Pedal to the Metal

One of the best ways to shape your tone and improve your sound is through the use of effects pedals. Even with acoustic guitars, effects pedals can bring out the best of your tone and help squelch sounds you don’t want your audience to hear.

There are many to choose from and finding one that is right for you can sometimes be a daunting task. As have many other guitarists, bass players, and other musicians, I have tried a variety of pedals. When you find one that you like and can easily use in your rig, you try to hang onto it and make the most of it. It’s also nice to pass on your knowledge to other musicians to help them make an informed decision.

A few that I like are the Seymour Duncan Dirty Deed distortion pedal for guitar. I find it puts out a sound that is half-way between a fuzz and overdrive pedal.

I also play a lot of bass and my favorite effects pedal for bass is the Geddy Lee signature SansAmp YYZ by Tech21 – NYC

I have the older version, before it was called the Shape-Shifter. This one looks nice because it has the addition of the Bypass and Boost switches, as well as the shape shifter button.

I use this pedal as a boost pedal for my beloved Markbass CMD 210 P 400-watt solid state amp. Combined with my Fender Precision Player bass, I find the tone I get from that combination simply phenomenal.

The Shape-Shifter can also be used as a DI (direct input) into a sound mixer or as an input into your computer interface for recording on your DAW. For example, if you have a Focusrite Scarlett USB interface device, you could use the Shape-Shifter to record bass to your mix.

Other pedals contain a lot more onboard commands and features, such as the one below.

Technology has opened the way for far greater creativity and flexibility than ever before. Part of learning to be a musician is learning how to use these tools that can help any musician create the sound they want.

In the video below, I discuss some of the items listed above:

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