If you have practiced your licks, put in your hours, but still want to spice up your playing, effects pedals are a great place to start. There are thousands of different pedals, ranging from distortion pedals to wah pedals, and everything in between.
There are pedals that can raise the pitch of a note, and pedals that can make that note bounce. With all of these choices, how do you pick the pedals best for your playing? With our help, of course.
Before we get into pedals, there is something you should take into consideration. Pedals should not be used to cover up blemishes or hide sloppy playing. Many guitarists think that instead of practicing, they can just buy a wah pedal or enough effects pedals in general to cover up their playing.
This isn’t what effects pedals are meant for.
Effects pedals are meant to supplement your playing, to give it a creative edge. Of course, to bring your guitar effects to its full potential, you need to understand how to use and connect guitar effects. This means that you will still need to practice hard and put in your hours of dedication to achieve a skill level worthy of the techniques you wish to employ with or without said pedals.
So now let’s get into the meat; what are some of the best effects pedals for experimental guitarists?
Two of the best pedals for any guitarist using distortion on a tube amp are the Ibanez TS09 and the Maxon OD808. Maxon used to make the old TS07 tube screamers, so if you can find one, that would be great as well. Unlike their name suggests, these pedals don’t need to be used to make your amp overly distorted.
In fact, the reason they are being brought to attention is for entirely different purposes; these pedals can tighten up your distortion. Tightening up your distortion will help you to achieve not only a better live sound, but a better recording sound as well. To use either of these pedals to tighten up your distortion, simply select your preferred amount of distortion on your amp and set the pedals distortion to zero, or all the way off.
The Boss DD-7 is one of the best pedals in this market, and for good reason. The delay offered by the DD-7 is not only adjustable, as it should be, but it is also rich. Many digital delay pedals sound frail and flimsy, but the DD-7 sounds wholesome, not taking away from your original tone.
Our third effects pedal to use is, of course, the wah pedal. Hands down the most popular wah pedal on the market is the Morley Bad Horsie wah pedal. This wah can scream high and bellow low. Not only is this the same wah Steve Vai used on the track of the same title, but this is one of the most efficient and wholesome pedals available to add that little extra bit to your solo or riff.
Finally, our last pedal is the chorus pedal, namely the Boss CE-5. Boss has a reputation for making great pedals, and the chorus is no exception. This pedal can add a world of depth to your guitar solos, making them shimmer and shine just like they should.
Now that you know some great effects pedals to use, go try them out, and see which ones you enjoy!
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