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Eric Johnson tone with a Tele?

Oozymouf

Member
Messages
505
I'd like to know if anyone here can more or less get that awesome lead tone using a Tele bridge pickup with the tone rolled back (similar to how EJ does with his Strats). I've been looking around to see if anyone has been able to do it, and the only video I found is this Joe Bonamassa one (@4:40).



I'd answer this question myself, but I lack a Tele (or a friend that owns one) and I don't want to buy one first :p
 

rufedges

Member
Messages
1,267
Ummmmm, are you looking for a challenege or just trolling? You don't have a Tele........Joe Bs rig and even some of his style takes some cues from EJ, so that is a big part of it. However, he still cannot replicate EJ exactly, no-one can, and to want to try to do it with a Telecaster is going to make is more difficult IMHO.
 

Oozymouf

Member
Messages
505
Ummmmm, are you looking for a challenege or just trolling? You don't have a Tele........Joe Bs rig and even some of his style takes some cues from EJ, so that is a big part of it. However, he still cannot replicate EJ exactly, no-one can, and to want to try to do it with a Telecaster is going to make is more difficult IMHO.
Nah, not trolling. I didn't say I wanted to get an exact EJ sound with a tele, just wondering if it could approximate it.

If it helps, I can get ~70% with the strat I have at the moment, and I like the sound a ton; I'm just looking to try out a tele, and I've heard that the difference between the bridge pickups of a strat and tele become less noticeable as overdrive increases.
 

guitguy28

Member
Messages
1,163
I once demoed a Vox AC4 amp with a CV Tele. I had the Vox on full blast (on the 1-watt mode), where it gets a really raunchy, dark natural overdrive. On the Tele bridge I had the tone knob rolled down to about half. I was definitely getting an EJ-style tone with that. So IMO, yes a Tele can definitely get an EJ tone.
A Tele can certainly do twang, but when you roll off that tone knob you can get so many more sounds out of it.
 

batsbrew

Member
Messages
5,899
i don't think you can, using a tele-style bridge.

now, if you put a fat strat pickup in there, and replace the standard bridge with a 6-saddle hardtail-style strat bridge, you'd get a lot closer.
 

Presc

Member
Messages
1,445
I absolutely think you can. While EJ has a very complex and expensive signal chain, getting in the ballpark really isn't hard.

Find a nice smooth, somewhat compressed OD pedal, add a touch of delay (with the right settings, I don't know the ms and repeats I like to use, I just feel it out) and reverb behind it, and the rest is in being able to mimic his touch and note selection. A Tele is very direct sounding, but roll off the highs with the tone knob and get a soft feeling OD and you can definitely approximate it reasonably well.
 

Oozymouf

Member
Messages
505
I absolutely think you can. While EJ has a very complex and expensive signal chain, getting in the ballpark really isn't hard.

Find a nice smooth, somewhat compressed OD pedal, add a touch of delay (with the right settings, I don't know the ms and repeats I like to use, I just feel it out) and reverb behind it, and the rest is in being able to mimic his touch and note selection. A Tele is very direct sounding, but roll off the highs with the tone knob and get a soft feeling OD and you can definitely approximate it reasonably well.
Yup, I use a Tube Driver with a Montavillian Echo behind it and roll the treble back a bit on the bridge pickup. Gets me pretty close to his tone, or at least as close as I'd like to be. I just haven't seen anyone try to use a telecaster that way at all...
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,328
Nothing complicated with EJ's lead tone, Tubedriver, EP-3 and a Marshall. Expensive yes, complicated, not at all. :)
Also, he doesn't roll off is tone control on the bridge pickup that much, it's at 7-8.

But he sets his amp quite dark. And LOUD! :)
 

Oozymouf

Member
Messages
505
Nothing complicated with EJ's lead tone, Tubedriver, EP-3 and a Marshall. Expensive yes, complicated, not at all. :)
Also, he doesn't roll off is tone control on the bridge pickup that much, it's at 7-8.

But he sets his amp quite dark. And LOUD! :)
Yeah, I never meant rolling off the tone entirely :p I remember a video of him saying that he rolls off just enough to take the top-end bite out of the high E string.

I think I also saw a video (or a picture) in which he was using his Twins entirely instead of a Marshall for leads!
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,328
Yeah, I never meant rolling off the tone entirely :p I remember a video of him saying that he rolls off just enough to take the top-end bite out of the high E string.

I think I also saw a video (or a picture) in which he was using his Twins entirely instead of a Marshall for leads!

Yeah, like here using just a pair of Deluxe Reverbs :)

 

zorak

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,427
One thing I have found with owning Tele's, it helps having a very hot pickup. Gives you more saturation and helps create a darker tone. These vintage-style Tele pups are twangy and nasally. But that's what most peeps like about Teles.

I had an Esquire with a Rio Grande hot Tele pup (big pole pieces) and that thing was amazing. Dark tone, loud and very round sounding. It did EJ tone very well. Now, of course, my playing didn't....;-0
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
I've done convincing EJ with a 335, strat, tele, modified wolfgang, etc. A big part of the EJ feel is his pick attack. I've described it to people as almost brushing the string sideways. Someone pointed out to me that he describes it as "bouncing" in one of his videos.

Listen carefully to his tone. It's very basic....nothing tricky at all. All of the magic is in the note attack. It's a very soft and wide attack, and the note seems to grow. When you get the pick attack going, you'll be 80% to an EJ tone. Like a lot of immediately recognizable tones, actually, it's mostly the player and the way they attack the instrument that gets them the "signature" part of the signature sound.
 

Oozymouf

Member
Messages
505
Yeah, the attack is definitely important!

@Zorak: how hot of a pickup are you talking about? With single coils, I try to not go above 6.8k Ohm DC resistance, for fear of losing the top end.
 

zorak

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,427
The Rio Grande was around 9-10K. Didn't really lose too much top end. And really, it's not that much hotter than vintage, but gives you a more filled-out sound.

I totally agree that part of the EJ tone is pick attack. He brushes up against the strings a lot and that has a sound of its own. I started doing this in the mid-80's after hearing him and I really like it. Keeps the brightness down and accentuates certain frequencies that I want.
 






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