Tone Talk with Anna Sentina

anna sentina kiesel bass
Photo by Jack Lue

Anna Sentina is a freelance session musician, composer, and YouTuber. Starting with classical piano training, then picking up guitar and bass, she started touring at fourteen years old and has expanded her musical boundaries extensively throughout the years. Sentina writes and records for several different genres, ranging from heavy metal, to pop, to jazz fusion. She is currently involved in writing for different artists and bands, as well as composing a new solo album.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
My definition of tone is how you make your instrument sing. Tone answers the question: How does your instrument sound when you play it? My interpretation of ‘tone’ has changed several times over the years as I’ve learned about all the different variables it can have. I have practiced making my tone unique to me.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
I am currently using Roland’s Cube Bass Amp, Positive Grid’s Spark, Kiesel’s Zeus and Aries models, and a variety of BOSS pedals, including the GEB-7 Bass Equalizer and BB-1X Bass Driver. This rig is what helps me get the tone I strive for in any genre I am currently playing.

What about strings?
DR Strings Pure Blues—they are my absolute favorite.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
Not necessarily. The recording techniques I use really tend to differ depending on what exactly it is that I want to lay down, such as the genre or the purpose of the session. What I do prefer is who I record with.

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
I take, essentially, the same rig with me everywhere! My Kiesels keep the tone I love dialed in very well. 

What does your practice consist of?
My practice routine changes constantly. I practice according to what I need to work on the most that day, week, or month. Sometimes I focus on writing; other times, I focus on keeping my improvisation skills tight, and sometimes there’s a technique I want to brush up on. I think these are all extremely important aspects of practicing.

Favorite guitar riff or lick that inspired you to play guitar?
Tom Sawyer by Rush.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
The only thing that could ever hold you back or get in your way is you. Work hard, trust the process, and trust yourself.