Pursuit of Tone: Effortless Effects

Week 1 is now complete, watch the archive below

Live each Wednesday at 6pm EST for the next 10 weeks. Archives available within a few hours after each course. This course will show you just how much proper use of effects can improve your playing.

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Full Course Schedule

View the full course schedule below. And of course, we keep everything, so if you miss a week you can always watch our archive of live courses. Tabs, backing tracks, and a full course PDF are provided for students, along with homework for each week! Interact with other students along with the instructor and get the instruction you need to advance your playing.

Date Topic

Session 1

01/04/17 at 6pm EST

Bare Bones

Let’s take a look at the most fundamental setup known to an electric guitar player: a guitar and the amp! When we clear everything else out, we pay more attention to things like strings, pickup configurations, and the small amount of knobs we can use to dial in a basic “feel good” tone that makes us feel comfortable playing. It’s essential to start with a good ‘guitar to amp’ sound! We’ll dial that in!

Session 2

01/11/17 at 6pm EST Get Access

Let’s Talk About Drive

It’s easy to turn on, but it is a total art when it comes to dialing in the perfect ‘drive’ for the sound you need. We’ll talk about the different flavors of drive and the different ways to get it. We’ll also discuss what drive effects work well with different kinds of music.

Session 3

01/18/17 at 6pm EST Get Access

The Different Types of Clean

There’s ‘bare bones’ clean, and then there’s clean but with a few ingredients added. Many times, these ingredients can make or break how the guitar sits in the pocket from a tone point of view. We’ll listen to examples of clean boosting, compression and discuss pickup positions and types. You’ll get some great ideas for tightening up your clean tones.

Session 4

01/25/17 at 6pm EST Get Access

The World of Gain Stacking

The achievement of the ideal tone is often a strategic combination of many different tools. Gain stacking is the careful mixture of multiple drive units to blend together the various characteristics of each. There’s lots of flexibility here, and lots of ways to go overboard, too! We’ll show you how the pros do it. Now that you’ve learned how to dial in your basic clean and drive sounds, we’ll show you how to combine a few things to get a truly musical and unique sound!

Session 5

02/01/17 at 6pm EST Get Access

Using Reverb

It’s a knob on your amp, a pedal or maybe even something you add on your computer. There are many different ways to make your guitar playing sound wet. We’ll talk about signal chain, and the various popular ways that people dial in their reverb. You’ll also learn what all the terms mean so you can get your sound just rig

Session 6

02/08/17 at 6pm EST Get Access

Introduction to Delay

Once you get your feet wet with reverb, you’re ready to introduce another aspect of ambience in to your setup. Delay is a great way to add depth and dimension to your playing and can be used in such a way that it almost isn’t heard as “delay.” It just adds a huge amount of life to your playing. We’ll explore the subtle use of delay in this session. You’ll learn all about signal chain, and all the little settings you can tweak so you can match what you’re musical mind is wanting.

Session 7

02/15/17 at 6pm EST Get Access

Creativity With Time-Based Delay

Although delay sounds great when used to layer and add wetness to your sound, it can also be used in a not-so-subtle rhythmic way. We’ll explore this application in this session. We’ll practice a lot with a click track, and study how different subdivisions interact with your playing as the delay effect becomes front and center in your playing. We’ll also look at several delay setups so that you know how to dial in the right effect for your part.

Session 8

02/22/17 at 6pm EST Get Access

Tremolos, Flangers and Phasers

These effects can also add a nice rhythm element to your playing, or they can be used in a more subtle way. We’ll explore both ways in this session. These effects are often considered to be the toppings on a sundae rather than a main staple.

Session 9

03/01/17 at 6pm EST Get Access

Wahs and Whammys

The wah effect has found its way into many different styles of music. The whammy is less common, but still sneaks in and provides some very unconventional guitar sounds. Both of these effects need to be well-understood in terms of signal chain and they require practice to use correctly and tastefully. They don’t play themselves! We’ll show you how!

Session 10

03/08/17 at 6pm EST Get Access

Build The Complete Rig

In this last session, we’ll review general signal chain from guitar to speaker. We’ll also have a more in-depth discussion about different technology out there that helps you meet your effects needs. There are many ways to achieve the same sounds. What’s right for you?