Being a self confessed pedal junkie, I’m always on the look out for new and old interesting pedals on Craig’s List, swap meets and the numerous guitar shows I attend through out the year…with the occasional pawn shop thrown in.
Pedals can inspire you to come up with something new when you’ve hit a wall on your creativity. I’m always up for experimenting when I’m recording or playing on someone’s session. You would be surprised how a different sound can get you playing something completely different than you would normally come up with.
It’s also a blast to make the pedals do what they are not supposed to and get some very crazy sounds…I have so many pedals these days and it’s a blast to pull out something you usually wouldn’t use and see what happens.
I recently had a new pedalboard built and we added a few new pedals on it so I can re-create the sounds on my new CD . I have been having a blast messing with the different combinations of the pedals and have been coming up with some cool stuff.
Since Christmas is coming, I’d run down a few pedals just so you know what’s out there:
First up is the Digitech Whammy Pedal… these have been around for several years now and there have been a few variations over the years. The pedal is basically a harmonizer that you can control the sweep with your foot like a wah.
Probably one of the more obvious uses of the pedal on record is the end solo on Rage Against the Machine’s song “Killing in the Name”. You can get some really crazy sounds with it and it’s definitely not for everyone but it is fun….I have been using one for years on my CD’s.
My next choice would be the RATT distortion pedal, as with the Whammy there have been several versions of the pedal over the years. Mine is an original issue from the early 80’s.
It’s a great medium gain pedal that reacts to your playing a great utility pedal to give any amp a little more kick. Can definitely be a life saver at a jam where you don’t know what amp you’ll be playing. In recent years the older model RATTs have become quite sought after for their unique tone.
Another cool new pedal is the Morpheus Drop Tune, this is basically a harmonizer that lets you drop your standard tuned guitar down several steps… it’s a trip to say the least and actually sounds pretty good.
This could come in handy with someone who uses several different tunings when the play live and would allow you to use only one guitar in standard tuning. It also has a cool jump function that allows you to jump back and forth into standard tuning.
Last but not least…the ADA Flanger! These have also been reissued a few times over the years. I have an original one from the early 80’s that I bought when I was a kid.
If you’re into flangers this thing is nuts…it gets the craziest over the top flanger tones that you have ever heard. It even has an optional foot pedal that you can manually do the sweep with your foot like a wah pedal.
Pat Travers used to be a big ADA Flanger endorser and you can hear the flanger in action on his remake of “Boom Boom Out Go the Lights.”
Paul Gilbert was also big on them until he had Ibanez make a signature version of the pedal called the Airplane Flanger.
Now go to your local music store and see what new pedals are out there. Who knows…if you’ve been good…maybe Santa will bring you a couple this Christmas!