Thom Yorke’s Guitar Sound

More on artists and their gear.

Radiohead have already become one of the most innovative and fascinating groups to emerge since Pink Floyd. With a style all their own, this unique quintet has transcended rock music into something sublime and otherworldly all the while maintaining a knack for hooks and choruses that stick to the brain.

Lead singer/guitarist/pianist and laptop musician Thom Yorke is known for his distinctive voice and imaginative lyrics yet his guitar sound is often overlooked as nothing more than the front man strumming away at some chords while guitarists Johnny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien do the heavy lifting. Yet Yorke provides a third guitar that forms a trinity which helps propel the unique rhythms creating the interlocking atmosphere that is signature Radiohead.

Thom Yorke with Jazzmaster

Thom Yorke with Jazzmaster

Yorke has used many guitars throughout the group’s history. The most frequent is the Fender Jazzmaster and Fender Telecasters (generally thin line models) as well as a Rickenbacker 330 and a Gibson SG. For acoustic work, Yorke has used Takamine acoustic/electrics, Silvertone acoustic/electrics and a Taylor Big Baby acoustic. Yorke uses a Vox AC-30 Reissue and a Fender Twin Reverb Reissue for amps. For effect pedals, the singer/guitarist relies on ProCro Turbo RAT distortion pedals, Boss DD-3 Digital Delay pedal and a Marshall Shredmaster distortion pedal to create his sound.

Blog Post By E.M.Kaplan

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