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True School Of Music Hosts A Masterclass On The Science Behind Great Guitar Sound

Italian sound recordist, guitar engineer and guitarist Enrico Sesselego decodes tones, equipment and his research

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Enrico Sesselego

Enrico Sesselego

In 2002, when guitar engineer Enrico Sesselago was working with Steve Vai, the legendary guitarist gave him a piece of advice that will serve all musicians well: “You can be the best guitar player of the world inside your practice room but that doesn’t take you anywhere.” While Vai may take a little longer to make that trip to India for a show or maybe even a guitar clinic, aspiring guitarists and students of music can benefit from Sesselago’s session at True School Of Music today. 

In a two-hour master class, Sesselago, who has worked with the likes of jazz guitarist Scott Henderson and prog metal band, Animals As Leaders’ guitarist Tosin Abasi, will deconstruct the much-revered god tone and equipment, among other things. Says Sesselago, “Being originally a rock guitar player, I started with lot of distortion, a typical no-mids sound [it makes me laugh thinking about it now!]. I slowly moved to real tones at the Musicians Institute, approaching fusion and jazz; and later, working with these guys, I had a clear snapshot of what was happening in reality on a guitar amp.” Sesselago learnt that what you hear on an album goes through so many changes that the listener doesn’t realize what the original sound of the guitar is. “So I quit trying to emulate sounds from records and started doing research,” he adds. His research included watching videos of performances on the internet and reading interviews of guitarists.

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 The guitar engineer also tells us that buying expensive or better quality equipment isn’t the key to playing better or achieving a better tone. He says, “They are all good but only if you can tweak them. Presets are OK, but you need to get into it and work the machine.” Aiming for a famous guitarist’s tone is also not the best way to master the instrument. “You want to develop your own tone and, remember, live is one thing, studio is another.” Another practical tip he gives musicians without roadies is to pick up lightweight gear. “If you get the sound that you’re really looking for with some of these digital modeling amps (Line 6, Fractal or SansAmp), you save yourself a lot of backache when you do tours, by carrying just light equipment and not heavy pedal board and amps.”

 Some of Sesselago’s favorite guitar tones include:

Chic for Funk

RHCP, also for Funk

Scott Henderson

Michael Landau

Brett Garsed

 

Enrico Sesselago’s masterclass is scheduled to be held at the True School of Music on the 29th of November from 6-8 pm. Entry is free but is limited. So, RSVP with “Enrico Sesselego” in the subject line, your name and contact details in the body to [email protected]

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