Billy Corgan suggests the paint colour of a guitar can affect its tone

Try This Theory on for Size

Every guitarist has a theory of what factors affect tone, but Billy Corgan’s claim that the colour of your instrument’s paint can make an impact on its sound is possibly the boldest statement yet.

The Smashing Pumpkins guitarist stopped by Guitar Center to chat about the sound of his recently reunited band as they prepare to embark on a US tour. Corgan showcases his touring rig, featuring his signature Reverend and Yamaha models, and a mid- to late-‘70s Fender Stratocaster he favours for the E flat tuning heard on Mellon Collie.


But the biggest takeaway from this short clip is his suggestion that a guitar’s paint colour can alter its tone.



“People think I’m a bit goofy, but I do think paint colour actually changes the sound of a guitar,” said Corgan. “I’ve found through the years that certain paints sound different, so the white Reverend, I think, sounds better. I have a couple of other ones, but this one seems to sound the best.”


Just when you thought you’d heard it all.


Learn how to play Billy Corgan's signature 'Pumpkin chord', which may or may not be affected by your colour choice.