Jonathan Jonny Greenwood was born on 5th November 1971. He is an English musician and composer, best known as a member of the English alternative rock band Radiohead. Greenwood is a multi-instrumentalist, but serves mainly as lead guitarist and keyboard player. In addition to guitar and keyboard, he plays viola, xylophone, glockenspiel, ondes martenot, banjo, harmonica and drums. He also does work on the electronic side of Radiohead, working on computer-generated sounds and sampling. He wrote the soundtracks of the films Bodysong, There Will Be Blood, and Norwegian Wood as well as serving as “composer-in-residence” for the BBC Concert Orchestra. He is the younger brother of fellow Radiohead member, Colin Greenwood.
As far as his gear goes, Jonny’s known for using Fender Telecaster Plus guitars almost exclusively. These guitars are equipped with Lace Sensor Blue and Red pickups, and the coil-split switch is modified to work as a signal kill-switch, leaving the two single-coil Reds to work as a humbucker. His main effect pedal is a Marshall ShredMaster which he uses for dirty tones, paired with a Fender Eighty-Five solid state amp.
Jonny Greenwood’s Electric Guitars:
1980s Fender Telecaster
|Supposedly, this was Jonny’s first electric guitar acquired circa 1987 from his teacher. The guitar featured blonde finish with white pickguard, and what looks like a square piece of tape covering the area around the bridge – purpose of which is probably just decorative.|
Jonny used this guitar in the early days of On a Friday, and during the first Radiohead tour. It was stolen in May 1992, after a concert in Leeds, England.
*if you happen to come across any photos or videos of Radiohead from April-May 1992, be sure to send them to us using the form below this article.
1990s Fender Telecaster Plus
|After his first Telecaster was stolen in 1992, Jonny bought two Telecaster Plus guitars. His main one was used on Radiohead’s first two albums.|
Jonny’s main Telecaster Plus was finished in sunburst, and featured Lace Sensor pickups, as well as a kill-switch. It was initially decorated with two smaller stickers, but a large peace sign was added sometime in 1995.
This guitar was stolen in late 1995, and unfortunately never found.
1990s Fender Telecaster Plus (n2)
|This was Jonny’s second Telecaster Plus which was mostly used as spare from 1992 to 1995. The guitar featured relatively rare “ebony frost” finish.|
This guitar was stolen alongside Jonny’s main Telecaster in late 1995. It was returned to him just recently in 2015.
1990s Fender Telecaster Plus (Version 1)
|This is perhaps Jonny’s best known guitar. He bought it after his two Telecaster Plus guitar were stolen in late 1995, and essentially used it on every album since – although not exclusively.|
Jonny’s Telecaster is a Version 1 of the model Plus, and it’s finished in 3-tone sunburst, featuring maple neck, Lace Sensor Blue single-coil pickup in the neck, and Lace Sensor Red-Red Dually humbucker in the bridge. Although the bridge pickup was originally designed to be able to split into single-coils, the stock 3-way toggle coil-split switch was replaced with signal kill-switch, and the pickup is since used as a regular humbucker.
The guitar was also decorated with couple of stickers. The most prominent is the big “Honda” sticker just behind the bridge (Tonny is apparently a fan of Honda bikes, and he was even seen wearing a Honda shirt on few occasions). Another sticker is present on the pickguard, originating from a Japanese manga series called “Attack No. 1”.
1975 Fender Starcaster
|Jonny started using this guitar in mid 90s, usually for softer and mellower songs. It was first used on OK Computer, and later on Kid A and Amnesiac – most notably live on “Pyramid Song”, during which Jonny uses a string bow to play the guitar.|
Starcaster mdeol was Fender’s shot at semi-hollow guitars produced for a short period of time from 1985 to 1982. Jonny’s model features sunburst finish, full maple construction, two Fender Wide Range humbuckers, and a fixed bridge.
