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View Full Version : How do you get a "jangly" sound?


tommygunn1986
04-01-2013, 04:10 PM
That classic British invasion-inspired jangle that all the indie bands are doing. Hard to explain. You know what I mean.

Ok so single coils, light overdrive, maybe a little compression, tube amp but what else? Is there a certain way these guys are playing chords to make them sound that way? Perhaps only playing bar chords on the top 4 string (reggae-style)?

Tip or advice anyone? Thanks.

Jahn
04-01-2013, 04:10 PM
nah, that's about it. single coils and a compressor will get you most of the way there. oh, and an "edgy" pick - believe it or not, i use The Edge's trick from U2 - a blue Herdim pick played with the nub part on the strings. it actually works.

Lephty
04-01-2013, 05:32 PM
That kind of tone has always eluded me too...it's part of why it's so difficult to play Beatles songs well. Seems to me you would also need a lot of power behind you in order to pull off that kind of sound onstage.

tommygunn1986
04-01-2013, 05:36 PM
The Beatles played Vox AC30s

cruisemates
04-01-2013, 06:03 PM
light gauge strings (9s) are way more jangly than heavy ones, especially when you tune them down a 1/2 step.

tommygunn1986
04-01-2013, 06:13 PM
light gauge strings (9s) are way more jangly than heavy ones, especially when you tune them down a 1/2 step.

Lighter gauge strings makes sense, but why would you tune down? I thought the idea was to make it more trebley. If anything, maybe put a capo on like the 5th fret and play open chords.

Mark Robinson
04-01-2013, 06:24 PM
Here's a recipe:
Vox AC-30 amp,
Celestion Alnico Blue speakers
Rickenbacker guitar, or Gretsch Guitar, or Fender guitar,
Light strings, 9-42 for 25.5 and 9.5 or less for 24.75" scale.
Season to taste with a compressor or very mild overdrive.

tommygunn1986
04-01-2013, 06:30 PM
Here's a recipe:
Vox AC-30 amp,
Celestion Alnico Blue speakers
Rickenbacker guitar, or Gretsch Guitar, or Fender guitar,
Light strings, 9-42 for 25.5 and 9.5 or less for 24.75" scale.
Season to taste with a compressor or very mild overdrive.

I've got a Fender Strat and a Vox AC4TV. Have compression and overdrive pedals too. Mainly I was wondering about what types of chord voicing one would use.

Mark Robinson
04-01-2013, 07:05 PM
Chords? For jangly sounds I like "fourthy" chords, suspensions, Majors, Majors with a third in the bass or some other "slash" type things. Drones are great, partial barres, moved up and down, with one or two open strings, which will give something similar to a 12 string effect. Learn Tom Petty songs, U2 songs, etc. Capo up and play cowboy cords, good old D, G, A, E, C, etc. Capo up at the fifth or seventh fret and see how that sounds?

dazco
04-01-2013, 08:55 PM
Use more distortion than you want for that type of tone on the amp, maybe the typical classic rock amount. Then use a guitar with a treble bleed in it and turn it down to about 5 or whatever it takes to get there. This works perfectly as long as the amp and guitar are configured for it. i use a strat with a 220k resistor and .001uf or 500pf cap in parallel as treble bleed and a amp with very good preamp drive. the amp is important. A great master vol amp and guitar like that will get you there big time. Trust me, that tone is my #1 fav and most used one and i've spent decades perfecting it. But getting it to sound really great is about tweaking things till it's there. The guitar, the treble bleed, the amp, it's all gotta be right to get the best of that tone.

stevel
04-01-2013, 09:07 PM
Jangly?

Open strings!

12-string guitars!

The kings of "jangle" were The Byrds - those 12 string Ricks (which the Beatles used a lot too).

Semi-acoustic electrics with a lot of open chords will get you 90 percent of the way there.

