A guitar tip from Keith Richards: “When in doubt, if something doesn’t sound right, just brush on an acoustic guitar and see what happens. What it does, if you’re recording a band, is fill the air between the cymbals and all the electric instruments. It’s like a wash in painting. Just a magical thing. If something sounds a little dry or heavy or tight, put on an acoustic, or maybe just a few notes of piano—another acoustic instrument. Somehow it will just add that extra glue.
As you’ve noticed, I found that out very early on. I don’t have any electric guitar at home, or an amp. I never play electric guitar at home. I play acoustic all the time. What I do know about the guitar is, if all you play is electric, you’re not just playing guitar, you’re playing electricity. You get used to the tricks. The extra sustain and all. Which is fine. You need to know that for when you need that kind of stuff. But you can become over reliant on that.
When you go to an acoustic guitar, those tricks don’t work. That little round hole and that bit of wood—that’s the Truth. That’s how long a note will sustain. So when you go back to electric, you find yourself a little more precise. You should always keep an acoustic going, and work things out on that.”