Dealing With Distortion

by Ben Higgins

Lesson step:

  • main
  • 1
  • Members only2
  • Members only3
  • Members only4
  • Members only5
  • Members only6
  • Members only7
  • Members only8
  • Members only9
  • Difficulty: 1
  • Lesson
  • My notes
  • Statistics

  • INTRO

    Welcome to the 4th instalment of this course. Now we are looking at distortion. Also known as gain or overdrive, distortion is that dirty, gritty, heavy sound that you find in rock and metal. Distorted guitars first started appearing in popular music in the late 60's and were utilised to great effect by bands like Black Sabbath (perhaps the heaviest of the early bands), Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Distortion levels naturally increased as technology grew to facilitate the needs of guitar players.

    Guitar playing reached a new level of heavy in the early 80's, with albums like 'Ride The Lightning' by Metallica displaying unheard of levels of saturated guitar signal. Now, high levels of distortion are to be found everywhere from extreme metal to pop punk.

    Distortion is often available as a feature on amplifiers. Higher range amps tend to offer the most options for distortion, from mildly overdriven 'classic rock' sounds to ultra heavy modern high gain sounds.

    On an entry level practise amp, you may be lucky to get a distortion channel but not all entry level amps will have this feature. Another popular way to distort your guitar signal is through the use of foot pedals, also known as stomp boxes. Running a guitar lead into a distortion pedal and running a lead from the pedal to the amp is a very common way that guitarists boost their signal so they can get heavier tones.

    Right, you know what distortion is and what it's for, so what are you going to learn in this lesson?

    VIDEO 1: MUTING - TAMING THE UNWANTED NOISE
    VIDEO 2: PALM MUTING FOR HEAVINESS
    VIDEO 3: POWER CHORDS - THE ROCK GUITARIST'S BEST FRIEND
    VIDEO 4: INTRO TO POWER CHORD PRACTISE
    VIDEO 5: POWER CHORD PRACTISE
    VIDEO 6: POWER CHORD PRACTISE - SLOWER VERSION
    VIDEO 7: DISTORTION AND TONE
    VIDEO 8: TONE SHAPING
    VIDEO 9: FINAL THOUGHTS

    Bringing distortion to the guitar party has now raised the fun factor up to 11 so watch on to learn some essential tips!

    Related lessons:

      • 1
        Difficulty1

        Guitar Parts, Tuning...

        guitar parts, tuning, how to tune a guitar, fretboard notes, notes, octaves, tones, semitones, beginner, absolute beginner, basicsby Ben Higgins
      • 2
        Difficulty1

        Using a Guitar Pick

        guitar pick, how to strum, how to pick, downstroke, upstroke, absolute beginner, beginner, pick choice, how to hold the pickby Ben Higgins
      • 3
        Difficulty1

        Chords

        beginner chords, how to play chords, major chords, minor chords, barre chords, easy, absolute beginnerby Ben Higgins
      • 5
        Difficulty1

        Riffs & Ear Training

        riff, riffing, alternate picking, slash chords, ear training, beginner, easy, basicsby Ben Higgins
  • Login to use my notes. No GMC account? Register here.
  • Members practicing this lesson

    REC Takes

      This lesson does not have any REC takes yet.
      Here is how to submit one.

    Lesson views

    • Total views: 0
    • Member views: 0
    • Guest views: 0