Guitars and gear used by session/sidemen/touring players

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by fenderbender4, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    I was wondering what the most common guitars are that are heard on a lot of Top 40 Pop Albums i.e. Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, etc.

    Or is it just a combination of many type of guitars (Teles, Strats, Super Strats, PRS, etc)?

    There's always a lot of talk regarding artists who play their instruments, but less talk about what the people who play on the pop albums use. Is it mostly stuff from the studio as well?

    Edit: I kind of want to expand the thread. For all the session/studio/sidemen out there, I'm curious as to what kind of gear do you own? Also, what stuff do you mostly use out of your equipment? Thanks for your input.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  2. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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  3. Kaji13

    Kaji13 Member

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    My money is on Les-Paul style guitars
     
  4. EL 34 X2

    EL 34 X2 Member

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    I would think that the Nashville studio guitarists would use whatever works for a particular song, with the usual Telecasters and Stratocasters most prominent. The LA studio scene seems to be less talked about as it was in the late '70s and '80s. I could be all wrong as I have no special knowledge of either scene.
     
  5. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    I'm sure that Howard Roberts played on Taylor's CD, and he used an L5. I think i saw him on a stool, at the CMA's... <g>
     
  6. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    prob good guitars like PRS
     
  7. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    Most are probably Teles and Tele Pauls. They fit easily into any mix.
     
  8. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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    I used to do a lot of studio work (late 60's until the early 90's). Typically I would bring a ES-335, a Les Paul with humbuckers and another one with P-90&#8217;s, several Tele&#8217;s, several Strats, a Rickenbacker 360/12, a L5-CES, a Gretsch White Falcon, a 6-string Fender bass, a Martin D-28 and a Ramirez classical. I also usually brought a Jerry Jones electric sitar, a dobro, a banjo and a mandolin. Quite often a producer couldn&#8217;t tell you what specific guitar they wanted, but they could describe the sound of another record they wanted to emulate. You needed to be able to accomodate any request they had in terms of being able to produce the sound they were looking for. Along with all of the guitars, my cartage company would also bring my pedal board and several different amps to a typical session. The amps were typically a Tweed Deluxe, Princeton or Deluxe Reverb, AC-30 and a Marshall. For a lot of sessions perhaps only 1 or 2 guitars were used, but I did some recording sessions where most of the guitars were utilized. I would assume that things aren't all that different today.

    FVB
     
  9. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for your guys' knowledge and input. I'm always curious as to what touring and session guys use/have used on albums.
     
  10. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    Do session guys/gals usually have to bring their own stuff? Or is the gear already provided? Or is it 50/50?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I think I'm usually more interested in the sort of "behind the scenes" stuff that goes on than the actual artists a lot of the time.
     
  11. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    Yes, players are expected to bring all the toys/tools. Flyingvblues pretty much said it...One of everything! :aok

    Every player is different, bringing their own palette so to speak. There are staples...

    Matchless HC30, for instance. I think every session player in Nashville has one! Tweed or Blackface Deluxe are classic studio amps as well.
     
  12. razorbladeSD

    razorbladeSD Member

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    I think that was his point(sarcasm)...they are asking about contemporary pop studio guitarists...Not guys from 30 years ago.
     
  13. germs

    germs Member

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    Most tour players are able to use whatever they want, so long as it can reproduce the sound you hear on the album. There's not as much room for flexiblilty in Top 40 as there is for say modern rock gigs.

    Also, it's important to note that it needs to fit a certain image as well. If you're touring with a certain Idol who chose to record in the rock vein, you're not going to get up there with a strat. More likely choice would be an LP or PRS...see where I'm going?

    Studio guys - don't really know. I'd assume they just roll in with a cross section of guitars and go direct with the way things are going in the software dept...
     
  14. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    Do you guys use overdrive/Distortion pedals for gain? Or is it a lot of small amps turned up?
     
  15. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    the most common amplifier used on top 40 songs is the mesa dual rectifier. most are not playing anything that could be classified as metal.
     
  16. travisvwright

    travisvwright Member

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    Intresting why do you say that? (not the metal statement the Mesa being most common) I don't have a clue and am a bit surprsied. I would have suspected Fenders.
     
  17. ImmortalSix

    ImmortalSix Member

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    I was being the studio gopher / cord getter / coffee run dude for a session for a band that was well known for using PRS guitars on stage.

    While the PRS guitars were in the building, almost everything was recorded with an old Telecaster.

    Hearing the track a year later, I was thinking "if I didn't know that was a Telecaster, I'd be sitting here thinking, 'Man, great humbucker tone!'"

    :roll
     
  18. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    pro players have pretty discerning ears, but they tend not to be married to a particular piece of equipment. Rectos are so ubiquitous everywhere because they are damn reliable and extremely flexible with the EQ, gain levels, etc.

    rectos can do a pretty good imitation of lower wattage blues combos, etc. in terms of sound. The feel (i.e. compression, attack, etc.) is completely different. but the sounds are totally there. the cleans are pretty standard in terms of pop music. Most here would probably call them "sterile"... but with pop music that's often the point. The crunch and heavier tones are pretty standard.... the mesa crunch sound (along with marshall) is what pop audiences expect.


    i remember watching seeing both alicia keys live and T.I. on SNL. I remember seeing both of their guitarists playing rectos. Neither of them were using tones we really associate with rectos.
     
  19. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    Is boutique sort of stuff sort of frowned upon? I ask because I can imagine it might be upsetting to someone if they are comfortable mixing and have experience with people playing the more "traditional" pieces of equipment. Then when you get something different, I can see it perhaps being a problem.
     
  20. Dexter.Sinister

    Dexter.Sinister Still breathing Gold Supporting Member

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    For sessions I've played on, its been Les Pauls = ES335s > Teles = LP Jr > Strats > PRS cu24.

    NB. NONE were top 40...

    My pedalboards usually make an appearance and sometimes are very much in use. I have used a variety of old, noisy, odd pedals and a few newer pedals. An echoplex used to be used alot, but I lost it.

    I tend not to bring outboard gear, unless I think I have something that won't be in the studio and that I may use. I've tracked a bit with an Eventide H3000 a few years back and, more recently, the Axe-FX.

    I have had a variety of amps in the studio over the years, though usually use what they provide. I most recently tracked with a Duende and that printed really well.

    DS
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010

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