What does distortion sound like? Well it is certainly easy to identify in its most severe form. Many years ago a blues player with an electric guitar and a small amplifier cranked up his volume in order to reach listeners in a venue larger than normal for him. He cranked up so high that the amp went into serious clipping. That might cook a modern solid state amp that doesn't have a thermal shutdown feature. It was an old tube amp and the sound simply became fuzzy and sounded like 50 guitars all playing very slightly off tune. An engineer would say it sounded something like a square wave. Strangely it caught on and, to this day, blues and rock players use the same sound although generated in a different way. That's the sound of distortion.