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How to Capture the Magical Tone of Keith Richards | The Rolling Stones

Keith Richards of the The Rolling Stones. He's a musical icon and for good reason. And, if you want to capture his sound and tone magic, I've got you covered.

What can I say. We are talking about one of the greats here so not much of an explanation is needed regarding him or The Rolling Stones so let's just jump right into it and discuss his gear and tone.

AMPS

At the center of Keith's tone is are his Fender amps. He has a few of them but the most utilized are his 1958 Fender Twin for live performances and his 1957 Fender Champ and 1956 Fender Tweed Harvard Amp which he primarily uses in the studio.  

As we continue, you'll begin to noice that Fender is definitely a recurring theme since his Fender amps and telecasters are synonymous with his name.

On that note, let's talk about his guitars.

GUITARS

Keith has several guitars. In fact, he has too many to cover for this one video, but we'll cover the most iconic ones from his collection.

First up is his 1960's Harmony Meteor H70. You can hear this guitar on The Rolling Stones first 2 LPs.

Next, we have Keith's Epiphone Casino. This was used on the band's first U.S. tour and features a thin-line hollow laminated maple body, trapeze-type tailpiece, and two Gibson P-90 pickups.

And, of course we need to talk about Keith's 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard known as the "Keith Burst." It was Keith's guitar of choice on The Rolling Stones' first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show back in 1964.

And, this listed would not be complete without talking about a telecaster - specifically, Keith's 1953 Fender Telecaster called "Micawber." Keith apparently received this as a gift on his 27th birthday and has a Gibson PAF pickup instead of single could in the neck. He also replaced the tuners, added a Fender Champion lap steel pickup in the bridge, and installed a brass bridge. This guitar is utilized for a lot of his open-G songs where he does not use the low E string.

There are many others we haven't covered here but these are some of the standouts. So, at this point, we have talked about his Fender amps and a few of his guitars...let's talk about his pedals.

Keith doesn't use a lot of them so we'll just be covering 3 of them.

PEDALS

The most famous of the batch is Keith's Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone pedal. This is the first fuzz pedal and was made famous when Keith used it on a little song called Satisfaction in 1965.

Next up is Keith's MXR M107 Phase 100 which was popularized by songs like the Rolling Stone's Shattered.

And finally, we have his Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer which has been utilized here and there. However, Keith generally just cranks up his amp to get his overdriven tones.

That's how you capture the the magical tone of Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones. All you need is a good Fender amp, a telecaster, and  open G tuning and you are all set.

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