Tone Talk with Tenille Arts

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Photo by Grand Ole Opry/Chris Hollo
       

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

Hey! I’m Tenille Arts, and I grew up in a small town called Weyburn, Saskatchewan, in Canada! I loved country music growing up and even had a taste of the farm life because we had a wheat farm in the family. Because of that, country music seemed like the most natural genre for me. I got my first guitar at 14 years old and immediately started writing songs. I was mostly self-taught by watching YouTube videos and following charts. I started making YouTube videos and that led to my first trip to Nashville in 2009. I moved from Weyburn to Nashville in 2015 and have been writing, recording, and releasing music since then.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
For me, tone is the most important thing, starting with my voice, so I need to make sure the guitar I’m using complements that. My vocal tone has changed over the years; so along with that, so have my guitar choices.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
I’m currently playing two acoustic PRS (Paul Reed Smith) guitars and one electric. I’ve only played electric for one show, so I’m just getting started. But I love a good challenge, and I’m so excited to learn about the electric guitar world.

What about strings?
I love Elixir® strings! I started out playing on these strings, so it’s hard to change it up once you’re used to a certain feeling.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
I don’t record my own guitar parts! I leave that for the incredible studio musicians in Nashville.

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
Practice, practice, practice. I’m one of those people who loves to learn, so as soon as someone shows me a new guitar part or a new chord, I go and practice for hours and make sure it’s muscle memory by the time I hit the stage.

What does your practice consist of?
I always practice specifically for each show. Whether it’s a four-song acoustic set or a full band hour show, I run through the set over and over until I feel like it flows, and it feels natural.

Favorite guitar riff or lick that inspired you to play guitar?
I was a “learn to play guitar to accompany myself” girl until the pandemic and quarantine hit. Then I started diving into some of my favorite Beatles’ songs and learning how to play them. My favorite is “Here Comes the Sun.”

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
I want young women to know how incredibly special their unique features are. Don’t change who you are to fit into the music industry. As soon as you do, you become like everyone else. Stay true to who you are, and create music that you love. Music trends come and go, so don’t chase something. Just keep doing what you’re doing, and it will catch on!