It’s Women’s History Month and we wanted to talk to some of our favorites about their gear and tone setup(s). If you are not familiar with Guitar Girl Magazine’s “Tone Talk” series, this is where we dive into what makes the tone of different musicians’ setups unique to them. We unpack their likes and dislikes and what makes their setup perfect for them.
If you like what you read, check out Que’s Tone Talk on our IG page where she walks through some of her favorite gear.
QueThaGuitarist is a Miami Native who grew up watching her father play in church. She started out singing in the choir like her mom which led her to picking up the guitar and pursuing her career in music. I was excited to talk to QueThaGuitarist who has accomplished lots of amazing things over the years because I love her tones, chord phrasing, and style.
What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
My definition of tone is simply balance. I like my lows present but I don’t want them to get in the way and sound too “boomy.” I like my highs to sparkle just enough without the shrill and my mids to kind of round it out. When I started out, I played with my highs pretty up there, and to add to that, I played with .09s. As I got exposed to different players and YouTube, I started to learn more about tones and learned to round them out and adjust to fit what I was looking to hear. However, that’s just the base for my tones. There’s so many different and beautiful tones out there and I’ll adjust as I need to depending on what’s needed.
Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
For guitars, I am currently switching between my Fender Strat, Fender Tele, and my Gibson Les Paul Tribute. My Strat is my primary guitar simply because 90% of my playing is at church or an R&B gig and the Strat is most fitting for the tones I need in those settings. Occasionally, I’ll have an opportunity to use the LP and Gibson in some Top 40s gigs. Where my FX is concerned, I mainly use my analog board which consists of a Cry Baby, Jekyll & Hyde II, Ibanez Tube Screamer, Dunlop Volume, PolyTune2, Keeley Supermod Workstation, Hall Of Fame Reverb, and A Flashback Delay. If not my analog board, I use my Fractal Audio FX8. As far as my amps, I use a Blackstar Club HT-40 or a QuilterLab Interblock 45.
What about Strings?
I use Ernie Ball Regular Slinkys and Mega Slinkys for my 335 and LP.
Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the Studio?
I will mic up my Blackstar using my Sennheiser E906 or go direct from the amp into my Apollo. From there, I’ll use the CLA Guitar plugin from Waves and adjust accordingly from there.
How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
I typically like to make sure my levels are consistent from my guitar to my pedals and from my pedals to my amp. I also adjust my drives and distortion according to my bridge pickups.
What does your practice consist of?
Currently, practicing consists of learning different songs from different genres, getting familiar and comfortable with chord types and names, learning inversions, and learning modes and their applications.
What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Be fearless!! Fear can kill your career before it even starts. Do not quit! You’re going to get overwhelmed, upset, frustrated, but keep going anyway. Be your authentic self at all times. The world will adjust.
Follow QueThaGuitarist on IG @quethaguitarist
Check our Que’s Tone Talk here.