Great Country and Blues Guitar Tone On a Shoestring Budget

How to Get a Spankin' and Poppin' Country and Blues 
Guitar Tone Even if You're on a Shoestring Budget!

Doug Seven takes YOU on a (Slightly Entertaining) ROAD-TRIP to the store to get everything we'll need to get a versatile, country, blues and rock tone that can be used on the stage, in the studio or even in a basement jam session. 


On camera, we'll purchase a COMPLETE guitar rig fit for clubs and jams... This video will PUT TO REST the opinion that it takes expensive equipment to really get a modern Nashville tone! Then We'll head back home and set up all the gear and pedals for you.  

In this video, we'll answers these most 
important questions and more about your tone 

(having a little too much fun included at NO charge)

All The Pedals You Need and How To Set Them!


  1. Doug, those old Fender s/s amps are overlooked as good bargains,had the pro-deluxe for a bit, killer lead channel. I think the Mustang' range would be a better bet as they have all the pedals built in plus amps and a stunning low price. The Chinese made Tele's are also amazing at the money, built like Leo' used to-cheap and cheerful.

  2. Well, shoot, Doug. You just took away all my excuses.

  3. you guys are having way too much fun!
    be we sure like the infor. Thanks!
    Hey Doug,,,, let us know when your wife has that "tired of looking at" yard sale,ok? hahaha. make me a good deal on that ol'wampler pedal, she's pitching out.

  4. great video doug.......keep up the good work!!!!! Have been playin' a long while and can confirm everything you say(IT IS REALLY ALL IN YOUR HANDS 90% of the time)....j.m.

  5. ....fender frontman 2x12r/reverb is probably the best solid state amp little money can buy here in Europe...yet valve amps are so much smoother/nicer in tone...having too many inexpensive guitars, I bought an expensive one...the difference is like day and night, black and white...the cheap ones are 4 sale since...I may be a beginner/intermediate player but I have ears...Doug, I`m a great admirer of your music...great vids...keep `m coming...cheers

  6. This is great. I play cheap too. But I'm satisfied...
    Great video. Share, share, share...

  7. Does not sound very good. Tone and or timbre is not in the hands, but personal style is. Saying 90% is in the hands is like saying 90% of the sound you hear from a stereo amp for music listening is all in the dials. No need to get a nice sound system, just learn your eq.

    Better equipment sounds better no matter what level player you are. These are musician's tools. Save your money and buy something of value. Consider it an investment. If you buy a real Fender Deluxe for instance, in the future it will be worth more than you paid. If you buy smart, you can resell for a profit and be playing something that doesn't amplify odd order harmonics. If you attempt to resell the equipment you purchased, you will get more for the pedals than the guitar and amp together.

    The amp in video 3 is just a 18 Watt Marshall TMB. May be built well, but nothing special. It would be better to buy it than an SS fender. Those old SS Princeton's are $50 on a resell and I don't know if you could get anything for the guitar.

    This advice has a very poor return of investment.

  8. Thanks for your comment!

    A LOT of future depressed guitarists agree with you that it's all in the gear.

    After personally knowing hundreds of players that have bought up every pedal/amp/guitar only to be let down by the fact that it never will make them sound better, I felt like making this video to prove a point, successfully I might add.

    And that point was that your playing should be your focus, NOT what gear you should run out and get so you can sound like another guitarist...

    I used the CHEAPEST of amps and guitars and had only 2-3 pedals ALL of my life and got more compliments on my tone than even NOW with more expensive gear.

    Thanks again for your comment though!
    Doug Seven

    1. I'm backing you up ,Doug.

      This ain't about resale value, this is about sounding DECENT on a real gig/jam, when you're in a situation where it may take you seven (no pun intended) or so years to save up $4,000 for killer gear.

