Audioslave’s “Like A Stone” is probably one of my favourite songs and I think it may just be the best song that Audioslave, Tom Morello, or Chris Cornell ever did. Everything about it is a winner and a classic if you ask me.
The nice thing about the song is that it’s pretty simple and easy to play. All you need is a guitar with a clean tone, a tremolo pedal, and just a touch of drive during the choruses to get the sound. But what are the tremolo settings for it?
Generally speaking, to achieve Tom Morello’s tremolo sound on “Like A Stone,” you’ll want your rate set to 1/16 notes at BPM, so around 75% to maximum, the depth to 100%, and the waveform 100% linear. For the solo, you’ll need an overdrive and a DigiTech Whammy pedal.
Other than that, “Like A Stone” isn’t a terribly difficult song to play, and you certainly won’t need a ton of effects. The nice thing too is that many amplifiers already have a tremolo setting right on it, so you don’t need much, with the exception of the solo. But there are a few more things to talk about down below.
The Guitar Tremolo Setting for “Like A Stone”
Because “Like A Stone” has a BPM of 108 approximately, you want the rate set at 3/4 to maximum, or somewhere around there.
This should be enough to achieve 1/16 notes at 108 beats per minute. You can hear what 1/16 notes sound like at 108 BPM with this YouTube video.
It’s important to note that the Behringer UT300, for instance, has a very sensitive rate setting. A small twist of the dial can increase or decrease the speed by quite a bit.
As I explained in my tremolo guide and in my guide for “How Soon Is Now,” with any tremolo pedal, all the rate does is that it changes the speed of the volume cuts. A slower rate means the volume cuts will be slow and a fast rate means it’ll be fast.
And from what I’ve seen, the rate on nearly all tremolo pedals is set in approximations. There usually isn’t a time value which is unfortunate, but it is what it is (although there are probably some on the market that have this).
The depth setting adjusts the intensity of the effect, and in the case of “Like A Stone,” it sounds to me that the intensity is fairly high.
It could be set to either maximum, or the variation in sound could be due to the shape of the waveform which we’ll talk about in a second, but I digress. For the depth, give maximum a shot, or bring it back just a bit and see how that sounds.
For the waveform on “Like A Stone,” I’ve increased it to the maximum which is a linear or a square-wave form. In my opinion, this tends to sound the most abrupt and the most “cutting-in-and-out,” if we’ll call that a word.
But as I just said a minute ago, you could probably achieve this effect just by cranking the depth and rolling back to a triangle wave instead of a square wave.
Where to Put The Tremolo In Your Signal Chain
And this is the best way to get tremolo to sound good. You’re better off having the tremolo effect alongside your wah and pitch effects, but before the pitch effect as Tom has done here with the Tremolo and Whammy Pedal.
This will ensure you get the cleanest tremolo sound possible. But this doesn’t mean it has to be set up this way.
For the next part of the article, we’re going to talk about the gear a little bit more, including the guitars and other effects Tom used throughout his career.
What Gear You Need For The “Like A Stone” Guitar Tone
Tom Morello, like every other guitar player, used a good amount of gear, including his modified Fender Stratocaster guitar, he used Gibson Les Pauls at times, and he wasn’t afraid to use Telecasters either.
But he used a lot of other companies including Ibanez, Ovation, and probably some other ones that we don’t know about because he used them less often or just didn’t take them on stage.
What’s great about Tom is that he has also been fairly open about the kind of gear he uses, including pedals.
For instance, you can take a look at the board he presented to the guitar magazine, Premier Guitar. There’s also a YouTube video that you can look at. He runs through the whole thing in it.
Additionally, he doesn’t even use that many pedal effects or sounds, which is something he recently explained to Guitar World, moreover, Tom says he has been using the same gear for the better part of 20 years.
However, for the sake of this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to get the “Like A Stone” tremolo tone without spending much. Because at the end of the day, you really don’t need that much equipment to achieve the sounds you’re after.
1) Tremolo Pedal – Behringer UT300
The nice thing about the UT300 is that it’s an inexpensive pedal that has all of the usual parameters that any tremolo pedal has. These include the Rate, Wave, and Depth.
The rate simply changes the speed, the wave adjusts the shape of the waveform, and the depth is the intensity of the effect. Simple stuff.
The next thing I would recommend getting is some kind of Stratocaster-style guitar with single coil pickups.
2) Fender Stratocaster-style Guitar (Single Coil Pickups)
For “Like A Stone,” it sounds to me that Tom is using a Fender-style guitar with single coil pickups. So if you really wanted to achieve the tone he’s going for, get something with single coils, and switch to the neck pickup.
For the drive, you really don’t need a pedal, you would just need to crank the pickup volume until you get a bit of break-up in your guitar amp’s sound.
This will give you the nicely overdriven sound of the choruses which hit a bit harder than the verses in “Like A Stone.” But if you didn’t want to do it this way, a simple overdrive pedal with a touch of extra gain would probably do the trick.
4) DigiTech Whammy Pedal
I’m not going to dive into how to do the solo for this song for now, but maybe we’ll take a look at it in the future.
Other Articles You May Be Interested In
- What Are The Tremolo Settings for Pink Floyd’s “Money?”
- What’s the Tremolo Setting for Boulevard of Broken Dreams?
- What’s the Tremolo Setting for “Gimme Shelter?” [EASY]
1) Behringer UT300 Tremolo Pedal (on Thomann)