Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ali Handal is featured in Guitar Player magazine’s 2011 New Products issue. The feature reveals Handal’s inspiration as a guitarist — Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page — and how she achieved her own riff-fueled rockers on latest album Make Your Move.
“My voice isn’t particularly ‘rock’ because it’s not male and it’s not raspy,” Handal tells GP. “So I need killer guitar tones to deliver the edge, punch and attitude that gets the point across. Therefore, I like to hit the front end of the amp really hard using a boost pedal—a trick I learned from Bob (Bob DeMarcos of Nurvilicous Studios)—because the right boost makes it seem like your amp’s speakers are exploding, and that sound can add incredible energy to a track.”
As well as a handful of boosters (GP‘s got the specifics on page 32-34), Handal used her go-to American Standard Tele and Fender Princeton Reverb amp on the new album. Interestingly, the Tele wasn’t always her first choice.
“Before my Telecaster, I always used a Strat for clean parts,” she says. “But once I tried the Tele, I realized what a versatile instrument it is. It’s more intense than a Strat for the funky parts I like to play, and it delivers a great crunch sound. It also didn’t hurt to learn that Jimmy Page recorded most of Led Zeppelin with a Telecaster.”
For a chance to win Handal’s preferred guitar, head to guitarplayer.com.