Duane Eddy's House of Twang

How to get close to that Duane Eddy twang


Forty Miles of Bad Road, Just getting that dip on the Bigsby takes a hundred miles of practice and the rest, a guitar Ikon his own sound and feel, like all great masters its unique.So many great Duane Eddy tunes to stamp your own style on with a bit of achievable emulation I guess. I remember a track on a very early Albert Lee album with what sounded like a salute to Duane, in Alberts own style. Legacy.


The best example of how difficult ( impossible ) it is to sound just like Duane is the raft of Embassy Records 'cover' 45's from years back. The cream of UK session guitarists, including the great Eric Ford, gave it their best shot but to no avail. Under the psuedonym of Bud Ashton they simply proved that no one but no one does Duane Eddy like Duane Eddy. I gave it up years back and just enjoy playing music in the style of 'my musical hero. Trust me, it sounds nothing like the real thing, but it has inpired me for over 50 years.


i want to point; is not the only one who is impossible to get their tone, Nobody can get the tone of another player even if it is a bad player

– johnny2009

I never tire of using the above logic to explain why no one will ever sound like me!


is there someone who can sound like Hendrix, Clapton, Page, Van Halen, Mark Knofler, or Brian Setzer!! it is impossible, nobody can sound like another player, each one of us as is own voice, we can be great players or very bad ones, but we can´t not sound like any other, we only can be ourself, it is a natural limitation


I took a night and worked in JamUp Pro until I came it with something I felt comfortable for those big single notes, but the most helpful things were some tidbits mentioned from years ago that I remembered (or misremembered - either way, they helped):

1) Use the neck pickup 2) Pick close to the bridge

Here's what I came up with that I recorded for a short EP for my grandmother: Link

And I was aiming for a tone to match a mental image of Arizona: big and powerful, but lonely. I think that's the best tone ever. Duane's I mean, not mine.


is there someone who can sound like Hendrix, Clapton, Page, Van Halen, Mark Knofler, or Brian Setzer!! it is impossible, nobody can sound like another player, each one of us as is own voice, we can be great players or very bad ones, but we can´t not sound like any other, we only can be ourself, it is a natural limitation

– johnny2009

Perhaps you have yet to attend a Bill Kirchen show?

(skip ahead to around 3:00 to hear him play homage to multiple guitarists)


I agree that no one can sound just like Duane Eddy. But you don't have to. I have found that if you are with other guitar players, and just jamming around, if someone starts to play a Duane Eddy song.... everyone just nods and smiles and says "oh yeah..Duane Eddy" and everyone seems to know every song.


I was told that this was Duane's "pedalboard" in 2012. Is he still using the Dyno-brain?


Photo was taken at YellowArch Studios in Sheffield, England.


Wrong Gretsch (6122), wrong strings (D'Addario 11's), wrong amp (Roland JC, 2x10s), Zoom pedal board (for reverb), all through a $49 AD converter into my DAW.

Sound- could be better, could be a lot worse. Still, it's only a pale copy.

It's been up here before, prior to the crash. Comments welcome.


Regarding Duane's Sound....There is a branch of Experimental Psychology call "Expert-Analysis"...This are extremely detailed study of Expert(s) microactions and stimulas causing actions and resulting from the actions...This is extremely difficult information to obtain from experts for much of the motor-behavior is unconscious to the expert and they will state... "I don't know I just do it" I don't know if anyone has done this with Duane's Sound..but some things I do recall from both knowing Duane and working with Duane and trying to play like him which maybe helpful are:

  1. Listen a lot ( 20 to 59 times) to small phrase, like 1 to 2 bar's over and over again.
  2. Sing the phrase before trying it on guitar....sing it a lot first...with all the inflections but get your own sound codes off orginal Duane recordings..sometimes just 3 or 4 notes is a handful....you will be surprised at the complexity.
  3. Duane could do almost all of the note formations with just the left hand fingers...bends vibrato...etc with out using Bigsby. I recall him doing playing his songs on a classical
    guitar and obtain the same voice-inflections.
  4. Look at on-fret and off-fret note effect and fret slide-off...see if that matches your sings of
    the Duane's sound.
  5. Look into right hand pick. Duane is a strong thumb pick background and some of the pick power may come from variable thumb pressure, combos of wrist turn and or arm mass picking...
  6. Watch Duane a video....look and left and rignt hand fingers....repeat a lot.
  7. Equipment is secondary consider: 1. Tube Amp Dyna-Kit 60 watts Custom pre amp Wheeler/Wilson design...Lansing
    D-130 with 8 inch tweeter having varnished cone and a capicator 0.5mfd in the line. (Analog here and voltage driven the signals..not Solid state and current drivens the signals.)...or Warm vs Dry. 2. Guitar and string...covered well above. 3. Dearmon Tremelo...Mechanical. 4. Echo....I have had good results with all tial bathroom...Duane love play in venues with long reverberation times..(Drummers don't...) Duane recorded with an echo tank some 10 to 15 feet long...Wives are not going to allow at big tank in the house. (Springs are Springs) it is not room reveration-time.

