Waylon jennings sound

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Johnny Reb, Mar 3, 2012.

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  1. Johnny Reb

    Johnny Reb TDPRI Member

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    I've been a massive fan of Waylons since I was a kid but have always been curious about the tone of his Tele, it was'nt overbearing but did stand out from the band & definately a signature sound for him.

    Anyone have any insight to how he had his guitar set up or his playing style ??

    Or if your just another fan & have a comment.
     
  2. motwang

    motwang Tele-Afflicted

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    I believe he used a phaser on his pedal board , and he used a banjo tuner to d-tune his guitar. If you look at his early videos like Only Daddy that'll Walk The Line, or Mental Revenge It sounds pretty clean . I'd have to say the tone was in his hands for the most part! What a musician! Simple and to the point no long solos.
     
  3. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    He was a thumb strummer, would move to a pick and fingers for solos.
     
  4. Bill  Hullett

    Bill Hullett Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    AND.....

    Keep In Mind.....
    If you're refering to electric sound on actual records and not TV footage in most cases it was Wayne Moss (the 60's Waylon recordings) and later in the 70's and later it was usually Reggie Young.

    Bill Hullett
     
  5. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Waylan could play his own stuff when he needed to. He was a night club player at JD's in phoenix for quite a while before hitting it big. Like most overnight success stories, his took quite a while to write.
     
  6. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

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    A decent guitar and amp will get you far. The rest, like playing, is the difference.

    M
     
  7. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Hadn't heard Wayne Moss' name in years. I still have a Area Code 615 album. Bunch of good players on that one.
     
  8. Joe Baggadonitz

    Joe Baggadonitz Friend of Leo's

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    Listen to "Don't Think Hank done it this way". Those opening chords give the listener a good indication of Waylon's "sound". He was no Vince Gill or Steve Wariner or even Willie Nelson but he had a sound, to me, that was the essence of "Outlaw Country".
     
  9. Delta Blues

    Delta Blues Tele-Afflicted

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    Kustom solid state amps and a script phase 90.
     
  10. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I thought he used a 4-15 Fender tube amp (Vibrolux?)
     
  11. Flewis

    Flewis Tele-Holic

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    Waylon used all kinds of stuff over the years, fender super six, twins, kustoms, and I am sure there are a lot more - I agree that sound is the heart of outlaw country

    I have noticed with phase pedals for some reason the japanese ones from teh 70's such as the locobox rotophase nail this sound, some of the new phaser have to many control options. I just got rid of my keeley phaser off my board for an old locobox.
     
  12. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Looks like a standard Tele, coil cord (very important to the Waylon sound), a good clean amp of whatever make you choose, a Phase 90 and learn a bunch of Waylon tunes. Keep it simple and you should get fairly close. "Waylon" is an attitude and finding that might be a little harder. But, good luck!


    Bill H. is right about the studio stuff is not totally Waylon. But trying to capture a Wayne Moss or Reggie Young tone wouldn't be a bad thing either.


    I love ALL of Waylon, but I think my favorite era is the one between the Mental Revenge/Only Daddy era and the Outlaw stuff. Albums like Cedartown Georgia and the Taker he was doing alot of Silverstein, Kristoferson, Shaver, Webb, and Roger Miller tunes, among other good writers.

    He really stretched out in that period. The Outlaw phase, although very good, reeled him back in as a more commercially accessable artist.
     
  13. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    I met him once when I first got to town. Nice guy! I think he set his action pretty low to get that clucking sound. I don't hear a lot of sustain in his playing.
     
  14. Delta Blues

    Delta Blues Tele-Afflicted

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    #2 position on a strat with a meaty analog chorus will cluck plenty through a DRRI.
     
