If you’re a beginning guitar player are you happy with your guitar and amp set up? Are you trying to imitate the sound of your favorite guitarist but having problems recreating that sound. It’s because most professional guitarists don’t just use a guitar and amp, there are few like Angus Young of AC/DC who plug directly into the amp with no extra effects, but that’s a rarity. Most guitarists use a combination of at least three effects to get their sound, distortion, delay, and chorus. You can use multi effects pedals to get your sound or you can use dedicated guitar effects pedals. Let’s take a look at what they do and why you should have them in your guitar effects pedal board.
Distortion is the most popular effect added to an electric guitar, it’s “the” sound people think about when they think of electric guitar. Different styles will call for different types and different levels of this effect. If you’re playing metal you want a heavy “crunchy” sound, if you’re playing blues or “guitar rock” you might want a warmer sound. Even country players use distortion, they’ll add just a little bit to their clean guitar sound, not enough to be really evident as distortion, but just enough to give their sound some bite, so that it cuts through. The Boss distortion pedal, the DS-1 is probably one of the most used of all times. Kurt Cobain used it in his stage rig (although he’d switched to a DS-2 by ’94), and someone as diverse as Joe Satriani has also used the DS-1 pedal.
Delay is another basic guitar effect, it’s related to reverb. Think of delay as the sound of the room your in. If you’re in a big room it sounds boomy, if you’re in a small room it sounds brighter and more distinct. The sound of a room is related to the sounds reflected off the walls. In any size room you’ll hear the original and then the sound that is reflected off the walls. That delayed sound is what lets your ears know how big the room is. Reverb is similar, it’s just that the sounds bounced off the walls aren’t as distinct. Most guitarists use delay pedals set to a short delay time, (slapback delay). It sort of sounds like being in a concrete stairwell, a good example is a country “chicken picken” sound. Other guitarist use delay times so long that their are distinct echos, The Edge in the band U2 being a good example. What delay does is make you perceive the sound as being “thicker” almost like there were two guitars playing. Some pedals can create a delay and reverb sound.
The third bread and butter guitar effects pedal you should have is a chorus. What a chorus does is split your sound and slightly delay one one of the signals. Imagine two people were playing guitar together. They can never play perfectly together, one will always start a split second late or early. That’s what a chorus does. You’re probably thinking what’s the difference between that and a delay? Well, if you set your delay times small enough you will hear a chorus type sound. A chorus will also detune one of the signals by a minuscule amount increasing the effect of their being two guitarists playing. The perceived effect is a thicker guitar sound. Both delay and chorus can be used with a clean sound or a distorted sound.
So, those three guitar pedals are the bedrock of an electric guitar sound, you can find at least one of them in most guitarists pedal board. It’s hard to say what is the best guitar effects pedal, it really comes down to a personal preference. There are some effects used by famous guitarists, other people buy that pedal to copy that sound. After awhile that sound kind of becomes the “standard”, that makes it popular, but what’s the best guitar effects pedal is up to you. If you still need more information on reverb guitar pedals, simply visit their official website here.
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