Guitars Used in Psychedelic Rock

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Guitars Used in Psychedelic Rock from the 60s and 70s. Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker, Gretsch, and more.

Guitars in Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. The style is characterized by various distortion effects, extended solos, feedback, and heavy use of reverb. Many psychedelic rock bands used guitars to create their unique sound. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular guitars used in psychedelic rock.

The Gibson SG

The Gibson SG is a solid-body electric guitar model introduced by Gibson in 1961 as the successor to the Gibson Les Paul. The SG Standard is Gibson’s best-selling model of all time.

The SG’s combination of a mahogany body with either a maple or mahogany cap, set-in Mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard with small dot inlays, two PAF humbucking pickups, and all-metal hardware including rock-solid Tune-o-matic bridge and Stopbar tailpiece made it an instant success, and a favorite of both blues and rock players. Eric Clapton played an SG Standard on the influential Bluesbreakers album, John Mayall with the Bluesbreakers and Cream. Angus Young of AC/DC has used nothing but SGs since he was 14 years old. He started using a 1968sg on their debut album High Voltage in 1975 though he continued to use his 1961 SG until 2003 when he finally retired it after 42 years of constant use on stage. Tony Iommi also played an SG throughout most of Black Sabbath’s career; aside from a brief period in the late ’70s when he played a Boogie Mk1 amplifier head with quad input jacks into four separate cabinets, as well as using other amplifiers such as Orange and Laney units during Sabbath’s last decade or so.

The Fender Stratocaster

The Fender Stratocaster, colloquially known as the Strat, is a model of electric guitar designed from 1952 into 1954 by Leo Fender, Bill Carson and George Fullerton, and produced by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. The Fender Stratocaster was first introduced in late summer of 1954, it may be one of the most popular and copied guitar designs in history. Even today, after more than 60 years of production, the Stratocaster is still in production by Fender. The Stratocaster shaped the face of early rock n’ roll and pop music. It was responsible for classic tracks like “Surfing USA” by the Beach Boys, “Eruption” by Van Halen, and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.

The Gibson Les Paul

Gibson Les Paul Standard was first introduced in 1958, it became the epitome of rock guitar by the late 1960s and early 1970s with players such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Mick Taylor all playing Les Pauls. The Les Paul Custom was Gibson’s top-of-the-line non-artist model until 1968 when it was replaced by the Gibson SG.

Epiphone Casino – The Epiphone Casino was a favorite of John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles. The Casino is a thinline hollowbody archtop with two F-holes.

Fender Stratocaster – The Fender Stratocaster is probably the most popular guitar ever made. Although it was introduced in 1954, it did not really catch on until after 1965 when players like Jimi Hendrix and Buck Dharma of Blue Öyster Cult made it their instrument of choice.

Rickenbacker 360/12 – The Rickenbacker 360/12 is a 12-string electric guitar made by Rickenbacker. It was introduced in 1963 and has been used by many artists such as Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, George Harrison of The Beatles, and Pete Townshend of The Who.

Gibson Firebird – The Gibson Firebird is a solid body electric guitar that was introduced in 1963. It was used by many psychedelic rock bands such as The Doors, Cream, and Led Zeppelin.

Effects Used in Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the 1960s. This music is characterized by the use of extended instrumentation and effects. These effects were often used to create a mind-altering sound. Some of the most popular effects used in psychedelic rock include feedback, echo, and reverb.

The Wah-Wah Pedal

The wah-wah pedal is a guitar effects pedal that alters the tone of the signal to create a distinctive sound, mimicking the human voice. It is used by guitarists in a variety of genres, including blues, funk, and rock.

The wah-wah pedal was originally designed to mimic the sound of a trumpet or horn being played. The name “wah-wah” comes from the onomatopoeic nature of the sound it creates. The pedal allows the guitarist to create different sounds by moving their foot back and forth on the pedal. The first person to use a wah-wah pedal was Harold Alexander in 1966. He used it on his album “The New Wave of British Heavy Metal”.

The wah-wah pedal is most commonly used in rock music. It has been used by some of the most famous guitarists in history, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The Phaser

The phaser is an effect originally used with electric guitars and amplification that creates a sweeping, whooshing sound. It is created by combining two signals and splitting them with a series of all-pass filters, then recombining the signals out of phase with each other. The frequency response of the filters gives the phaser its characteristic sound.

Phasers were originally designed to mimic the sound of rotary Leslie cabinets, which were commonly used with organs in the 1960s. The first phasers were built into amplifiers, but soon became available as stand-alone units. Phasers were popularized by guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana, and became a staple of psychedelic rock in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Today, phasers are still widely used in all genres of music, from rock to metal to pop. They are available in a variety of formats, including pedals, rack units, and software plugins.

The Flanger

The flanger is another effect that had its origins in the studio. It was first used on recordings by Les Paul in the late 1950’s to create a “whooshing” or jet engine-like sound. Later, it was popularized by Jimi Hendrix and Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, among others. The flanger is created by taking two identical signals and running them through a series of slightly detuned filters. As the filters are moved back and forth, they create a whooshing sound that can be further altered with feedback and other effects.

Psychedelic Rock Guitarists

Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that is inspired, or influenced, by psychedelic culture and attempts to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. Psychedelic rock guitarists seek to sonically replicate the experience of taking drugs such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. Early proponents of the style include The Beatles, The Byrds, and The Zombies.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was one of the most celebrated and influential guitarists of all time. His dazzling technique, combined with his ability to evoke emotion through his playing, made him a legend. He was also one of the first guitarists to fully embrace the possibilities of distortion and feedback, using them to create new sounds that had never been heard before.

Hendrix played a wide variety of guitars over the course of his career, but he is most commonly associated with the Fender Stratocaster. He frequently used this guitar to great effect, coaxing it to produce sounds that no one had ever heard before. He also frequently used Gibson Les Pauls and Flying Vs, as well as a wide variety of effects pedals.

Eric Clapton

While his work with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in 1966 and 1967 is what made him a guitar god, it was his work with Cream the following year that established him as one of the most creative and innovative forces in rock. His playing on songs like “Crossroads,” “Sunshine of Your Love,” and “Strange Brew” was nothing short of revolutionary, and he would go on to push the boundaries of rock guitar even further with his work in Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos. Though he has largely moved away from psychedelic rock in recent years, there is no denying that Eric Clapton is one of the most important guitarists in the history of the genre.

Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page is one of the most influential and important guitarists in rock history. As the founder and leader of Led Zeppelin, he popularized the use of distortion, feedback, and other effects to create groundbreaking new sounds on the electric guitar. His style was built on the foundation of blues and rockabilly, but he took it in new directions with his inventive playing. Page is also known for his work with The Yardbirds, where he developed his unique approach to guitar solos. His playing can be heard on classic songs like “Whole Lotta Love” and “Stairway to Heaven.”

Similar Posts