Pearl Jam emerged from the vibrant Seattle music scene in the early 1990s, quickly rising to become one of the most influential and enduring bands in rock and grunge history. Formed in 1990, the band consists of Eddie Vedder (vocals), Mike McCready (lead guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), and Matt Cameron (drums). Their debut album "Ten" (1991) catapulted them to fame, with anthemic hits like "Alive," "Even Flow," and "Jeremy."

In this blog, we’re going to run through what gear the band are using in celebration of their new album “Dark Matter” being released on April 14th, so without further ado, let’s dive in!

Eddie Vedder

Eddie Vedder, the iconic frontman of Pearl Jam, stands as a beacon of authenticity and unfiltered passion within the grunge rock world. Known for his raw, emotive vocals, introspective lyrics and occasionally climbing the odd stage scaffolding, Vedder's presence on stage is nothing short of magnetic. His enduring influence as a musician and activist cements his place as a legend in rock history.

What Guitar Does Eddie Vedder Use?

Fender Custom Telecaster Modified

Over the years between Pearl Jam and his own solo ventures, Eddie Vedder has used many modified telecasters throughout the years, this just so happens to be one of his main guitars. Fitted with a P90 pickup in the neck position.

Affordable Alternatives

Antiquity TL1 Electric Guitar

Ideal for any beginner or someone looking to make their very own modified Telecaster, the Antiquity TL1 offers the perfect blank canvas. With high-quality wood used  in the body and neck, users can expect exceptional playability whilst also being able to customise it to your needs. To get Mr Vedder’s custom Telecaster set up, we recommend any P90 in the neck and either use the stock bridge pickup or upgrade it to a different single coil.

Mike McCready

With his distinctive style, Mike McCready's guitar playing is a defining element of Pearl Jam's sound. Inspired by legendary guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, McCready's playing blends elements of classic rock, blues, and punk. His soulful and emotive solos, coupled with his raw energy on stage, have made him a celebrated figure in the world of rock guitar.

McCready's guitar work on songs like "Alive," "Even Flow," and "Yellow Ledbetter" has become iconic within the rock genre, showcasing his ability to craft memorable and impactful riffs. Beyond Pearl Jam, he has contributed to various side projects and collaborations, including the supergroup Mad Season.

What Guitar Does Mike McCready Use?

Fender Mike McCready Stratocaster RW, 3-Color Sunburst

The Fender Mike McCready Stratocaster in 3-Color Sunburst pays homage to the legendary Pearl Jam guitarist with its vintage-inspired design and road-worn finish. Crafted to capture the essence of Mike McCready's iconic tones and playing style, this guitar is the definitive tribute to the rock legend. 

Featuring an alder body known for its balanced tone, a "Road Worn" lacquer finish that replicates the natural wear of McCready's own instrument, and a 9.5" radius slab rosewood fingerboard for warm tones and comfortable playability. 

The slim "C" neck profile ensures a fast and smooth playing experience, while the custom Mike McCready vintage-style Strat pickups deliver the signature single-coil tones associated with the guitarist. Completing the package is a vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge, perfect for expressive pitch modulation. Whether you're a die-hard Pearl Jam fan or a guitarist looking to recreate McCready's iconic sound, the Fender Mike McCready Stratocaster is a fitting choice that captures the spirit of one of rock's most influential figures.

Gibson ‘59 Les Paul

An icon in the guitar world before it’s even plugged in, the Gibson 1959 Les Paul is considered one of the most legendary six-string among guitar players, having been used by the likes of Joe Perry, Jimmy Page and many more. For McCready, he likes to use the 59 Les Paul for songs like ‘Alive’ during live shows.

What Amplifier Does Mike McCready Use?

One for traditional amps, McCready has used a wide variety of amps over the years, varying from Marshall, Fender and some others that might surprise you, let’s have a look.