1990s Fender Telecaster w/ Kaoss Pad
|This Telecaster was acquired sometime in mid 90s, and served as a spare for Jonny’s main Tele Plus. Perhaps most notable feature on the guitar is a custom-fitted Korg KP 2 touch pad, which Jonny doesn’t seem to use that much.|
This guitar was originally a standard Telecaster modded to fit Lace Sensor Blue single-coil pickup in the neck, and Lace Sensor Red-Red Dually humbucker in the bridge. To accommodate the full-sized humbucker, the original bridge piece was replaced with a Gotoh Humbucker Tele Bridge.
The guitar also has a couple of stickers on it which makes it very easy to distinguish from Jonny’s main Telecaster. There’s a large two-piece sticker on the top portion of the body saying “Wednesday ‘Till I Die” (apparently something to do with Sheffield Wednesday football club), and a smaller one on the pickguard of Uchuu Ace (character from a Japanese science fiction manga).
1970s Gibson Les Paul Standard Goldtop
|This is one of Jonny’s most recent guitars. He started using it around the time when “In Rainbow” was recorded, and he continues to use it occasionally to this day on his solo project and collaborations.|
As far as the dating goes – just from the looks of it the guitar appears to be vintage, and in addition to this it alos styles 70s style reflector knobs.
Gretsch G6119-1962HT Chet Atkins
|Also one of his more recent guitars, seen on couple of behind-the-scenes photos from the studio or on-stage during soundchecks.|
The guitar features deep burgundy stain finish, two Hilo’Tron pickups, and a Bigsby B6C vibrato tailpiece.
Rickenbacker 360 FG
|Seen at Glastonbury 2011 where Jonny used this guitar on the song “Daily Mail“.|
Jonny Greenwood’s Acoustic Guitars:
Please note that the following list is far from finished. Jonny rarely plays acoustic guitars publicly and when he does, he mostly borrows them from other band members, so it’s hard to determine which guitar actually belongs to him and which doesn’t.
Alvarez Yairi DY 87-12
|Seen on acoustic live video of “Fake Plastic Trees” dating back to circa 1995. As far as we know this guitar belongs to Thom Yorke.|
|Used by Jonny during the Unplugged show in Paris 2003 on “I Might Be Wrong” which was the first song of the set.|
This guitar is quite possibly one of Thom’s guitars.
|Seen on the unplugged version of Faust Arp.|
Jonny Greenwood’s Guitar Amps:
– Fender Deluxe 85 (Eighty-Five)
Jonny has been using this solid-state amp from the very early days. He used it exclusively, until he bought a separate tube amp to use just for the clean tone.
– Fender Twin Reverb
Purchased sometime in early to mid 90s; used for the clean tone.
– Vox AC30
Used from around 1995 onward for clean tone. TheKingofGear.com lists TBX and C2 as the models used.
Jonny Greenwood’s Guitar Effects:
– Marshall ShredMaster
Most essential pedal in Jonny’s signal chain. Used for distorted sound since the early days.
– Digitech Whammy WH-1
Used since the mid 90s, can be heard on “Paranoid Android” among many others.
– Boss FV-300H
His main volume pedal since the early days. Recently, he seems to be using Ernie Ball VP JR.
– Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive
Usually used to add some crunch to the clean sound. Used extensively since the mid 90s.
– Roland Space Echo RE-201
Rack unit activated via Vox Egg foot-switch.
– Boss LS-2 Line Selector
Basic A/B switch between amps.
– EHX Small Stone V2
Also worth mentioning:
– EHX PolyChorus
– Boss OD3 Overdrive
– Boss RV3 Reverb
– Boss RE20 Space Echo
– Demeter TRM-1 Tremulator
Jonny Greenwood’s Guitar Strings:
– Electric Guitar Strings:
Most sources say that Jonny uses signature Dean Markley 10-46 strings, but the company website doesn’t list him as one of their customers.
– Acoustic Guitar Strings:
Martin SP Phosphor Bronze 11-52
Jonny Greenwood’s Guitar Picks:
– Jonny mostly seems to be using grey Dunlop .60mm Nylon picks.
If you want more info about Jonny’s keyboards, synthesizers, software etc. – please visit thekingofgear.com which is an awesome source of anything Radiohead-related.
Awesome! Thanks for sharing :)