Potent Pairings: How to Sound Like Blur

Disclaimer: Our Potent Pairing series aims to get you in the ballpark of the sounds on your favorite recordings using affordable, accessible pedals. The pedals featured are not the exact pieces of gear used on the recordings.

In 1988, longtime friends Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn met bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree and began playing music together. Inspired by J.D. Salinger's Seymour: An Introduction, the group named themselves Seymour, but later changed it to Blur after signing with Food Records in 1990.

Blur spent the next year opening for The Cramps across Britain and their debut, Leisure, was released in 1991. Their next releases—Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife, and The Great Escape—marked a transition away from shoegaze and punk and into a sound more inspired by classic British guitar pop groups, like The Beatles and The Kinks, that would come to be known as Britpop.

Throughout all of their genre transformations, Blur has consistently sounded huge—due, in large part, to their penchant for layered guitar and bass parts. In this installment of Potent Pairings, Andy Martin approximates all of those parts, with each effect configuration tailored to the instrument and the part he's playing.

To nail Blur tunes like "He Thought of Cars" and "Song 2," Andy relies on classics like the Boss DD-3, ProCo RAT, and Fulltone OCD, paired with boutique offerings like EarthQuaker Device's Terminal Destructive Fuzz.

Be sure to check out the full video above to see how close Andy can get, and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Pedals Used In This Video
"Song 2"

Guitar 1
Guitar 2
Bass 1
Bass 2

"He Thought of Cars"

Guitar 1
Guitar 2
Guitar 3
Guitar 4
Guitar 5

"Coffee & TV"

Guitar 1
Solo Guitar 1
Solo Guitar 2
Solo Guitar 3

"Jubilee"

Guitar 1
Guitar 2
Guitar 3

"Beetlebum"

Guitar 1
Guitar 2

"Chemical World"

Guitar 1
Guitar 2
Guitar 3


comments powered by Disqus