#1
OK! I'm about as good at playing guitar as I am at the internet, so if this is both noobly and horribly phrased, correct me politely as to protect my little feelings.

1) i need to know how pedals/stacks/cabinets/heads/effects ETC [gigging equipment, practice equipment, all that jazz] work. i have a CRATE GFX-15 practice amp, an axe, a ten foot cord and a tuner. that's my WHOLE arsenal [well, and an acoustic] my point is, i have no idea how to use foot-switches, pedals, stomp-boxes, pedal boards, etc.

2) i have been playing for a month or two, i can play a whole lot of easy riffs, a good deal of intermediate riffs, and i can USUALLY understand (if not play) some of the slightly more advanced riffs. i tell you this because the mode knob on my amp is becoming a hassle, things like pedals are becoming more and more appealing, but i don't know what someone at my level NEEDS right now. a good distortion pedal seems like a good place to start, but should i even THINK about pedals yet? is there something i need to get to grow just a bit more? i feel like i'm kinda hitting the ceiling on what i can do, i know i just need to practice the stuff i can't do, but someone told me that getting new equipment and experiencing new musical styles is a good way to help yourself over this kind of hump.


in short: how do electronics work, and what should i buy? i need all the help i can get, and an online pantheon of guitarists seems like a great place to go with my questions.
#2
1) You'll need two cords if you're going to use a pedal. One to go from the guitar to the pedal, and then one from the pedal to the amp. If you're going to use more then one pedal then I suggest you buy a 6" cord.
2) Yes. Buy a distortion pedal. The first month I had my guitar I bought a dist. pedal. The dist. pedal I bought is still very good for me. Although I have a new amp with OD I still only use the dist. pedal.
#3
Really, I wouldn't worry about too many pedals unless a song you'd like to play has an effect you don't have. It's really only useful if you play many songs with the same effect to seem necessary to buy a pedal. Out there in the music world, what song doesn't use distortion. I would suggest the Boss DS-1. Simple and worth it.
#4
Its never too early to think about pedals, but learn how to play first because if you buy some hardcore distortion and overdrives and you mix them up with other things, it won't help you learn anything, it will just screw you up and make you unable to play clean. Save up some money and buy a guitar multi effects pedal board. They come with distortion overdrive, and other stuff and some even include wah, but thry and use cleaner tones, I'm pretty sure all multi effects come with presets. Also, buy another cable to connect from your effects to your guitar and figuring out the effects should be all in your manual. I know for multi effects, DigiTech has some really nice ones for about $150 (I think) that come with lots of effects and a wah all in one and they are very compact too.
Gear:
Gibson Flying V
Jackson RR3 w/ Zakk Wylde EMG's
'89 Marshall 8240 Combo Amp
Marshall MG10 CD
Boss MT-2
Dunlop Dime Crybaby From Hell
#5
well I 've been playing guitar for almost 4 years, but I recently started to play regularly...
I don't know If you should buy a multiuse pedal, but since it gives you A LOT OF VARIETY for your playing, i think you could get a Zoom G1X cause its very cheap and has a lot of effects. I'll buy one this weekend (cuz a friend o' mine has one, and it is really good)...
ah! forgot to mention that this pedal features adrum machine. that is an emulator for a drum set, and you can set up the tempo and stuff, and the important thing is that imn this way you will get oracrice at keeping yourself at a certaimn tempo without loosing the line... so that one is a very useful feature for you to get a lot better with your timing!!!


now if you should already get this equipment I am not 100% sure... but who cares?! suppose you shouldn't have this one, i don't thinmk having it could be bad for you... so it is cheap, it helps keeping your timin', and has a lot of varienty to explore your playing


i recommend it
#6
It's probably too early for you to be considering stacks. However, here goes:

Equipment 1: Amp head:
This is the heart of the operation. The amp head is directly responsable for tone. Amp heads (seperate units, when you have an amp with a speaker built in, it's called a combo) come in 2 basic varieties;

Solid State: These are amps that use transistors instead of valves (or tubes as they're called in the good ol' USA). Solid state amps generally don't get as loud as tube amps, nor is the tone as "warm" because of the way the electronics work. Instead of a rounded sound wave, solid state electronics "level off", so if you were looking at your sound through a line scope, it would look like a bunch of plateaus. Sound frequencies get lost, but the benefit of solid state is that they're more reliable (no tubes burning out) and affordable. You can also get solid state amps with a tube pre-amp, where the sound goes through a tube before being processed by the transistor to give it a warmer tone. Still doesn't match up to a valve though, but are great for beginners.

Tube/Valve amp: These are what most of the pros use. Valve amps are louder (100w tube = 200w solid state), and give a warmer, richer tone. Valve amps use (generally) 4 power tube transistors which need to be heated up to produce the optimal tone. You'll always see a "standby" switch on a tube amp, which lets you turn the amp on without any sound to warm the tubes, then switch it on after it's ready. Tube amps are far more expensive then solid state, and require some maintainance (tubes have to be replaced and occasionally biased, which requires a tech or someone who knows EXACTLY what they're doing, as the capacitors can kill you).

Amp Cabinet:
Your amp cab is almost as instrumental to your tone as the amp itself. Amp cabs come in a variety of builds. Generally you want somthing built out of good solid wood, as cheaper wood will let your tone "flex" and won't sound very well. Speakers also play a huge part in tone, generally you want to look for Eminance or Celestion speakers, as those are the two big names in amp cab speakers. Most of the pros use either one or the other. IMHO, Marshall makes some of the best amp cabs on the market, though Crate and Peavey also make excellent cabs at certain tiers.

As far as pedals, this is more a personal choice. A lot of people use pedals for a variety of different reasons, and you should try as many as possible to decide which is best for you.

Hope that helps, if I'm wrong on any of that I'm sure someone will correct me
-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
Marshall 1960a Cab
Woods Acoustic
-Bass Gear-
Spector Legend 4 bass
Washburn Bantam bass
Hartke HA2500
Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play
#7
^Addendum:

The way pedals work is you plug your guitar into the pedal's input, then plug the output of the pedal into your amp. When you step on it, you either turn it on or off, or change the effect (as in wah pedals etc). Most pedals can either be plugged into a wall socket or run off a 9v battery.
-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
Marshall 1960a Cab
Woods Acoustic
-Bass Gear-
Spector Legend 4 bass
Washburn Bantam bass
Hartke HA2500
Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play