Whistling tone at frets above 12

Hi all! Im trying to learn a few solos that go to frets beyond the 12th and im noticing my guitar sounds very different from recordings of artists im looking to replicate. I know its not an intonation issue as the notes im playing are in tune, its just as though the guitars tone itself is very shrill and harsh. Im getting little to no low end from the sound and its not pleasant to the ear. Im playing on a yamaha pacifica 012v with a few pedals and a boss katana amp

Without a listen I don’t think anyone can give you a 100% accurate answer. However, as someone who is also starting to learn some lead licks beyond the 12th fret, I have some experience with this. I’ve found that getting the tone right is difficult because lead tones sometimes have a bunch of effects that might be difficult to get exactly right. That plus every guitar sounds different makes it hard to nail the tone.

That being said, you have a boss katana, so I’d download a bunch of lead tone patches and play around with them.

If your katana is MKI (or MKII like mine) there are a ton of cool tones to play around with here: KATANA Amp series Live Sets | BOSS TONE CENTRAL

if you have an MKII you can also check these out: KATANA MkII Live Sets | BOSS TONE CENTRAL

those are more general, and I think have more lead tones.

All the tones are clearly described too so you won’t have to guess if they’ll be good for lead.

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A brief recording would be really handy to hear the problem you want to solve.

Not sure if this is similar: A couple weeks ago, I picked up a new guitar. I am having a lot of extra tones from sympathetic resonance on other strings, several harmonics up. For instance, a solid hit on the A string will give me loud shimmer on the B string.
EDIT: now that I think of it, I am playing a power E, so the A string is fretted to B. The harmonic sympathetic resonance on the B string makes sense, but it is far louder than on other guitars.

To test this yourself, mute the string you just played and then sequentially mute other strings until you find the offending sound. Then you can try to figure out what to do about it. :slight_smile:

I am currently treating my example like poor string muting control on my part. I’m not all that sure how to proceed beyond that.

Another thought based on not hearing your problem is that with modeling amps, they tend to let a lot of higher frequency stuff pass that regular guitar amps filter out. On my Helix, I have a global EQ where I roll off frequencies above about 6kHz. I figure that is about the max I expect to get out of the guitar with 3rd harmonic on the little E string. It helped remove a general high-frequency noise that I don’t hear in professionally recorded songs.

There is also some digital processing noise that you may hear in a modeling amp. It is generated as mathematical artifacts of the modeling algorithm. Usually in digital signal processing, we try to filter that stuff out, but maybe the rolloff filter above can help there as well. I would not expect this to be very loud, and would change with model you are using. This applies mostly to modulation effects, maybe amp models, probably not filter models.

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When i play next ill try remember to get a recording :smiley:

Maybe ceramic pickups vs alnico pickups… not that ones better than the other but in my opinion ceramic pickups have a harsher more icepicky kinda sound and alnico have a softer warmer kinda sound… I don’t have a modeling amp though so I don’t know how much that can be adjusted with amp settings.


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Hi Dave!

Could it be that the pickup is a tad too close to the strings on the treble side?

Also, I suppose you could roll off your guitar’s tone knob a bit.

Would any of that help?

I tried rolling off the tone knob and that helped a lot. I also now play with neck pickup as well as bridge to change the “pitchyness”