  15. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    It's all right here:

     
  16. stdyfrddy

    stdyfrddy TDPRI Member

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    I've been a Waylon Jennings listener for almost 40 years now. I've seen him say many times that there is always one more way to do things and that's your way. He sure did it his way, and his way included many changes over the course of his career. I think to get the Waylon sound would be to include a phase shifter pedal to get that swirling twang sound. But if you try to emulate lick for lick his live performances it may be impossible due to his changeups in technique and equipment. Just go for the attitude but play it like you feel it. That in my humble opinion is the way to pay homage to the great Waylon Jennings. Your licks with a phase shifter and his attitude. Oh and also a good telecaster too.
     
  17. Johnny Reb

    Johnny Reb TDPRI Member

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    I done a search on here last night & thers plenty of Waylon info, I should've searched before post'n the question but none the less it still has gotten a good response from the local tribe here, must be a popular subject.

    Even as much if not more I think his steel player done a lotta work in the signature sound of his band & then thers the bass player drive'n it in also, every now & then you can pick out which of the newer bands/singers have been influenced by Waylon & his band by ther sound, if you've been a Waylon fan for any length of time you'll know it when ya hear it.
     
  18. Camplain

    Camplain Tele-Holic

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    One of our fellow members here has Waylon lessons available, no tabs or anything like that, but it's pretty great for getting a handle on the Waylon style, plenty of the licks he shows could be used in many songs to give a strong Waylon flavor, which IMO every country song could be better with a lil Waylon... and of course a little Mooney steel... here's a link to the page... http://www.freewebs.com/groovymusiclessons/countryartistseries.htm
    No affiliation

    As far as gear you just need a phaser, I use an EH Small Stone Nano... as you've seen most people will go for the script phase 90, but there are cheaper alternatives that will work just fine... that's why I got the small stone lol.... Based on my research Waylon's gear changed a lot over the years, he used all sorts of different phasers and lots of different amps too, I've been having great success on a DRRI, but any amp with a good clean channel will probably get you at least one of Waylon's many sounds....

    There is conflicting information floating around about Waylon's guitars... the only thing I can say for sure is "Waylon's guitar had that sound" I do know when his sound changed so much in the 80's was around the same time he started using EMG pickups... it's been said that before that he was just playing a stock Tele, I used to think it was a 53, but now I think it may have been a 52... no way to know for sure... but it would lead me to believe Fender OV pickups like found in the AVRI 52 would be a close match... in all honesty I've been playing on a late 70's Strat and on the bridge pickup with the volume rolled back it's not very far from that classic Waylon sound at all.... so pickups are probably not asa crucial to the sound as technique is... particularly pick hand technique, strum soft with the thumb, keep the pick in hand though, and use that for solos... though usually I don't bother with the pick, just throw in my index finger nail instead of the pad of my thumb....

    As far as guitar setup he liked the action as low as it would go and wanted his strings as light as possible.... something like .007's.... (TINY!) for me .010s work fine, another member here Lerb had some sound clips up a while back of some Waylon covers he was using .011 and it sounded fantastic, so the lighter guage strings would really only serve to make the bends easier IMO

    Well, that's pretty much all I can think of about the Waylon style... anything else..... ok maybe this... muted notes play a big role in nailing the syncopated sound, I used to skip a lot of those little clicks and clucks years ago, but getting into the Waylon style those simple little muted plucks are a huge part of what sells it....

    Best of luck!
     
  19. WaylonFan76

    WaylonFan76 Poster Extraordinaire

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    He had a very unique style. I love his lead playing sooo much... Very underrated, IMO. As Fezz pointed out, he used his thumb to strum chords. I also heard he used very thin strings and low action, and that he filed the frets of his Tele down. Not sure if that's accurate, but it sounds plausible.
    Here's a couple of songs that I think illustrate his lead style:





    I think that with a Blackguard-type clean Tele tone with a good phase pedal, you should get in the ballpark. After that, it's all about technique.
     
  20. tele salivas

    tele salivas Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here's some good close-ups of ol' Waylon pulling a chicken out of a hat at his brother in law's television studio..

     
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