Let’s Talk Gear | Tone Talk with Alena Ciera

Photo Credit @action_jacksonent

It’s Women’s History Month and we wanted to talk to some of our favorites about their gear and tone setup(s). If you are not familiar with Guitar Girl Magazine’s “Tone Talk” series, this is where we dive into what makes the tone of different musicians’ setups unique to them. We unpack their likes and dislikes and what makes their setup perfect for them.

If you like what you read, check out Alena Ciera’s Tone Talk on our IG page where she walks through some of her favorite gear.

Alena Ciera is a Washington D.C native who grew up watching her favorite artist Aly & AJ performing on television. She started out playing guitar at the age of six years old and pursued singing and songwriting later on in her life. Alena is currently working on putting together a big show with her band 1identity in July of 2021. She also plans on releasing new music under her and her band 1identity and hopefully having a music video done for her single invincible.

Photo Credit: @nickychinito

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
My definition of tone means having balance, quality, and consistency. My tone has changed over the years by me finding out what pedals, strings, and guitars would best fit me and the tone and quality that I was looking for. There are always going to be new products that come out every year. But what you have to do and realize is that you have to find the best products that give you that best tone you’re looking for. From the quality, balance, and consistency, great tone means everything because there are two things people are always going to remember: 1) how you sound and 2) how great you are as a musician.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
Right now I’m using a 2020 Japanese Fender Stratocaster, a 2003 Fender American Stratocaster with a 4 x 10 Fender Hot Rod Deville amplifier, and a BOSS GT-1 digital pedalboard. The reason why I’m using a Fender Stratocaster is because I’m a versatile player and I get all the tones that I need out of my current guitar, amp, and pedalboard setup. I was using a BOSS GT 100 before I started using the BOSS GT-1. The reason why I downsized to the GT-1 is because the sounds are more compact and it’s smaller making it a bit easier to carry around.

What about strings?
The strings I use are the D’addario NYXL 0942 Nickel Wound strings.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
There are certain techniques I prefer in the studio. If I need distortion, I tend to play out of something that could compliment that like a Peavy 5150 EVH signature head or a Kemper. For all clean tones, I am more likely to use any Fender amp and or my pedalboard.

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
Before I do a show I always make sure that all of my tones are balanced out and that they are in order for each song that will be played on each set. The good thing about having a digital pedalboard is that you can save your sounds, plug up, and play.

What does your practice consist of?
My practice consists of going over all of my modes, songs that I already know and/or songs I need to learn. I also go over my chords, inversions, my phrasing, improving, triplet fills, and some theory.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
My advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry is to never give up and always strive for what you want out of your dreams and life.

Follow Alena Ciera on IG @AlenaCiera

Check our Alena’s Tone Talk here

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Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Logan is an Atlanta Native and proud graduate of Spelman College and Vermont Law School. Her background in environmental and music law fueled her desire to start and manage the international all-women touring collective, TxLips Band, LLC. Logan believes it is important for artists to be well rounded and versed in many areas of the music business, thus inspiring women worldwide to be an unstoppable force. She is the Diversity Editor for Guitar Girl Magazine and the Board Chair for Girls Rock Asheville. http://www.txlips.com