Skip to content


Clear all

Tone/Amp Help

New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  


I'm currently having a bit of trouble in terms of sorting out the tone of my guitar. I have a Roland Micro Cube and have spent the last hour messing with the effects and gains etc, but I can't seem to achieve the 'Keith Richards tone'. I'm trying to learn Brown Sugar, I have the chords right and stuff, it's just the actual tone that's letting me down.

Could anyone offer any help?

Thanks in advance,


Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353

Keith Richards often plays his tele tuned to open G.
he uses a bit of overdrive, a warm breakup of the signal. it results in a nice vintage tone.
the open G tuning. could have an effect on tone. I notice it, as I have my tele tuned like Keiths.
I play a few of his songs and come close to his sound.
I use a Tubescreamer with slight Drive and alot of right hand attitude.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340

Looking through my old notes.....

I used to have a cube 30 and kept a list of all the settings I used for various songs/bands. For songs like Brown Sugar and Start Me Up (which are both in open G, as Dogbite mentioned) I used the Brit Combo or Black Panel setting; kept the volume pretty low, about 2-3, gain up to about 7, bass down to about 4, mids down to about 2, treble up to about 7, reverb about 6-7. The tricky bit was finding the "sweet spot" on the Telecaster volume control - there's a point where it's still fairly clean, but just a touch higher and it starts to distort - you've got to find that spot just in between.

Never had a micro cube but I believe it's got quite a few of the features of the Cube 30 - just had a quick look at a picture. Try the Black Panel setting, but you may have to turn the gain down just a touch from my original estimate - I think the 7 setting was for the "Brit Combo."

Hope this is useful.

:D :D :D


(Funnily enough, just as I was writing this, "Jumping Jack Flash" was on the radio....."

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899

Don't forget that KR only uses 5 strings - the low E is missing.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN

Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 23

"I've always enjoyed the five-string tuning. (...) It's five strings, three notes, two fingers and one a$$hole!" - Keith Richards

I can't help but love me some Keef!
I play a few stones tunes and, IMO the attitude is almost as important as the tone! Keep Rockin!

You don't have to firebomb dresden to prove you can fly a plane.-Warren Zevon

Trusted Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 70

Keith is such a unique player AND a unique person. I just wish he would do something new that was as good as any of his old stuff. I haven't had an urge to learn any new Keith licks in a while. Still I love everything he does.

Rick Honeyboy Hart

"It's about tone, taste, and technique... in that order."

New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

Thanks so much for all of your help guys! Vic, thank you for your detailed explanation, definitely going to try this set-up later on, thank you!