Tone Talk with Valiance Sapphire

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My name is Valiance Sapphire. I’ve been a professional musician, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and music teacher for over a decade. I teach guitar, vocals, piano, songwriting, and stage performance to kids ages six to seventeen. I’m also a certified RYT Kundalini Yoga Teacher.

I studied Guitar Technique at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA, where I worked with many artists in the industry. I’ve also had the honor of being featured in Bass Musician Magazine.

In 2014, I performed for the Mayor and City Council of Grand Terrace, CA, at the Yearly Annual Mayors ball.

I’ve been the guitarist and lead singer of two bands, one in Long Beach, CA, and the other in Portland, Oregon.

In my perspective, music is a way for one’s soul to co-create with the universe—mixing magical frequencies with the divine.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
My definition of tone for the indie music I create is, the brighter the tone, the more magical the musical experience will be!

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What are your favorite tonewoods?
Sitka spruce wood top with a layered Indian rosewood back for optimal brightness and high-end sound.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
I’m currently recording with a Schecter Tempest Standard electric guitar, which is plugged into my pedalboard and out of a Marshall DSL-100H half stack. I’m currently using Rook and Dewdrop pedals by Mojo Hand FX. Tremolo, delay, and a screamer fuzz pedal, all by Cusack. One can never have too many pedals in my book.

What about strings?
String sizes vary depending on what instrument I’m playing, but I tend towards Dunlop, Ernie Ball, and Elixir.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
I’m obsessed with a live drum recording. The process of setting up a live acoustic drum set is gnarly, and the sound is unparalleled.

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
I always perform with a bit of reverb. I tend towards airy, ethereal vocals and guitar sound whenever I perform.

What does your practice consist of?
When I was in music school full-time, I basically had no choice but to practice for about fourteen hours a day. There was never a moment where I didn’t have my electric guitar in my hands. Now my practice consists of about four hours a day. More if I’m lucky!

Favorite guitar riff or lick that inspired you to pick up the guitar and play?
The solo from “Hotel California.” The sheet music is twenty pages long. And there’s about six guitars riffing in that solo.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
My advice would be to follow your dreams no matter what obstacles you are faced with. I’m a full-time mom now, as well as a musician, and it’s important for us women to show our daughters how important it is to be consistent, strong, and dedicated to our passions. You can have a music career and a family. There’s no giving up! Music is forever.

Connect with Valiance Sapphire on IG @rocknrollyogimama

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