Rola Amps Lead Custom Amp Head

The Rola Amps Lead Custom is the brand’s top-selling and most versatile amplifier model to date, reaching high acclaim. It's been embraced by a range of notable musicians, including the likes of Rick Beato, Mike McCready from Pearl Jam, Tony Reed of Mos Generator, Ryan Waters of Heart, Jeff Rouse of Gemini, and numerous others.

Featuring two channels, this amp seamlessly transitions from clean to mean at the tap of a footswitch. Each channel boasts its own volume control for precise gain adjustment. The real magic comes with the inclusion of the LarMar post-phase inverter master volume, making the Lead Custom deliver optimal performance in any venue, whether it's a bedroom, garage, bar, or stadium setting.

Marshall 4x12 Cabinet

The Marshall 4x12 cabinet is a legendary piece of gear known for its powerful sound and stage presence. Featuring four Celestion speakers, it handles high-powered amplifiers from 100 to 300 watts. Built with sturdy materials, it's designed to withstand touring. With mono or stereo operation options, it offers versatility for various setups. The classic Marshall design with black tolex, gold piping, and iconic logo is instantly recognisable. This cabinet delivers a punchy, rock-ready sound favoured by guitarists in genres like rock and metal. Trusted by musicians worldwide, the Marshall 4x12 remains a staple on stages for its durability and legendary tone.

However recently Mike McCready has had a change of mind and gone digital…

Fender Tone Master Pro Multi-Effects Pedal

Praising them for their adaptability whilst Mike is jumping between various styles during live shows, the Fender Tone Master Pro Multi-Effects Pedal features over 100 iconic amps and effects, including Fender classics and the EVH 5150 III Stealth model, the Tone Master Pro delivers authentic tones crafted with Fender's proprietary Tone Master Modelling process. With access to over 6,000 Fender-captured Impulse Responses (IRs) and support for 3rd Party IRs, guitarists can explore a vast tonal landscape. The unit's true preset spillover feature ensures seamless transitions between presets, even for delay and reverb tails.

Navigating the Tone Master Pro is intuitive with its 7" colour touchscreen display, allowing easy preset creation, footswitch customisation, and setlist organisation. Editing presets is straightforward using the 10 custom-designed footswitch encoders and LCD "scribble strips." Connect to the Tone Master Pro Control app via USB for editing, sharing, and downloading presets. Additionally, versatile connectivity options such as instrument and XLR mic inputs, 4 effects loops, and MIDI I/O offer comprehensive control and integration with external gear. Whether in the studio or on stage, the Tone Master Pro is the ultimate tool for crafting and sharing inspiring tones.

What Pedals Does Mike McCready Use?

It's worth noting that McCready's pedal setup is not static, and that he’s experimented with different pedals or combinations of pedals depending on the musical context. Additionally, he's known for his improvisational approach, often incorporating spontaneous pedal manipulations into his live performances.

Ibanez Tube Screamer: McCready is often associated with the Tube Screamer, a classic overdrive pedal that adds warmth and crunch to his tone, particularly for solos.

MXR Phase 90: This iconic phaser pedal is a staple in McCready's arsenal, adding swirling modulation to his guitar sound, as heard in songs like "Alive."

Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi: Known for its fuzz-laden tones, the Big Muff Pi is another pedal frequently seen on McCready's pedalboard, delivering thick and heavy distortion.

Digitech Whammy: The Whammy pedal is used by McCready to create dramatic pitch-shifting effects, allowing him to mimic dive bombs and other unique sounds.

Boss DD-3 Digital Delay: McCready incorporates delay effects into his playing for added depth and atmosphere, and the DD-3 is a reliable choice for its clarity and versatility.

TC Electronic Flashback Delay: Another delay pedal that McCready has uses is the Flashback Delay, which offers a range of delay types and customisable settings.

Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress Flanger/Filter Matrix: This pedal provides McCready with lush flanger effects, adding movement and texture to his guitar sound.

Dunlop Cry Baby Wah: The Cry Baby Wah pedal is a classic choice for achieving dynamic filtering effects, adding expressive sweeps to McCready's solos.

