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Everlong Amp Settings Guide

Everlong Amp Settings Guide

Foo Fighters released “Everlong” as a single on their second studio album, The Color and the Shape, in 1997. It’s regarded as one of their best songs, which is why so many players want to learn it.

To capture this song’s energy, you’ll need to choose your guitar, amplifier, and pedals wisely. You will also need to know how to set them up properly to make the most out of them. Dave Grohl, the guitarist for Foo Fighters, is known for using semi-hollow guitars fitted with humbucking pickups and amplifiers that are common in the rock & roll and modern rock scenes. He doesn’t use a lot of effect pedals, but some pedals can help you get much closer to his tone.

In this Everlong Amp Settings Guide, I will walk you through the main ingredients of Dave Grohl’s guitar tones in this iconic song so you can feel like a true rockstar playing it!

Bottom Line Up Front: Quick Tips to Nail Everlong’s Guitar Tones

David Grohl’s guitar sounds are dynamic and powerful, and Everlong is an excellent example of how he masterfully combines different elements.

This song features clean tones as well as distorted sections where you’ll need to increase the gain or engage a pedal to achieve the necessary saturation and energy. It is also played in Drop D tuning, so make sure to tune your guitar appropriately beforehand.

Start with the following settings on your amplifier: Gain at 6, Treble at 6, Middle at 7, and Bass at 5.

This is a great starting point that should get you close to the intro’s crunchy tone if you’re playing a guitar with humbuckers. For the chorus and other dirtier sections, either increase the gain knob to about 7/8 or use a distortion pedal. You can control the overall amount of saturation with the guitar’s volume knob and by picking harder or lighter.

Everlong Guitar Amp Settings: A Passport to Foo Fighters’ Tone

Everlong amp settings

The following settings were thought out with a medium to high-gain amplifier that can sound dirty by itself. If yours only has a clean channel or just a medium overdrive, you’ll need to make up for it with a boost, overdrive, or distortion pedal in the more aggressive sections of Everlong.

As for your guitar, if you don’t have a semi-hollow body like an Epiphone ES-335, you should at least have one with humbucker pickups. This means that Stratocasters and Telecasters with single coils won’t be your best choice.

Start with the following settings:

  • Gain: 6
  • Treble: 6
  • Middle: 7
  • Bass: 5

This should give you a nice, crunchy overdrive that will do nicely for the verse parts in which the guitar sounds dirty, but not overly saturated. If you’re playing the clean part of the intro, dial back on the gain and maybe decrease the volume just a little on the guitar itself.

You might need to make adjustments to some parameters depending on your amp’s model. Some sound much more distorted with the gain knob at 6 than others, and they don’t react to picking dynamics the same way.

Keep in mind that a big part of the sound comes from your picking technique, and for most of this song, you should pick decisively and consistently with your overdriven sounds so that every chord sounds tight and clear.

For the chorus sections where you’ll need more distortion, either increase the gain by around 2 on the amp’s knob or use a pedal to give you that extra push. The latter option is more convenient since you can switch between both sounds without interrupting your playing.

If you have an overdrive pedal, try setting its volume higher and the gain lower, so that you push the front end of your amp harder, giving you more saturation for the chorus.

Dave Grohl’s Gear: Guitars, Amps and Pedals

Nowadays, guitar setups come in various shapes and sizes. Some players keep it as simple as possible by plugging their instrument directly into the amplifier, which may provide everything from clean to distortion. Some have effects like reverb and tremolo. Other guitarists assemble complex setups that incorporate several pedals and accessories to further enhance their tonal palette.

Dave Grohl does not overcomplicate, but he uses a few pedals here and there to obtain some of his unique sounds both live and in the studio.

In this section, we’ll take a look at some of his favorite pieces of gear, all of which are great choices if you’re trying to nail Everlong’s tone.

Dave Grohl’s Guitars

Dave Grohl's Guitars

When you search for footage of Dave Grohl playing the guitar, you’ll most likely see him playing semi-hollow guitars with humbuckers, such as his DG-335 signature model, or a Gibson Trini Lopez.

Related guide: Dave Grohl Amp Settings Guide

Gibson Trini Lopez Standard Custom Reissue

One of Dave’s main guitars which he has used on every Foo Fighters record. Very similar to a Gibson ES-335, but with a few distinctive features such as its headstock and f-holes. He bought this one around 1992/1993 while he was still playing the drums with Nirvana.

Even though this is a signature model, Dave got it because he loved its looks. In an interview, he stated that he didn’t know much about Trini Lopez, but this guitar caught his attention so much that it ended up being one of his favorites.

