Armed with only his signature single-pickup Epiphone Les Paul Custom and a Blackstar JJN combo – the blues firebrand aimed to show guitarists how to get the “most tone out of the least amount of gear”.
One of the central themes explored in Nichols’ tutorial was mastery over the guitar’s onboard control section. “For me, I rely so much on the volume and tone controls,” Nichols said. “A lot of players don’t realise how expressive their guitar is.”
“When I am playing through my amps, I usually run them pretty hot with gain. But I love when you can back off [the volume knob] and it rolls off and you get to more clean.”
Nichols also discussed how players could use the tone knob to adjust picking attack. On his single-pickup Les Paul, he explained that rolling the tone back would make his bridge pickup sound more ‘neck-like’.
A cornerstone of Nichols’ playing style is his bending and vibrato, and the blues-rocker went into detail on how players can achieve greater expression by applying both techniques onto their licks.
“I’m not really changing the riff, I’m just changing the punctuation, the tones of my guitar, how fast I’m vibrato-ing, how much I’m bending each note,” he said, demonstrating a lick. “It takes a simple shell of a riff, and it helps me manipulate it in so many different ways.”
Watch Jared James Nichols complete guitar tutorial above.
Check out more videos from the virtual guitar show at Guitar.com/live