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Potent Pairings: How to Sound Like Tame Impala On Guitar

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.

Pedals Used in this Video

Keeley Four Knob Compressor

Boss Waza Craft Blues Driver

Boss Waza Craft Analog Delay

EHX Bad Stone Phaser

OBNE Haunt Fuzz

Boss Waza Chorus

MXR Super Comp

EHX Holy Grail Reverb Nano

Tame Impala is proof that indulgent, guitar-and-effects-heavy psychedelia can still pierce its way through the pop music membrane and get radio play. Even with a sound that draws from the taproot of '60s psychedelia, the Australian powerhouse feels fresh, unique enough to make lazy comparisons to Pink Floyd or The Flaming Lips difficult to defend.

To be clear, Tame Impala's songwriting, production and studio performance is the work of one man: Kevin Parker. What started as his home recording project evolved into one of the most popular rock acts of the 2010s. He now tours with the supporting cast of Dominic Simper (who played with Parker as a teen in the band's earliest iteration), Jay Watson (guitar, synth, vocals), Cam Avery (bass, vocals) and Julien Barbagallo (drums, vocals).

Check out the settings used for each song segment below. Remember, this gets you in the ballpark. Experiment with the pedals you already have to get your own sound, or grab a few of the pedals on Reverb to set up the same signal chain "recipe."


"It Is Not Meant to Be" from Innerspeaker

"Lucidity" from Innerspeaker

"Solitude Is Bliss" from Innerspeaker

"Jeremy's Storm" from Innerspeaker

"Endors Toi" from Lonerism

"Mind Mischief" from Lonerism

"The Less I Know the Better" from Currents

"Elephants" from Lonerism

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