Let’s Talk Gear | Tone Talk with Sistah Punk

Photo Credit @mikemenanyc
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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.

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

Keisha B. aka Sistah Punk is the lead guitarist and singer of the Brooklyn-based alternative rock band, Cryo Child. Inspired by legends of blues, punk, and hard rock and formed in the basements of Flatbush, Sistah Punk keeps rock ‘n’ roll alive in her guitar slaying and entrepreneurship. Keisha B. has founded Sistah Studios which serves as an independent photography and videography project created to document the music scene and other creators in the New York City music scene. 

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
My tone sets the standard for my music. The right tone makes the listener know from the first note what the mood will be, whether it’s a warm, a clean strum, or a dirty vintage distortion. The right tone draws the listener into your vibe. I love to change the tone and range of my vocals from soft dreamy falsettos to deep alto vibrato. Those first few seconds are the one chance to capture the audience and put a chill through their bodies.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
I’ve been rocking my Gibson Les Paul Studio and my Fender Princeton Reverb then matching that with the Maxon ODM pedal. All three have been my super combination for the last few years. My Princeton amp has a really clean, smooth reverb that makes it easy to trust for a true pedal tone, even at high volumes. My Maxon ODM is the tofu of my pedalboard. It has incredible simple settings that won’t overpower my effects or any additional distortion boost I may throw into the mix. 

What about strings?
Ernie Ball Baby! I started with their regular slinky then moved up to the hybrid slinky for more control maneuvering my top strings.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
My favorite part is layering my guitar tracks, I love to play along with myself and feel the track swell. Since I play in a three-piece band, there’s no better rhythm guitarist for my solos than myself!

What does your practice consist of?
Band practice in the city can come with time, space, and volume restrictions since we’ve pretty much set up a mini studio in my apartment to avoid the costs of booking a practice room. Our practice comes in a few different parts: 1) a creative warm-up time where we talk new techniques, 2) hashing out song ideas we’ve been working individually, 3) planning band projects and our upcoming shows, and then 4) we get the actual jam that we bang out in for about an hour. We spend this time prioritizing our newer songs and of course having fun hearing everything come together.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Music can be liberating as its own language. It’s not always about comparing your talents to others but expressing yourself and communicating that emotion through music. Challenge yourself, set your own standard, and don’t be afraid to share your work and collaborate! Have fun!

Follow Sistah Punk on IG @sistahpunk

Check out Sistah’s Tone Talk here

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