      Here in Mid-Michigan, in about 1999, I met this Tennessee guy, Lane Tobias "Toby" Steele, who plays a LOT of whup-ass country and can hang with Doug Seven, who told me in about 2002 that he didn't have money available as a kid, either, and had to MAKE cheap stuff sound good, with his PLAYING. At the time, he was using the 4x10 Peavey Classic 50 and some regular Boss pedals. He sounded awesome, and the band at that time, YOUNG COUNTRY, was among the top 3 bands in THIS circuit, anyway. I bought the same make/model amp, used, for $350, AND, Chris Holtz in the back shop, just for kicks & giggles, had done "The Blackface Mod" on the amp, to voice it more like a Fender black-face Twin (Yeah I know it's a 4x10) but anyway, I got a tube amp The "TOBY STEELE" model Peavey, MODDED, to boot, for $350!

      I got an Ibanez Tube Screamer TURBO years ago, with a gift certificate someone got me for Christmas, and for $20 bucks Chris Holtz tricked it out, so I have a modded tube amp, modded tube screamer, for under $400!

    2. I do not believe that I said "it's all in the gear". What I said is better equipment sounds better no matter what level you are. I have been playing daily since 1976, I guess that depression thing skipped me.

      Please consider when someone is suggesting how someone else should spend their money, they are putting themselves in the position of a financial adviser.

      It is not my intent to discredit the focus of the video. I wholeheartedly agree that gaining better chops is more important and you will never buy an amp or guitar that makes you a better player. It would be ignorant to think this.

      I was simply stating from a financial investment standpoint, if you purchase the correct used equipment, with a little research, you can actually purchase nice equipment that goes up in value.

      It will not make you a better player. Only practice and thinking can do this. BTW, you do not even need an amp or any pedals to be a great player.

      One of the jokes about musicians is they never have any money. That is the main reason for this video. Poor musicians who cannot afford expensive gear. Maybe the reason they cannot afford expensive gear is they have purchased too many items that have a poor return on investment.

      I simply disagree with the purchase of items that depreciate if you can buy something that will not. You have the best of both worlds if you are playing equipment that sounds good and is worth more than you paid. I think I made my point, successfully I might add.

      Thanks you for what you are doing in the lessons. You are a great teacher. I cannot agree with your financial advice, I am sorry.

      Edit below:

      I did notice you did a little editing to my post, so my suspension is realized. I have purchased a few lessons from you and really like them. They have been helpful is adding to my style. You are in a unique position and great players have a lot of influence over those who are young and learning. Consider the advice you have given and would have you done this if Music Go Round was not sponsoring. If so, I apologize for the inference.

      You are an intelligent guy and I am sure by now a number of guys have bought a SS Princeton or something else similar. Maybe visited a Music Go Round, so the video was successful. It was successful in showing someone can play cheap equipment well, but was it also successful in getting someone to spend the last few dollars they were saving because Doug Seven inferred it is just as good. Maybe they were saving to buy a nice old 70's Deluxe Reverb from a friend who was going to let them have it cheap to help them out. I have done this many times.

      I am not taking pot shots at you. I am simply looking at the other side of the coin. I am a sponsored musician and understand the conflict it can cause. What is the right thing to do? We cannot know in every case and in you dialogue I have noticed you are a Godly family man. I simply wanted to give you some food for thought as you expand your business.

      Ed Chambley

    3. Karl,
      Great comment. You got a modded tube amp and a tube screamer for $400. Sounds like you did your homework. A Peavey classic 50 amp for less than $400 is a good deal.

      Not sure where you got the $4000 figure. Two-Rock sold out.

    4. Hi Ed, Thanks for your comments!

      Nobody edited anything in your post (unless you used certain words that Google edited out)...

      I wasn't giving financial advice at all. I would never do that with musical gear. I can go out and purchase a Taylor guitar today that may bring me a positive ROI but make me sound like crap for the next 10 years. (even though I love 'some' Taylors)

      Value is determined by what something is worth to YOU anyway. I have guitars I wouldn't sell for any amount.

      Plus, I gave all of this stuff away to someone I knew that couldn't afford any gear. So I guess I lost my investment on that.

      1) Music-Go-Round had no idea I visited their store or sent them business.

      2) Wampler pedals have never asked for anything more than my opinion on their products.

      I've never signed any agreements with JEDAMP, Fender, Dr. Z BOSS, Kelton Swade or anyone else.

      I give honest advice based on the personal experience and perspective of myself and thousands of others I've had the privilege of knowing in this business.

