Tone Talk with Lindsay Manfredi

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Author of Unf–ckwithable: A Guide to Inspired Badassery, co-founder of Girls Rock Indianapolis, and COLD bassist Lindsay Manfredi talks guitar tone, gear, writing and recording techniques, and advice for aspiring female guitar players.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
For me, tone is the meat of your sound. I’ve been in so many different bands over the years, so it’s changed often. From rockabilly to punk to pop, alternative and now playing with alt-rock band, COLD, my tone has definitely changed into a heavier, thicker tone than my previous work.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
I’ve been a Fender girl my entire life from guitars to basses. I used a Fender Precision and Jaguar to record the new COLD album, The Things We Can’t Stop. I have a Fender JMJ Mustang and a Guild acoustic bass. I typically play through an Ashdown ABM500. I use an Alpha Omega preamp from Dark Glass and it really is the game-changer for my tone and sound. Diamond Guitars just endorsed me and are currently making me two custom LM series basses that will have active pickups—The Maverick and Hailfire.

What about strings?
We are fortunate enough to have a dope endorsement with Ernie Ball. They are so very good to us. I use heavy strings because we tune two steps down. I love their Slinkys and my heaviest string is typically 125 or 130.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
I don’t really have any techniques for the studio. As a bassist, it is my job to serve the songs, so I am open to anything my bandmates, producers, or engineers suggest.

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
The sound consistency is definitely our road crew’s area of expertise. We have a great team of people who make things run as smoothly as possible and keep all of our sounds consistent.

What does your practice consist of?
When I’m alone, I typically rehearse on my acoustic along to the set songs. Due to the fact that we’re all in different states, we take three or four weeks prior to tour kicking off to go through the songs we want to do, then get the set to twenty or so songs.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
My advice is to never give up. We need more women producers, engineers, and writers. Keep honing your skills and networking. Also, always lift up other women in the industry. I little love goes a long way. When we celebrate the success of others, we open up the Universe to our own.