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Author Topic: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?  (Read 2957 times)

Offline Angry Monk

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Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« on: January 30, 2017, 09:35:56 AM »
Just bought an electric guitar. Just wondering if there is a particular pedal I should buy first. The amp I have has an overdrive option, so I don't think I need a distortion pedal immediately.
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Offline Dizzy

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 12:15:02 PM »
Welcome to the world of electric guitars! I hope you're ready for GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) to set it. I don't know a guitarist without it!

First, to answer that question, it would help to know what guitar and amp you currently have, and what music you intend to play, what guitarist you like, etc...

Offline Angry Monk

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 12:35:09 PM »
I bought a Squier Strat (Affinity). It came with a Fender Frontman amp (15 W). I will be playing classic rock and punk (Ramones, Clash). Thanks, Dizzy.
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Offline DocMindwipe

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2017, 12:47:27 PM »
Go with Angus Young for now.... now effect pedals, just pure and raw rock'n'roll, guitar plugged straight into the amp ;)

Offline Dizzy

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 01:32:23 PM »
So big tips for beginners, don't over use your distortion or overdrive whichever it is. A big mistake made is that beginners like to think things are a lot more distorted than they are. Many of the big classic rock guitarist were only slightly overdriven to keep clarity. Also, just know that reproducing tube amp distortion just won't happen. Does your amp have reverb built in? I'm a big classic rock guy myself, so I've spent a lot of time picking up Jimmy Page, Dave Gilmour, Brian May, Angus Young, Eric Clapton, EVH. I'd say they're all my big influences.

I think for now, you can stick with just your built in overdrive. I'm not sure if you were playing acoustic before or not. If you're brand new to guitar than that should hold you for now. Once you start learning more pieces, you'll start to become more aware of what tones guitarist you like use.

For me, my bread and butter sound is just using my amps drive, and cleaning it up by rolling off the volume on my guitar. If I need a boost for solo, I use some form of overdrive. I typically use an Ibanez Tubescreamer, but sometimes use a trebleboost, blues driver, etc... The only pedal I use all of the time, is my Xotic EP booster, based on the echoplex tape delay (thought this has no delay circuit) known to be used by Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen. I feel it thickens my guitar tone slightly, so I never turn it off. I suppose I always have reverb on too, but it is in my amp. I wouldn't say it is necessary for learning or bedroom levels.

These are the pedals I use on occasion (tried to put in order of most to least used):
Phaser: sometimes turned low for a chorus sound, or cranked for some more EVH style use
Compressor: I like to use this on my cleans. I really love the Xotic SP Compressor. Gives me some bell like sounds. I feel this makes my clean leads really sparkle.
Wah: Hendrix, or funk, or just for some odd tones. Sometimes I use this as a treble boost, just turn it on and leave it all the way down. You can hear this on some early Zeppelin records.
Delay: U2, Floyd, some Queen sounds. Sometimes just to thicken up a songs intro if there isn't much to go on and it isn't too heavy.

Your guitars pickup selector and your tone and volume knobs will be your most used tools. Standard wiring on a strat is to have one tone control on the neck pickup, and one for the middle. I rewired both of my strats to have 1 tone control the bridge, and the other to control both the middle and neck pickups. You may find when practicing at home that the bridge pickup sounds very trebly and like you're hammering icepicks. It doesn't sound pleasant in that setting, but often, especially when overdriven, it is the best sound to cut through a band. I'd say I spend at least 75% of the time on my bridge pickup, especially when overdriven. If it is clean, I use the neck a lot more. I really like Neck + Middle on clean for a country sound, Middle and Bridge for funk. It'll take some time, but by messing with your pickup selector you'll find a variety of tones, especially on a strat. My strat is by far my goto work horse as it can be the most versatile by far. If I'm only taking one guitar with me, it is my strat, even though I honestly prefer my les paul for a lot of what I play. I mod the hell out of all of my guitars however. I've still got a squire strat of my own that I've modded the hell out of and like to bring with me sometimes.

Doc is pretty spot on with that Angus Young sound. His tone for the majority of it is just straight guitar and marshall amp.

