I’m new to electric guitars and I’m not sure if you would call it distorted or something else but I’m trying to get it sound like this:

I’ve tried raising the grain all the way but it’s still not sounding right, would I need an effects pedal?

  • 2
    Can you explain a bit what sound you are getting? Clean but loud? Dec 27, 2019 at 21:36

3 Answers 3


What you are hearing there is not extreme distortion, but sounds like a relatively straightforward overdrive. To get that, you need an amplifier which allows the amp stage to be overdriven, high enough gain from your guitar and high gain on the input of the amp.

If your guitar is turned right up and your gain stage on your amp is turned right up and it still doesn't distort then you may need a pedal to help.

Distortion gives you a much more "rough" sound, which can sound metallic, or buzzy or various other types.


You need a distortion pedal or a modeling amp, the guitar you are playing on can have a difference too. The pickups in your guitar determine your output levels so higher output pickups like humbucking pickups need less gain to get to distortion. This really depends on your setup. You can have amp that can sound very distorted without any extra pedals and stuff. The gain control on the amp controls how much distortion you are getting. What is you guitar and amp? The higher you put your volume the easier it is going to be to get into distortion. Every amplifier has a thing called "head room" and that is the range your amp has the ability to produce a clean sound. When you start pushing it past the head room it goes into clipping which is what distortion is. Crank that volume up and I guarantee you get more distortion.


The amount of gain an amplifier circuit is designed to utilize is the main determining factor in how to get that sound. Some amps have high gain factors and some are designed to sound clean at almost any level. If you have an amp with a clean sound, you may be able to approximate that sound using any number of guitar effects pedals which add gain to the guitar signal before it gets to the amp, so that all the amp needs to do is make that signal louder. Modeling amps have a selection of settings that digitally create that sound so you have a variety of options to choose from. I have also seen amplifiers which have had their initial design altered to increase the gain factor, and the results can be quite good, but it can diminish the dollar value of the amp because not everyone prefers to have such an amplifier. These are the options I know about, it will be up to you to investigate each one and decide for yourself which one suits you best.

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