Top 8 Guitar Tones

(In no order:)

Stevie Ray Vaughn: heavy gauge strings (the low E is around .54), tuned down to Eb, barely distorted, but heavy and instantly recognizable (he starts playing around 0:54):

Dimebag Darrell: Randalls, solid state, high gain. Sounds great even in standard tuning:

Flotsam & Jetsam, ca. 1991: Also Randalls, and usually in standard, but even better detuned to Db, as in here (riff starts at 0:25):

Gary Holt, Exodus: the best example of the bay-area thrash sound: initially used two distortion pedals, with a sound like aluminum foil being rubbed together. Ultra high gain, solid state amps with a “scooped” EQ (riff starts at 0:36):

That still gets me. Fuuuuuuuck….

(Riff here really starts clearly at 0:30:)

Jake E. Lee, in Badlands: almost no distortion, in standard, with no reverb: a blues-influenced but obviously rock sound:

Centurion’s Ghost: detuned (in C), but still somehow clear and distinct. One of a few doom/sludge/stoner guitar tones that’s not mushy at all:

Sunlight sound: one of the few guitar tones I love that’s fuzzy as hell: a Boss heavy metal distortion pedal with all the knobs (including volume) at max:

Anthrax, ca. Among The Living: Scott Ian used to say (around 1987) that he put extra covers on his Marshall cabinets and that’s how he got the “crunchy” sound on Among The Living. Don’t know how that would do it, but I love the result (good riff example starts at 0:42):

Or at 0:13 here:


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