“A Brief History of Guitar Distortion”

Open Culture offers a “Brief History of Guitar Distortion.” “The sound of rock and roll is the sound of a distorted guitar, but the history of that sound predates the genre by a few years. It started out with blues and Western swing guitarists, searching “for a dirtier sound,” writes Noisey in a brief history, “a sound that reflected the grittiness of their music.” That sound was pioneered by a guitarist named Junior Barnard, who played with Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys and designed his own humbucking pickups to produce a fatter, louder tone and push his small amp into overdrive. As the Polyphonic video above notes, Barnard was an aggressive player who needed aggressive tones, and so, as guitarists have always done, he invented the means himself.”

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