Top 5 Erroneous Guitar Pedal Purchases

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HEY GUYS! SO many of you have been asking me for a blog on the top 5 Erroneous Guitar Pedal Purchases by guitarists. Well, here it is!


These days, having a digital tuner pedal is kind of like having a cell phone; sure, you can probably get away without one if you really want to, but most people are gonna think you’re crazy for choosing not to have one. In the old days (the 1980s), you had to tune your guitar with a chromatic tuner, which was hard because you had to listen to the tone of your strings and adjust them accordingly. These days, with digital tuners, all you have to do is turn the tuning pegs until the tuner says they’re in tune — easy as pie!


You know that pedal I’m talking about — it’s that one that makes your guitar sound like a saw blade being sharpened. Now why would anyone make a pedal that does that? It’s a total waste of time and money. If I

We’ve all been there before: you’re a guitarist who has recently started playing electric guitar, and have just decided that it’s time to take your sound to the next level by getting a few effects pedals. You go to the local music store and get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available, and end up making some poor decisions along the way.

To help you avoid these mistakes, we’ve put together a list of the most common missteps that musicians make when they start buying pedals. It is our hope that by reading this article, you can make informed decisions about what you want out of a guitar pedal, and how to get it.

The guitar pedal market can be a scary place for the novice effect-seeker. With so many options and price points, it’s easy to make the wrong purchase. This blog will help you avoid common mistakes made while shopping for guitar pedals.

Are you looking to buy your first guitar pedal? Awesome! There are literally thousands of options to choose from, and the world of effects pedals can be confusing and intimidating. While we could write an entire article on how to get started with pedals, in this post we’re going to focus on common mistakes people make, so that you can avoid them.

1. Buying in the Wrong Order

2. Not Knowing What You Want

3. Not Having Enough Power

4. Not Having a Good Board

5. Avoiding Boutique Options

1. The Dod 250 overdrive pedal. This pedal is a staple in countless guitarists’ rigs. Unfortunately, the Dod 250 is a poor choice for all but the most seasoned tone connoisseurs. The 250 features two dials, labeled “Tone” and “Overdrive.” While in many pedals these terms are synonymous, the Dod 250 is not like other pedals. In this case, if you increase the “overdrive,” it does not increase the gain from the pedal — instead, it increases the amount of distortion from your amp. If you attempt to compensate by increasing the gain on your amp, you will often find this leads to an unpleasant feedback which cannot be remedied without turning down your volume (and thus losing some of your treble tones).

2. The Boss Frustrato distortion pedal. This pedal’s name says it all: you will be frustrated with it in no time. It features three different distortion levels, each of which becomes progressively worse than the last. You may find that the lowest setting sounds fine — but unfortunately, it is also nearly indistinguishable from having your guitar plugged directly into your amp with no effect at all!

3. The EHX Big Muff Pi Distortion/Sustainer Pedal. This

1. Tuner Pedals

This is exactly what it sounds like, a pedal that allows you to turn your guitar on and off. Lame, right? Wrong! This is one of the most useful pedals on this list and one of our favorites. Removing your guitar signal completely from your signal chain just makes altering your sound easier. It’s also helpful when you want to more easily switch between your clean and dirty tones.For example, a Gibson Les Paul’s stock pickups are probably great for a lot of rock & roll or country music, but won’t be as impressive for blues, jazz, or metal. But that same guitar could sound really badass with an EMG 81 in the bridge position, if the rest of your setup was appropriate for these genres. While you may be hesitant to replace your stock pickups, if you have a guitar with “fake” pickups (i.e. magnetic pickups that emulate the appearance of humbuckers without being humbuckers), I encourage you to upgrade to real humbucker-equipped pickups and ditch the fakes.

The best guitar pedal is the one you don’t need.

But really, to get a great tone from your guitar, you have to have the right setup first. That means having a good amp, good strings, and a good guitar (in that order). With those three things in place, you should be able to get a pretty wide range of tones out of your guitar.

What then are guitar pedals for? They are for getting tones that are difficult or impossible to get otherwise. A compressor can make your quieter notes louder so they’re more even with your louder notes. A fuzz can give you a sound like an overloaded tube amp. An auto-wah can put wah-wah effects in time with the rhythm of your playing. These are effects that are difficult or impossible to achieve without pedals (and there aren’t many of those).

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