This is a trick I discovered on my own a couple of years ago, but Shawn Persinger a/k/a Prester John demonstrates it beautifully in this video. I would add two things: you don’t necessarily need reverb, but don’t we just love it? And, depending on the octave fuzz, you might find that lowering your guitar volume, while on the bridge pickup, increases the “sitar” effect.
Paul Guy, a guitar repairman in Sweden has issued a wonderful treatise on tuning the instrument. I have written about this myself, but I learned a couple of new things from this. I imagine you will too. If you want to skip the theory, go straight to Intonation. One thing he doesn’t address, that I have experienced, is some guitars just “sound” more in tune than others. My theory is that the vibration of some guitars, as it is transferred to the strings, contains more “harmonious” overtones than other guitars. Has anyone else had this experience?
Tuning the guitar by Paul Guy
Tuning has always been a bugbear for guitarists. Every guitar player – and every guitar builder and repairer – is familiar with the problem. No matter how good the instrument, and how well tuned and adjusted, it never sounds perfectly in tune in all positions and keys.
The folks at the Gig Rig posted this amazing video of how they put together Radiohead guitarist, Ed Obrien’s pedalboard, a Pedaltrain Grande with their G2 switching system, Loopy2 routing box, powered by their Generator and Isolator power system. Almost everything here is available off the shelf—nothing is custom made. The pedals include a Fulltone Clyde wah pedal, a Digitech Whammy controlled by a Molten Voltage MIDI 2 pedal, a Molten Voltage OZ Looper controller (no doubt controlling the Strymon Timeline, a Klon and Hot Cakes overdrives, a vintage CSL Super Fuzz (a/k/a Sola Sound), an Eventide H9, a Diamond Tremolo, a Dinosaural compressor, an MXR Flanger, a volume pedal and an Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man.
Check it out.
Andy Othling’s site, Reverb Nerds, is a treasure trove for modern guitarists who use ambience (reverb, delay, etc.) in their music. His Ambient Tips are well shot and infomative, as are his gear demos. If you ever wondered how to get cool sounds out of the more esoteric Earthquaker devices, Andy is your man. Also check out his personal site for more gear geeking and tips about music promotion.
If you are interested in playing a guitar through a laptop this is a great series from modern guitarist/polymath Christopher Willits. I embedded Episode 2 because 1 is basic nuts and bolts about getting your sound into the computer—essential if you are just starting, but 2 might be of interest to more advanced players as well.