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  • Guitar Glossary


Octave pedal

Adds an additional tone either an octave above or an octave below the produced pitch. This is great for creating a bass guitar sound with your ordinary guitar, an absolute must for people who want to record a full track without access to a bass guitar.

Lessons for: Octave pedal

1: Rock Effects: Octave Pedal

  • Focus: Gear And Tone
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The Octave Pedal is a harmonizer of sorts. In the case of classic rock effects, the Octave Pedal harmonizes the note you play with the note one octave above it. Most octave pedals also act as a fuzz pedal to provide a little distortion to what you play and maximize the overtone needed to produce the octave note above. You'll notice that when the octave pedal is used tastefully, it sounds as if a little feedback is helping sustain the note. If you use an octave pedal on lower notes it gives a real dirty grit to the riff. The octave pedal is the sound of Hendrix. You'll...

2: The RAT Pedal

  • Focus: Gear And Tone
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First let's check out a classic distortion pedal called The RAT. This pedal has a very classic and unique sound, and in this lesson I'll show you how each of the controls affect the tone. First you have your distortion, which controls the amount of distortion. Then you have the "cut" which cuts out the high frequencies and basically makes it sound like someone put a pillow in front of the amp. Then finally you have the volume control, which you can set to match the bypassed volume or to be slightly louder if you want to use the RAT as your lead sound.

3: The Tube Screamer Pedal

  • Focus: Gear And Tone
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Now let's check out another classic distortion pedal called the Tube Screamer. This is one of the quintessential overdrive pedals used in rock, blues, and many other styles of music. First let me show you how the controls affect your tone. The controls on the Tube Screamer are very similar to the controls on The RAT, but you'll hear that they have a very different sound.



4: The Fuzz Pedal

  • Focus: Gear And Tone
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Now it's time to check out a different type of distortion called Fuzz. This is a really cool sound that's used a lot in both rock and blues. Fuzz can be a crazy effect, and fuzz pedals have all kinds of unpredictable quirks that players through the years have found all kinds of cool uses for. So for that reason, there are more different fuzz pedals than you could get to in a lifetime, and they all get really creative with the controls. But in this lesson I'll introduce you to the Fuzz sound with a basic BOSS pedal, and even then you'll probably start to see how this t...

5: The Metal Zone Pedal

  • Focus: Gear And Tone
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Now let's check out another important variation of the basic distortion sound. This type of gain is used a lot in hard rock and metal, and it's a really cool sound. First I'll show you how the controls on the pedal work, and it will get a little bit technical when we get into the more advanced EQ controls. But don't think you have to understand it all to use this sound. You can always leave the controls you don't understand at 12 o'clock.

6: The Volume Pedal

  • Focus: Gear And Tone
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In this first lesson we're going to check out the volume pedal. Although this pedal can be used as a regular volume control, most people use it to either control the amount of gain in your tone or to play swells. I'll also show how to use these tricks with the volume control on your guitar.





7: Volume Pedal Example

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Now that you know how the pedal works, it's time to break down and play through an example that uses the volume pedal swells in a rock context. These swells add a dreamy and ambient dimension to the music, and although it can feel a little unnatural at first, it's a great tool to have under your belt! Remember you can use this trick with your guitar volume too.



8: The Tremolo Pedal

  • Focus: Gear And Tone
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In this lesson we're going to explore one of my favorite effects which is known as tremolo. All tremolo does is rhythmically raise and lower the volume to create a moody vibe. As you saw in the earlier tutorial, this effect is built into a lot of amps. On those it's often called "vibrato", but I find that to be very confusing, since vibrato has to do with vibrating the pitch of the note and not the volume. But as long as you know what they mean, it doesn't matter; in this lesson we'll explore a basic tremolo pedal.

9: The Compressor Pedal

  • Focus: Gear And Tone
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In this lesson we're going to explore the effect called compression. This effect can be pretty confusing, but in it's basic form it's actually quite simple. All it does is to lower the volume of the loudest notes you play, so that you can turn up your overall volume and have everything you play be equally loud. This adds a cool "squashed" sound to your tone, and it also makes all the details in your playing pop out. In this lesson I'll show you how the most basic compressor pedal works!

