Want to recreate the iconic sounds of The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Metallica? You are going to need some guitar effects medals. Although electric guitar pedals names are pretty out there — including gems like T-rex pedals, Walrus Audio pedals, and the Pigtronix Infinity Looper — all pedals are fairly basic and easy to use. How did effects get started, and what pedals can you use to play like The Beatles, Hendrix, and more?
Country Star Unwittingly Creates Some of the Very First Guitar Effects
Guitar effects began with a loose connection to a mixing board, The Atlantic reports. Country singer Marty Robbins decided to keep the accidental guitar distortion in the bass solo of hit song “Don’t Worry.” Musicians dubbed the particular effect fuzz, or “the sounds that defines rock ‘n’ roll,” The Atlantic adds. Before pedals and widespread sales of portable transistors, stars created effects manually. The Beatles created tape flanging effects — sounds guitarists describe as spacey and sweeping — in “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” by hand. Today, consumers can easily compress, boost, alter, distort, or delay signals using simple foot pedals.
Get Your Hands on Hendrix and Metallica’s Favorite Pedals
Although pedals simplify the creation of effects, they do create a certain dilemma. Namely, guitarists have hundreds — maybe thousands — of different effects pedals to choose from. It is can be difficult to pinpoint what you want or need. The easiest way for beginners — or at least guitarists new to pedals — to get started is to listen for effects in some of your favorite albums and songs. Once you’ve pinpointed the sounds you like best, go from there.
For example, Jimi Hendrix recorded a distinctive and iconic version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” using an Arbiter Fuzz Face and Vox Wah-Wah pedals. Today’s guitarists can recreate the manual effects of The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” with electronic flange pedals. If Metallica is one of your favorites, choose from some of guitarist and song writer Kirk Hammett’s preferred pedals (including the Digitech Space Station pedal, Digitech Whammy pedals, and Ibanez Tube Screamer).
Playing like music industry legends requires practice — and the right guitar pedals. Choose from The Beatles, Hendrix, and Metallica’s favorite effects, or experiment with T-Rex pedals, Walrus Audio pedals, and other guitar effects pedals on your own.