  8. I would say the above is just maybe 20% of Duane's sound...I think the other 80% is way down in Duanes DNA...Lifetime of Music...and a lifetime of securing that sound.. thank god

  9. Care Confidence is High...Dolf


Nice one Dolph ! God knows my kids and grandchildren always say that as a guitar picker I make a good drummer [ which I was, albeit badly, back in the day.] The overall feeling about these posts is that Duane has encouraged so many folk to pick up the guitar. Sure, we all try to emulate our guitar hero but, aside from the basic influence, we all sound different and THAT is so damn important. I play an old De Armond through a battered Marshall amp and, when I am in the mood, sound nothing like Duane ! However, I enjoy it immensely and that is what really matters. I would suggest that Duane Eddy has influenced more amateur guitar pickers than any other musician on the planet - bar none.


GHS Big Core Nickel Rockers, a JBL D-130, and a Little Kahuna...and an XK-E.

– Billy Zoom

..dont forget his Dynobrain toowink wink


There was recent Facebook bit where setzer talked about SRV strat in 89. He was invited up to play by Stevie at a show. He stated he was amazed at how basic his strat and amp and settings were. He expected a big variance to his own guitar/amp setting. When he played they were Very similar to his 6120/bassman settings.

He said the difference was very simple. His hands. (SRV)

That's what Duane has. Just that simple.


I agree that a good part of Duane's sound is in his right hand, especially where the pick contacts the string. 1/4" one way or the other makes a huge difference. I set up my Atomic Brain to the settings on the pedalboard above, and I was getting close to Duane's fat sound, even with my 5120's filtertron.

That said, I'm going to get extra Duane geeky here. Duane inspired me to get my first tube amp in 1987 because it had tremolo (swoon!). My old 6120 is my "Duane" guitar, although it needs some TLC to get it back into twangy glory. So my extra geeky, Duane Gretsch rig questions are:

  1. GHS Boomer strings - what gauge?

  2. Tru-Arc bridge - what material?

  3. Pick type, weight, and material?

  4. Does his Danelectro 6SB have flatwound or roundwound strings?


Got it and replied. I'll delete the post above. Thanks.


Once again, I apologize for the slight derail re: PM issues. I hope that the questions posed in posts #33 & #40 might still get responses. I think a lot of us are curious, and would be very grateful for the info.


GHS Boomers 9.5, 11, wound 20, 34, 44, 54

Tru-Arc. Stainless


Dano has roundwound strings

Never should have sold that XK-E


Cool. Fascinating, that heavy wound 3rd string.

And I hear you, re: the Jag.

Thanks so much.


It's really hard to do. No check that. It's impossible to get it exact, but it's sure fun trying. Playing those heavy bottom strings with the necessary attack, without all of the accompanying rattles and buzzes is a challenge in itself.


GHS Boomers 9.5, 11, wound 20, 34, 44, 54

Tru-Arc. Stainless


Dano has roundwound strings

Never should have sold that XK-E

– Deed Eddy

Thank you, Deed! My best to you & Duane


Deed, let me know if I'm asking too much, but could you tell us about Duane's pick, please? It seems from pictures that I've seen that Duane uses a flat pick. Pick material and thickness can make such a huge difference in tone. Brand, size,thickness, material?

My best Duane-like tones have come from very thick but small picks, Dunlop Jazz III (1.38mm) and Wegen Big City (1.8mm thick).

Thanks :)


bump because the GDP is still the greatest Gretsch resource on the planet. love this pic, copper tru-arc! >


Oh and this pic of Dan Auerbach and Duane in the studio. The Gorilla loves Dan and the Black Keys. I've been listening to his more recent stuff w Easy Eye Sound.

check this out with that big bass twang, that would have been something to experience live. Duane is beyond cool!

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