carlos Santana, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Robin Trower, Andy Summers, U2, Joe Satriani, Soundgarden and Pantera. Hi-quality play-along tracks are provided for inspiration as you prepare your assignments.

By the end of the course, you will have gained the ability to best utilize your guitar, amps, effect pedals and rack gear to zero in on the tones you'll need for the music you'll play for years to come.

By successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

Play music in a wide range of styles with an authentic and convincing guitar tone.Understand the factors that determine a guitar and amplifier's tone characteristics.Work the controls of leading amplifiers, effect pedals and rack effects by using the amp modeling plug-in, AmpliTube.Identify how effects are categorized, combined and how each pedal and rack module works to change your sound.Develop your own personal setups for recording and live performance.

Berklee Online and IK Multimedia have come together to offer an educational discount on the required software for the course - AmpliTube. Once enrolled, students will be directed to IK Multimedia's online store, where AmpliTube can be purchased. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure software delivery prior to the start of the course. Depending on the shipping option chosen, software delivery could take up to eight business days.

Lesson 1: Guitars and Tone

Electric Guitars Are Acoustic InstrumentsWood and TonePickupsString Gauges, Setup, and PicksElectric Guitar Bodies

Lesson 2: Amplifiers

Sections Of the AmplifierTubesWhy Guitarists Love TubesSpeakersPutting It All Together

Lesson 3: Introduction to Amplitube

Installing AmpliTubeAmpliTube's InterfaceUsing AmpliTube's TunerThe Amp ModuleAmp Module ControlsAmpliTube's Amp ModelsThe Preset ManagerClean TonesGetting a Crunch SoundLead Tones

Lesson 4: Effects By Category

Effect CategoriesGain-Based EffectsThe AmpliTube Stomp ModuleModulation EffectsAmbient EffectsWah Effects

Lesson 5: Using Effects

Standard Pedal-Connection OrderCommon Pedal CombinationsAlternate SetupsComprehending CompressionThe Details Of Delay

Lesson 6: Defining Your Sound

All About EQUsing EQCountry, Blues, and Classic Rock SetupsJazz Guitar SetupsContemporary Rock Guitar SetupsProgressive Rock and Metal SetupsGetting Your Sound

Lesson 7: Rack Effects

AmpliTube's Rack Effect ModuleModulation Rack Effects: Digital FlangerModulation Rack Effects: Analog ChorusDigital Chorus Rack EffectRotary Speaker Rack EffectDelay and Reverb Effects

Lesson 8: Jazz, Blues, and Country Setups

Pitch EffectsPitch ShifterEQ and Dynamic EffectsJazz, Blues, and Country SetupsGetting a Classic Blues Guitar ToneGetting a Nashville Guitar Tone

Lesson 9: Classic Rock Setups

Getting a Rockabilly Guitar ToneGetting a 1950s Rock and Roll Guitar ToneGetting Late 1960's American Rock Guitar TonesGetting Late 1960's British Rock Guitar Tones

Lesson 10: Alternative and Contemporary Rock Setups

AmpliTube's Cab ModuleGetting 1970s Psychedelic R & B Lead Guitar ToneGetting Andy Summers "Walking on the Moon" ToneGetting Robin Trower's "Bridge of Sighs" Guitar Tones

Lesson 11: Progressive Rock and Metal Setups

Getting Joe Satriani's Guitar ToneSound like The Edge on U2's Pride (In The Name Of Love)Getting Dave Gilmour's Guitar ToneGetting A Pat Metheny's "Phase Dance" Guitar Tone

Lesson 12: Contemporary Sounds of the Electric Guitar

Getting Buddy Guy's Tone on "Damn Right I Got the Blues"Getting the Tones from John Scofield's "Acidhead"Getting a Tone Like Dimebag Darrell's on "Revolution Is My Name"Getting Tones from Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun"

Dan Bowden

Author & Instructor

Dan Bowden is an unusually versatile guitarist and teacher, specializing in a wide range of styles including rock, jazz, blues and R'n'B. With over a dozen instructional books for the guitar to his credit, Dan has reached guitar students worldwide. His best-selling titles include: Wes Montgomery: The Early Years, Mel Bays Complete Accompaniment Method For Guitar, and Electric Blues Guitar Workout. Along with doing freelance performing in the Boston area, Dan plays and records with the blues, roots and originals group: Stingy Brimm. He has taught guitar at Berklee since 1989, and is himself a Berklee graduate. Dan's first guitar effect pedal was an original 1960's Maestro Fuzz-Tone. He has continuously used effects since that time.

The course is applicable to all electric guitarists wishing to acquire a practical working knowledge of guitars, amplifiers, and effects processors. Course activities will require intermediate playing skills. Students should be comfortable using open position chords, power chords, and executing simple single-note leads.

None required

PC Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or higher Mac Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Safari Flash Player: current version QuickTime: current versionAdobe Reader: current version AmpliTube 4 Deluxe Recording software with real-time plug-in functionality, such as Logic, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Sonar, Cubase, GarageBand (Mac OSX), Music Creator, Reaper, FL Studio. If you do not own one of these programs, AmpliTube's built-in multitrack recorder can be used.

Berklee Online and IK Multimedia have come together to offer an educational discount on the required software for the course - AmpliTube 4 Deluxe. Once enrolled, students will be directed to IK Multimedia's online store, where AmpliTube 4 Deluxe can be purchased. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure software delivery prior to the start of the course.

You will need a way to connect your guitar directly to your computer in order to record with AmpliTube. Examples include the IK Multimedia Stealthplug, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Mbox, etc. See the Student Deals page for discounts.

In order to run AmpliTube 4 Deluxe, you must meet the following minimal hardware requirements:

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo / AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 or higher 2 GB of RAM (4 GB recommended) Windows 7 64-bit or higher 2 GB free hard disk space
OS X 10.7 or higher Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or higher 2 GB of RAM (4 GB recommended) 2 GB free hard disk space


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Next Term Starts June 27

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  • Duration
    12 weeks
  • 3-Credit Tuition
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