James Hetfield noodling around at GC

The tone he dialed in was interesting. It was a little brighter and fizzier than I would have expected. Never heard him mess around by himself before. And there’s a real good chance he’s not using any pedals. Interesting to see what kinds of tones guys reach for straight off the cuff. Its a reflection of what someone is used to hearing. No value judgement here…just worthwhile to make note of.

I don’t record much rock stuff. At all. Do you guys find those settings pretty normal for heavier stuff?


I saw that video a little while back. It’s cool that he’s able to reflect on his early days (and still recall them, lol) and share all that. Makes guys like that seem more like a regular guy to me. Regarding the tones, he’s certainly not out of line. I think he recognizes his place in a mix and doesn’t try to fill in all those lows like a lot of beginners do. Honestly, he probably doesn’t even hear that top end any more. :hear_no_evil:

Do you think its has more to do with maturity and your ear, or that its genera specific? Or were you saying its a maturity thing only when applied to metal stuff?

He tried to fill in that bottom-end on the Justice album. Poor Jason. I think his guitar center tone is kind of fizzy even for metal. George Lynch’s rhythm guitar tone on “Under Lock and Key” is one of my favorite metal tones. Just hits in all the right spots and isn’t very bright, a lot of people try to make guitars too bright. Michael Wagener is pretty good at coaxing some pretty good guitar sounds out of the player.
From him: “On Under Lock And Key we used 16 microphones in 3 different rooms with 4 amps and cabs…” Just youtube quality, but listen to the record and it comes through really strong.


On the one hand, I don’t think you can read much into it - he’s probably spent all of 10 seconds turning the knobs on that amp before starting the interview, and I didn’t clock how that sound was actually captured. Why would he even necessarily care about the tonal balance in such a setting?

On the other hand, yes. Usually an in your face, articulate, lively guitar sound on record is surprisingly strident and bright when you stand in the room with the amp being recorded. The AC/DC “Back in Black” guitar tone, as an example, would quite possibly rip your head off with high mids. The fizz you hear would probably just equate to aggression in the mix.

I guess it also makes sense that in the mix, the tone is supported by the lows of the drums and bass, so if you remove those a sound that fits into that jigsaw might seem a bit lacking down there.

That said, never been into Metallica tones, though as a musician I like James Hetfield the most. On the other hand I love heavy bands like Tool, Deftones, earlier Incubus etc, and they’re in the same ballpark distortio-wise.

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I stood by DImeBag in Dallas once…I didnt really know who it was but my son sure did.
He was noodling around at a Mars store…it was a only time I recall ever seeing someone like that. He wasnt playing guitar but I think had done some “promotions show that day”…

My older friends have told me how Hendrix and others would go to the only two shops in Dallas in the 60’s, and the store actually snapped pics of the artists as they wondered around. It was different times, salesman all wore suits and people couldnt just grab guitars and little kids definitely werent liked in the stores. one of the old stores is still going its down in Garland, probably had SRV walking the floors a few times.

Kind of makes sense a musician lands in town and goes to a music store, although these days maybe they just have it sent online buys?

I would think Seattle would have a bunch of Noodling stories? Nashville? NYC has some old stores with stories.

Noodling around… at GC… maybe an Elvis siting?

I saw Russel Crowe at Guitar Center once.

Hopefully he wasn’t singing.

Nope just buying a Martin acoustic.

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