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The Ultimate Practice & Performance Machine 
February 17, 2022
Author: Caleb LaVake

At some point in their musical journal, every guitarist questions which pedals are really necessary. After all, there's a pedal for just about any sound you want to create, and many options overlap. The answer is, the only pedals you need are the ones that inspire you, that make you want to practice longer, and the ones that make you smile each time you plug into your guitar. There isn't a "perfect" pedal for everyone, or one that is needed by everyone. However, there are a handful of pedals that we recommend to get you started.

The looper is a staple amongst our employees.
Whether soloing over your favorite chords, creating new songs, or performing as a one-man band, the looper is in must-have for most musicians. One of our favorite loopers in the store is the Boss RC-10R which features an incredible 6-hour loop memory with easy-to-use footswitches and 280 onboard rhythm presets. It's an employee-favorite for practice and performing.

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Keep the tunes in tune.
Nobody, including yourself, likes to hear a guitar out of tune. That's why a tuner is one of the most important pedals you can have on your board. Compared to a clip-on tuner, pedal tuners are faster to use, more reliable, have a bright display that's visible on dark stages, and tend to be more accurate. One of our favorite pedal tuners is the multi-purpose Chromatic Pedal Tuner+ from D'Addario. This features a signal buffer to protect your signal from long cable runs as well as a programmable stage time to keep your gig on time or to ensure your hour-long practice session is actually an hour! We also love the Ernie Ball VPJR, a volume pedal and tuner all in one, so you can sing volume swells while keeping in tune.

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The sonic space is the place.
One of the most essential pedals of them is the Reverb. It can be found on essentially every album, whether on the guitar, vocals, or the harmonica in back. Reverbs helps fill the sonic space, whether you're playing in your apartment or a massive concert hall. We've been really impressed with the Big Sky from Strymon along with its little brother, the Blue Sky. Another great sonic filler is the Spring Tank from JHS. If you want to take it up a notch, add some delay to really fill the room!

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Let's kick it into overdrive.
No matter what genre you play, an overdrive adds a lot of flavor to the rhythm and lead. Our best-selling options are the Boss BD-2w Waza Craft Blues Driver, the Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer, and the Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive. We highly recommend using two different overdrives for more color but it's really up to you and your personal preference!

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There's something for everyone.

If you're a blues guy, you'll probably want to try a wah and a fuzz. If you play metal, a distortion and phaser might be on your board. For rhythm and the sonic space it creates, you could try tremolo, vibrato, flanger, and chorus. Those are just suggestions, though! Experiment with different pedals and sounds to create your own signature sound as you fill up your board. Feel free to stop in to try them! Be sure to ask for Caleb!

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