Dave’s signature model with Gibson was inspired by this one, and they have been his main guitars for many years.

Gibson Trini Lopez Standard Custom Reissue

Gibson DG-335

Dave Grohl’s signature model, designed in collaboration with the Gibson Custom Shop, and inspired by his Trini Lopez Reissue guitar. Aside from its Pelham Blue finish, it is very similar to the guitar that started it all. This one features vintage-voiced Burstbuckers, split diamond inlays, and white binding.

Other Guitars in Dave Grohl’s Collection

Naturally, Dave Grohl has a nice guitar collection, although he tends to stick to the guitars we’ve just mentioned. Here are a few other examples of instruments that he’s used for live performances, video recordings, and studio sessions.

  • Gretsch G6136DS White Falcon
  • Gibson SG Standard
  • Gibson Explorer
  • Fender Classic Series ’72 Telecaster Custom
  • Gibson RD Standard Exclusive
  • Gibson Les Paul Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dave Grohl’s Amplifiers

In the amplification department, Dave Grohl tends to go with clean amplifiers that break up when you push their volume, or powerful heads capable of high-gain distortion for the most intense sections of Foo Fighters songs.


foo fighter VOX AC30 amp

The VOX AC30 is one of the UK’s most popular amplifiers due to its immense dynamic range. It can go from sparkly clean to filthy overdrive sounds that many pedals have attempted to emulate for a long time. For instance, on the album There’s Nothing Left to Lose, Dave used a cranked AC30 for most of the distorted sounds.

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 100W Head

Mesa Boogie is widely known for its high-quality amplifiers, and the Dual Rectifier has been a staple in the rock and metal worlds for decades. Dave uses it for dirty sounds, which is what this celebrated amp does best.

Other Amplifiers Owned by Dave Grohl

  • Hiwatt Custom 100 Head
  • 1950s Fender Twin
  • Fender Tonemaster 100W Head
  • Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III
  • Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Road King Head
  • Fender TFL5005D Bandmaster Reverb
  • Suhr Custom Audio Amplifiers PT100
  • Friedman Brown Eye 100W Head
  • Mesa Boogie Maverick 2×12 Combo
  • Mesa Boogie Lonestar 2×12 Combo

Dave Grohl’s Effect Pedals

While Dave Grohl’ doesn’t have the biggest and most complex pedalboards around, there are a few pedals that he’s used to record and play live. Below, you’ll find a few examples of what he’s played.

  • Pro Co RAT (Distortion)
  • Pro Co TurboRAT (Distortion)
  • MXR M101 Phase 90
  • Boss DM-2 Delay
  • MXR M133 Micro Amp
  • Xotic Effects EP Booster
  • Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man (Delay)
  • Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
  • Roger Mayer RM 58 Limiter
  • Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler
  • Univox U-915 Uni-Vibe

How to Get Everlong’s Guitar Tone on a Budget

Like most touring musicians, Dave Grohl’s guitar setup is expensive to replicate due to the sheer amount of high-quality instruments, amplifiers, pedals, and assorted gear that he uses daily.

Fortunately, if you don’t want to break the bank, many alternatives in today’s music industry can get you very close to his sound for a moderate amount. Moreover, these alternatives are more convenient for those who can’t play at loud volumes frequently.

We’re going to be looking at affordable semi-hollow guitars, amplifiers that can do both clean and distortion properly, and a few effect pedals that can be helpful to achieve Everlong’s most distorted sounds.

Check out some of my favorite suggestions below.

The Guitars: Semi-hollow Bodies & Humbuckers

Ibanez Artcore AS73G

Ibanez Artcore AS73G

To nail Dave Grohl’s tone on Everlong and other Foo Fighters songs, you should be equipped with a semi-hollow body guitar that has a pair of humbuckers. the Ibanez Artcore AS73G meets these requirements at an affordable price point.

Equipped with two Classic Elite humbuckers, you’ll have no problems capturing the vintage tones and modern-oriented distortion sounds. Other interesting features on this guitar include a Gibraltar Performer bridge, a Quik Change III tailpiece, and a comfortable Nyatoh neck with a bound walnut fretboard.

Sweetwater Music – Ibanez Artcore AS73G Semi-hollowbody Electric Guitar – Black Flat

Guild Starfire I DC

What guitars do the Foo Fighters use Guild Starfire I DC

Another great option for those looking for an affordable and versatile semi-hollow guitar. The Guild Starfire I DC sounds just as good as it looks. It has HB-2 alnico humbuckers, which are meant to resemble the classic PAF pickups that have defined rock’s sound.

