U2 “I Will Follow”
One of U2’s coolest songs is “I Will Follow.” It is not only one of the coolest but also one of their oldest songs. “I Will Follow” was released in 1980 on U2’s first album, “Boy”, on the major record label ‘Island Records.’ It was also their second hit single, with the first being “A Day Without Me,” also off of “Boy”. But unlike “A Day Without Me,” “I Will Follow” has stood the test of time as one of U2’s all time greatest songs. They still continue to play it in their concerts and every good U2 cover band has this song in their repertoire.
Live from Milan 2005
The original studio version of this song is still cool, but the song has taken some changes and I much prefer how they play it now, in the 2000’s. So the version of this song we will be looking at is from 2005 recorded live from Milan. Sometimes I enjoy watching the old music video of this song from the early 80’s, I get a kick out of it.
Guitar Effects, tone, The EDGE
As old as this song is, The Edge still did an amazing job crafting his tone for this song. This is the subject of this post, dialing in this tone. On the “Boy” album, and that whole era, Edge’s delay was from a Electro Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe, dialed in to about an eighth note. I believe that now Edge dials in an exact eighth note for this song and uses a digital delay of some kind, maybe with a slight modulation on it. The way I have dialed this in is with a digital delay, set to kind of high mix, say 60% mix on a standard Boss delay, with 3-5 repeats. You might want to play around with a modulated delay, set with a slow rate and minimal depth, but I prefer straight digital delay for this song. Also, some lower output Alnico II humbuckers will get you to this tone.
Amps and Overdrives
Of course, for an amp, you are wanting to use a Vox AC30, or a Vox amp model of some sort. I don’t own and AC30, but I can get this tone with my AC4tv, which I totally love. Then you are going to push your amp with a Tube Screamer of some sort, set it with a lower gain, tone about 11:00 depending on your pedal. The trick here is to have your amp already putting out some nice drive.
The Zoom G3
In this video below I have attempted to dialed in this tone using the new Zoom G3. Also this will give you an idea of how to play this song. The toughest part about this song is the rhythm in your picking hand. I have not found a decent tab for this song on the internet, but Michael @ U2 Guitar Tutorials is doing lessons on this song and I recommend everyone do ALL of his teachings. Michael’s teachings are phenomenal and he is a true guitar tone scholar.