Tone Talk with Jenny Reynolds

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As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Summer 2020 Issue

Jenny Reynolds moved to Austin in 2003 from New England, and her motto is, “Work hard, be nice, keep moving.” Since moving to Austin, she has performed at the legendary Threadgill’s, the Cactus Café, SXSW, and other local festivals. She had the opportunity to work with Ruthie Foster and Ian Mclagan and was named the “Best New Local Act” in Austin Chronicle’s 2005 Critics Poll.

Her music has been heard on ABC soap operas, All My Children and General Hospital.

Reynolds will be releasing a new recording titled “Any Kind of Angel” on June 19, 2020, which was produced by Mark Hallman and Andre Moran at Congress House Studios.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
Guitar tone is the sound created by 1) the attack of the fingers or picks on the string(s), 2) the instrument (i.e., OM acoustic or semi-hollow electric), and 3) the electronics used to amplify the sound of the instrument. My tone changed when I added semi-hollow guitar to the types of guitars I play. It made me use flat wound strings.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
Collings OM (it’s like a fifth limb), Gibson 359 (I like humbuckers and smaller body shapes). I am between amps right now but am leaning toward a Blues Junior or the MilkMan pedal. I have to save up.

What about strings?
D’Addario light gauge on the acoustic, and D’Addario light gauge (12s) flat wound strings on the semi-hollow.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
I prefer Mark Hallman at Congress House Studio in Austin. This may not sound like a “technique,” but I think it is most important to work with people you like and trust. You’re going to be with them a lot.

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
It’s important to practice exactly the same way you perform. When possible, use the same instruments and the same amps, electronics, etc. That way, you know they work, and you know how to use them well.

What does your practice consist of?
I warm up with a G major scale in first position (super easy) and the Am pent scale nine in fifth position. Then I go from easy songs to harder songs.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Be specific about what you want from a sound technician, and then be kind and patient as they work on it. Learn how to describe the sound(s) you like.