      Just to clear up any "sponsorship" confusion.

      Thanks again,
      Doug Seven

    5. Glad to hear it Doug. It just seemed the video was a infomercial. I will take your word for it as I do believe you are honest and sincere.

      I have given away much music equipment and there is no loss, it is just a different type of investment. At that point we are investing in sharing our good fortune. Everyone needs to give back.

      Every year around Christmas I get tons of people wanting to get music gear for their child. They ask what should I get? Every music store brings in cheaper equipment for the rush in sales. I tell them and often show them what to get used so when their child doesn't use them, they can sell them and get something else.

      It is a fact that there is more guitars and amps are sold and are never used to any extent and then after a little while they attempt to sell it, but nobody will pay anything near what it costs new or retail used. Now lets say they spend $300, so to them it is worth near that, but in fact it is not. After a few craiglist offers they begin to understand it is really not worth what they are asking. So it is not valued at what the owner states, but finds its true market value.

      Now Karl from Michigan would not be in the same position. He would quickly get his investment back and if he had time to wait he could sell it for a profit.

      Gruhn can give you a value on your equipment, but some of yours you would not sell unless someone in your family needed urgent medical attention and you needed money to help. Then you would sell that guitar you said you never would and it would sell at market value. Hopefully it is not a First Act Strat.

      There is nothing I own I would not sell if my wife needed something. It may be difficult to replace my beloved amp or guitar, but I can. I'll bet you are that way as well. So I do not think you have anything you would not sell if you needed. Problem is this is not something that might happen, but will happen. In youth we do not consider these things, but everyone ages.

      So while you may stand firmly on your opinion, something is not worth what the individual emotionally determines. And in reality since there is no such thing as me having anything I would not sell (I may hold it till last) if circumstances warrant.

      Maybe that Taylor does sound like crap. Maybe your Hummingbird doesn't hum as it should but if you needed to sell them they would be music to your ears compared to that $200 Alverez you have that you bought new.

      All I am saying is there is a win-win in purchasing music equipment. It doesn't have to be the most expensive thing, but to not consider resale when purchasing equipment is being negligent to your families wealth and future.

      I am now officially stepping down from my soapbox. If in the future I see a video I will simply understand our values differ slightly as I do not have anything I would not sell if circumstances warrant.

  9. I'll Amen that everyone has different definition of what value is...

    My Dad passed down a 73' Strat to me twenty five years ago, I held on to it until 2004 -my wife is now wearing it on her hand in the form of a wedding ring.

    So, value is MANY things, including emotional-value. That guitar had two emotional purposes and it fulfilled both -whatever I needed it to fulfill.

    I had to play my much less expensive, horrible-resale-value guitar for another 10 years before I had something "worth anything"...

    I still had GREAT tone. Cheap stuff. I just spent some time with it.

    It's obvious that music and money rarely ever "get along" anyway.

    So, if you can't afford to make an "investment" to play your guitar, buy the cheap stuff, spend time with it, watch my videos and you'll be just fine!


  10. Doug,
    What kind of guitar was it you were using in the second video? Triple pup, looks sort of charcoal and has a maple fretboard. It looks like a very nice custom.

    Love the wedding ring story. Thank you for that. That is exactly what I mean. When you guys are gray haired, you child has a family and you and her are rocking on the front porch you can concentrate on loving her instead worrying about money. Your fathers investment paid off and if you sold your best guitar for a wedding ring, you are the kind of friend I look for.

    Keep up the great work.

    BTW, do you plan on doing any more Rhythm and Chordal lessons. I am not familiar with the one you have, but I have been considering getting it. Every song is not Workin Man Blues and in reality the majority of the time we are playing chords and fills and it is absolute necessity to be a well rounded player.


  11. Thanks so much Ed!

    Long story short... That was a guitar I was trying out from a new guitar builder. He was just starting out and wanted my opinion. I sent it back to get some things changed and never heard from him again, lol...

    Another perfect reason I wait a LONG time before recommending anyone.

    The Rhythm video needs a follow up, it went very well I think and folks liked it a lot!

    Thanks again and talk soon!