Magazine article Guitar Player

Billy Gibbons on the Cheater's 12 and Beefy Tone

Magazine article Guitar Player

Billy Gibbons on the Cheater's 12 and Beefy Tone

Article excerpt

Jimmie Vaughan once called ZZ Top's Deguello "a little treasure chest of tones." When this record came out, we asked Billy Gibbons to detail his special techniques and tips.

What are your favorite tunings?

I have a couple aside from the standard E, D, A, and G. In one, you drop the big-E string down to D, keep the regular A,, D, G, and B, and drop the treble E to D. This puts a partial D chord on the bottom and a G chord on the top three. I use this on a lot of the slide cuts we do.

Then there's the Cheater's 12. This requires a string change: You use a first string in place of the big E and tune it in unison to your little E. Then use a second string for the fifth, and tune it to an A. Use another second string for your usual fourth string, tuned to a high D. So you've got standard tuning, but strange octaves--kind of a fake 12-string. …

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