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DVD Review – Tone Secrets: The Components of Tone

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Don Wrixon is a USA based guitarist, who’s acquired an impressive collection of guitars & amplifiers over the years. His passion for the instrument has inspired him to produce an interesting DVD based on the subject matter that’s important to the majority of guitarists – tone.

…if you’re new to playing the guitar, or you need to revisit the fundamental characteristics that help to build guitar tone, it’s a DVD worth seeking out…

Tone Secrets

Tone History

“Tone Secrets Volume 1: The Components of Tone” explores a few select areas that contribute to guitar tone. Initially Don takes the viewer through a mix of different guitars, explaining the fundamental characteristics of iconic electric guitars, how different pickups can produce varied guitar tone, as well as how the guitar body shape contributes to various tonal differences.

This is ideal for the novice guitarist who wouldn’t necessarily know the difference between Single Coils / Humbuckers, Strats / Les Pauls. However, it was enjoyable to watch as Don has a relaxed approach in front of the camera and he has a nice selection of guitars to demonstrate. Novice or otherwise; most guitarists should enjoy the opening section of this DVD.

Driving a Tube Amp

The DVD then progresses into an area that I’m particularly interested in – driving a valve amplifier. Don explains the joy of overdriving a valve amp simply using a guitar volume control. I’ve been a fan of this approach since owning my Marshall Vintage/Modern and although this method is seen as slightly “old school”, the tones available from driving a good amp with a good guitar are fantastic – which Don demonstrates very well.

This was the key aspect of the DVD for me personally; how good tone can be achieved with a modest guitar setup.

Effects Pedals

Don rounds up the DVD by focussing on the joys of various pedals and how they can be applied to enhance the foundation of your guitar tone. Again, there are some nice pedals on show and Don does a good job of exploring the key aspects of overdrive, reverb etc.

Summary

This is an enjoyable DVD that covers some interesting aspects of the basic quest for tone. Don Wrixon has a very laid back approach, is clearly passionate about playing the guitar and comes across as a very humble, down to earth guy.

It’s worth mentioning that the DVD was shipped to me from the USA and I couldn’t play it on my old “Region 2 Only” DVD player, so I watched it on my laptop.

If you’re new to playing the guitar, or you need to revisit the fundamental characteristics that help to build a foundation of guitar tone, it’s a DVD worth seeking out.

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About the author:

Sam is passionate about talking all things guitar related and started GuitarJar.co.uk to help encourage all guitarists in their guitar playing journey.

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