TC Electronic Corona Chorus: McCready has been known to use chorus effects to thicken his guitar tone, and the Corona Chorus offers a variety of lush modulation sounds.

EHX POG (Polyphonic Octave Generator): McCready incorporates octave effects into his playing for added depth and richness, and the POG allows him to create octave-up and octave-down sounds.

Stone Gossard

Stone Gossard, the rhythm guitarist and co-founder of Pearl Jam, helped shape the band's iconic sound. As a pivotal figure in the Seattle grunge scene, Gossard co-founded Pearl Jam in 1990 after the dissolution of Mother Love Bone. 

His powerful riffs and melodic sensibility defined Pearl Jam's early hits like "Alive" and "Jeremy" from the album "Ten" (1991). Gossard continued to contribute his distinctive guitar style to subsequent albums such as "Vs." (1993) and "Vitalogy" (1994). Beyond Pearl Jam, he formed the band Brad and collaborated on various projects, leaving an undeniable mark on the landscape of rock music.

What Guitar Does Stone Gossard Play?

Overall, Gossard's guitar choices reflect his eclectic taste and his desire to explore different sonic textures and tonal possibilities. Whether he's playing a Stratocaster for its versatility or a Les Paul for its power, Gossard's guitar selection enhances the dynamic range and musicality of Pearl Jam's sound.  

Gibson Les Paul Custom

A staple in Gossard's guitar collection is the Gibson Les Paul, Stone’s Gibson Les Paul Customs come equipped with mighty Duncan Alnico II pickups. Known for its thick, warm tone and sustain, the Les Paul is favoured by many rock guitarists for its powerful sound and iconic design.

What Amp Does Stone Gossard Use?

Satellite Atom 36-Watt Amp Head

What Pedals Does Stone Gossard Use?

Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor: Gossard keeps his sound clean and free from unwanted hum and buzz with the NS-2 Noise Suppressor, ensuring his tone stays clear and focused, even when cranking up the volume.

Origin Effects SlideRIG: Gossard adds a touch of smooth compression to his playing with the SlideRIG, helping to even out his dynamics and provide a more consistent sound, whether he's strumming chords or picking out delicate melodies.

DOD FX40B Equalizer: Fine-tuning his tone to perfection, Gossard shapes his sound with the FX40B Equalizer, adjusting frequencies to suit different guitars and amplifiers, and ensuring his guitar sits just right in the mix.

Fulltone Mini DejaVibe MDV-1: Gossard adds some vintage flavor to his sound with the Mini DejaVibe, dialing in swirling Univibe and rotary speaker effects to add depth and movement to his guitar parts.

Fulltone Full-Drive2 Mosfet: Gossard finds his overdrive sweet spot with the Full-Drive2 Mosfet, blending creamy saturation and touch-sensitive response for a range of expressive tones, from gritty blues to soaring rock.

TC Electronic PolyTune: Gossard stays in tune on stage with the PolyTune, quickly checking his guitar's tuning with its polyphonic mode, ensuring he's always ready to deliver pitch-perfect performances.

Ernie Ball Volume Pedal: Gossard controls his dynamics with finesse using the Ernie Ball Volume Pedal, smoothly adjusting his guitar's volume for dynamic swells and subtle fades.

MXR M117R Flanger: Adding a touch of modulation to his sound, Gossard incorporates the M117R Flanger for some subtle jet-plane swooshes and psychedelic textures, adding depth and character to his guitar sound.

Matt Cameron

Joining the band in 1998, Matt Cameron joined the ranks following the departure of their original drummer, Dave Abbruzzese, and has been an integral part of the band's lineup ever since. 

What Drum Kit Does Matt Cameron Play?

Yamaha Drums

The Live Custom series is crafted with a specific emphasis on live performances, utilising 1.2mm oak plies that are 10% thicker compared to our Oak Custom drums. The bass drum shells consist of eight-ply designs, while the tom, floor tom, and snare shells are built with six plies. This construction results in a sound that boasts enhanced strength and depth, offering a rich, expressive quality that goes beyond expectations. 

