Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal Written by
on December 2, 2010
courtesy of TC Electronic. Scroll to the bottom for a video taking
us through Ron’s rig.
Ron Thal, aka Bumblefoot, started playing the guitar at age 6
after hearing the Kiss Alive! album. That was some 35 years ago, and
since then, he just continued to play, start bands, write music,
make demos, play gigs, teach, build his own guitars, engineer and
produce other bands. In fact, he has been releasing music for 20
years, and he is now one of the guitarists in the legendary rock
band Guns N’ Roses.
“When I’m touring with Guns N’ Roses, I use my trusty Nova System
for all my guitar effects. In fact, the only additional piece of
effects gear I use is a wah-pedal,” Ron says.
“When I was preparing for the Guns N’ Roses tour in 2009, I set out
to build the ultimate FX-board, so I tried out every stomp-box and
multi-FX board i could get my hands on over a couple of months, and
it turned out that Nova System had exactly what I wanted and needed.
Also, Nova System hasn’t changed the way I work, and that’s a huge
“In the past, I was using digital amps with built-in effects, and I
was constantly changing all my gear. Then, I switched to tube amps
and needed something that would give me all the effects I was used
to with easy access. Fortunately, I was able to adapt to the Nova
System very quickly. No awkward adjustments, so I was able to get
right back to doing what I do. I plug into the amp, have a wah-pedal
and the Nova System in the FX Loop of the amp, a MIDI floorboard to
switch presets and an expression pedal connected. That’s it!
one thing I like the most? It was Nova System’s compressor that won
me over. You can get the release to snap back at such a fast rate –
faster than any other gear I checked out.
“None of the other analog or digital stomp-boxes or multi-FX rack
gear had the control like Nova System. Instead of using the ‘Boost’
button for solos, I like to boost by hitting the compressor. With a
little gain and a very fast attack and release, all the notes are
pulled forward and more ‘in your face’.
“It’s great for keeping consistent levels between picking and
tapping, especially with Guns N’ Roses where there’s three
guitarists, bass, two keyboardists, drums, vocals, loops, etc… When
it’s my turn to step forward, Nova System makes it happen.”
“As for my approach to playing, writing and producing music, it’s
really pretty simple: Don’t overthink it. Whatever you’re working on
– songwriting, gigging, laying guitar tracks, mixing a song – trust
your instincts, trust your gut. It’s so easy to think yourself into
an unproductive mental place, don’t take it that far – if it sounds
good, if it feels right, go with it!”