Tone Talk with Maggie Noelle

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Photo by Hunter Selman
       

As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 16 – Summer 2021 – Acoustic Amplified!

I’m a small-town girl, originally from Southwest Virginia. I grew up listening to Bluegrass music and roaming through the woods in the heart of the Appalachians. I started playing acoustic guitar at the age of eight after my mama taught me the basic chords G, C, and D. After discovering the blues, I ventured into powerful soul singers such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Nina Simone, Bonnie Raitt, and Susan Tedeschi. My band, Magnolia Boulevard, is my first step into all-electric music, and I feel I’m finally able to fully express myself.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
From my perspective, tone helps me describe the mood of my guitar and the story told through the song. I started out on an acoustic guitar, so my personal preference for tone has drastically changed over the years.

What are your favorite tonewoods?
Mahogany, always. Then koa and spruce.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
PRS {Paul Reed Smith) guitars have become a huge part of my family, in more ways than one, within the past few years. My stage set up usually consists of my PRS S2 Vela, Custom PRS 50W Combo amp, and the occasional delay pedal (MXR Carbon copy). Also, my handy dandy Hercules guitar stand!

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
Recording is still really new to me! However, I have noticed that I don’t like having many people in the room. Hot tea, lots of water, and Kentucky bourbon are always good for vocal tracks.

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
Allowing myself a few minutes of breathwork and meditation before a show isn’t always possible but extremely beneficial. A little 10-minute vocal warm-up beforehand is key!

What does your practice consist of?
I gravitate to my acoustic guitar, a PRS SE Angelus, when I’m practicing at home. The boys and I practice once a week at a local recording studio. We plug in and work on new tunes, old tunes—but we also love to jam around and find new inspiration.

Favorite guitar riff or lick that inspired you to play guitar?
The intro and solo of “Love Me Like A Man” by Bonnie Raitt. Also, pretty much anything on Susan Tedeschi’s Just Won’t Burn album.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
In a world where women are constantly criticized for their actions/appearance and feel the need to suppress their opinions, their bodies, their truer self . . . I say use your voice for the greater good. Sing out and don’t hide behind what society has made you feel like you need to be. Wear that crazy outfit on stage, sing that high note you’re not sure about into the mic, and let the criticisms of others roll off your back. Letting go and pouring your soul into your music will set you free.