Working on finishing up my new album these days, and I’ve been having an absolute ball using various guitars for many different tones. This applies to the original tracks, as well as my overdubs, and the two primary Gibsons I’m using are a 1964 ES 330 and a relatively new Les Paul Traditional.
I have been finding these to be extremely useful and creative guitars to use in many applications, and I even just used the 330 in an overdubbed part that consists mostly of a kind of controlled feedback that backs up the vocal, as well as gets used in the solos and “ride out” of the song. It’s really a cool effect, because first and foremost, it is not an effect, but rather a carefully played part that one can listen to and focus on throughout the entire song, as it weaves in and out. I find that I’m discovering new things about the “controlled” feedback even as I’ve been recording, such as using it for raga-like “drones”, connections from one guitar part to another. Harmonies to the vocal and many other very, very cool applications!
Of course, this all comes from the fact that it is a true hollow body guitar, that wants to feed back even at fairly low volumes. And those great old P90 pickups really answer the call when it comes to that thick and bluesy tone I’m going for in conjunction with the feedback!
Then, enter the Les Paul, and we have a real feast of thick and wonderful tones that truly run throughout the entire album, and work very well together. I find that I’ve been loving the Les Paul on all three settings for many different reasons; the middle position (both pickups) is great for rhythm parts, and I’ve been doing a lot of arpeggio finger-picked parts combined with tremolo from the amp, which really thickens up some truly soulful parts!
I’ve also found, in regards to the Les Paul, it really works well on some very “up” parts at the ends of songs for that big “ride out” part that may be needed. And if you think of some of the great songs of the past, such as “Layla” and other Clapton, Page or Allman endings, they are truly great uses of the true “Les Paul” approach!
So some of this album definitely has that classic vibe, while on other tunes, I am going for far more contemporary and unique approaches, especially within my own tonal spectrum. Thanks to some classic Gibson tones this is all being made possible. Can’t wait to debut some of these tracks for you all!