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John Frusciante Gear Guide - Guitars, Amps & Pedals

Published: Mon August 04, 2014  News Feed

John Frusciante Gear Guide

One of the most influential guitarists of the last 20 years, John Frusciante's distinctive funk/rock guitar style has achieved much success throughout his long career - most notably with Red Hot Chili Peppers.

He was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, affirming his status as one of the most famous guitarists of the last two decades.

Let's take a look at John Frusciante's gear and see how he got that sound of his!


John Frusciante's original stint with Red Hot Chili Peppers was between1988-1992. John left as he felt the rapid rise to stardom was too much to handle in too short of a time. He became addicted to drugs and suffered severe depression, facing death multiple times.

He went to rehab in 1997 and recovered back to normal fitness. He was asked to re-join RHCP in 1998, which he gladly accepted, and his return marked the release of "Californication" in 1999 - the band's most successful album in their whole 30 years of existance. They toured and played a lot of shows, whilst writing their next album "By The Way", which was nearly as popular as Californication!

Without further ado, here's John Frusciante's Gear Guide.


john frusciante strat guitar fender stratocaster relic sunburst vintage start


Frusciante was a lover of the Fender Stratocaster - especially this worn out '62 Strat!

He liked his Fender's with a rosewood fretboard and with Seymour Duncan SSL-1 Single Coils, which he eventually put in all of his strats as he loved the 'mellow' sound they gave him.

john frusciante fender stratocaster strat worn beat up sunburst relic guitar

His second favourite strat was the '55 which was his only strat with a maple fretboard. Here's Frusciante talking through the recording process of "Dani California" and playing on his 1955 Strat.

Frusciante was seen playing various other guitars throughout his career, including a 1962 Fender Stratocaster (Fiesta Red), a 1962 Fender Jaguar (Fiesta Red) and a 1965 Fender Telecaster (Sunburst).

john frusciante gear guide guitar red strat fiestajohn frusciante red jaguar electric guitar gear guidejohn frusciante rhcp telecaster tele electric guitar sunburst gutiar


The Gretsch White Falcon is the guitar that most John Frusciante fans (and guitar collectors!) would want.

Frusciante said it"is the nicest guitar I have, I think" and the White Falcon was used in the studio to record "Otherside" and "Californication".

The most "elegant" Frusciante guitar.

john frusciante rhcp white falcon gretsch 55 guitar electric


Frusciante mainly used Marshall Amps throughout his career. This was his signature setup:



To the left of his setup is the Marshall Silver Jubilee 25/55 100w head which he used for heavier tones. This head became popular amongst heavy rock and metal bands for the aggresive tone it delivered. Frusciante also used the Marshall Major 200w, which he usually used to get his clean tones. The Major is extremely hard to get hold of and is known to be very hard to 'dirty' up, meaning you can play at very loud volumes whilst still getting that clean sound.

Marshall amps john frusciante frusiante silver jubilee major guitar amp 1960a 1960b cab

rhcp john frusciante gear guide guitar amp marshall silver red hot chili peppers chilli fruciante frushiante


He uses two 4x12" cabs for each head - meaning he uses 16 speakers in total on stage!

The cabs he uses are standard Marshall 1960A and 1960B (one angled and one straight) with the stock Celestion speakers.

You can see his amp rig to the right of the stage on this picture - his TWO full Marshall stacks.

Here's John's full collection of guitar amps:

john frusciante red hot chili peppers guitar amps marshall fender jtm45 silver jubilee major guitar amp

From left to right: Marshall JTM-45 (ontop of SIlver jubilee), Marshall Silver Jubilee 25/55, Marshall Major, Fender Blackface Showman and Marshall Superbass.

john frusciante fender showman blackface fender sunburst strat guitar long hairFENDER BLACKFACE SHOWMAN

When Frusciante played with his Gretsch White Falcon guitar he liked to switch to a Fender Blackface Showman guitar head with his Marshall 4x12" cabs. 

It was not uncommon to see Frusciante with THREE full stacks on stage with him for this reason - his Silver Jubilee (Distortion), Major (Clean) and Showman (for his Gretsch!).



Over the years Frusciante has developed his pedalboard dramatically. It used to be very simplistic, whereas nowadays he has quite the collection! Many thanks to jftab for the information.

2000 - Californication Tour

Around the release of Californication, his pedalboard was pretty small and had just the basic effects. He didn't even have a tuner!

The Boss DS-2 is one of the most vital pedals to get a Frusciante sound.

john frusciante pedal board guitar effects fx pedalboard distortion
Image Source: Jftab

1. Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble 2. Ibanez WH-10 Wah 3. MXR Phase 90
4. Electro-Harmonix Russian Big Muff Pi 5. Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion 6. Boss DS-1 Distortion

2006 - Stadium Arcadium

Now check out the difference when you look at the pedalboard he used around the release of Stadium Arcadium.

As you can see, he LOVES the Moog MoogerFooger guitar pedals!

john frusciante stadium arcadium arcadiam red hot chili peppers chilli rhcp tour pedalboard guitar effects fx
Image Source: Jftab

1 - Moog Expression pedal 2 - MXR Micro Amp 3 - Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi USA
4 - Boss DS-2 TurboDistortion 5 - Mosrite FuzzRite 6 - Ibanez WH-10 Wah
7 - Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb 8 - Moog MF103 12-Stage Phaser 9 - Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble
10 - Moog CP-251 Control Processor 11 - Boss FV-50 Volume 12 - Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler
13 - Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress 14 - DigiTech PDS 1002 Digital Delay 15 - Guyatone VT-X Tube Tremolo
16 - Line 6 FM4 Filter Modeler 17 - Moog MF-101 Low Pass Filter 18 - Moog MF-105B BassMuRF
19 - Moog MF-105 MuRF 20 - Moog MF-102 Ring Mod  


This pretty much sums up Frusciante's gear during his most popular time with RHCP - around the time of Californication.

 Red Hot Chili Peppers Chilli John Frusciante Frusiante Fruciante Guitar Gear Guide Amp Pedals pedal board
Image Source: GuitarGeek


You're right in thinking that it's not all down to gear. Frusciante has a very specific playing style that makes him sound different - no matter what gear he uses.

What better way to learn about his playing style than from John himself? Here he is!


So you know what gear you want - you know what playing style to stand by - the only thing left is to get practicing!

Got any tips that you want us to add? Leave us a comment below!

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