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How to Get the Authentic Reggae Guitar Sound
Here’s how you get the reggae guitar sound, use a Fender Telecaster and a Roland JC 120. Sounds simple, I
know, but the reggae guitar sound is really not that hard to get and if you were to use the gears above you would
be more than half way there.
Here are some tips to make your reggae guitar sound authentic.
To get the reggae guitar sound you must listen to authentic reggae music and transcribe it (work out how it
is played and practice it). This is the single most important thing you have to do to achieve that coveted
I can't stress this enough, so I will say it again. To get the reggae guitar sound,
listen to good reggae music and practice it. If you do this you will get there.
Use top of the line gears. If you are just messing around and you are not serious about your playing, then I
suppose cheap gear will do, but you may struggle to get a decent reggae guitar sound.
Again my preference is the Fender Telecaster and a Roland JC 120 or a decent Fender amp. This is just my
preference. But there are loads of gears to choose from. Just make sure you like what you buy and it’s
of very good quality.
Use a clean sound. Your reggae guitar sound needs to be clean and clear so it can cut through the
mix. I use these settings: Treble 6, Mid 5, for bass, I roll it back to the point where strumming a
bar chord does not sound heavy or muddy. Reverb at 2.5, Presence 6 and Gain about 4.5.
Use triads (three note chords) a lot more. This helps to eliminate muddiness from your playing and makes
your reggae guitar sound clear and crisp.
Use effects sparingly. If you are not experimenting or after a particular sound, then just stick with a
touch of reverb and perhaps a touch of delay. I experiment with effects a lot but I’ve come to the conclusion
like most, that less can be more.
Palm mute along with the bass line. Sometimes
strumming can sound bland (If you are a reggae guitarist please forgive me) but using this technique makes the
reggae guitar sounds really sweet and groovy.
Don’t try to do too much. To get the reggae guitar sound, just keep things simple. You can every
now and again add your fills to sweeten things up a bit, but don’t go overboard.
Add an extra seventh note to your minor chords. To make your reggae guitar sounds really spicy! Towards
the end of your minor chord progressions, add the seventh note and let it hang a little.
For example, say the chord progress is G minor, D minor and C minor. C minor would be the last chord in the
progression, so you use your pinky (little finger) to hang on the A# note on the high E
9. Use different scales for your solos. For a blues feel use blues guitar scales and for interest mix it up with some nice jazz guitar
And that’s it! Try these tips and your reggae guitar sound is sure to improve. Have Fun! For more on
reggae guitar sound