Offline Angry Monk

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 02:28:33 PM »
I am humbled by this reply Diz. Thank you. I will have to print this out and try to the different settings. Cheers!
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Offline Dizzy

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 05:56:02 PM »
You're welcome! I spend a lot of time practicing, and teach a few kiddos. For pedals, honestly, stick with what you have for now. Once you feel pretty proficient, it's probably better worth it to save up for a multi-effect. Most of my live playing has used a multi-effect for awhile. I still have a tube amp and an array of effect pedals, but I find they're more of a pain to work with as you have to change the settings in basically every room. My multi-effect works essentially the same everywhere, plus gives me access to lots of expensive tube amp tones I can't get elsewhere. Guitarist can be gear snobs though, so if you don't mind that, they're a simple, and far cheaper way to go. Sure as hell saves my back too!

Offline Maegnarval

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 06:00:08 PM »
Go with Angus Young for now.... now effect pedals, just pure and raw rock'n'roll, guitar plugged straight into the amp ;)

That's how I play it ! No Pedals and no whammy bars.

I use a Gibson Epiphone Custom triple pick-up G400 and a Custom Les Paul triple pick-up Ace Frehley guitar with a Marshall VS65R Amp !

Offline Angry Monk

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 06:58:49 PM »
 8) ROCK 'N' ROLL!
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Offline DocMindwipe

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 11:20:09 AM »
Doc is pretty spot on with that Angus Young sound. His tone for the majority of it is just straight guitar and marshall amp.

Not just "pretty spot on" I have it from interview with some of Angus' stagecrew.... .he (the stagecrew guy) said something akin to "Angus came up to me, asked to borrow my pedal, plugged his guitar in and then as he stepped on it said 'so what does it do? And why should use one?' not realising the pedal was out of battery and thus just put the sound straight through without doing anything with it" {paraphrased}

But yeah. If Angus Young can drive hordes of 50.000 completely mad at the Manchester Arena (as Axl/DC did last year) without any effect pads at all, then it's good enough for most people, at least untill they pick up speed and start searching out their own unique sound-picture, IMO

Offline Dizzy

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 01:08:17 PM »
But yeah. If Angus Young can drive hordes of 50.000 completely mad at the Manchester Arena (as Axl/DC did last year) without any effect pads at all, then it's good enough for most people, at least untill they pick up speed and start searching out their own unique sound-picture, IMO

That is essentially what I was suggesting. Save pedals until you're feeling really competent in your playing and you know what you want to do, and what you want to play.

Offline DadsAngry

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2017, 02:51:07 PM »
Don't invest into individual pedals just yet. Individual pedal can be costly and as a beginner I'd suggest getting a multi-effect unit, rack or floor model if you did go this route. This way you can explore the different effects that are out their. Once you understand what these effect do to your sound then you can start hunting down the good quality pedals. Check your local guitar shop for used or craigslist for antiquated units. I'm luckily and live in a very populated area of musicians so I'm been able to pick up older effects units and preamps for under $50, mostly through craiglist. Alway do your research and try out the equipment before you make the deal.

Though effects are great to have, and can help entertain the novice player through the trials of improvement, pick-ups, your amp, and guitar playability and construction are the most important items to really focus on. Once you settled in on a couple effect that you like or a multi-effect unit focus on the core or your tone. If you can get all three to your liking adding effect will only enhance it. Effects won't improve your sound if you amp, pick-ups or guitars isn't producing the tone you want. Trust me I've gone through may guitars, pick-ups and amps until I found a tone that made me happy.

My pedal and effect collection is thus:
Ibanez Weeping Demon (wah wah pedal)
Pro Rat (distortion)
English Muff'n (Fuzz)
Marshall Govn'er Clone (Overdrive - from General Guitar Gadgets do it yourself kit)
Ibanez UE400 (old mulit-effects rack unit from the 90s)
Digitech GSP 7 (multi-effect rack-unit)
Digitech RDS 900 (delay rack unit)
ADA MP-1 (preamp and multi-effect rack-unit)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 08:34:56 AM by DadsAngry »

Offline Angry Monk

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Re: Just bought an electric guitar. What pedal should I buy first?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2017, 08:55:58 PM »
Thank you, DadsAngry. I will follow the advice and learn to play "electric" guitar without worrying about effects.
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