As many of you know, I am a HUGE Wayne Krantz fan. I love his approach to music and to the guitar. He has such a unique voice and incredible tone. I have decided to start a series I’ve dubbed “Wayne’s World” where I will discuss about Wayne’s playing and music.
First. I want to discuss Wayne’s gear and how he gets his great tone. It should be noted that most of the tone comes from HIM and NOT HIS GEAR! No matter what gear he plays he will always sound like Wayne Krantz. That being said, it’s always fun to go guitar geek on his stuff.
Guitar – He uses a custom made Tyler studio elite guitar. He has always used a strat style guitar with a maple neck, I’ve never seen a video with him using anything else. He has 2 single coils and a humbucker in the bridge. If his website is up to date, he is using 2 suhr single coils and a Duncan full-shred in the bridge. He’s using D’Addario 10′s (EXL 110). Never uses the whammy bar.
previously Wayne has used Suhr guitars as well as an American Strat, these had 3 single coils.
From the way it sounds, he often is in position 4 (mid/bridge) and 5 (bridge) when he plays but sometimes does move into 1 (neck).
Pick and picking - Fender medium picks. i think he used Cool picks before but i could be mistaken. He is well known for using hybrid picking for chords and lines. It’s almost chickin pickin but with a funky flair to it. He sometimes gets a slappy sound out of it a la bass players when they slap. He mostly alternate picks when he does pick, he uses a lot of downstrokes when comping. In my experience to cop his sound, you really have to pick hard, especially hard with the fingers. He is definitely a physical player.
Voice – Lately, Wayne has been singing more and more. He has said that guitar trio really is based around a vocalist like Jimi Hendrix. He sang a bit on the record Krantz, Carlock, Lefevre and sang a lot more on his latest record Howie 61. Sometimes he will also sing some rhythms while comping for himself, almost like beat-boxing (you can see that in the video below around 6:30)
Amp – I’ve seen him use a few different amps. His older stuff is on a Fender deluxe reverb. Lately he has been using a Marshall 2553 head with a 4×12 Bogner or Marshall cab, recently he has been using Tyler (not affiliated with the guitar he has) amps with a 12″ and a 10″ speaker in them. In an interview he said he loves the 4×12 cabs because of the low end it brings to his sound and helps in the trio setting.
Pedals – he tries to keep a smallish pedalboard but can get a lot of cool sounds out of it. One cool thing he sometimes does in improvising is have a dialog between different pedals. Play a line with the octave pedal, followed by a line with the Freeze pedal, etc.
Hiwatt wah – he doesn’t rock it back and forth often like most guys. He uses it in conjunction with his lines and uses it to add inflection and colour on a note. He used to use a crybaby but moved to this after it broke and preferred the bassier sound to it. He claims it’s more modern sounding.
Moogerfooger Ring Modulator – Probably the sound he’s most known for. He does not use the LFO side at all. He just messes around with the frequencies. He uses a high sound sometimes for some cool non-melodic ideas. He also sets it on the low side to really add some stank to a bass line or groove.
Boss DD3 – He uses this to do some cool rhythmic ideas. He’ll set it to the time they happen to be in and use it as a rhythmic device. Playing over the time set by the repeats. It creates a cool wave of sound and makes the trio sound bigger than it is.
Electro Harmonix Freeze – He uses this to set up some pads under his lines to beef up the trio sound. He also uses it on single note lines. He’ll hit it on and off for every note he plays to add a different colour to his sound. Tough to do for sure.
Boss OC-2 – Again another tool to beef up his lines or vamps. I believe he only uses the first octave and not much of the 2nd on the pedal.
Either a Strymon El Capistan or MXR Carbon Copy – for normal delay for soloing
Either a Boss reverb or a Dr. Scientist Reverberator – He doesn’t use it much I don’t think. I read an interview where he said how much he hated reverbs because it covers up the rhythms he plays
Tuner – Boss TU-2
Distortion/Overdrive pedals – He usually has 2 on his board or 2 plus a octafuzz. Depending on the day it could be: Analog man modded Boss blues driver, moollon distortion, moollon lotus (octafuzz), wampler pinnacle, port city sahana boost, or a Matt Wells 5 o’clock shadow.
Here's A Video to check it all out!