This project explores the musical and cultural relevance of the electric guitar in popular music. As one of the fundamental differences to the acoustic guitar, distortion determines the playability and expressiveness of the electric guitar. Central themes explored in the project are effects of distortion on solo guitar playing (e.g. playing techniques, ‘shredding’) and on rhythm guitar riffs (e.g. interrelation of distortion level and consonance perception, rock harmony), as well as recording techniques and practices, guitar amplification technologies, genre-specific guitar equipment and rock aesthetics.