JHS pedals recently released a very cool YouTube video entitled, “The History Of Distortion” that covers many of the significant moments in the history of guitar distortion. If you’re into dirty guitar tones (let’s face it – who isn’t?) and want to get, ahem, a compressed history of distortion effects for electric guitar, this video is worth checking out.
“LOUD IS MORE GOOD”
Guitar distortion, it turns out, has a fascinating history, bobbing n weaving all over the place. Another interesting thing is that its development happened on both sides of the Atlantic. As an avid lover of the dirt box and fuzz tones in general, I have in my short life owned many of the pedals discussed in the video below. They all have their own undeniable charms, idiosyncrasies and ‘best ways’ to use them.
If you aren’t sure how to get a massive wall of fuzz, notes that could sustain into infinity or tight modern gain tones, then you really should take 20 minutes out of your schedule, grab yourself a turkey leftover sandwich and watch the film. Whether you rock a ToneBender, Fuzz Face, RAT or Boss HM-2 you really will benefit from finding out more about how distortion sounds opened up the guitar for many players.
Stones or The Kinks?
The early fuzz tones that made it onto recordings came about by musicians looking for something to catch the ear of listeners on the radio. From Howlin’ Wolf to the Rolling Stones or The Kinks, they were all searching for something different.
Once upon a time, distortion pedals as we know them today didn’t really exist at all. You either had to turn your amp up super loud or modify it slightly to get your dirty tones. Nowadays, we can choose from a vast amount of different dirt boxes in myriad shapes and sizes – and then use the internet to argue about which is best. Another thing the internet is good for: finding out how it all began.