Tone Talk with Amanda Page Cornett

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As an artist, it took a while to figure out who I am musically. My band and I push each other, which helped me settle into what I call “Southern Rock ‘n’ Soul!” Our music blends Country, Southern Rock, and Blues. The most important thing is, my single “Throw A Lil Gas” and the whole Front Porch Rebel album have true, authentic emotion. Being able to emotionally connect to music is incredibly important!

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years? To me, guitar tone is really about being in tune and trying to figure out the best guitar/pickup setting for the song. My knowledge of guitars has grown a lot since I started playing my Fender. While the initial settings were not very distinguishable, my friend Ed Simpson upgraded “Rosie” with Emerson wiring and hand-wound pickups from Sullivan Music Equipment in Austin, TX! Now, I have five distinct settings! One major change I’ve made is learning to strum with a much lighter touch and trying to remember that ‘less is more’! That has made a huge difference!

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
My electric Fender is set up in a way where I can plug a line directly in or use my LR Baggs pre-amp for solo/songwriter gigs. I have a Fender Mustang II amp for small shows and a Fender Mustang IV for larger shows. I tend to use clean sounds, such as the ’65 Twin for now. I’m definitely still learning! My acoustic guitar is a Martin 000RS1 . . . it’s so beautiful and sounds great! Because I’m a rhythm player, I have .11 gauge strings on both guitars now, so I can switch back and forth more easily.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
I love recording live with my band! For the Front Porch Rebel album, we recorded vocals, guitar, drums, bass, and keys live. My band, Almost Angels, and I have been playing together for over eight years, so we really groove together!

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
Constantly tuning my guitar as well as getting feedback from my lead guitar player and my guitar coach, Dave Isaacs, help me to continue to improve my tone, skill, and consistency on guitar!

What does your practice consist of?
I still take weekly guitar lessons and group classes to improve my skills.  At home, I tend to go through songs with and without singing along. Sometimes I slow the tempo to make sure I’m hitting everything cleanly . . . a skill I’m still learning! My vocal training is pretty consistent, but I check in with my voice coach, Liz Johnson, often to continue to use my voice optimally!

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What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Be smarter than I was! I wanted to learn the guitar to ‘play along with my songs.’ In retrospect, if I had taken the time to truly learn the instrument and how to best use it upfront, I would be much farther along as a guitar player. I would also advise anyone getting into music to be open to constructive criticism. I always say “constructive criticism can make me better or bitter. I choose better.” The willingness to listen to wise guidance and try to adjust is huge! Eventually you learn to determine which advice is good for you and what is not.

Photo provided by management

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