Archtops & Feedback by Dan Papaila

A few tips on How to reduce feedback from your Arch-Top Jazz Guitar:

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you need to play with more volume or more presence in band situations. Often I’ll find myself playing in a Hammond Organ group & the B-3 player has a heavy foot on the expression pedal or I’m playing some R&B at a casual gig? Many times I don’t have the luxury of a line-out connection to a PA. Here are a few solutions that many players have used:

1. Taping your F-Holes.
You can usually just tape the upper F-hole or put a foam plug into it.
Anything will work…. use a sock or check out Doug’s Plugs for pre-cut custom plugs.

2. Try Moving around the stage. I played an ES-175 without taping or plugging the F-Holes for years in a very loud funk band. I was able to work around the feedback by standing in different spots on the stage. Try to stand about 8 Feet in front & to one side of the amp if possible.

3. Different rooms seem to resonate at different frequencies. There’s usually one note that creates the problem. Figure out what the note is & play around it!

4. Lower the individual pickup screws under the offending strings. (Usually the the 6th & 5th string)

5. Experiment with different Strings. Some strings seem more booming that others.

6. Wax Dipping the pickups. (Used to be a solution, not sure how many folks do this today?)

7. Pick up a 335 for louder gigs! They are amazingly versatile guitars & can sound very close to an arch-top.

8. Try using a solid state head like the Fender JazzMaster Ultralight (discontinued – check Ebay) or Acoustic Image.I recently discovered that using my Twin Cabinet with the Fender JazzMaster Ultralight Head provides awesome sound & volume with zero feedback! Unplug the twin speakers in back & leave the amp off. You’ll need a female x female ¼” adapter to connect to the Ultralight.

Please feel free to share your own thoughts & tips in the comment field!


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