The first guitar I ever bought, 14 years ago, was a bright green Hamer Slammer Series electric guitar. Next I bought a Dean Markley practice amp and of course what every electric guitar player wants next…effects pedals. I bought a DOD grunge distortion pedal, a DOD chorus pedal and a Dunlop Crybaby wah. No idea how to use any of them at the time, but it began my love of pedals and experimenting with effects.

Some pedals have come and gone over the years and I don’t miss them at all (ie. DOD grunge & chorus pedals, Danelectro Fab Tone distortion and Boss DS-1 distortion). Then there are a few that I got rid of that I do miss (ie. Electro-Harmonix Small Clone chorus, Boss OD-20 distortion, and MXR Phase 90).

My pedal set up seems to always be in flux, but my current set up is one that I have had for quite a few years now and am very happy with it. The current set up includes: Boss TU-2 tuner, Boss GE-7 EQ, Dunlop Crybaby wah, Boss OD-3 overdrive, Digitech Whammy, Boss NS-2 noise suppressor, Boss TR-2 tremolo, Line 6 DL-4 delay, and a Danelctro Dan Echo delay.

Pedals I would consider adding to the mix: re-buys of the Electro-Harmonix Small Clone & MXR Phase 90, maybe one from the Electro-Harmonix line of  Deluxe Memory Man/Boy delay pedals, and one I’ve never found yet…a really heavy and tight sounding distortion pedal (please share if you know of one).

Pedals are to a guitar player what paints are to a painter. There are just limitless options for sounds with the layering and manipulating of effects. Can they be over used? Absolutely! We all know a guy who loves to crank his chorus or phase to 100%. But if used tastefully, effects pedals can create absolutely incredible landscapes of sound.

What are the “must have” effects in your set up?

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