Tone Report Weekly 184 - Page 12

Summers had been around the London music scene for a long time before finally joining the Police. He was already an established, successful musician by the time he met Stewart and Sting (who were quite a bit younger than he) having played in Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band, psych act Dantalian’s Chariot, and Soft Machine, among many others. But the deliberately minimalist playing style and clean effected tone we associate him with today with were not fully developed until he began playing with the Police. It was at this point that Summers began his transformation into a post-punk/new wave proto-pedal- geek. The timelessness of the Police’s music and the singular excellence of Andy Summers’s guitar playing means that even today guitarists, of all ages and skill levels, are still being influenced by songs like “Roxanne” and “Walking On The Moon,” wondering what amps were used, whether the effect they’re hearing is chorus, flanger, or something else entirely, and how to get those skittering, layered echoes to sound just right. Well, dear reader, allow Tone Report Weekly to clear up a few of these mysteries for you. What follows is a short primer on the gear of Andy Summers during his tenure in the Police, as well as a few suggestions for getting similar sounds out of a modern rig. guitars and amps For Police purposes, the guitar that really matters is Andy’s heavily modified 1961 Fender Telecaster. He used other axes on occasion and for 12 TONE TALK // Every Little Thing He Does Is Magic: The Guitar Sound of Andy Summers