Dominic Miller Guitar Gear
Dominic Miller is known as Sting’s long time guitarist, he also has a great solo career as well as being featured on a whole host of great albums. I’ve talked about him before with some simple guitar practice ideas. He’s a great player with some interesting guitar gear. Let’s jump in!
It would be quite easy to say Dominic plays a real ’62 Fender Strat and that’d be about it. Of course, he does play a vintage stratocaster, but he is known as playing a range of guitars. And once said changing guitar is like starting again.
For example he play a Telecaster on sting 60th birthday concert and from recent photos on his facebook, is still playing one.
In Dominic’s guitar collection he also a Gibson Les Paul guitar which has Seymour Duncan pick-ups, amongst many other guitars.
For string, on the Les Paul is 10s gauge string, and 9s on the Stratocaster and Telecaster. For picks, he uses Herco (nylon) heavy gauge plectrums.
In terms of acoustic guitars, Dominic has a quite a few! From a 1986 Rodriguez classical guitar, which is still made in Spain in small batches. To Yairi electro acoustic nylon Torres, a Fernandes P-Project Nylon string and a Guild Paloma.
Of course, there’s a lot difference between how each guitar sounds, feels and plays. I guess he has a range so he can match the song to the guitar. It also likely, as he perform solo shows in between sting dates, at least one acoustic stays with in the sting rig and the other can still be used for session or gigs. On the nylon strung guitars, D’Addario extra high tension strings are used.
I remember seeing a Pete Cornish built pedalboard that Dominic was using at one point or another. It does seem that he’s moved to a pedaltrain with a similar set-up.
Two things to note, firstly, Dominic is left footed and that’s why the volume pedal and wah are on the far left! The second is other than the A/DA flanger, they’re all cheap and widely available pedals – no high end gear!
While the pedal chain isn’t clear, it’s likely that it runs compressor, overdrive, modulation, delay, wah, volume, then amp.
The actual pedals in that order would be: Radial Interface [probably being used as a buffer for long cable runs], BOSS CS-2 Compressor, Ibanez Tube Screamer, A/DA Flanger, BOSS PH-3 Phase Shifter, BOSS TR-2 Tremolo, BOSS CE-3 Chorus, BOSS DD-6 Delay, Line 6 M5, Dunlop Crybaby Wah, Ernie Ball Volume Pedal Jr [With BOSS TU-2 in tuner out], Radial Big Shot PB1 Booster.
It’s well known that Dominic is a long term user of Mesa Boogie guitar amps. He’s been known to use Mesa Boogie Mark III amps and Mesa Boogie Lone Stars. You can see from the channel switcher on his pedalboard, he likes to use both channels. There’s also a few photos of him using Vox AC30, which is again just a classic amp.
Some words from Dominic on amp settings and volume – “If you are too loud on stage the sound man will turn you down in the PA which will give you a thin sound. To get a big fat sound on stage you almost need to keep your stage level lower than you think and just trust the sound man to have you in the PA. It’s also a trick keeping it low because then the sound man will really want to hear what you are doing. This gives you control and not him.”
Getting that Dominic Miller guitar sound
To get a guitar sound close to Dominic, you don’t really need a lot. I know he has quite a few pedals but a lot of this could be covered by something like the line 6 M5. This would means you’d need to cover a few basics like overdrive, wah, compressor and delay.
To me, he has a classic rock guitar tone where the amp is set so it’s a little overdriven to start with. The second channel is used to adds more gain as do the compressor, overdrive and boost pedals.
With the modulation and delay pedals, I think he’s using them as an effect which is noticeable and not to just colour the sound. These pedals are therefore used sparingly.
While getting Dominic Miller’s electric guitar sound might be easy, playing nylon stung guitars isn’t. It’s likely Dominic still practices complex classical music on his Rodriguez to keep his technique up together