Tone Talk with Ada Kaczanowska

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Ada Kaczanowska - Photo by Krzemiński Photography
       

As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 9 – Autumn 2019 – Ladies of Metal

Ada Kaczanowska:  I am an electric guitar player born in Poland, and I share my passion for heavy metal music by posting YouTube videos of me playing. The videos are usually shot in unconventional environments like abandoned hotels, factories, and train stations. I have also made a couple of guest appearances on live concerts in Poland, and my plan for the future is to record some original material, form a band, and in the end, start touring.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years.

For me, tone is something you extract straight from the instrument and the amp. It depends on the unique language of your gear and its quality; but most importantly, it depends on the way you hit the string, hold the note, and put all the details into your playing. It can not be replaced by a computer, but it can be improved by it. It’s the soul of the guitar, the sound of the amplifier, and the passion of a player.

I think people in the ‘70s and ‘80s managed to create the heavy metal sound very well. Over the years, they have come out with many great ideas on how to improve the tone. What has changed is definitely the gear arsenal that we have available. Nowadays, people can achieve any kind of sound they want, with much less energy input.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?

For guitar, I’m currently using an Epiphone Richie Faulkner Signature Flying-V. It’s well balanced, lightweight, comfortable, and the sound it makes is perfect, in my opinion. Also, I really appreciate the design and work put into the detail. For an amp, I’m using the Peavey Bandit 112. It has been with me for years, and I’m truly satisfied with its power and reliability. It allows me to create incredible heavy metal tones. I also use Dean Markley strings, some BOSS pedals, and Dimebag Cry Baby from Hell.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?

My favorite way of recording is to plug the amp directly to the audio interface. It’s something between analog and digital. It’s quicker and easier than recording with a microphone, but it allows you to keep the original sound of the amp, instead of using a computer-simulated replacement.

How do you keep your sound consistent on stage?

I’ve only played a few concerts in my life, so I’m probably not the one to ask, but I think it’s important not to overdo it in any direction. It’s significant to keep the balance between all the tone components and not try to add too much. Sometimes less is more.

What does your practice consist of?

I recently found out how important a warm-up is. You can cause serious damage to your hands if you don’t pay enough attention to warming up and keeping your body in the right position. So I start with a couple of warm-up exercises and then usually play a couple of songs just to have fun. After that, if I want to learn something specific, I just play it repeatedly with a metronome, accelerating the pace when I feel comfortable. I would recommend using a metronome to everyone that plays the guitar; it should become your best friend!

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?

I’m on the beginning of the musical journey myself, and there are many things I don’t know yet, but what I’ve learned so far is that you should try to catch every opportunity to improve. Everything you experience makes you learn more and more. Also, it might seem obvious, but you can’t get upset about the negative feedback – especially on the internet. Accept the constructive criticism, but don’t pay attention to people who are trying to bring you down without any cause.

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