Guitar EQ Mixing for rock, country and pop

One of the most important instruments for producing rock, pop and country music are guitars. In fact, a band alone can be formed by just having guitars, drums and bass (for example it can become “legendary” like Led Zeppelin). Because of this importance, it has been used frequently to produce songs; however some difficulties are encountered during the mixing process.

This tutorial will illustrate how you can implement EQ on guitar to get the best sound for rock, country and pop music. Examples of a common EQ problem with guitar are conflicting frequencies with vocals and bass guitar.

Guitars have pretty wide frequency spectrum characteristics. Acoustic guitars particularly the nylon guitars have significant bass response, while steel string and electric guitars have significant middle to high frequency content. See sample frequency spectrum below for acoustic guitar:

Guitar frequency spectrum

Guitar frequency spectrum

It is because of this wide frequency spectrum characteristic that guitars are often the cause of mixing clarity issues.

For example looking at the above screenshot, the guitar does have significant middle frequencies (500Hz to 3000Hz). Since vocals also have a lot of middle frequency content, they tend to clash together in the mix resulting to clarity issues. Implementing proper EQ settings on the guitar can solve this problem.

Bad guitar recording can add more problems in the mix

Before you will learn how to EQ guitar; the most important requirement before you can mix guitars is that it should be properly recorded, clean (no noise) and of course “in tune”.

It is one of the important rules in audio mixing that you cannot fix recording related issues. If the issue is recording related, you should do a re-recording instead of fixing the problems in the mix. It is highly important that you understand how to record your guitars properly. You can refer to the following recommended tutorials:

DI method for clean sound– illustrate an important technique on how to get a clean guitar sound using DI technique (connecting your guitars directly to the audio interface) or using a guitar amplifier.