“Billy Gibbons brought some off-brand amp simulator to the studio. We heard him playing through this thing and it was like, ‘Wow! It sounds like f**kin’ Billy Gibbons!’” Troy Van Leeuwen might have just proven beyond doubt that tone truly is in the hands

Troy Van Leeuwen and Billy Gibbons
(Image credit: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage / Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

By now, it seems like the “tone is in the hands” school of thought is a widely accepted theory of guitar playing. In a nutshell: no matter what gear an individual plays through, they will always sound like themselves, owing to the unique nuances in feel and touch between every guitarist.

We’ve seen countless artists supply anecdotes about playing their peers’ gear only to sound exactly like themselves – and as if we needed any more evidence to support the tone hands argument, Queens of the Stone Age’s Troy Van Leeuwen has now provided another.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.