Tony Iommi Tony is the man behind Black Sabbath’s tone; his huge sound and playing style influenced an entire genre of music called heavy metal. Bands such as Judas Priest and Metallica took their cues from Black Sabbath. Born in Birmingham, England in 1948, Tony originally wanted to play drums but due to the noise level, he instead turned to guitar. A lefty, Tony played with a few bands before Sabbath such as The Rockin’ Chevrolets, The Rest (with Bill Ward), and Mythology. In 1968, he joined future band members Terry Butler and John “Ozzy” Osbourne in a band called the Polka Tulk Blues Company which shortly thereafter became Earth. In August 1969 there was some confusion with
Ten TOP TIPS for Practicing Guitarists! Whoever you are, whatever your skill level—there’s always room to grow. Guitar is a lifelong passion and hopefully we all have many, many more years of exploring and getting better as players and composers. Here are 10 tips to help spark your practicing, playing and writing. PRACTICE WITH A METRONOME Think of practicing with a metronome as your karate training from Mr. Miyagi—you’ll think it’s boring and repetitive and sometimes even meaningless but then, when you least expect it, a drummer starts throwing punches at you and suddenly your instinctive skills kick in! When you practice, use a metronome as much as possible so
Tele, Strat, P-Bass, J-Bass, Jag . . . instruments so ubiquitous that we forget these are not their actual names. Each has its own distinctive sounds, its own look, its own luminous history and its parade of inspired players who have used it to create some of the most popular music ever, sometimes even completely transforming pop culture in the process. Fender guitars and basses have become so iconic that it is difficult to imagine how the last 60 or 70 years might have sounded without them. But, while not every Fender instrument has inspired this same level of success, many relatively obscure Fender guitars do have their fans. These fans may be adventurous musicians looking for a quality instrument that is different enough to
Few effects, if any, have the power to transform a guitar’s sound (and the way one plays it), as completely as a good delay. Most pedals color the guitar’s signal to enhance its tone, add a little texture, or even give it a new voice. Delay lets people play with time itself—it copies each note played and repeats it back. Each delay gives players the controls to set the amount of time between repeats, the number of repeats, and their volume relative to the original signal, whether it be an old
It’s a question we get here at PGS all the time: “What order should I put my new pedals in? Do I put my Mr. Black DoubleChorus before my Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret or after? Help!” Pairing multiple pedals in your effects chain raises a great question about what order to place your effects—primarily related to where to place effects in relation to dirt. As always, everyone’s mileage varies—we always recommended trying your pedals in multiple configurations and going with the placement that your ears like best. In the meantime, here’s a rundown with our take on effects placement. <
Penicillin. Teflon. Corn flakes. Coca Cola. Distortion. Some of our favorite things were discovered completely by accident. The origins of overdrive aren’t documented as well as either of those things, but several accidents and simple technological limitations gave rise to the ubiquitous dirty tones we all know, love, and employ today. Dirt has become an essential part of modern music—it is arguably the most popular sonic effect in the world. But it wasn’t by design. The first instrument amplifiers of the '30s were somewhat lo-fi—they had simple tone circuitry and were very low-wattage. When players tried to coax more volume out of these amps, it caused the amps to distort mildly.
Effects pedals are our drugs. We’re surrounded by catacombs of pedals here at Tone Report and we don’t even scratch the surface of what's available. However, some definitive units changed popular music forever once they got into the hands of some creative guitarists. Today, we tip our hat to these iconic pedals and the artists who turned them into legendary (mythic, even!) pieces of gear. Arbiter Fuzz Face - Jimi Hendrix An unstoppable experimenter, Hendrix picked up a Fuzz Face when he arrived in England in the late '60s and—said as modestly as possible—the world was never the same. With his incredible chops and creativity, Hendrix put fuzz in the forefront
“Is this pedal true bypass?” That’s a question we are literally asked daily from the huge amount of stompbox demos we’ve put on the interwebs. However, we find that few people actually know why they’re compelled to ask the question in the first place. No doubt, the importance of true bypass switching to the common guitarist has reached mythic proportions these days. It’s always touted as an improvement over buffered pedals which are the often described like Chupacabras of tone. With that said, I feel it’s necessary to explore the mystique of true bypass. It’s been said many ways, but to boil it down, the