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Rockabilly settings

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Eminent Member
Joined: 11 years ago
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Can somone please advise me on the settings i need for my amp and delay for a good Rockabilly sound.My amp is a Washburn South Side Jnr VGA 15,it has BASS...MIDDLE...TREBBLE....VOLUME....O/DRIVE....GAIN and my Delay is a Behringer Vintage VD400 that has REPEAT RATE.....ECHO....INTENSITY.Each dile on the delay pedal only has max..min so imagine them as a clock face.....What should i set each one at and what should i include on my amp? i am using a Jazz Hollow body Guitar with Rotosound 12's Flatwound Jazz strings.

Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5342

I'm not sure the answer you got to this question on "The Answerbank" is totally correct. I would use this:

Plenty of treble, a good dollop of bass, scoop the mids, dump the delay and use reverb instead. Twiddle the gain control on the clean channel until you get the sound you want. If you can't tweak the gain on clean, then start on a lower setting in overdrive but increase the volume.

The flatwound strings should go - what you gain in not having the squeaky sound when you slide up the strings you lose in tone.

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
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dump the delay and use reverb instead.
Whenever I've come acrross recommendations for rockabilly, the first thing that is "required" is slapback echo, rather than reverb.
Single repeat, short delay. The rockabilly sound grew out of the original tape echo units, which can't produce reverb.

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Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 35

Personally I'd never scoop the mids on a guitar. I'd be the opposite for rockabilly - high mids (8 perhaps?) 6 bass and maybe 6 treble- but it depends on your guitars characteristics. I use this with my ES295 copy but with my tele it needs different settings. Both reverb and slap-back echo have their place, but hard to get with a 'delay' pedal. I like the Danelectro 'Reel Echo'. But I guess it really depends on who you are trying to emulate. I suggest having the valves hot and dialling back on the guitar so it breaks up a bit when you hit it hard....and when you solo you can dial in as much meat as you want with the volume knobs that way. Just keep listening and twiddling until YOU are happy with it.

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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480

I've got a specific song in mind which I think is related. Same time era at least. The Brenda Lee recording/version of "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" is a song I'm trying to get the tone for. I fully admit (or suspect?) that technique and chord selection is probably 90% of this one, but I'll take any help. Are we talking the same type of answer(s) that answered the OP's question?

On a bit of an side topic, would this (Rockabilly and/or the song I mentioned) be best reproduced using single-coils or Humbuckers?
The flatwound strings should go - what you gain in not having the squeaky sound when you slide up the strings you lose in tone.
Is this in reference to Rockabilly or in general? Everyone has their preferences, and your ear is much more highly evolved than mine ever will be, but I really enjoy flatwounds. I use them on two guitars - one solid-body and one hollow-body - and I think the tone from them is really pretty and/or Jazzy. Hmmmm, perhaps I answered my question myself. Pretty and/or Jazzy not equal rockabilly. :?:

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Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 35

The slap-back echo etc are all part of the sound but I'd say you're bang-on there that the technique is 90% of it.