For added versatility, these pickups can be split using a push/pull knob, unlocking a new range of single-coil tones.

Sweetwater Music – Guild Starfire I DC Semi-hollow Electric Guitar – Cherry Red

The Amplifiers: From Vintage to Modern Gain



If you’re into tube amps and enjoy turning them up to make them overdrive naturally, you should look into the AC10C1 from Vox. Because it only has 10W of power, it doesn’t need to be excessively loud to yield tasty tones that ooze tube overdrive.

It also reacts well to pedals, if you need to push it into harder distortion. Since it has a master volume control, you can also strike a good balance between preamp gain and additional gain stages from pedals. It also comes with an onboard digital reverb.

Sweetwater Music – Vox AC10C1 1×10″ 10-watt Tube Combo Amp

Marshall MG50GFX

Marshall MG50GFX foo fighter amplifier sets

If you’d rather purchase a solid-state amplifier due to being less prone to breaking down, I’d recommend taking a look at the Marshall MG50GFX. At 50W of power, it won’t have any trouble keeping up with loud bandmates, and it will easily handle your stage volume requirements.

It has a total of 4 channels, integrated reverb, delay, preset storing, and many other convenient features that will make your life much easier. Its ability to dish out modern-voiced distortion will make it a true asset in your rig, and in your pursuit of an excellent tone to play Everlong.

Sweetwater Music – Marshall MG50GFX 1×12″ 50-watt Combo Amp with Effects

The Effect Pedals: Simple & Practical

If you’re planning to get effect pedals to play Everlong, there aren’t many things you really need. The main focus should be a good overdrive or distortion pedal to push your amp harder or to get all the dirty tones through it.

Since this song in particular does not feature any modulation effects like chorus, phaser, or flanger, the most you might want to get is a reverb pedal, in case your amplifier does not have it.

Here are a few suggestions of pedals that would fulfill this purpose adequately:

  • Pro Co RAT
  • JHS The AT
  • Boss DS-1 Distortion
  • Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive
  • Boss MT-2 Metal Zone
  • MXR M133 Micro Amp
  • Friedman BE-OD Overdrive
  • MXR M104 Distortion +
  • TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 (Reverb)
  • Boss RV-6 Digital Reverb

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Everlong Amp Settings

Question: What guitar amp settings should I use to play Everlong by Foo Fighters?

Answer: To play Everlong by Foo Fighters, start with the following amp settings: Gain at 6, Treble at 6, Middle at 7, and Bass at 5. Adjust the gain according to your amp and the amount of distortion it has. For the heavier parts where you need more saturation, you should use an overdrive or distortion pedal to tighten up your tone and get a dirtier tone.

Question: What kind of guitar and amplifier are best to play Everlong and other songs by Foo Fighters?

Answer: Dave Grohl likes to use semi-hollow guitars with humbuckers, such as the Gibson Trini Lopez. A cheaper option that captures the same essence would be the Epiphone ES-335. He is also known for using amplifiers like the Vox AC30 and the Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier. A clever way to get the best of both worlds without breaking the bank would be to get a Vox AC15 and pair it with a good distortion pedal to achieve the aggressive character of the Mesa Boogie.

Question: What is the difference between a semi-hollow body guitar and a hollow-body guitar?

Answer: A semi-hollow guitar has a center wood block that goes across the instrument’s body, leaving two hollow sections and a solid center section. This design prevents feedback more efficiently than on a hollow-body guitar, where the interior of the instrument is completely hollow. These guitars have a more acoustic character to their tone and are usually favored by jazz players for their warm sound.

Closing Considerations About Everlong Amp Settings

With your newly acquired knowledge about the secrets behind Everlong’s tone, you will surely get closer to reproducing it with your gear. Keep in mind that to sound right, you have to be tuned to Drop D (standard tuning with the lowest string dropped by a whole tone). Having the right kind of guitar and amplifier will also be crucial.

Start with the following settings on your amplifier to play Everlong: Gain at 6, Treble at 6, Middle at 7, and Bass at 5.

These will be an excellent starting point for the song’s clean intro. For the rest of the song, turn up the gain to 7-8, or use a distortion pedal to obtain the necessary saturation and compression. A Pro Co RAT or a JHS Angry Charlie would both be great choices to fill this role.

Apart from the gear and the correct tuning, make sure you pay attention to Dave Grohl’s technique. Focus on things like his picking dynamics, and on how he approaches different song sections so that you can apply the same things to your playing.

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