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Adam Jones: Meet TOOL’s Legendary Guitarist

Adam Jones Pedalboard
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An Overview

Adam Jones: The Man Behind TOOL’s Sound

Adam Jones, the guitarist for the American rock band Tool, is renowned for his innovative and distinctive approach characterized by complex rhythms, heavy use of effects, and intricate riffs.


chris horton

Adam Jones’ compositions might be simple but his ear for tone, rhythm, and melody is second-to-none. He has an instantly recognizable style and tone and has penned some of the best riffs in the last 20 years or so.

— Chris Horton, ELECTRIKJAM

Gear & Style Card

Playing Style

Metal, Progressive

Influenced By

Buzz Osborne, Robert Fripp

Best Album

Lateralus


Latest Adam Jones News & Guides

  • Adam Jones Epiphone 1979 Les Paul Custom Price & Release Date

    Adam Jones Epiphone 1979 Les Paul Custom Price & Release Date

    Here’s how much you’ll pay for the new Adam Jones Epiphone 1979 Les Paul Custom, and how it compares to its signature Gibson Les Paul model It’s been like 2+ years in the making, but the Adam Jones Epiphone 1979 Les Paul Custom is finally here, bringing nearly everything you could possibly want – specs wise…

  • Adam Jones Gibson Les Paul Custom: The $15K Collector’s Dream

    Adam Jones Gibson Les Paul Custom: The $15K Collector’s Dream

    The Adam Jones 1979V2 Les Paul Custom is now discontinued and is one of the hottest collectors items on the guitar market. Here’s everything you need to know… If you want to get your hands on Adam Jones’ Gibson Les Paul Custom, you’re going to need seriously deep pockets. The now discontinued model – there were…

  • How To Sound Like Adam Jones: The Gear You’ll Need

    How To Sound Like Adam Jones: The Gear You’ll Need

    Wanna sound like Adam Jones on guitar? Here’s all the gear you’ll need (and tips on how to do it on the cheap)… Adam Jones is one of the most successful metal / rock guitarists of all time. Over the years, Jones – via his band Tool – has amassed tens of millions of dollars from record…

  • Adam Jones Epiphone 1979 Les Paul Custom is 100% Happening.

    Adam Jones Epiphone 1979 Les Paul Custom is 100% Happening.

    Adam Jones of Tool has teased a new signature model – only this time it looks as if it will be an Epiphone Les Paul Signature model UPDATE: 22/6/22 We FINALLY have an update for Adam Jones’ Signature Epiphone Les Paul model. And like all good updates, this one comes straight from the horse’s mouth. Adam…

  • Adam Jones Pedalboard: What Does TOOL Guitarist Use?

    Adam Jones Pedalboard: What Does TOOL Guitarist Use?

    Adam Jones has a killer, near-instantly recognizable guitar tone that is built on very specific amps, cabinets, and, of course, pedals. Here’s a complete breakdown of Adam Jones’ pedalboard… I was lucky enough to catch TOOL last week. I had amazing seats right at the front, so I could literally see everything Adam Jones was…

  • How TOOL’s Adam Jones Practices Guitar

    How TOOL’s Adam Jones Practices Guitar

    Adam Jones is one of the most influential guitarists of the last 20 years. Not bad considering TOOL’s rather meager back catalog. But how does Adam Jones ensure his chops stay nice and frosty? Like everybody else, he practices – he practices a lot. But it is Jones’ approach to how he practices that he says…


Who is Adam Jones?

Adam Jones Pedalboard

Adam Jones is known for his ability to weave intricate, polyrhythmic guitar parts that complement Tool’s complex time signatures.

His playing often involves the use of alternate tunings, which contribute to Tool’s signature dark and atmospheric sound.

Jones frequently employs the Drop D tuning, allowing for heavier and more resonant guitar riffs.

Guitar Gear

Adam Jones: Meet TOOL's Legendary Guitarist

Guitars

Jones predominantly uses Gibson Les Paul Custom guitars, specifically a Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverburst – he has three of these.

Epiphone has also done a custom model with Jones’ too – the ADAM JONES LES PAUL CUSTOM ART – which is cheaper, prices start from $1299, than his Gibson Les Paul Silverburst model.

His preference for the Les Paul Custom, with its solid mahogany body and set-neck construction, contributes significantly to his thick, sustained tone.

Amplifiers and Cabinets

Adam Jones: Meet TOOL's Legendary Guitarist

Adam Jones is known for his use of multiple amplifiers to achieve his distinctive sound.

He primarily relies on Diezel and Marshall amplifiers. The Diezel VH4 amplifier, in particular, is noted for its versatility and its ability to deliver a wide range of tones, from clean to heavily distorted.

Jones pairs these amplifiers with custom cabinets equipped with Celestion speakers.

Effects Pedals

Jones’ use of effects pedals is integral to his sound. He employs a variety of pedals to create the atmospheric and textural layers that are a hallmark of Tool’s music.

Some of the key pedals in his setup include:

  • Delay: For creating ambient soundscapes and rhythmic textures.
  • Flanger and Phaser: To add modulation and movement to his guitar tones.
  • Talk Box: Used sparingly for specific vocal-like effects.

Signature Techniques

This is How TOOL’s Adam Jones Practices Guitar
  • Power Chords and Palm Muting: Jones often uses these techniques to add weight and aggression to Tool’s riffs.
  • Complex Rhythms: He frequently plays in unconventional time signatures, contributing to the band’s progressive sound.
  • Use of Dynamics: Jones masterfully controls dynamics, often building from soft, atmospheric passages to powerful, heavy sections.

Influence and Legacy

Adam Jones’ approach to guitar playing, combined with his background in visual arts, has had a significant impact on the world of progressive metal and rock.

His ability to blend complex rhythms with a deep sense of melody and atmosphere has inspired countless guitarists.

Jones’ work with Tool has also pushed the boundaries of music videos and live performances, integrating his visual art skills into a cohesive artistic expression that complements the band’s music.

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