Producing Electric Guitar
Producing good guitar sounds can be a real challenge for a prod/eng in the studio. There are so many variables that factor into the sound and the process of getting a great sound might require a lot of work and experimenting.
First start with a good guitarist, with a good instrument and a good sound at the amplifier. Otherwise, there's nothing you can do in the control room to get a good sound. You can improve upon it, but you can't get a really great guitar sound if you don't have the basic ingredients. The first thing that you should do, whether it's with a guitar or another instrument, is go out and listen to the source (you might need ear plugs). You don't want to hear something for the first time after it has passed through a microphone, a mic cable, a fader and a pair of speakers. If there's a really killer sound coming out of the amplifier, try to capture that sound as you hear it.
With electric guitar you must first look at the guitar and its set up. The string gauge will greatly influence the final sound. Within gauge strings, for example less than 10mm high E string will present problems in getting a full sound. With thinner gauge strings, less sound will be produced. You will often find when using thin-gauged strings with a lot of amplification the noise vs. music factor will be enhanced somewhat sounding like you're listening to a 747. Once the string gauge starts to get thicker, the more tonality is produced. If your guitar player is used to playing thin gauged strings, get them to move up to mediums and practice with this new set up for a couple of days before going into the studio. This will allow the guitar player to adjust to the new speed of playing that will be required. Also check to make sure the action is set up properly on the guitar, which will produce an accurate balance of the strings.
With amplifiers, most guitar players tend to prefer tube amplification over transistor...