If you don't have 12 string access, you can "fake" it - chorus pedals certainly help (as would any harmonizer that gives you an octave up) but if you understand a little about 12s:

The E A D and G strings are doubled in octaves - the B and E are not. That means when you play an open position E chord, the G# (1st fret 3rd string) is going to also sound a high G# (1st string 4th fret). One way to get that sound is to have two guitars playing - one with regular open chords, and one with those upper string voicings you mention. Another way to do it is to play voicings higher on the neck that allow your B and/or E strings to ring. So in other words, if you play an E like so:

0
9
9
9
7
0

or like so:

0
0
13
14
14
0

You'll get those higher octaves mixed in with the open E and B, which gives it more of that ringy sound.

HTH,
Steve

Clifford-D
04-01-2013, 09:42 PM
Rickenbaker Vox and a coiled guitar chord

tommygunn1986
04-01-2013, 10:22 PM
Thanks for all the great tips!

KiwiJoe
04-02-2013, 01:08 AM
Cowbell. Definitely more cowbell.

JonR
04-02-2013, 04:43 AM
Surely, "jangly" is down to arpeggiating rather than strumming? Not necessarily careful arpeggiation (as in the Animals House of the Rising Sun), but picking in and out of the chords, highlighting a few strings at a time (all ringing together) rather than full strumming.

Of course, the gear recommended above is the major part of the picture. It's just whatever happened to be avialable at the time, not a deliberate tonal choice by the players. It was Vox AC30s (and maybe Selmers) because that's pretty much all there was. Certainly once the Shadows, Beatles and Stones were all seen playing Vox, that's all anyone thought there was...

As for guitars, let's not forget the Epiphone Casino: thinline hollow body (no 335 block), P90s. I'm the proud owner of an original early 60s model, and can vouch for its authentic clunky, chunky jangle, especially when plugged into an old AC30 or Selmer Truvoice. No effects, other than the fruity crunch of the valves (as we called them) and the onboard spring reverb. They (we) simply had no effects pedals in those days. As soon as they did (Fuzz Faces, Wah!), goodbye jangle...

Casinos were played by Lennon and Harrison from 66-68 (Day Tripper, Paperback Writer, etc, Casino riffs), by Dave Davies of the Kinks in 64/65, by Keith Richard a few times around then.
Here's Dave Davies with his:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4DV-5d6a5g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NuOuPINI3k
(Ignore Ray D's embarrassing antics, and gaze at that gleaming Epi...)

The Beatles with theirs:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK6mbDogtcw

KiwiJoe
04-02-2013, 05:48 AM
I think a perfect example of "jangly" is the opening bars of "Listen to Her Heart" by Tom Petty. Vox jangle, and I think Mike Campbell is even playing an old Rickenbacker, too.

filtersweep
04-02-2013, 07:05 AM
Some sort of high pass EQing doesn't seem to hurt. Strumming a chord on an electric produces a huge range of frequencies that doesn't leave room for much else in the mix.

JonR
04-02-2013, 07:10 AM
^ Yes. Modern recording technology is obviously many times more sophisticated than it was in the 1960s, so modern indie "jangle" is much more controllable than 60s jangle, when they did little more than point microphones at the amps.
I guess almost any guitar can be given that sound with enough EQ control.

huw
04-02-2013, 07:25 AM
Interesting that some people are recommending light strings - when the Beatles were first recording there weren't any available. So heavy strings, probably flatwounds at that, are part of the "authentic" sound...

Beyond that I'd say compression is a key ingredient. Roger McGuinn used it heavily to get the Byrds' tone (even had a comp built into his signature Rickenbaker). The first time I played my Les Paul through my new compressor my wife stuck her head round the door and said "hey, that sounds like a Rickenbaker" (obviously it sounded like a compressed LP, but what she meant was that it jangled...)

Snottyboy
04-02-2013, 07:49 AM
A ton of great advice already. Listen to the players very closely and learn from them. One of my big influences of this style that I haven't seen mentioned is Peter Buck (REM)...really picked up my right hand technique playing his stuff.

IGuitUpIGuitDown
04-02-2013, 07:56 AM
I always just learned a ton of Smiths songs: "William, It Was Really Nothing"

Once you know a few, you're janglin' with the best of them - by default. I played a Jaguar with an EMG single coil in the neck, and would get all kinds of jangly sounds.

