My name is Abigail Neilson, and I’m a Seattle based country-pop artist! My musical influences are Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Jade Bird, Miranda Lambert, and Taylor Swift.
What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
I feel like for acoustic guitar players, tone is defined by how you strum, how you pick your guitar, how your hand touches the guitar, and how big or small the guitar is. When I first started playing guitar, I didn’t know what sound I wanted out of my guitar, but over the years, I’ve found that I really like a big and bright sound. I used to have a guitar that has a lot of ting to it, but the guitar I use now sounds so much fuller, and I’m very happy with it.
What guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
Right now, I use a Taylor 214ce guitar. Before I got this guitar, I spent two weeks going to different music stores to figure out exactly what I wanted because I know more about what I want out of an acoustic guitar now than I did when I had gotten my previous guitar. I love how full and bright it sounds so much. I also like the size of it. It’s not too small or too big, but it’s big enough for me to be able to walk around with it when performing and really use it to play but also to put on a show. I don’t use any amps or pedals.
What about strings?
I currently use D’Addarío EJ26 Phosphor Bronze .011 strings. I like the combination of how warm and bright the guitar sings. I used to play with size .012 because it gave me more of a bigger and fuller sound which I really liked, but playing over three-hour shows with those strings gave my fingers a hard time, so I went down to the .011.
Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
If we’re recording with a mic, I like to have it by the 12th fret of the guitar. I feel like placement is very important when recording an acoustic guitar with a mic, so finding the right spot to place it is key for the right sound.
How do you keep you sound consistent on stage?
I think the more you play, the more consistent you’ll be and the more your ear will recognize the sound that you’re aiming to produce.
What does your practice consist of?
When I practice, I like to set things up as if I was on stage. When I go through songs, I go through them until I can’t get it wrong. I’ll also record myself so I can see if there is anything I want to change so I can then adjust accordingly.
What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Learn to play and to perform on your own. Write every single day, and don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot reach your goals.