Tone Talk with Guitar Gabby

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Guitar Gabby is a graduate of Spelman College and Vermont Law School. I am deeply inspired by the diversity of Black Women and how we can take anything and make it something beautiful. I am the founder, manager, lawyer, lead guitarist, and vocalist of an international touring Black Woman rock band collective called The TxLips Band (pronounced Tulips). I saw a large gap in the music industry and wanted to do my part in filling that gap by creating a platform strictly by and for Black Women that would allow us to tour and play music as much as we love without having to give up the other mandatory hats that women have to wear in life. Our overall goal is to empower women everywhere by being ourselves and reminding the world that Pussy is Power.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
My definition of tone is that perfect balance of guitar, pedals, and strings. There are so many tones out there, and the beauty in tones is that you can 1) have more than one tone, and 2) that you can change it anytime and anywhere. I used to love tones that were more punchy and distortion driven. Over the years, I began shifting my tone to a nice low end with a perfect high output that could easily be dialed up or down, depending on my pedalboard setup. I also love reverb at all times—lol.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
I am endorsed with ESP guitars, so I am playing my signature brand neon green ESP LTD M-50FR series in addition to my new ESP LTD H-1001 series. I generally tour a lot, so when I tour, I typically play with my BOSS ME-50. In the studio or whenever I am at home, I prefer to play my analog pedalboard, which is filled with pedals such as BOSS digital delay, two MXRs, a JOYO Sweet Baby overdrive, my Cry Baby, and a few other small pedals. Amp wise, I LOVE Orange Amps for festivals, but in general, I love tube amps because of the nice rounded reverb sound they give. I mostly play on my Crate 50 tube amp and my Kustom half stack tuck n roll.

What about strings?
I am endorsed with Ernie Ball, so I typically play those. I go between .9 and .10 gauges depending on the guitar.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
I like to record from my Crate tube to get a nice authentic tube sound, so I usually mic that amp and let it rip!

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
I have specific base needs that need to be met no matter what type of show I do. If I have a good amp (Fenders, Crate, or Orange), I can make everything else work.

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What does your practice consist of?
I run through a few drills that I developed to strengthen the muscles in each finger, then I practice to my typical setlist, and then run through perfecting my other songs. I challenge myself by closing my eyes each time I play a song to help train my brain to sing and play at the same time without having to look at the fretboard as much.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Keep going! Do NOT stop and do NOT allow anyone to tell you what you can and cannot do. It will 100% be difficult. It will 100% be rough, but if you remember who you are and stick with it and stay consistent, you will be successful at whatever you set your mind to. You got it, Sis. : )

Follow Guitar Gabby & The TxLips Band @guitargabby @thetxlipsband and at their website – www.txlips.com

Photo provided by artist with permission to use.

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