Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) guitar rig

Jonny Greenwood, lead guitarist for Radiohead, has recorded some of the most instantly recognizable guitar tones of all time, with the outro solo on Paranoid Android, from the OK Computer album, a shining example.

Greenwood's guitar rig is a relatively traditional one, for someone that has carved out their name as creating futuristic, trippy tones.

Guitar wise, Greenwood favours Fender Telecasters for the most part. He's often seen playing either a Fender Telecaster Plus, or a Fender Telecaster Standard, both modified with custom kill switches, and fitted with Lace Sensor pickups. He is said to use a Blue Lace Sensor pick-up in the neck position and a dual Red Lace Sensor pick-ups in the bridge position. The dual Red Lace Sensors are wired up like a traditional humbucker. These guitars featured heavily on Radiohead's earlier work, with a Fender Starcaster, a bizarre looking guitar from the 70's getting some heavy use for Kid A and Amnesiac.

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String wise he favours Dean Markley Signature Series 10-46 strings.

He has also been seen using the following at times:

  • Gretsch G6119-1962HT Tennessee Rose HT
  • Gibson Les Paul HD.6X-Pro Digital
  • Gibson ES-335 (used on the acoustic Tour 2003)
  • Gibson Les Paul Goldtop (used for 'The Headmaster Ritual' on the Thumbs Down Webcast)
  • Martin D-35
  • Taylor Big Baby
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    In the earlier years he used a Fender Twin Reverb for clean tones and a Fender Deluxe 85 (a solid state amp from the 80's) for distorted tones. Now days, his amplifier line up features a Vox AC30 for clean tones, and a Fender Eighty Five (solid state) for distorted tones. His entire effects chain is sent through the Vox AC30 except the Shredmaster.

    The picture below shows Greenwood with a Telecaster and his pedal boards at his feet.

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    His most recent pedal board is actually split across two boards. Each board is powered via a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power unit. The boards are pictured below.

    The right board features the following:

  • BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive
  • BOSS RV-3 Digital Reverb/Delay
  • BOSS LS2 Line Selector
  • Marshall ShredMaster
  • BOSS FV-300H Volume Pedal (used as a gain controller for the Marshall ShredMaster)
  • Akai Headrush E1 (although it has allegedly been replaced by an E2)
  • Akai E2 Head Rush Echo Guitar Effect Pedal
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    The left board features the following:

  • Digitech WH-1 Whammy (listen for the 'weirdness' on The Bends and Airbag)
  • Demeter "The Tremulator" (which is an older version of the Demeter TRM-1 Tremulator)
  • DOD 440 Envelope Filter (listen to the outro of Paranoid Android for an example)
  • Electro-Harmonix Poly Chorus
  • Electro-Harmonix Small Stone (listen to 'Fake Plastic Trees' for a reference)
  • BOSS LS2 Line Selector
  • BOSS TU-12H Chromatic Tuner
  • Digitech DOD 440 Envelope Filter Guitar Pedal
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    The silver footswitch (a Vox Silver Egg footswitch) that sits just below the second board is used to switch on and off the Roland Space Echo RE-201 unit. The Space Echo itself is not technically a pedal, but a vintage tape machine the produces delay and reverb effects. Greenwood has used the RE-201 extensively across numerous Radiohead recordings for heavy delay/echo effects that tend to modulate slightly. You can hear the RE-201 on tracks such as Subterranean Homesick Alien, Airbag and Exit Music. I have read recently that he has replaced the RE-201 in his live rig with a BOSS RE-20 Space Echo due to technical issues that you'd associate with older tape machines.

    Greenwood has also used a Pro Co RAT Turbo RAT Distortion during 'The Bends' era as well as a Mutronics Mutator which has been used in the studio (with the DOD440 acting as a substitute live.

    If you haven't given Radiohead a listen yet, I'd highly recommend checking out OK Computer, a truly great album.


    1. “Akai Headrush E1 (although it has allegedly been replaced by an E2)”, actually that’s not true, just see the last “Form the Basement” of Radiohead (“The King Of Limbs”).

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