Any wanna be Rock stars out there looking for ideas on where to begin? Here are some guitar tips on how one of THE great rock stars sets up his gear.
Saul Hudson, the man we know as Slash, is best known for being the lead guitarist of the hard rock band Guns N’ Roses. He keeps inspiring guitarists throughout the decades as he continues releasing works in his succeeding groups, Slash’s Snakepit and Velvet Revolver, as well as his solo project.
He’s still very much active in the music scene — he recently released the album 4 (our review) featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, where you can hear five musicians playing off one another for a live and in-the-moment collaboration.
If you’re a guitarist looking for recommendations as to what you should include in your own rig, learning about another guitarist’s rig — especially one as iconic as Slash’s — can give you ideas. So with that in mind, below is some of Slash’s equipment that have helped him create his tone:
Slash owns hundreds of guitars, making his collection worth millions of dollars. With that many guitars, it’s no surprise he’s been seen with a number of brands — such as BC Rich, Fender, Guild, and Travis Bean. But when talking about Slash, the brand that comes to mind would have to be Gibson since he primarily uses Flying Vs, Customs, and Explorers. But Gibson Les Paul guitars are what’s most associated with him on stage for most of the set. Gibson Les Paul has been a staple in rock and roll, with the 1959 Gibson Les Paul guitars becoming some of the most sought-after models in the world. Slash also has a 1987 Gibson Les Paul that he used live from the Appetite For Destruction tour until now.
Gibson now has a Slash collection of branded instrumnets.
Slash uses Ernie Ball Paradigm strings, which are great in terms of durability and tuning stability, with a gauge of 11-48. Heavier gauge strings naturally have more tension and can give you more output. These strings also allow for a faster and better attack so you can pick and trill easily. Slash also usually tunes down to E-flat Standard. So for someone who tunes down and plays with an aggressive attack, the Ernie Ball Paradigm strings suit Slash well.
Slash has a couple of pedals in his live rig, though most of his rig hasn’t changed for many years. As of 2020, he has a few guitar pedals by Boss, one of the most notable music gear brands that offer pedals for beginners and professionals alike. One of Slash’s Boss pedals is the Boss NS-2 noise suppressor pedal, which removes noise from their tone and prevents feedback problems. He also uses the DD-3 and DD-500 digital delay pedals. The DD-3 produces the pronounced delay sound you hear in songs like Slither, while the DD-500 is mainly used for slapback delay. For wah pedals, there’s the Cry Baby SW95, which adds a distortion if needed. Meanwhile, the Cry Baby SC95 is the more basic wah pedal that’s tuned to a lower voicing than other wah pedals.
Slash has a long history with Marshall — in 1986, he used the Marshall Model 1959T Super Lead Tremolo for the recording of Appetite for Destruction. Then for the subsequent tours, he used the Marshall 2555 Silver Jubilee. In 1996, Marshall released its first signature amp model, the 2555SL. These amps were based on the 1987 2555 Silver Jubilee that Slash used, except they now had Dagnall Transformers wound in Malta instead of Bedford. For his dirty tone, Slash has a rig of two Silver Jubilee amps and a Signature JCM Slash 2555 — though he only runs two of them, with the other one as a backup. For a clean tone, he has a separate rig with the same amps, but with different tubes.
Contributed by Dinah Pearl