When you first start building your pedal board it can be overwhelming. As a beginning electric guitar player I remember having no clue what I needed and what it was going to cost. Naturally, I looked on the boards of guitarists I liked and was dumbfounded by the size of their boards and the price it was going to cost me to obtain those boutique tones. Picking out guitar pedals was a balancing act between finding great tone at a great price.
Since I first started guitar the pedal world has grown 10 times its size, and with it the availability of good affordable pedals. Here is the list of pedals I wish I had as a beginning guitar player.
1. TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini Chromatic Tuner
An out of tune guitar can make a beautiful melody sound like a bag of angry cats. In my experience beginners who struggle with “chords sounding right” just need to tune. After all it doesn’t matter how many riffs you know, if your guitar is out of tune it is going to sound like garbage. If you only take one thing away from this article make it this. Do yourself a favor and get a tuner.
The Soul Food is a transparent overdrive with great touch sensitivity and only 3 knobs, this pedal was built for beginners. You can’t call yourself a guitarist if you don’t have at least one overdrive pedal and the soul food is arguably the best bang for your buck. Based on the 2,000USD Klon Centaur; this 80 dollar pedal is virtually indistinguishable from the Klon in a live setting. The soul foods holds it own against most overdrives for a fraction of the price.
Delay is a requirement for any pedal board. There are so many high end option out right now it is a bit overwhelming. Every pedal company right now is competing to create the most versatile ambient noise maker on the market. Delay pedals have begun to resemble small computers. But not everybody has the cash to put 500 dollars on a single pedal. That is why the TC Electronic Flashback Mini Delay is a great pedal for beginners. Not only is it inexpensive but it covers a lot of ground. With 7 seconds of delay time the mini pedal also has tone print capabilities and tap tempo. What is tone print you might ask? Well using your smartphone you can beam different delay sounds sounds directly to your pedal. Your can recreate pristine digital delay tones or go for something more low fi. The Flashback is also very simple to use. You won't be wasting valuable practice time flipping through settings and reading manuals.
Choose from seven different reverb options. From the essential hall, spring, plate and room to unique reverse, modulated, and halo settings. The Lexicon covers a lot of ground while remaining affordable and easy to use. With only 4 knobs users will be able to control the liveliness, level, reverb type and decay. It also has a independent toggle switch to control the tail of the reverb. It offers a lot of control and versatility.
It is important to note that this list isn't intended to be the end all. This is merely a starting point for people who are just getting into guitar effects. Looking back I made a lot of mistakes in regards to my pedal purchases and hopefully this sears people in the right directions.
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