Freeway Music — Columbia, SC’s Premier Music School

When is a Good Time to Add Guitar Effects to My Playing

You go into a gig and see a person playing a guitar with a monstrous pedal board in front of him. His hands are barely moving, yet he has tons of sounds and noise coming from his rig. Sound familiar? It’s all smoke and mirrors, disguising the fact that the guitarist doesn’t really have a grasp of his instrument and hides behind sound and guitar effects.

Figure Out Your Your Flavor

I didn’t use a multitude of effects growing up simply because I could not afford them and I was forced to play with what I had. The beauty of this situation was that I discovered MY sound in MY fingers first. You can take the same guitar and hand it to different guitarists and they would each make it sound differently. Don’t bury your playing with a lot of “cake icing” from effects without discovering your own flavor first.

Bake a Solid Cake

Baking a cake takes a while and there are no shortcuts. The same principle applies to being a truly skillful musician. Put the time and energy into your actual playing, knowledge, practice, and learning your instrument before you go effects crazy. Often, players become lazy when they rely on effects too much. There are several techniques that you can do with your hands that are easier done with a pedal, for example, a call and response delay or a harmonized guitar part, etc. Make your cake solid before you ice it.

Being More Creative With Your Icing

What I am NOT a saying is that “effects are bad.” On the contrary, I believe they are awesome and extremely useful. The great thing about being a skillful muscian is that you can still make the same effects as a lesser skilled musician, but you can do things the lesser skilled musician can’t do. It doesn’t detract from the value of effects; it adds. It’s way easier to establish your skill then add effects, than to be too effect heavy and add skill later. You won’t be hiding a “so-so” cake with icing.Sorry this blog was so heavy with metaphor, but I really wanted to drive the point home with a picture. Make sure you find your tone, hone your skill, and experiment with effects to enhance your skill. This method will help you build a solid foundation upon which to build your musicality. Best of luck with your music journey!

Related Articles

5 Things That Might Be Adversely Affecting Your Guitar Playing

Buying Your First Electric Guitar

Buying Your First Acoustic Guitar

Book Your Lessons Now!

or call 844.537.7661