But it's really about how you strum, and the chord (many times, open) voicings. If you're a clumsy strummer, jangle is more difficult. Loosen that wrist.

IGuitUpIGuitDown
04-02-2013, 04:38 PM
...

cruisemates
04-02-2013, 07:55 PM
Lighter gauge strings makes sense, but why would you tune down? I thought the idea was to make it more trebley. If anything, maybe put a capo on like the 5th fret and play open chords.

I am speaking from experience - MY definition if "jangly" means "loose" strings with kind of a rubber band style of complex vibration.

Our band just tuned down a 1/2 step for our new singer and the word that came to mind for the sound of our guitars afterwards was "jangly".

Maybe the OP has a different definition of jangly, but to me a capo would be the opposite of jangly, because when you have shorter string lengths then the side to side string excursion is faster and less complex in vibration.

Take a banjo - a traditionally "jangly" sounding instrument when strummed using lower register chords because f the very light gauge (8s) strings, but actually a very bright and distinct sounding instrument when finger picked using the upper register.

"Jangly" to me means loose strings, not tight ones.

guitarsenal
04-02-2013, 08:09 PM
Beatles, Byrds, The Mammas and the Poppas, Mike Campbell, Peter Buck. 12 String, 12 String, 12 String, 12 String, 12 String, 12 String. Lots of arpeggiated open position chords. A compressor, reverb and a really clean amp.

With such interest in jangle, I guess it's time to put my Dano 12 String up on the emporium.

tommygunn1986
04-02-2013, 08:41 PM
Beatles, Byrds, The Mammas and the Poppas, Mike Campbell, Peter Buck. 12 String, 12 String, 12 String, 12 String, 12 String, 12 String. Lots of arpeggiated open position chords. A compressor, reverb and a really clean amp.

With such interest in jangle, I guess it's time to put my Dano 12 String up on the emporium.

NIIICE. Wish I had the money to buy it. How is that thing anyways? I basically heard that it's decent enough, considering the low cost

tommygunn1986
04-02-2013, 08:54 PM
Whoa just got an idea since so many people were talking about ways to "fake" a 12-string sorta sound. What if I "Nashville tuned" my Riviera. Oh man, I gotta try that. Might just do it to my Squier Tele though, so I can just leave it that way.

Has anyone on here ever Nashville tuned an electric guitar before? If so, how'd it go?

jefesq
04-02-2013, 09:47 PM
Janglebox?

http://janglebox.com/

Blueser13
04-02-2013, 10:08 PM
I am speaking from experience - MY definition if "jangly" means "loose" strings with kind of a rubber band style of complex vibration.

Our band just tuned down a 1/2 step for our new singer and the word that came to mind for the sound of our guitars afterwards was "jangly".

Maybe the OP has a different definition of jangly, but to me a capo would be the opposite of jangly, because when you have shorter string lengths then the side to side string excursion is faster and less complex in vibration.

Take a banjo - a traditionally "jangly" sounding instrument when strummed using lower register chords because f the very light gauge (8s) strings, but actually a very bright and distinct sounding instrument when finger picked using the upper register.

"Jangly" to me means loose strings, not tight ones.
I'm not completely disagreeing with you but here is a prime example of a jangly song played with a capo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQSGw0hMd_I

Jahn
04-02-2013, 10:17 PM
nah, that's about it. single coils and a compressor will get you most of the way there. oh, and an "edgy" pick - believe it or not, i use The Edge's trick from U2 - a blue Herdim pick played with the nub part on the strings. it actually works.

yep janglebox is what i use, and a Ric 12, skipped the amp and just went straight into garageband via apogee duet, some clean amp setting on the S-Gear plugin. canned drums, noodling with the LP baritone, and here you go:

YYqHEfEWd6E

don't forget that blue herdim pick, nub side to the strings!

walterw
04-02-2013, 10:28 PM
a big part of it is two pickup guitars (rics, gretsches, gibsons, teles) with the switch in the middle, to add chime and complexity to the tone.

crank the amp, roll back the guitar to clean it up somewhat, use drone-y chords with open and high-fretted notes together, and off you go.

tommygunn1986
04-03-2013, 08:19 AM
I am speaking from experience - MY definition if "jangly" means "loose" strings with kind of a rubber band style of complex vibration.

