I've tried searching on the internet for this question but the answers I've got wasn't really what I was looking for. I want to know how to do a kind of "screech" on a guitar. I think it has something to do with distortion but I don't really know. I know that Angus Young(AC/DC lead guitarist) does it quite a bit, examples of songs he does it in is Live Wire and the intro to Shoot to thrill. The best example I can find is when AC/DC did Sin City live (

). The kind of "screech I was talking about happens at 4:44 in the video. If someone could let me know how to do that, I'd be grateful. Thank you

  • Sample it, feed the samples into a digital audio workbench, digitally alter it. Bonus points for a downsampled chiptune-like screech. – user1258361 Jul 26 '19 at 20:40

This is feedback - caused when the sound energy from the amplifier causes the strings to vibrate, which is picked up by the pickups, and so on, in a cycle. It usually only occurs noticeably when the amplifier is applying a lot of gain to your signal - but this would include the use of distortion effects in the signal path, so a loud, distorting amp (or a loud amp and a distortion pedal) is the most usual recipe.

You also need to be letting the strings ring - i.e. not muting them or repeatedly re-fretting them to play other notes - which is why it's common to hear this at the end of songs, when the guitarist plays the final chord.

As the strings ring, the sound evolves as it feeds back. The timbre can evolve in a different way to a chord being sounded without feedback, because the frequency response of the feedback loop accentuates different frequencies.

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    One of my favourite feedback moments is [possibly from Woodstock though not in the movie or soundtrack] Leslie West holds a single note against feedback for over a minute, never letting the harmonics escape until the very last 2 or 3 seconds. I'll see if I can find a Youtube link & timestamp... – Tetsujin Jul 20 '19 at 11:45
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    youtube.com/watch?v=p8iGat21cJE - single note starts at 1m28 until about 2.15 or so [so not quite a minute]. You can hear several techniques used to hold the feedback down & the note going, lots of vibrato, eventually tapping the body to keep it going [no huge compression pedals & hi-gain amps in those days ;) [also, It can't be Woodstock because the drummer is Corky Laing, who wasn't at Woodstock] ...some of the details I may have got right though ;-)) Oh, btw, whole track is 25 mins... see you in half an hour ;-) – Tetsujin Jul 20 '19 at 11:51
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    @Tetsujin a beautiful, almost cello-like sound! Justin - if you listen to the point past 2:15, you hear it break into something more like the scream in your example. – topo Reinstate Monica Jul 20 '19 at 11:55
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    He does have one of the finest touches I've ever heard. Vibrato-master, bar none. The 'violining' is as 'simple' as it sounds, little finger on the volume pot, no pedal, all hammer-ons. – Tetsujin Jul 20 '19 at 11:56
  • Another btw... for anyone who listens to that track - Roll Over Beethoven is fairly horrible [unless you're a huge old-time R&R fan maybe] but the stuff that follows it is quite possibly "the very beginning of heavy rock" & not to be missed. – Tetsujin Jul 20 '19 at 12:02

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