My Settings for Blues Guitar and Slide Guitar DVDs

Since everyone is always asking my exact settings, here they are for some of the blues and slide guitar DVDs I’ve recorded.

Try them out and see what you think.  Post a comment below on what you find works for you to help others who are trying to get a good blues guitar tone.

Blues DVD 1-4

  • Guitar – Fender 1979 Strat with Texas Specials
  • Amp – 1974 Fender Twin Reverb with Celestion Vintage 30 Speakers
  • Tubes – Groove Tubes 6L6 with a 5 power rating
  • Pedal – Ibanez Turbo Tubescreamer or Fulltone OCD
  • Pick Dunlop Jazz III
  • Amp Settings – Bass 9, Middle 8, Treble 5, Bright Switch On
  • Strings – GHS Boomers .011 -.050

Open E Slide DVD 4 and 5

  • Guitar – Gibson SG 61 reissue
  • Amp – 1974 Master Volume Fender Twin w/ Vintage 30 Speakers and Groove Tubes
  • pedal -Ibanez Turbo Tubescreamer set to TS9
  • Reverb – 3
  • Bass – 5
  • Middle – 7
  • Treble – 5
  • Bright Switch On
  • Strings – GHS Boomers .011’s
  • String Height – 1/5″ at the 12th fret
  • Rhythm pickup
  • Dunlop Blues Bottle Glass Slide Medium
  • Tubescreamer Settings – Gain – 12 o’clock, Level – 10 o’clock, Tone – 3 o’clock
  • Shure 57 into UA LA610 into Pro Tools

Open E Tuning Slide DVD 1-3

  • Guitar – Gibson SG 61 reissue
  • Amp – 1966 Fender Vibrolux
  • Volume – 7
  • Treble – 7
  • Bass – 4
  • Fulltone OCD for high gain settings Gain set at 40% Tone at 75%
  • Strings – GHS Boomers .011’s
  • Rhythm or Bridge pickup
  • Shure 57 into LA 610 preamp into Pro Tools
  • Weber Attenuator

I think this will help many people get an idea of how I approach my tone so they can try my settings and adjust them to what they like.

So what do you think?

Let me and everyone else know what tone tips you have for everyone.  This is your chance to voice your opinion.  So let the world know.

John W Tuggle
John W Tuggle

I love teaching the blues and have created numerous training courses and lessons to learn how to play like BB King, Clapton, Duane Allman, and more. Get Started Now

Articles: 171


  1. how high is the strings at the 12 fret? is 1/5″ mean a 5th of an inch off the fret board? the problem i have is the sharp angle from the tailpiece up to and over the bridge.I love it at 3/16 off the freet board at the 12th, but that angle looks not right.

  2. I’d love to hear John’s recommendation for how high the strings should be set for a guitar you’d like to use for slide ? Also if you were going to use it for slide and some regular playing, whats a good set up height thats a compromise?

  3. I see you are a GHS Boomers fan. I have been using Dean Markley’s forever and have switched over to GHS since I saw in an interview with Jimmy Page that he is a GHS user, and I have always loved the sound he has had.

    Each person has to find the sound that they like. I appreciate you showing us how you do it and letting us comment.

    Thanks. Joe

  4. The settings for the Blues DVD 1-4:
    I am using Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. I was wondering what was your setting for the Reverb and Presence?

  5. Great stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff before and your just too awesome. I love what you’ve got here, love what your saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I cant wait to read more from you. this is really a great blog.

  6. Great information and easy to follow. I tried it on my Ibanez GS playing though my Crate amp and digitech 2000 pedal – compensated some since my equipment isn’t the same – and it sounded close but definitely not the same – I’ll have to try tweaking it a bit, but it nice to have information like this to so I have a base line to work from.

    Thanks for sharing how you get such a great sound!

  7. 1/5″ would be 12.8/64ths or in 6.4/32nds which is pretty high. I have my guitars for slide set at 7/64 and have been thinking about lowering it just a bit more. I have noticed that as my technique gets better that I focus on playing with a lighter touch since starting John’s slide course at the beginning of this year. Derek Trucks has his guitars set up really low so they’re still easy to play normally.

    • Yeah it’s a little high. That’s how I like it though. My theory is to find what is best for you and do that. It’s just easier with higher action for me and I don’t have to worry about it.

  8. Very good tips, I’ve been looking this information. Keep on posting mate. Thank you

  9. How do you decide whether to use the Fulltone OCD, Ibanez Tube Screamer or Maxon 808? Any general rules of thumb? I currently have the OCD and Maxon 808. I can hear a difference, but I’m interested in what you find the differences to be.

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