Ready to cut cues: a D’Angelico EX SS semi-hollowbody guitar and a vintage Fender amp. Capturing the sound with both dynamic and ribbon mics allows creative blending of the two signals during mixdown.

Composer Rich Tozzoli shares his secrets, tips, gear, and techniques for big-time small-screen scoring.

Providing music for television is a combination of creating, performing, recording, and mixing. It requires understanding the unique needs of the shows, then executing and delivering the highest quality tracks possible. It’s about learning to minimize and say a lot with a little, and, most importantly, about supporting stories with sound and emotion.

Many of the shows I write for are guitar-centric, and that means you must be as versatile as possible as a player. From ambient soundscapes played on a baritone, to swampy bluegrass featuring flattops and cigar-box guitars, to detuned 8-string hard rock—you have to be ready for anything. It is also important to know how to use every tool at your disposal, from soft synths and drum machines to orchestral sample libraries and live-player orchestration.

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