KISS’ Tommy Thayer: You Can Buy All the Fancy Gear You Want, THIS Is What Makes Killer Guitar Tone

KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer explained where that killer guitar tone comes from, telling Music Radar:

tommy thayer tone

“I’m a big believer that good guitar sounds come from the hands. You can buy gear all day long to your heart’s content, but what makes you sound convincing is the articulation in your hands… that all comes from you.

“Around the time I moved to LA, I went to the Whisky A Go-Go and saw [Quiet Riot singer] Kevin DuBrow’s solo band. He had this guitar player, this guy was playing a Dean guitar through a Marshall amp – it sounded good, not great but okay. Then Kevin announced Randy Rhoads would be getting up – and he grabbed that same guitar plugged into the same amp and it was astounding how different he sounded. To be honest, it was twice as good. It was his approach and articulation that made the rig sound like a million bucks’ worth.

“I believe the guitar has to sound good without the effects or anything else. Start with the basic guitar/amp combination – don’t get wrapped up in anything else until you’ve got that under your belt.

“When the Rockman amp came out in the ’80s, it sounded really compressed and warm in the studio but didn’t have the velocity you need on stage. People started using these things in their giant racks and it was a bit like ‘Honey, Someone’s Shrunk The Guitar Sound!'”


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