jimi hendrix guitar on fire

How to get Controlled Feedback

jimi hendrix guitar on fireToday’s article will teach you how to get controlled feedback with your guitar. Nothing is more raw and show-stopping then a feedbacking guitar, screaming those hit notes at the audience. Feedback can be very unpredictable too, so we will not only talk about ways to get it, but also be able to control it. So lets get started..

Gear You Need
Lets start it off by outlining the necessary gear to get feedback in the first place. Of course an electric guitar (I like to use a strat). Then you will need a tube amp, though this could work with a solid state amp. Then you need a pedal that really pushes the amp hard. I like to use a fuzz pedal.

Setting the Amp
Getting feedback requires giving the amp some good volume. If volume is an issue for you due to your environment, you can get low-volume feedback if you also add a compressor pedal. Once you have a good amount of volume coming out of amp, the tone should be breaking up quite nicely. Not a sparkling clean tone, but a tone that has good sustain in notes and is dirty sounding.

Adding the Pedal
Throw your fuzz box into the mix and set it so it really pushes the amp. At this point, you should be hearing your guitar start to feedback a little bit on its own without really doing much.

Now when you are soloing, you want to hold notes and let them sustain as well as use vibrato while doing so. This should help turn the note into a feedbacking tone when it dies out. Picking two strings at a time while bending also produces different feedback octaves. Where your standing has a lot to do with it as well. If you are facing the amp, it will feedback with even greater ease. Point your guitar to the ceiling and it will give another kind of feedback. Experiment with your setup to get comfortable with it.

Controlling the Feedback
This is the hardest part of it as you don’t want to be feedbacking like crazy (or maybe you do) without much control of your own. So follow these tips to help you take better control:

  • Set your amp/fuzz pedal so that it feedbacks, but not easily. Rather it only feedbacks when you really do lots of vibrato. This way you can choose which notes you want to feedback.
  • Use your guitar’s volume knob when needed as it can help control an over-feedbacking guitar.
  • Use your whammy bar to bend the feedbacking notes.

Well there you have it. The more you experiment with it, the more you’ll be able to get the kind of controlled feedback that you want out of your guitar.

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