Anatomy of Guitar Tone: Combining Vibrato And Tremolo

[guitar playing]

Hi, this is Mark Marshall with The Anatomy of Guitar Tone.

In this episode, I’m going to be talking about using a tremolo and a vibrato at the same time, at almost the same speed, to create a really interesting swirly effect.

Often when you’re choosing, you choose one or the other, like a vibrato or a tremolo, but if you put them both on and you set them to very similar speeds, they can really do neat things with one another and rub each other in an interesting way.

This is why I like to use individual pedals or two separate amps as opposed to a multi-effects processor that would put both of those effects at the same speed. For this example, we’re not going to use two amps, I’m just going to use two pedals in series, and I ran vibrato first and tremolo second.

It should be noted that sometimes, if you switch your effects that it will slightly alter the sound of the combination of the two. I encourage you to experiment with that a little bit.

For the vibrato, I’m using this Bigfoot Effects Magnavibe. They’ve done a really great job of capturing the essence of the vibrato that’s in those Magnitone amps.

For tremolo, I’m using this FullTone Supa Trem. It’s one of my favorite tremolo pedals. It just really sounds to my ears like a Blackface Tremolo.

You’ll notice that I have a different knob on here. One of the things I’ve started to do with all of my vibrato pedals is replace the rate knob with these knobs from Stomp Shield.

The reason is it blocks anything from moving the knob. I’m sure many of you have had the experience where you get everything set perfectly, especially with a rate knob, and you put your pedalboard in a gig bag, and you get in a gig — or maybe your cable grabs it and moves it, and you’ve lost your settings, and it’s really hard to get it back to that exact position you set it to in the rehearsal room.

These big knobs are great because they allow me to prevent that from happening.

[guitar plays, Magnavibe only]

[Supa Trem only]

[both pedals on]

Mark Marshall

Mark Marshall

Mark Marshall is a producer, songwriter, session musician and instructor based in NYC. More at guitaristmarkmarshall.com
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