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Tips on how to get the best tone out of a strat!

Radu-Cristian Perde

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Hey everyone!

So I recently acquired a Fender Stratocaster. It plays and feels amazing! Though my question is what advice would you guys give on how to best use a strat? Its the first time that I have a strat and while im very familiar with humbuckers and such, I know that single coils are not quite the same!

So yeah im just curious about what I could learn about strat and the best way to get the best tone out of it!

Oh it has ultra noisless vintage pickups!
 
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Dominik Gräber

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    No strat expert here but first of all it would be interesting what you want to play with it and what exactly you want to know?

    Single coils are Just Pickups after all. They will usually sound thinner and brighter as humbuckers and can give you that certain "twang" Sound. But Other than that there is Not much of a difference. They are usually noisier too but that's probably Not the Case for you
     

    Ed Seith

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    First, where a humbucker guitar playing metal, you're typically going to use the bridge hummer for rhythm and clean and stuff, a strat is different. Most Strat players I see spend more time in position 2 or 4 on the pickup selector than any other.
     

    Radu-Cristian Perde

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    No strat expert here but first of all it would be interesting what you want to play with it and what exactly you want to know?

    Single coils are Just Pickups after all. They will usually sound thinner and brighter as humbuckers and can give you that certain "twang" Sound. But Other than that there is Not much of a difference. They are usually noisier too but that's probably Not the Case for you
    Yeah for sure! But im just completely new to this strat world. I guess I would say I would love to extend my range and play some pink floyd or SRV with it. trying to dive more into other genre that used well the strat tone! Because i tried my strat on the same settings I use for my other guitars and boy it sounds different! And yeah, the noise is not an issue. My strat has nice noiseless pickups that are from the high end of what fender does so im okay on that side! I guess my question really is what could I try to do differently you know? Trying to get away a bit from the usual metal tones and such!
     
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    Radu-Cristian Perde

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    First, where a humbucker guitar playing metal, you're typically going to use the bridge hummer for rhythm and clean and stuff, a strat is different. Most Strat players I see spend more time in position 2 or 4 on the pickup selector than any other.
    Really? Okay thats actually something I would have to experiment with a bit... on my humbucker guitars Im use to just go from bridge to neck pickup and nothing really in between.. but with my strat, I feel like I have so many options on it and it sort of feels I guess ''overwhelming''?

    Because I also have an S-1 switch on it which changes the voicing a bit more so I have like 10 sound options on the strat. It sounds and plays amazing but as I said on my answer to Dominik, im really trying to get away a bit from the good old metal tones. I wanna try to do more stuff in the sound of SRV or Pink Floyd or hendrix! And in that way im trying to get inspirations for new ways to get new sounds out of my instrument!
     

    Ed Seith

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    I'm only on my voyage of discovery with those things myself, but aside from the pickup selector, dial down the gain, add some compression at the beginning of your signal and don't be afraid to use a bit more delay and/or reverb than you would with a high-gain metal tone.
     
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    Ids Schiere

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    Firstly the middle position are where the magic is like Ed said 2 and 4 usually gives me the tone I'm looking for.

    Secondly, don't be afraid to play around with the tone knob. Single coils can be a bit trebly and rolling the tone knob down to 5 or so gives me the smoothness I want sometimes.

    Lastly, if you want to have a drive pedal don't go high gain. High gain on a strat doesnt sound that great. Try a tube screamer esque drive pedal for example. Like do low to medium gain but most single coils aren't really that great for high gain stuff(except the hot rails for example).
     

    Radu-Cristian Perde

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    Firstly the middle position are where the magic is like Ed said 2 and 4 usually gives me the tone I'm looking for.

    Secondly, don't be afraid to play around with the tone knob. Single coils can be a bit trebly and rolling the tone knob down to 5 or so gives me the smoothness I want sometimes.

    Lastly, if you want to have a drive pedal don't go high gain. High gain on a strat doesnt sound that great. Try a tube screamer esque drive pedal for example. Like do low to medium gain but most single coils aren't really that great for high gain stuff(except the hot rails for example).
    Well I have a kemper so lets say that my tone options are quite unlimited and thats why I have a lot of room for experiment!

    But yeah, on my other more ''metal'' Guitar, i just use to have volume and tone knob at max and thats it. Guess I will really have to play with it and see what I like and dont!
     

    Nocturne

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    Play with the knobs and the switch. A strat can make a lot of very different tone depending on how you set it up. I would suggest you to also experiment with the height of the pickups with a screwdriver. If you never tried, there is no risk at all and it does a great difference on your tone, because strat selector mixes pickups, so adjustments have a bigger impact on your tone when you are on the second and fourth position. The higher the pickup is, the higher the volume output is, so try raising it or lowering it on the side you want (treble or bass) to get a boost on treble or bass, and mix it with another pickup and you could get exactly the tone you're looking for.
     

    JetFixxxer

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    A lot of good advice here. My 2 cents, play it, tweak it, and find what best works for you. Adjust your amp settings to find what you're looking for. Make sure you get a setup.

    Any guitar can be used in any genre of music. There really isn't any "rules" if there were there might not have been a Hendrix, Berry, Van Halen, Vai, etc.
     
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    Radu-Cristian Perde

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    A lot of good advice here. My 2 cents, play it, tweak it, and find what best works for you. Adjust your amp settings to find what you're looking for. Make sure you get a setup.

    Any guitar can be used in any genre of music. There really isn't any "rules" if there were there might not have been a Hendrix, Berry, Van Halen, Vai, etc.
    I mean yes but like single coils are not ideal for metal. They dont have the ''chug'' sound and other things that are more ''metal'' sounding but thats why im happy to have a strat! I didnt need an extra metal guitar you know?

    As for amp settings, I have a kemper so my options are pretty much unlimited and im just trying to find the right tone you know?
     
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