Our band just tuned down a 1/2 step for our new singer and the word that came to mind for the sound of our guitars afterwards was "jangly".

Maybe the OP has a different definition of jangly, but to me a capo would be the opposite of jangly, because when you have shorter string lengths then the side to side string excursion is faster and less complex in vibration.

Take a banjo - a traditionally "jangly" sounding instrument when strummed using lower register chords because f the very light gauge (8s) strings, but actually a very bright and distinct sounding instrument when finger picked using the upper register.

"Jangly" to me means loose strings, not tight ones.

To most people, jangly means trebley.

By your definition, you could get some serious jangle with THIS
http://i1277.photobucket.com/albums/y483/tommygunn9999/DSC02312_zps55dcdff7.jpg

cruisemates
04-03-2013, 01:17 PM
To most people, jangly means trebley.

By your definition, you could get some serious jangle with THIS
http://i1277.photobucket.com/albums/y483/tommygunn9999/DSC02312_zps55dcdff7.jpg

Sorry - gotta disagree, to most people "jangly" means "loose" and creating bright but random sounds.

Websters: to produce a harsh, discordant sound, as two comparatively small, thin, or hollow pieces of metal hitting together: The charms on her bracelet jangle as she moves.

Rogets: jangly

Main Entry: cacophonous  [kuh-kof-uh-nuhs]
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: harsh sounding
Synonyms: clinking, discordant, disharmonic, dissonant, grating, ill-sounding, immusical, inharmonious, jangly , jarring, noisy, raucous, sour, strident, unmusical

That bass has very heavy strings, with the lighter ones being tuned to higher pitches. That might create a bright sound, but to me "bright" is more congruous with "clear" and "distinct" while "jangly" means (as noted in the definitions above) "raucous, clinking, disharmonic..." etc.

When you loosen strings the vibrate in more complex patterns - same fundamental note as a higher gauge string tuned to the same note, but with more complex harmonic patterns, especially of close lower frequencies, not clear or distinct at all.

vhollund
04-04-2013, 06:53 PM
Indie jangle is offen the sound of the guitar guitar , a Fender Jazzmaster.
no eq

General jangle Try this:

Take 6-9 db out at 1khz and cut out some lows from 100 hertz and down

If you want more harmonics , slight distortion after eq will give you that, clean up with gt volume.
Single Coils ofcourse


For those of you who are so unfortunate only to have an old 60s eq like a neve 1073 (sucks!) , i'd be glad to do a swap it for a "modern recording technology" new eq.
No charge ! I'll even pay the shipping.

Just helping out ;) haha





^ Yes. Modern recording technology is obviously many times more sophisticated than it was in the 1960s, so modern indie "jangle" is much more controllable than 60s jangle, when they did little more than point microphones at the amps.

I guess almost any guitar can be given that sound with enough EQ control.



Pointing mics at amps might seem primitive to you , but its still the preferred method for "eq'ing" the sound

guitarsenal
04-04-2013, 07:33 PM
NIIICE. Wish I had the money to buy it. How is that thing anyways? I basically heard that it's decent enough, considering the low cost

It's perfectly fine. Not the same mojo as a Rick or Jerry Jones. It was perfect in a cover band setting, where I needed it for a few Petty, Springsteen (the River has 12 string all over it) and Byrds tunes. I'd still use it if I didn't find a Rick 660/12 in the emporium at a great price.

vhollund
04-04-2013, 08:23 PM
:DOr shorter
Fender Jazzmaster, no EQ !

wblakesx
04-19-2013, 01:32 AM
alot can be done with lots of treble from the amp and a light pick, but you need to play around with it to get the right touch. That said my best jangle may have come fro a strat through a ss Sunn Colleseum. Try different amps and don't be shy about ss.