Tone Talk with Alicia Vigil

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girl sitting down holding guitar
Photo by Jack Lue
       

My name is Alicia Vigil and I sing and play bass for my band, Vigil Of War. We formed in 2017 and have frequented The Whisky a Go Go, Las Vegas, did a U.K. tour earlier in 2019 and Vans Warped Tour 25th Anniversary in Mountain View over the summer of 2019. Our sound is a bit hard rock, a bit alternative, and a bit melodic metal. We could be enjoyed by fans of The Distillers, Joan Jett, Billy Idol, etc.!

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

Definition of tone is a player’s personality. With the amount of new pedals, amps, technology, etc., there is so much more versatility available for players nowadays.

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

I play exclusively live with Zemaitis bass guitars, which is a rad Japanese company I fell in love with the first time I ever saw and played one. Although my favorite amp would be the Ampeg SVT series, I’m much more open to playing pretty much any amp, as I can pretty much get my tone to how I like off most amps. As for pedals, I only use a BOSS tuner and occasionally a Big Muff distortion pedal. Perhaps I will expand my pedal selection in the future, but for the sound I’m using now, these work well.

female guitarists performing on stage

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?

I’m much pickier on how I want my bass tone to sound in the studio, so I will usually try several different basses for each song until I get the one I like. On most occasions, I usually end up going with either my Jerry Only custom Devastator bass or Gibson Grabber, as they both have such crispy, cutting sounds.

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?

It’s all about getting the right amount of treble for the sound I like. I like my bass cutting through and being a big part of our mix, instead of being a background instrument.

RELATED:  Vigil of War at The Redwood Bar on July 17, 2019

What does your practice consist of?

I use an online app called Transcribe, which is a lifesaver! You can slow down or speed up any song to the percentage you want and work your way up, as well as pitch-shift any song. It really helps when you have a fast song to learn or need to slow something down to hear exactly what is being played. I usually use this when practicing on my own, then get together with my band to rehearse as a band when all has been learned.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Don’t be afraid to be a leader and have a voice! There will be people that will try to knock you down or instill you with self-doubt, but do not let that stop you from propelling forward. YOU can do whatever you set your mind to.

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Alicia Vigil is also featured in our
2020 Guitar Girl Magazine calendar.

Get your copy HERE.

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