Today I’m gonna show you a few ways to make your guitar tone sound more sweet. Some days you want a dirty tone, but other days you want that perfect clean sound. However, sometimes when you want it clean, it can still be harsh and ice-picky to the ears. So if you want to sweeten up your tone, try these ways:
When you are playing through a dry amp, it can often sound too in your face and abrupt. I say abrupt because when you stop playing, all the sound goes away abruptly, which isn’t always sweet to the ears. Adding reverb will give your tone a trail, and make it feel like you are playing in a bigger place. With the right amount of reverb, the tone can turn very very sweet and addicting. I would recommend a tank reverb in your amp, or a tube driven reverb, over a digital reverb. Digital in my opinion will sound too fake and 1-dimensional. Check out my article on the Best Reverb Pedals on the Market.
Aside from reverb pedals, there are a few that will help sweeten your tone, specifically a clean boost or a compressor. I personally own the Xotic EP Booster, which adds a nice sparkle to the tone. There are many options on the market. I would also check out Echo pedals and if set properly, it can really create the ambience of soothing tones. If you are very serious about making your tone very sweet with pedals, I would recommend to go the boutique route. Also stick to analog circuitry over anything digital as it will sound warmer.
EQ-ing your Amp
A lot of the time, you can get a sweet tone from your amp (if its a tube amp) just by dialing it in correctly. If the tone is too harsh, turn the treble down a bit. Not warm enough? Boost the mids and bass a bit. Also pay attention to where the Presence is set and experiment with different levels. I would recommend that you set all the dials to noon, and then go from there. Just use your ears and see where the tone need more or less of something. Also if you are using a tube amp, let those tubes warm up a bit, as the tone will get sweeter the longer the amp is on. Here’s more on EQing in your Amp.
Hope this helps you on your way to sweeter tone!