Adam Jones Names The Guitarists That Influenced Him Most

TOOL’s Adam Jones is one of the most iconic and influential guitarists working today. But who does Adam Jones draw influence from? Here are Adam Jones’ favorite guitarists of all time…


For the last two decades, Adam Jones has been one of the most influential guitarists working in music. No one sounds like Jones. And if they do, it is because they’ve lifted elements of his unique and instantly recognizable style of playing.

Jones plays predominantly in drop D tuning and he ALWAYS plays a Gibson Les Paul Custom. But beyond these constants, his sound – and the way he plays – is constantly evolving. From TOOL’s first sludge/grunge-infused LP, Undertow, to the soaring prog-drenched highs of Lateralus and 10,000 Days, Jones’ guitar playing is as majestic as it is heavy.

What’s really cool about nearly all of Jones’ guitar parts, however, is that they are seldom complicated, with the exception of a few songs (Jambi, for instance, uses a truly bonkers pull-off technique). Instead, Jones is more focused on rhythm and feeling. He’s also penned some of the most iconic metal riffs of all time – riffs like 46 And 2, Push It, Stinkfist, Sober, and Schism to name just a few.

But who were the guitarists that inspired Adam Jones? Who were the biggest influences to him when he was growing up and learning to play and hone his own unique sound? As always, there’s a few well-known influences as well as a couple of more esoteric ones.

Adam Jones’ Biggest Influences

Adam Jones Names The Guitarists That Influenced Him Most

Buzz Osbourne

Everybody loves Buzz. As the main songwriter and driving force behind the Melvins, Buzz Osbourne is one of the most influential guitarists alive and working today. Buzz has inspired the playing style of everyone from Adam Jones to Kurt Cobain.

Here’s what Jones had to say about how Buzz Osbourne influenced him:

Buzz’s playing has those same qualities of attitude and discipline that I learned from Fripp. The Melvins’ style is also so brutal. They rip their guts out every time they play.

Where I do more of a shoegazer thing onstage, Buzz will microwave a crowd. Many people don’t recognize the Melvins’ importance, and unfortunately, they probably won’t until the band’s dead and gone.

Adam Jones

Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp is/was the guitar player in the seminal prog-rock band King Crimson. Fripp is well known for his masterful songwriting, amazing dexterity, and being the driving force behind one of the most influential and experimental bands to ever walk the earth. Jones is a massive fan of Robert Fripp.

Fripp’s playing caused me to ‘wake up’ to music when I was younger. Later, when we were to tour with King Crimson, I remember being horrifically nervous to meet him. But he was so gracious and ended up teaching me the two most important things about playing: attitude and discipline.

Adam Jones

Ronald Jones

Ronald Jones used to play in The Flaming Lips and is something of a legend these days. Revered for his unique and, at times, bonkers style of playing, Jones was famous for his effects pedals, unique approach to tone creation, and, of course, his ability to write killer riffs and lead.

Ronald Jones was this completely innovative guitarist that used to play in the Flaming Lips. He used to play with a quarter for a pick, so he could slide it down the strings. I’ve also never seen a guitarist with so many effect pedals.

But like the King Crimson guys, Ronald was so good at incorporating new technology tastefully. He’s another guy that played from his heart and not his head.

Adam Jones


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Richard

Richard has been playing guitar for over a decade and is a huge fan of metal, doom, sludge, and rock music in general – though mostly metal. Having played in bands and worked in studios since the early 2000s, Richard is a massive music production geek, a fan of minimalist recording techniques, and he really likes old-school guitars.

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