3 Essential Guitar Pedals

3 Essential Guitar Pedals

Guitar Pedals

Following on from Rich’s recent post on how to “Build Your First Guitar Pedalboard” today we are looking at three essential guitar pedals that all guitarists should consider for inclusion on their first pedalboard. These pedals will provide the foundation to your pedalboard as it expands and start as a fantastic base point for guitarists of all genres.

1. Tuner Pedal

It is hard to rock with an out of tune guitar! Almost all guitarist, no matter which genre that they play, will start their pedal train off with tuning pedal. One of the most popular pedals for tuning the guitar, especially during those awkward interludes on stage between songs as the lights dim and you release that your guitar has been knocked out of tune during the last song, is the Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal. Widely used, you can press the pedal to tune your guitar using the light display without the crowd hearing your attempts to get it back in tube before the next song starts!

2. Overdrive/Distortion

The Ibanez Tube Screamer (TS808 Overdrive Pedal) is often hailed as one of the best overdrive/ distortion pedals of all times and will deliver a warm natural tube overdrive sound for lead solos, as well as rhythmic overdrive guitar sections. The Boss DS-1 is also an extremely popular choice as a first distortion pedal for a guitarist – used by the likes of Kurt Cobain, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.

3. Delay

If I was only able to choose to have three guitar pedals on stage my third pedal of choice, after a tuner and a distortion pedal would be a digital delay pedal, enabling me to create a huge array of different sounds and textures with a guitar. This can vary from an “classic echo” sound – as if you were playing the guitar in a cave – to a slap-back delay that sounds like each note is bouncing back from a wall to create a repeated note. The Boss Digital Delay DD-7 is a great entry level pedal to achieve these different textures as well as hours of fun at home playing around with how the effect can influence a feel of a riff.

In conclusion, with so many guitar pedals on the market offering so many different possibilities it is sometimes hard know where to start when buying your first few pedals. Starting with a solid tuner, overdrive/distortion and delay pedal will provide a great foundation to any pedalboard – even as it expands to include pedals that can provide completely different sounds and textures that these three pedals cannot. Moreover, an guitarist can pick up a quality pedal in these three categories without breaking the bank – so they are an excellent place to start.

Thanks for reading,
Matthew @mgrmusic.com 

About the author:

Matthew has helped to develop MGR Music (https://mgrmusic.com), a free music resource website for music teachers and students across the UK, helping to promote learning music to new learners of all ages. Alongside a small community of likeminded music teachers they look to encourage new learners, especially younger students, to take up learning a new musical instrument and invest time in really learning how to play it – a tough challenge in the modern world with all the distractions that the internet, mobile apps and online gaming brings!

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