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Yves Jarvis’ methods for simulating effects include using a whammy bar while riding his guitar’s volume for reversed guitar sounds. But many are done the old-fashioned way: manipulating tape on his TEAC reel-to-reel as it passes from one head to another.

Embracing battered 6-strings, lo-fi tech, tunings du jour, and his own restless muse, the singer-songwriter does whatever he can to make his guitar-playing life difficult.

Yves Jarvis—born Jean-Sébastien Yves Audet—is allergic to being complacent. “I don’t like to tune my guitar live,” the Canadian-born singer-songwriter says about his almost irrational fear of creative ennui. “I don’t even have a tuner. I like to make my entire set in the same tuning—that’ll be an alternate tuning, it’ll be something random. I force myself to find a way to reinterpret all my songs in the same tuning.”

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