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Anatomy of Guitar Tone: Fuzz + Overdrive

[fuzz guitar]

I’m a big fan of fuzz pedals. One of the consistent issues I run into though is not having enough control of the EQ.

Even though some pedals like the Big Muff come with a tone knob, it doesn’t offer enough variety in the EQ shape.

To get around this, artists like David Gilmore have placed an EQ pedal post fuzz pedal to further tweak the frequencies.

I got into this idea, and started thinking, “Instead of using an EQ pedal, what if I use some various overdrive pedals that I have laying around to mess and shape the frequency of the pedal?”

So I got into this and one of the pedals that I was using was the Grizzly Bass from Creation Audio, and this is an overdrive/distortion pedal designed for bass guitar, and the reason I was using it is because it’s just a little chunky, and when I use a pedal like the Zvex Fuzz Factory, which tends to be very mid-range and high-mid-range and trebly, this adds a little bit more girth to it.

Some other functions I like on this — it has a high cut rolloff, and it has a mid-scoop knob. These two will greatly allow me to pull and mess with the frequencies of the Fuzz Factory, which I’m going to use in this example.

This is the Zvex Fuzz Factory, which is a really well known eccentric fuzz pedal. It’s definitely not your mother’s fuzz — well that sounded a little weird, didn’t it?

But it’s a very kind of radical, eccentric fuzz pedal that can get a lot of really odd tones out of it.

You can try this combo with a lot of different overdrives and fuzz pedals. Think about each overdrive that you have and the sort of character that it adds. Putting a TS9 style pedal after a fuzz pedal is going to do something very different than say, putting like an OCD after it.

[Fuzz guitar A]

[Fuzz guitar B]

[Fuzz guitar C]

[Fuzz guitar D]

[Fuzz guitar E]

Mark Marshall

Mark Marshall

Mark Marshall is a producer, songwriter, session musician and instructor based in NYC. More at

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