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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2011.02.18 - Ultimate-Guitar - Ron 'Bumblefoot': Gear Talk Exclusively For UG

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Nov 07, 2021 5:30 pm

Ron 'Bumblefoot': Gear Talk Exclusively For UG
FEB 18, 2011

Though no introduction is needed in this guitarist’s case, nor could any words do his playing justice, I’ll say this: having had the extreme pleasure of chewing Ron "Bumblefoot"’s ear off about guitars, the man is more than just a guitar player; he is a professional.

And as smart and skilled as the man is with a guitar he’s twice that in business smarts and life lessons. So, without further ado, check out Ultimate-Guitar’s exclusive look at his gear.

Favorite Guitar

With a long resume of gigs from Guns N’ Rose to his own solo albums, we’d be here till next year going through Bumblefoot’s archive of guitars so instead he gave UG.com the 411 on his favorite guitar; the Vigier Double Neck.

"I think my absolute favorite is the one I take on tour, it’s a double neck and it’s got a fretted neck on the bottom, and a fretless neck on top. The company is Vigier, they’re a company out in France that’s been around for a little over thirty years and I’ve been playing their stuff for about thirteen years now and what’s cool about them is there’s no truss rod in the neck, instead they have a sheet of graphite and I’ve beaten the hell out of these things for a dozen years and there’s never been a problem. All the other guys playing their Les Pauls on stage under the hot lights and suddenly the tuning changes or you get a dark spot. I’ve never needed to retune, it stays, and it’s just perfect, no matter how hard I abuse them. I beat the hell out of these and no matter what the conditions it's just great. My tech is happy as hell! Another thing that’s cool about their guitars is they have a zero fret and it just feels better and tunes better. I pretty much play their stuff exclusively; they produced my series of guitars and the crazy flying foot guitar with the moving wings. I like them the best, they feel the best."

Pickups

For that warm, heavy doused sound Bumblefoot uses DiMarzio Tone Zone in the bridge and a chopper pickup in the neck for a beefier kick in the mid and low-end. The combination of the high out put in the Tone Zone mixed with chopper is sure to give any guitarist a nice thick, bright sound.

"It’s got DiMarzio Pickups - a tone zone by the bridge and a chopper by the neck. And I have a toggle and the way I have it set up is, first position is tone zone by itself, second position is like a single coil, third position is the two together, and the fourth position is the two of them out of phase so you get weird open, quacky kind of sound out of them, and then the fifth position is just the neck pickup- the chopper. It’s the set up in most of my guitars."

Strings

"I’ve got Ernie Ball Super Slinky 46 on the bottom and 9s And on the fretless I used 12s"

Effects / Pedal Board

"I try to keep it as simple as possible because to me, everything just gets in the way. I fought to use a long guitar cable because I felt like the wireless changed the sound too much. I definitely like to keep it pure, so I don’t use a lot of effects or crazy shit besides the Dunlop WAH. Any other ambient stuff or any special needs I’ll use TC Electronic stuff. I have a Nova System and I just run that through the effects loop and that’s pretty much it."

Amp Heads and Cabs

The most important thing for Ron is his Engl Invader 100 Watt Head. For any guitarist who wants flexibility and control in any given playing situation the Engl delivers with its unique 4 channel layout.

"So I’m going from the guitar right into an Engl Invader 100 Watt head - man I love those things! I think the Engl head is a major part of my sound. The one thing I need the most, to do what I do onstage, is that head."

"For cabinets I took a Marshall 4x12 on tour - and I’ve gone through about every combination of speakers and cabinets and wattage and mics and what ended up sounding the very best is this ISO cabinet that this company makes called Hermit Cab. They make these ISO cabs with the door in the back, a little flap where you can adjust how much it stays open or closed and it lets some of the sound out and it shapes your mid range so it doesn’t sound boxy or anything. The thing sounds fucking great! So I loaded the Celestions into that with two mics and that’s what goes to the front of house."

On Writing For Scarlet Haze Vs Guns N Roses

"Their label hooked it up - DirtBag. They had the song, they had the singer and she was cool as hell so I went down and just did it! With Guns doing my thing it was a lot more organic. If I tried to do something fancy the producer will be like “Cut it out with that Steve Via shit!” Now when I’m alone in my studio and I can do whatever I want, that’s how it was for recording the song “Reach Down”. When I’m off the road I just live in the studio and bust out shit. Most of the time people just say “Do your thing” when I’m writing for other bands and fortunately, I haven’t had any complaints so far! Every single thing you do has its own boundaries and with Guns I wouldn’t say it’s pressure, it’s just more to consider. It’s more about the individual challenge that comes with playing or writing for each project; deciding for each thing what it’s going to sound like."

PDF Transcription: "Reach Down" guitar solo by Bumblefoot
PDF Transcription: "Reach Down" Verse wah riff by Bumblefoot

Quirkey Guitar Habit

"One thing I’ve been doing for over twenty years is I play with a little thimble on the pinky of my picking hand and I use that to tap all the notes that are higher than what’s on the fret board. So when I need to get another note out and I’m out of frets - let’s say I wanna hit what would be the 27th fret, like an octave above the highest G, I can just hit the metal thimble down and it acts as if you were pressing the fret up against the string. That’s how I get a lot of the high notes."

On Making A Successful Career Out Of Playing Guitar

"First thing is diversity! Think of yourself as a portfolio - I know that sounds cheesy but you need to think that way! Don’t put all your money into one stock. If you want to make a living you’re going to be teaching, and while your doing that you’re going to be doing cover gigs, and while that’s going you're going to be writing songs and collaborating with other bands, and you’re going to be putting out your own music as well. Do as many things with music as you can. Whatever it is, there’s a million things that a person can do in music and when you put it all together you can make a living. But if you’re saying, well ‘I’m going to sit home for ten hours a day and practice and think I’m magical going to become a rockstar’ no! It doesn’t work that way! The other thing is why would anyone want to work with you? I chalk it up to three things: (1) Don’t be late ever! I know coming from a guitarist in Guns N’ Roses right?!? But seriously when you’re supposed to be somewhere at 2 o’clock pull up at 1:45 and sit in the car till 1:58 and then walk in two minutes early and then you’re on time! (2) Be overly prepared. Don’t just learn your part, learn the other guitarist's part because I guarantee you he’s going to step on his cable right when he’s supposed to play that cool melody and its going to pop out and you’ll be able to cover it and save the song. So know everything! Know all the parts, even with recording. Be aware of the drum beat and what the bass is hitting and where the accents are because some guy is gonna say ‘Do something that goes along with the drums’ and this way you know, you’ve got a feel for what the drummer's doing and you can just bang that out. And (3) Just don’t be a dick! Seriously, be cool. No matter how good you are if no one can stand being in the same room with you it doesn’t matter. In the end it's about quality of life; you can be a fucking rockstar and be doing everything but if you’re fucking miserable it doesn’t mean anything. So attitude goes a long way. Just roll with shit, be easy but be on time and be prepared and have that as the philosophy for everything you’re doing!"

By Kristin Tully
Soulmonster
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