Gibson’s Classic Tone Tip: John Fogerty
The next in a series of step-by-step guides to home recording
Have you ever tried to play like one of your guitar heroes, but weren’t able to get your tone quite right? Allow us to lend a hand. Straight from the Gibson archives, “Gibson’s Classic Tone Tip” can help you sound just like some of music’s biggest stars and greatest legends. In this edition, we’re going up around the bend and stopping at Cosmo’s Factory to feature legendary rocker John Fogerty and his great Creedence Clearwater Revival tone. Just because you weren’t born on the bayou doesn’t mean you can’t sound like it, with the help of this guide.
For me John Fogerty is Creedence Clearwater Revival. His voice, the sound of his guitar, the way he pulled everything together in the band. That’s how I see CCR.
Fogerty’s voice is as unique as any guitar tone in music. You can instantly tell when a Fogerty tune comes on. What’s interesting is that you can tell the same thing from his guitar playing. It’s not often that someone can capture that level of recognition from fans.
Remember when Fogerty’s solo album Centerfield came out? I loved “Old Man Down the Road” the first time I heard it. It was classic Fogerty, which is probably why it was a giant hit for him.
It’s hard to choose a favorite CCR song, but I think “Fortunate Son” would be my top pick. Ask 10 people and you may get 10 different answers. Not a bad problem to have if you’re a songwriter.
CCR was Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, Tom Fogerty and John. When the guys first got together they were called Tommy Fogerty and the Blue Velvets and then the Golliwogs. It wasn’t until 1967 when John was discharged from the army that the band settled on CCR as its name.
CCR had a hit in 1968 with “Susie Q” and that started four years of great songs from the band. “Travelin' Band,” “Down On the Corner,” “Who'll Stop the Rain,” “Hey Tonight,” “Up Around the Bend,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and of course, “Proud Mary” were among the band’s hit songs.
I saw John Fogerty for the first time at an outdoor show last year and it was one of the most amazing concerts I’ve ever seen. If you want to see 50,000 people dancing, singing and going crazy, put John Fogerty on-stage and get him to sing one of the CCR classics. It’ll work every time.
Fogerty has a pretty successful solo career, which only adds to the songs he can play during his shows. With such a recognizable voice, you wouldn’t know it wasn’t CCR on stage.
John has been a big Gibson supporter from early on in his career and continues to this day. He mostly uses Les Pauls on stage. For the most part his amps have been from Fender too, giving him that clean sound that we’ve come to love so much.
I’ve made tones using Guitar Rig, AmpliTube 2 and Pod Farm. I used a Fender model amp in all three applications and also put in a screamer. I didn’t want an overdrive pedal in there, but I did want something to boost the signal for songs like “Hey Tonight.”
I also added some Tremolo to each of the patches, so you can do “The Midnight Special.” In short, it should be a pretty good all-in-one patch for CCR’s most popular songs.
The Tremolo and Screamer are turned off by default, but you can easily turn them on in the application.
I based the clean part on “Bad Moon Rising,” but that should work for just about any of the other songs. I used a passive pickup guitar this time because there is really no need to overdrive the signal.
I hope you like playing CCR as much as I do.
Download the John Fogerty preset for Guitar Rig here.
Download the John Fogerty preset for Pod Farm here.
Download the John Fogerty preset for Amplitube here.