The Pitfalls of Distortion – Electric Guitars

Ever since ACDC, distortion has become a staple in rock music. But even though it’s necessary for a great rock guitar tone, a lot of guitarists and producers get frustrated when their recordings sound “fuzzy” instead of “huge.”

And that’s all because we’ve been using it all wrong!

There are a few pitfalls that – if avoided – can yield very impressive results. The problem is that these pitfalls are the opposite of what you might think would be needed for a huge electric guitar tone. So check these out and see if your productions have suffered any of these fatal errors:

1. Too many guitars. This is probably the most common for producers. “In order to get a massive guitar tone, I’ll just add a ton of guitars!” Wrong. There is certainly a benefit to layering guitars – but it must be done carefully. If it isn’t done just right, your tone will get smaller and smaller. To avoid this pitfall, simply take away the last track you recorded. If it sounds better without, take it out and take out another. If it sounds better with it in, leave it.

2. Too much gain. Believe it or not, more gain does not equal more tone. This might be the most common for guitarists – it is way to easy to just turn up that gain knob thinking you’re getting massive tone. Try turning down the gain knob – you’ll be surprised at how huge your guitars can become.

3. Tone is not greater than performance. This is one of the more misleading pitfalls that we can all fall into from time to time. But it is extremely important to remember that great tone does not cover up a mediocre performance. So focus on the performance, and the tone will sound much better almost instantaneously.

Have you found yourself falling into any of these? Are there others that you have found? Share with us in the comments!





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