Lead Tones...


New member
Hello guys... my first post here... i have problems with my lead tone. i use 2 effects for lead playing, one is metal zone and the other is overdrive(ZOOM 707II). When i jam with my frens and use the metal zone as lead, my guitar sound will just "drown" and cannot be heard. when i use the overdrive,it can be heard but there will be a feedback sound coming from the amp... i dun noe wats wrong... thanx for reading dis... n dis site is awesome! rock on! :smt035
Well, without seeing your settings in a band situation, this isn't too easy to advise on, but one thing you want to be aware of is the frequencies that you set in the eq of the amp and effects pedals.

The 'metal' type pedals are often designed to give big chunky sounds in the lower range such as the 'scooped' eq settings (high bass, low mid, high treble) used by bands like Metallica. This is a thumping bass heavy noise which can collide with the frequencies that the bass is giving out.

Experiment with making your lead tone fill more of the upper registers, i.e. boost the upper mids and treble and see if that helps you to cut through.

Judging from your post, I surmise your band have not being jamming together for long. I have some advise which could help.

A lot of bands when starting out (esp teenage), don't understand the meaning of power. Their idea is just "you play loud, I'll just play louder".

In a jamming studio, most of the time, because everyone wants good powerfull amp. Almost all studios will have amps that is TOO powerfull for the jam room, when you crank it up.

Even my own studio, I'm using Peavey Bandit 1X12 80watts, although not that big (like 2X12 or 4X12). It's still too powerfull when you crank it high. My amp has being used for performance, it's loud enough not to require mike up. (Just used it yesterday, can fill an entire bus interchange)

So, NEVER operate the studio amps at max. The small room can only accomodate SO much noise. One rule of thumb, if you can hear your own playing, it's loud enough. Educate the rest of your band members, also your drummer. You play louder, he wack harder.

The result, you don't practise, you just there to satisfy your own ego. Worst, you break the studio equipment and drum and you have to pay for it.

Yeah, feedback that you don't know how to control, means you have not learn much about playing lead at all. Learn to work your guitar volume, the gain on effect and volume on amp. All these correspond to the sound you desire. If you don't understand how they work, then you cannot play LEAD properly. Find someone to teach you, or go for lessons, or read more books on this.

Mikemann Music Studio
hi Liquid-Syah
welcome to the forum.
Where exactly did u play the mrtalzone?before of after the zoom device.
If theres feedback coming frm the amp, means that ur gain , drive or vol is too much,

It could also b that ur standing very near to the amp,The feedback might be coming from the vocal mic as well.

There are lots of possibility.Ease a bit on the gain,drive or vol.
If u intent to use both device at the same time,then the first device the drive should be very low (Adjust accordingly)
It is meant as a boost...
Take care not too loud as you might lose ur hearing ...over a long period.
Hey all... thanx for the replies and advises... i'll keep it in mind... i would love to learn more on lead playing... any recommendations anyone?? hehehe... :lol:
Liquid-Syah said:
Hey all... thanx for the replies and advises... i'll keep it in mind... i would love to learn more on lead playing... any recommendations anyone?? hehehe... :lol:

How abt this...

When you are done setting up a proper lead sound that will cut thru the mix of the band, give a shot at getting good tone.
A good clear lead tone is priceless. Many metal guitarists suffer from a tone that has so little mids, its as good as a rhythm tone. IMO, good lead tone has to have mids. It has to be clear so your playing come thru easily without becoming muddy.

An example of muddy sounding tone and clear tone IMO is Symphony X's Micheal Romeo's bridge tone. Its a Dimarzio X2N pickup and its very mid-less.
Then when he changes over the the neck pickup, a Tonezone, ah, the mids kick in and you hear a glorious searing lead tone! John Petrucci's neck pickup (Air Norton) is good tone too...

Then when you are done getting good tone, it could be time... if you wanna go for it, to try and get a unique tone! :) Thats a challenge! Ppl like Satch, Vai and Petrucci come to mind immediately!

Hope thats something... :)
hi, I dont think that Micheal Romeo tone is muddy, but certainly feel that his tone is 'dry" less midrange..

Maybe thats the kind of tone that he wanted.

Im using an X2N pickup on by Ibanez and i feel that the midrange and the tone i get quiet satisfactory.. ofcourse there are other factors contributing to this.

Even my other guitarist amazed at the clarity and the "attack" coming from the amp.I achieve this without the help of Eq.

gordonzz to bring out more midrange u need to raise the slider of the eq pedal at the 400-600hz i think, best at 500hz.
he's just capable of playing stuff like that with a dry tone then lol since you put it that its dry..:D
yup ur right...
he can play clean with that kinda Dry tone...
whereas others cant, thats the big difference..
Micheal Romeo is good... :) Would like to hear him improvise some blues though... haha... that will be great!

I stand corrected regarding the muddy tone comment... like what you said Penguin, its just lacking mids...

In any case, I kind of prefer having a middy kind of lead tone... heh... hence, my choice of Micheal Romeo as a "bad" example... :wink:
ah yes, I would describe Becker's tone as 'wet'. At least from the few songs I've heard like eleven blue egyptians and altitudes.