"I treat the number 5 as if it were 10" – Joe Bonamassa shares Les Paul tips with his favourite '59 Burst

Joe Bonamassa
(Image credit: Guitarist / YouTube)

"A lot of people just leave everything all the way up," says Joe Bonamassa of Les Pauls in a new interview with Guitarist magazine as they visit him in his LA Nerdville HQ. "And that's one way to do it, a lot of times I'm all the way up too, but you bring the tone down to five, bring the volume up to ten and then minus one – so you're adding a little capacitance to the guitar, and it will definitely shave off some of the harsher 2k frequencies."

He demonstrates the difference on his spectacular Principal Skinner '59 Les Paul. His favourite of all the Les Pauls he owns. " Obviously, exact settings depend on your pots and caps so Joe advises players "season to taste". And the idea of not playing on 10 all the time is something he's spoken about elsewhere recently. 

In the video above Joe also illustrates volume swells using his little finger and picking near the bridge, woman tone and the advantage of "weighing' the pickups differently in the middle position. 

All great stuff – and no overdrive pedals required. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.