Gear and Effects (Guitar Lesson)

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Chris Liepe

Gear and Effects

A key aspect of Tom's playing is his unique use of effects. His effects setup is rather minimalistic. However, he uses effects in combination with conventional and non conventional guitar techniques to generate a large pallet of tonal colors. In this lesson, Chris Liepe takes a look at some of the tools Tom uses to create his signature sounds.

Taught by Chris Liepe in Style of Tom Morello seriesLength: 24:02Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Lesson 4: Tom Morello -Gear and Effects

Tom's playing centers around a minimalistic FX setup that, combined with certain techniques generates very unique sounds. Let's look at some of the tools Tom uses to create his signature tones and effects:

Signal Chain:
Guitar --> Wah --> Amp

Serial FX Loop:
SEND --> Whammy --> Digital Delay --> Analog Delay --> EQ --> Flanger --> Phaser --> RETURN

The amp stays on the dirty channel and gain is moderated by the volume knob. The EQ is used primarily as a Post Gain boost for added sustain and possible feedback options during leads.

Wah - uses mainly for rhythmic and riff effects as opposed to ripping a lead with a wah effect. He also uses it to help moderate feedback or create certain 'scratching'/DJ effects.

Whammy - Pitch shifter and harmonizer in pedal form. There are many creative uses for this one. Tom mainly uses it for his soloing, although it can be found in rhythmic riffs and chord progressions as well.

Delay - His pedalboard usually features only one delay pedal that he will sometimes manipulate during or between songs to get a desired sound. He frequently uses a slap back for unique 'helicopter' effects. He also uses longer delay times for solos that have an ambient feel to them.

EQ - Usually, the EQ portion remains flat, but the gain is bumped slightly. Because of its location in the chain (post distortion) it acts primarily as a volume boost, allowing for more volume without altering the tone significantly.

Flanger/Phaser - Both effects are used on intros or outros on various songs.

Guitars:
Tom Morello has used a Fender Telecaster, a Gibson Les Paul, and many custom made guitars to generate his sound. Most of his solos are performed with a guitar that has a whammy bar as well as a 'kill switch,' which allows him to 'kill' his signal while playing. This is primarily where the DJ/heavy gated sound comes primarily. If you don't have a kill switch, don't worry, you can always use a guitar that has separate volume controls for each pickup--like a Les Paul or SG. Simply turn down one set of volume knobs and use the pickup selector as the kill switch.

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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


soundofsulfursoundofsulfur replied

Very, very good lesson.

the_funky_fluffthe_funky_fluff replied

Extremly cool lessons!! You┬┤re an awsome teacher!! But when Rage started Tom Morello didn't use a les paul, he used his Arm the Homeless guitar!!

alecalec replied

how much does that whammey effects pedal cost,cause i might want that for my birthday or chirstmas present

kutlesskutless replied

Great information and Great job Chris. It would be so cool to see some different artists' set ups. Thanks

skelligskellig replied

fantastic Chris, thanks

Style of Tom Morello

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

This Series will dive into the world of Tom Morello, Demonstrating how he accomplishes his very unique sound.



Style Of Tom Morello: Song IntroductionLesson 1

Style Of Tom Morello: Song Introduction

Chris Liepe introduces his "Style of Tom Morello" Series with an original song that utilizes key aspects of Tom's playing. This song serves as a preview to the rhythm and lead guitar techniques that will...

Length: 5:01 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Tom Morello: Writing ToolsLesson 2

Tom Morello: Writing Tools

Chris Liepe discusses one of Tom Morello's primary writing tools - the minor pentatonic scale. First, Chris demonstrates the five patterns of the pentatonic scale. Then, he shares a few ideas that will...

Length: 18:35 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Morello: 3 Note per String SoloingLesson 3

Morello: 3 Note per String Soloing

Chris Liepe looks into the fundamentals of Tom Morello's lead guitar style. Tom frequently plays fluid legato licks in his solos. Many of these legato lines utilize scale patterns that contain three notes...

Length: 19:49 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Gear and EffectsLesson 4

Gear and Effects

A key aspect of Tom's playing is his unique use of effects. His effects setup is rather minimalistic. However, he uses effects in combination with conventional and non conventional guitar techniques to...

Length: 24:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Unconventional TechniquesLesson 5

Unconventional Techniques

Chris Liepe demonstrates how Tom Morello combines scale ideas, melodic phrasing and strategic effects to create unconventional guitar sounds.

Length: 18:02 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Structure of a Morello Style SongLesson 6

Structure of a Morello Style Song

Chris Liepe breaks down the structural form of a typical song written by Tom Morello. He explains how choruses can be used as emotional highs as well as where Tom may enhance the drama of a song by using...

Length: 7:31 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
They Got It AllLesson 7

They Got It All

Chris Liepe teaches a Tom Morello inspired song entitled "They Got It All." This song utilizes all of the techniques taught in the previous lessons within this series. Here, Chris demonstrates his own...

Length: 68:45 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Chris Liepe

About Chris Liepe View Full Biography Chris Liepe was born on September 17th, 1981 in Portland OR. His first instrument was piano which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. He became fans of such groups as Soundgarden, Collective Soul and U2 inspiring him to start singing, songwriting and helping others in their musical endeavors with teaching, co-writing and album production.

Having moved to Colorado with his family, he began gigging, recording and teaching in a number of music stores as well as out of his apartment until deciding to pursue music full time. He moved to Denver, CO to complete a Bachelors in Music Technology and was then hired on by Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me. He also wrote for and played on numerous independent albums and hundreds of radio/TV commercials.

Wanting to get back to his favorite State in the world (Colorado) and feeling the urge to 'go freelance', Chris moved to Greeley, CO and opened his own recording and teaching studio. He continues to write and produce music for artists and agencies and is happy to be among the proud JamPlay.com instructors.

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