Being new to guitar, I know very little about selecting the right effects pedals, or what they even do. Of course I understand the basics, such as wah, distortion, etc. But there are a sea of these things out there! Guess what I am trying to ask is this. Which effects are critical and should be in every guitar players arsenal? I play alot of acoustic rhythm stuff as well as some lead. Mostly blues, but I like to rock as well.
What about acoustic effects versus lead effects? If you were limited to only having say, 3 pedals/effects, what would you select and why? I realize this is a pretty general question, but just looking for input to help me narrow down & weed through the endless sea of gadgets available. Im kinda using you guys as a focus group!

Koy Carson
West Texas

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The "PickPocket" The ORIGINAL Guitar Accessory
Last edited by k5koy at Oct 23, 2008,
wah, delay, distortion for my chosen 3, but for the kinda stuff you described reverb is pretty useful
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reverb, distortion, wah, in that order.

things like delay, chorus, noise reduction, phaser, flanger and looping are extra to that and whether or not you get them depends on the particular sound you're going for.

my advice is if your budget is large enough don't touch digital effects except perhaps for looping. looks like you have a nice guitar. if you don't have a nice amp then get one and buy the best pedals you can to do specific jobs. pedals that do a lot of things tend to do it by not doing any of them particularly well.
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I had the same problem so I bought the POD XT Live. Decent enough multi to where you don't sound like crap while learning what everything does. Now I'm starting to buy individual pedals based on what I like in the POD. Really depends on what you like to play. I was surprised by the 12 string sim in the POD. I use that quite a bit actually, but fuzz is good, chorus, I like the tubescreamer in the POD better then the TS 808 i bought (and ended up selling) and a decent delay and compressor is a good idea. That's a bit more then 3, but alot is going to depend on what your amp doesn't do well on it's own.
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Three effects...hm.

1. Delay. I use delay alot, mostly because the reverb in my amp sucks.
2. Overdrive. For when I just need that extra kick.
3. Whammy. I'm not totally satisfied with my wah sound, and plus I use the downtune feature alot for Eb playing.

For most guitarists I'd recommend reverb, overdrive and a wah... but I suppose I'm just different - if I had multiple guitars I probably wouldn't use the whammy as much, but it's just much more convenient to rock a treadle instead of tuning each string and then having to tune back when I'm done.

To be quite honest I DO think that I need more than 3 effects - but I'm also not a minimalist sort of person. To me a delay, wah, whammy and overdrive are all essential effects - but there will always be one more pedal that I "need" - at the moment it's an envelope filter, unless equalizers and noise suppressors count as effects, in which case those too.
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depends what you play and the type of amp. but i would get an OD, delay and an EQ.
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