Additionally, the hardware is designed with innovative ideas to ensure remarkable stability and reliability, even in the demanding stage environment. Oak's distinct sound is characterised by clarity and definition, with a powerful low-end that resonates deeply. Whether on stage or in the studio, the Live Custom series delivers a bold, rich tone with an impressive presence.

Yamaha Oak Custom drum kit components: 12x8-inch rack tom; 13x9-inch rack tom; 16x14-inch floor tom; 18x16-inch floor tom; 24x14-inch bass drum.

What Snare Does Matt Cameron Use?

Gregg Keplinger 14-inch Snare

The Gregg Keplinger 14-inch Snare is a vital component of Matt Cameron's drum setup, contributing to Pearl Jam's signature sound. Crafted with precision, this snare drum delivers a crisp, responsive tone, cutting through the mix with clarity. Paired with Cameron's selection of Zildjian cymbals and Yamaha drums, it forms the rhythmic backbone of Pearl Jam's music, driving their dynamic performances and captivating audiences worldwide.

What Cymbals Does Matt Cameron Use?

Zildjian 14-inch K Light Hats: Offer crisp, articulate rhythms, favored by Cameron for dynamic drumming.

Zildjian 17-inch K Custom Dark Crash: Delivers impactful accents with its dark, explosive sound, a staple in his setup.

Zildjian 18-inch K Crash Ride: Achieves a balanced blend of crash and ride tones, perfect for versatile playing in Cameron's repertoire.

Zildjian 19-inch Projection Crash: Adds a bright, cutting edge to the cymbal arsenal, enhancing the overall sound.

Zildjian 20-inch Rezo Crash: Provides explosive crashes and shimmering sustain, elevating performances.

Zildjian 22-inch A Medium Ride: Offers clear stick definition and a balanced wash, ideal for various musical styles, including those favored by Cameron.

Jeff Ament

Serving as the accomplished bassist and a founding member of the band, Jeff Ament is a pivotal figure within not only the band but Seattle's 1980s music scene. Within Pearl Jam, Ament's bass playing is synonymous with the band's distinctive sound. Renowned for his melodic bass lines and musical versatility, he provides a solid rhythmic foundation while adding layers of depth to their compositions. Ament is also a skilled visual artist, designing numerous album covers and posters for the band.

What Bass Does Jeff Ament Play?

Known for using a variety of bass guitars throughout his career, it’s safe to say there’s an endless list to go through. While his exact bass choices may vary depending on the era and specific recording or touring needs, he has been seen using several notable bass guitars. Some of the basses Jeff Ament has been known to use include:

Fender Precision Bass: A classic choice among bassists, the Fender Precision Bass is known for its rich, deep tone and solid construction. Ament has been seen using various models of the Precision Bass throughout his career.

Music Man StingRay: Another iconic bass guitar, the Music Man StingRay is favoured for its powerful sound and comfortable playability. Ament has been spotted playing StingRay basses on stage.

Rickenbacker Basses: Known for their distinct tone and appearance, Rickenbacker basses have been used by Ament on certain recordings and performances. These basses are often associated with a bright, punchy sound.

Gibson Thunderbird: Ament has also been seen using Gibson Thunderbird basses, which are known for their unique body shape and powerful, deep tone.

Zon Basses: Ament has used Zon bass guitars, known for their innovative designs and high-quality craftsmanship. These basses offer a modern, versatile sound suitable for various musical styles.

In this comprehensive Pearl Jam gear guide, we've delved into the iconic instruments and equipment favored by the band members, from Eddie Vedder's modified Fender Custom Telecaster to Matt Cameron's meticulously selected drum kit and cymbal setup. Exploring the guitars, amplifiers, pedals, and drums used by Pearl Jam offers insight into the landscape that has shaped their legendary sound. Whether you're a dedicated fan seeking to replicate their tone or a musician looking for inspiration, understanding the gear behind Pearl Jam's music is key. If you have any further questions or queries about achieving your desired sound, don't hesitate to reach out to PMT Online or visit your local store to speak with one of our experts.