Hey everybody! My name is Sus, and I’m a guitar player from Colombia now based in NYC. I consider myself a very versatile guitar player, but what I love playing the most is funk, rock, blues, and pop music. I’ve traveled across the world playing for top-selling artists like Karol G and Luis Fonsi, but I also have my own original music project called Top Queens.
What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
For me, tone is a reflection and an accumulation of all the years spent listening to different players, trying and experimenting with gear, exploring and getting to know your instrument deeply, practicing different techniques, and playing in as many situations as possible. Tone is in the ear; it is different for you and me, and in my case, it’s been evolving throughout the years as I grow both as a person and a musician.
Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
My main guitar now is a Nash Tele Thinline that I found recently used on Reverb.com. I feel that this guitar is a combination of my favorite things about each of my other guitars, all mixed into one instrument. I’ve been using the Morgan Amps 112, which has one of the best cleans I’ve ever heard. I also have a wall full of pedals—I love having lots of options to pick from, and I’m always changing and creating new pedalboard combinations for the different gigs I have.
What about strings?
I use Elixir Strings with the 10-46s and 10-56s gauge on all my electrics and 12s on Acoustics. I love Elixir because they last longer than other brands, and I really love the tone and the way they feel.
Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
There is nothing better than to mic my favorite amp, but I’ve also been recording with only plugins recently. Like my Fractal AX8 straight into the interface, I’ve been finding great tone using plugins like Neural DSP, IK Multimedia, and BIAS. Recording everything dry has been my main thing lately, and then adding a wet signal separately so I can have both independent signals in case I want to change it up, or the producer asks for that option later.
How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
I think constantly playing at different places has been a magical and formative aspect because each show is always going to be a unique experience. Every time I get to a different venue, whether it’s a huge arena or a small club, I have to adapt not only to the conditions of the space but also to the technical and backline situation that is available there. Every place has a different sound—different reverb, acoustics, etc. I can be playing with in-ears or with monitors, having an amp next to me or not. So it’s always going to be a different experience, and the more of these you have, the better you learn to adapt.
What does your practice consist of?
I’m always changing my practice sessions, depending on the stuff I need to work on the most. I’m currently practicing a lot of odd meters and applying exercises for drummers to the guitar. I find it very useful and nurturing to work on things that aren’t strictly designed for guitar, so recently, I’ve been working on playing the exercises from the famous piano technique book, Hanon.
What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Visualizing yourself doing what you want is the key to success. Be patient and disciplined, and no matter where you come from, or what your conditions may be, everything is possible. Keep moving forward nonstop and enjoying every moment because it is all about the journey and not the destination.