Gary Clark Jr. Pedalboard and Rig Breakdown
Gary Clark Jr. gets his tasty blues tones from an Epiphone Casino guitar, his Fender Vibroking amp, and a relatively small collection of effects pedals. When interviewed by Guitar World magazine, Gary said “The whole pedal world is kind of new to me because the traditional blues guys in Austin will raise their eyebrows if your pedal board looks too busy. I have a Cry Baby wah, Fulltone Octafuzz, Ibanez Tube Screamer, and Malekko and Analogman analog delays. I’m experimenting and enjoying it.” This is a far cry from the likes of John Mayer’s pedalboard, a guitarist who has confessed to owning literally hundreds of pedals and travels with a guitar tech. Gotta give Gary some respect for keeping it simple!
I found Gary’s statement about the “guys back in Austin” kind of interesting and did a little more digging. I found another interview on Music Radar where he elaborates. When asked about his experimentation with feedback, a la Jimi Hendrix, Gary had this to say: “I’m still figuring it out, still experimenting. There are times when I know that I’m over the top, but you know, it’s fun. [laughs] For a long time, I heard what everybody in Austin was saying, that you’re supposed to play with no effects. I was trying to go along with that. But then one day, I said, ‘Why not?’ You know, they’re just toys, but you might get something out of them. So I stomped on the fuzz and played with the feedback. I enjoy it. I don’t know where I’m at with it, but I do like it. We’ll see where it takes me.”
If you listen to Gary Clark Jr.’s Black and Blu album you see can see the fruits of this attitude that he’ll do whatever he feels like, even if it’s not straight I, IV, V blues. For example, he has a few R&B/hip-hop style tracks. Personally, I prefer tracks like “Bright Lights” but I think Gary’s going in interesting directions and look forward to seeing what he does next in the studo.
His live album simply called Gary Clark Jr. Live is brilliant. Think classic blues where each song evolves into warm, blistering Henrix style solos. Get it!
Gary Clark Jr. Pedalboard – 2015 Update
Gary released his album The Story of Sonny Boy Slim in 2015 where he showcased some new sounds and gear. Most notably, Gary picked up a Gibson SG which he uses for a lot for songs with that need a humbucker tones. According to his tech, he’s also using it live to play songs off the first album, Black and Blu, so it’s becoming his real go to guitar. He does use a 70s telecaster for songs like Numb, one of my favorites! Finally, Gary also started using a 60’s Custom Shop Fender Stratocaster on his more soulful songs like Our Love, Star, Down to Ride, and for the lead on Hold On.
For strings, he generally uses D’Addario 11 gauge on the Casino and the SG, although he’ll sometimes use .10 gauge strings on his Strat.
For pedals, there are a few many changes in 2015. In live settings, the reverb tank on his Vibroking amps tend to go haywire, so he’ll turn the reverb and tremolo all the way down on the amps and use a Stryman pedal to take the place of the amp tremelo and reverb.
Gary still loves the Octafuzz for his Hendrixy fuzz tones. He said he’s gone through about 30 different fuzzes searching for tones, but the Octafuzz is more or less the fuzz of choice.
The big news is that he’s working with Dunlop to develop and release a signature wah pedal. Stay tuned for that!
Gary Clark Jr. Pedalboard Photos
Gary Clark Jr. Pedals and Rig
|Dunlop Original Cry Baby Wah Pedal|
|Epiphone Casino Archtop Electric Guitar|
|Fender Vibroking Tube Amplifier|
|Fulltone Octafuzz Pedal|
|Ibanez Tube Screamer Distortion Pedal|
|Malekko Ekko 616 Analog Delay|
|Analogman Dual Analog Delay Pedal|
Gary Clark Jr. Links
- Gary Clark Jr. Official Web Site
- Gary Clark Jr. – Music Radar Interview (12/16/2011)
- Gary Clark Jr. – Guitar World Interview (4/9/2012)