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Gimme Shelter


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Hi, y'all

I just got a multi effect pedal, a Digitech RP50 - yeah I Know, it's kinda cheap, but heh! - and I wanted to know what kind of effects or settings Keith was using to get that haunting sound at the beginning of Gimme Shelter?

I know there's a lot of guitar 'Pro' here so I'm pretty sure someone can help me out on this matter.

I thank you all very much, in advance, for your help!

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The trouble is, Keith probably wasn't using any "effects settings" to get his sound. In fact he rarely (not quite never, but rarely) used effects at all.

It's a simple recipe - good guitar ---> good amp (more often than not a very old Fender) = "Keef-tone".

Having said that, I do seem to remember that there's a slight flutter to the sound, like amp vibrato, but not very deep.

IIRC Gimme Shelter is in open D (DADF#AD) & I can't remember if there was a capo involved. The resonance of the guitar will be different than in standard tuning, so that's a good place to start.

The amp is relatively low gain (by modern standards) like many/most classic tones, & not too much bass either.

Aw, screw it, I'm going to get the CD...

...OK - just had a quick listen & I stand by everything I said first time: slight amp vibrato, open D, small low gain amp.

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Put on a pair of headphones and listen to the song.

In the left ear you hear just a clean guitar with a amp cranked up for that little distortion, but the volume knob on the guitar may be low and sounds like the Mic is close to the speaker.

In the right ear it sounds like the Mic is placed behind the speaker in a large room. Its the same guitar track bu recorded differently. So it's not a Guitar effect, its a studio effect. I read alot about different studio tricks and that seems to be the case. I could be wrong, but thats what i think. this is

the stones playing it live and it does sound alot different then the album. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGZlAi7N1wk

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Well... Thank you very much to both of you!

Your knowledges seems to be without borders! :D

That's what I thought, some vibrato on maybe a Vox?! I don't know...

I'll still try to "emulate" it with my cheap pedal!!

:beer: To Keith and His Tone. And to you too!

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  • 4 weeks later...
Hey tomorrow is Kentucky Derby day. Mentioned in that song on sticky fingers. . "Ill be in my basement room, with a needle and a spoon, And another girl to take my pain away."

Really?! How funny 'cause I was listening to Dead Flowers 5 minutes ago!!!

One of my favorites Stones' song; the solo is so sweet!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello all,

If we're talking about getting a good stones sound then this might be of interest. But it might not cause what I'm about to suggest is a bit pricey (about £500).

I don't know the exact name of it but line six do this awesome effects pedal (something pod......), it really does have every amp tone/effect you'll ever need. The Keith Richards sound is so fucking dam close to the real thing that you would think it was the stones playing in your living room, I'm not shitting ya. This is the mother fucker of all effects pedals, and also you can download more tones on the line six website and stick em on this pedal.



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Recorded by the Stones on February 23, 1969. Merry Clayton's vocals were added on November 2 1969. Released on Let It Bleed, on December 5, 1969 and at first titled "Gimmie Shelter".

Lead Vocals & Harmonica: Mick Jagger Electric Guitars: Keith Richards Drums: Charlie Watts Bass: Bill Wyman Vocal Solo Merry Clayton Backing Vocals: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & Merry Clayton Piano: Nicky Hopkins Percussion (Guiro): Jimmy Miller


Recording of the song took place at London's Olympic Sound Studios. in February and March 1969. Clayton's piece was recorded at Los Angeles' Sunset Sound & Elektra Studios in October and November of that same year. Nicky Hopkins performed pianos for the song while the Stones' producer Jimmy Miller provided percussion. Charlie Watts performed drums while Bill Wyman performed bass. Jagger performed harmonica for the piece and sang backup vocals with Richards and Clayton. Guitarist Brian Jones was absent from these sessions. An unreleased version features only Richards providing vocals.

source: wiki.org

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