How would you achieve this sound? (Gary Clark Jr.)

  • May I pick your brains for a minute?

    How would you dial in this sound:

    Gary Clark Jr. Voodoo Chile

    I play a very similar guitar (Gibson Les Paul Special TV Yellow with P90s), so I should be able to dial it in quite closely.

    I know Gary Clark Jr. usually plays a Vibro King and a Princeton, but that doesn't mean he used that in this video, too.

    I'm not talking about the wah at the beginning but his fat rhythm tone (which I guess is a solo tone).

    Gary Clark Jr. uses Fuzz pedals as well, I guess Hendrix used his Fuzz Face on the original. I also have a Tone Bender in the home studio and of course, there is the Kemper Fuzz, too.

    Would you pick a Clean Fender profile and add a gainy fuzz? How clean would you set it?

    Or would you pick a pushed Marshall and add low gain fuzz just for the sound coloration?

    I feel there's more going on here, some sort of compression, maybe?

    Do you think the wah is activated during the entire song or turned off after the intro?

    What kind of reverb, delay can you hear? I'm still in the process of training my ears.

    I have the feeling I can get close but it's just not quite there. If I use the amount of gain he uses I lose clarity. Maybe he has a gainy setting but the volume on his guitar is rolled back?

    Hobby guitarist here, so I'm hoping to get some pro tips.


  • I would start where Jimi started. That's probably were Clark started to get his tone. I bet he worked on mimicking Jimi's tone then found something that suited himself well and worked better for him. You don't necessarily have to have the exact tone but something you can work with best. The Marshall growl will get you there.

    This is not a "pro" level tip.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • I don’t really know as I’ve never been much good at coping other people’s sound. Eddie Kramer has said many times the Jimi recorded with Fender amps in the studio much of the time even though he used Marshalls live for the volume. In one interview I think he says Voodoo Chile was a Silver face fended and an 8x10 cab 😳 This would suggest that a cleaner sound and the Fuzz would be the way to go rather than a gainier amp.