The secrets behind Steve Lukather's guitar tone on Along For the Ride

Steve Lukather
(Image credit: PYMCA/Avalon/Gonzales Photo/Tord Litleskare/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The biggest challenge of writing about Steve Lukather for this column was choosing a song to examine. As a first-call session guitarist, he’s played on hundreds of hits over the last four and a half decades, and he’s recorded more than two dozen albums with Toto, about a dozen albums as a solo artist and god knows how many projects as a primary band member, including collaborations with Larry Carlton and Edgar Winter.

Considering Lukather’s massive amount of experience, it seemed like a better idea to look at his most recent work to learn how his tone has evolved. Until a few years ago, Luke used to rely on a sophisticated rack setup to access a wide variety of studio-quality tones, but more recently he’s adopted a much simpler approach, relying on his versatile Ernie Ball Music Man Luke signature guitars, classic Marshall-style Bogner Helios 100 half-stacks and an assortment of stomp boxes. 

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.