Potent Pairings: How to Sound Like Muse

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.

Formed in England in 1994, Muse has spent the past two-plus decades of their musical career experimenting across the alt-rock sonic spectrum.

In the albums that followed their 1999 debut, Showbiz, Muse expanded their sound, incorporating classical elements and orchestral instrumentation. Their third album, Absolution, would become the first of five consecutive Muse albums that would reach the top spot on the UK charts.

As we've written about in the past, frontman Matt Bellamy is well-known for gear experimentation, playing "Mattocaster" guitars that have been specially outfitted with extra tech like touch screens and MIDI capability. His guitar tone is often thick and gritty, inspired by artists like Jimi Hendrix and Tom Morello, with his rhythm guitar often double-tracked on the record for added punch.

Without a Mattocaster of his own, Joe picked up a Reverend guitar and plugged into a myriad of fuzz and drive pedals to approximate Bellamy's tone. Reoccurring favorites include classics from Zvex, like the Vertical Vexter Box of Rock and Fuzz Factory, and the Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive. Boutique offerings like the DeadBeat Sound Visual Overdrive and Crowther Prunes & Custard make appearances as well.

Follow along with Joe in the video above, as he recreates the tones from Muse tunes like "Knights of Cydonia," "Psycho," "Supermassive Black Hole," and more. If you're looking to pick up any of the pedals used in the video for yourself, click any of the links below to get your own right here on Reverb.

Pedals Used In This Video
"Supermassive Black Hole"

Bass Guitar
Guitar

"Hyper Music"

Guitar 1
Guitar 2
Guitar 3

"Hysteria"

Bass Guitar
Guitar 1
Guitar 2

"Knights of Cydonia"

Guitar 1
Guitar 2
Guitar 3

"MK Ultra"

Guitar 1
Guitar 2

"Psycho"

Guitar 1
Guitar 2

comments powered by Disqus