Rockin' The Country with Joe Don Rooney: Making My Guitar Speak on “Me and My Gang”

This video is bonus content related to the April 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at our online store.

This month, I’d like to talk about the title track from Rascal Flatts’ 2006 album, Me and My Gang, and how inspiring it was for me to use an effect on it that made its main guitar riff really come to life and speak…literally!

As we were arranging the song, our producer, Dann Huff, suggested that I try using a talk box for its opening/main riff.

For those unfamiliar with it, a talk box is essentially a tiny amplifier that feeds the sound of your guitar (or any instrument plugged into it) through a plastic tube, the end of which you place in your mouth. As you play your instrument, you move your mouth to “shape” the signal coming from the tube, and the resulting vocalized sound is picked up by a vocal microphone.

Two of the most famous recorded examples of the talk box effect are Peter Frampton’s live version of “Do You Feel Like We Do,” featured on Frampton Comes Alive, and Joe Walsh’s classic track “Rocky Mountain Way.”

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