Potent Pairings: How To Sound Like The Strokes

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.

The Strokes' Is This It, released in 2001, hardly needs an introduction. It helped ignite a new wave of guitar rock, brought indie sensibilities to a broader public, and, most importantly, contained well-crafted songs that made your speakers drip with dank, vintage vibes.

As you can see in the video above, the key to The Strokes' sound was a combination of classic gear, crisp melodies, and tight arrangements.

This edition of Potent Pairings begins like The Strokes' debut, with the title track's spindly guitar melody being met with a round Precision bassline. Reverb's Joe Shadid finds the lead tone with a Fender Stratocaster, a Jekyll & Hyde Overdrive & Distortion V3, and a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.

Throughout the video, both sides of the Jekyll & Hyde get a workout, as Joe makes frequent use of the pedal to achieve different hues of drive and grit, usually in combination with other boost or drive boxes. As we move away from the The Strokes' earlier work, you'll see the sonic textures open up a bit too, incorporating new tones and new effects.

Click on any of the pedal graphics below to be taken to more info on each of the pedals we used. Got requests for future Potent Pairings videos? Let us know in the comments.

"Is This It"
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"Alone Together"
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"Reptilia"
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"You Talk Way Too Much"
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"Machu Picchu"
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"Under Cover of Darkness"
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"Juicebox"
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"Last Nite"
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