Hello readers! My name is Jen de la Osa, guitarist, singer and songwriter for rock ‘n’ roll band Aloud. I co-front the band with my best friend and husband, Henry Beguiristain, and we’ve been writing and playing music together since we were teenagers in the late 90s. Apart from our starter band in our hometown of Miami, FL, Aloud has been the only band I’ve ever been involved with. I learned about rock ‘n’ roll through my mom’s record collection (Beatles, Stones, Elton John), and my first instrument was the piano. This was due in part because my grandmother played and had, in fact, taught piano. I would pick out melodies by ear, and we would duet at family Sunday parties.
When Oasis came along, I knew I had to have a guitar. I begged my parents for one, and they bought me a cheap acoustic out of a catalog that I treasured. Guitar magazines taught me chords, which meant I could write songs. All I wanted to do was start a band, write songs, and play guitar. In fact, that’s all I still want to do!
What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
Tone, for me, is just how a particular guitar, amp, or combination of these two things and/or pedals sound. There are endless possibilities for this. I prefer to keep things magical and not know too much about the details. I like to stumble onto new sounds by trial and error. It’s how I learn best. I’ve always felt that way about it.
I can play the “Paperback Writer” rigg all day.
Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
My main guitar is an Epiphone Casino, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. There are some guitars that, when you put them on, feel made for you. It’s just the right size and sounds amazing. I’ve had a Fender Blues Jr for longer than I can remember. I’ve upgraded the capacitors, reverb tank, and speaker. It’s a workhorse and perfect for the kinds of gigs we do. Such a warm sound. I’ve got several pedals, but the newest one is the Dr. Robert pedal meant to model the Vox amp the Beatles used on Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s. It’s a monster. The boost is insane. I can play the “Paperback Writer” riff all day.
What about strings?
I use Elixir. It’s practical. I dislike restringing my guitar, and these last longer. Pure laziness. My Casino has a Bigsby, so restringing takes an extra step.
Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
Whatever is different from the last one. I see each album as an opportunity to do something different.
How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
Well, that just comes down to feeling comfy with your rig. I’m confident in the gear and how to dial in what I need to with it. Always good to test everything out before the first song. Take advantage of those soundchecks and line checks.
What does your practice consist of?
Practice is band rehearsal. I don’t practice on my own. I’m a songwriter before anything else, so if I’m sitting down to play, it’s quite random. I’m just waiting for something to come.
Favorite guitar riff or lick that inspired you to play guitar?
I’ll circle back to that “Paperback Writer” riff. Excellent.
What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Trust your gut. Your instincts are smarter than that nagging voice of doubt. Do the work, whatever that means to you. Whatever you do, that’s what you leave behind. You want to be proud of the music you make, so stay true to yourself and why you started playing music in the first place. Everything’s gonna be fine!
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