10: Compressor Pedal Example

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Now that you're familiar with the basic compressor pedal and sound, let's break down and play through an riff that uses it in a rock context. This riff is very funky, and it uses a combination of open strings, triads and ghost notes. The compressor makes all of this "even", so that no part is more pronounced than others. I hope you've gotten a good understanding of how powerful dynamic effects can be in almost any musical context. As you heard in the examples they add much more musically than just the increase and decrease in volume. Tremolo will take you through the ...

11: The Flanger Pedal

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Now let's check out another classic effect called the "flanger". It's very close to the chorus sound, but a bit more extreme. First I'll show you how the different features on our flanger pedal work, and then I'll show you how to use it in a rock context in the next lesson.





12: The Phaser Pedal

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The "phaser" is another really cool modulation effect, and in this lesson I'll show you how it sounds and how the different features on our phaser pedal work. You'll notice that this is similar to the flanger in the sense that it adds "sweeps" to your tone, but the sweeps have a different sound and effect on your overall tone.





13: Phaser Pedal Example

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In this lesson we'll break down and play through an example that uses the classic phaser sound in a rock context. Again, we'll combine the phaser sound with some overdrive, but the phaser also sounds great when applied to a clean guitar tone. I hope you've gotten a good understanding of this group of effects and how they can be used in a rock context. There are many different types of modulation effects, and they all have different features and options. But if you're familiar with the basic controls we've used today, you can have fun exploring any bonus features that a p...

14: The Delay Pedal

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First let me show you how to use the different controls on the delay pedal that we're using today. First we'll try adjusting the volume of the delay. Then we'll experiment with the feedback knob, which controls how many repeats you get. Finally we'll adjust the delay time, which controls how fast the repeats happen.





15: Introduction to the Wah Pedal

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In this tutorial I'm going to introduce you to another classic effect used in rock, which is the wah pedal. This sound has inspired countless classic rock riffs and lead parts through the years, and it has been used in almost all styles of music. The pedal is controlled with your foot to obtain a kind of "talking" guitar sound, and in this tutorial I will show you some of the most common ways to use it in a rock context. Let's get to it!

16: How the Wah Pedal Works

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In this first lesson I'll show you how the wah pedal works. You engage it by pressing down pretty hard with your toes. Then as you switch between the heel-down position and the toe-down position you can hear why it's called a "wah" pedal! It actually works by boosting your midrange, similar to turning up the "mids" knob on your amp. Then the knob stays up, while the frequency changes from the lower midrange frequencies to the higher ones - that's what creates the "wah" sound.

17: Introduction to the Pedal Chain

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Effects can be an overwhelming topic for many guitar players who are first starting out, and even armed with all the knowledge you've obtained throughout this chapter it can be quite the journey to find the sounds and effects that are right for you. Just remember that the greatest rock guitar tone generally goes the shortest possible route from your guitar and into the amp, meaning through as few effects as possible! The reason for this is that the more pedals you send your signal through, the more of your raw guitar tone you lose. So until you're absolutely in love wit...

18: Pedal Chain Connector Cables

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So far we've only used one pedal at a time with two full length instrument cables connecting our guitar to the pedal and then onto the amp. Now let's check out how to connect multiple pedals by using the smaller "patch cables". From the "output" of the pedal, the patch cable goes to the "input" of the next pedal, and so on. This might seem basic, but 90% of the time when a pedal isn't working or your sound isn't coming through, this is the reason ... even for experienced players.

19: Your Pedal Order The Jokers

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Now that we've covered the most basic categories, let's check out some of the "jokers" and how to place them in the signal chain. This includes the tremolo, the wah, the compressor, and the volume pedal. There are different ways to place each of them, and you may have to experiment a bit to find the placement that works best for your setup.





20: Common Pedal Setup Example 1

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Now let's look at a very common pedal setup and how to organize the different pedals with the method we covered in the previous lessons. This setup includes a wah, a BOSS distortion, Tube Screamer overdrive, BOSS chorus, and a BOSS delay.





21: Common Pedal Setup Example 2

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Now let's look at another very common setup and organize the different pedals. This includes the volume pedal, the RAT distortion, BOSS overdrive, BOSS flanger, BOSS phaser, and a BOSS tremolo. I'm sure this chapter has peaked your interested in all the different effects used in rock. And while a brand new effect can be a great source of inspiration for new sounds, songs, and tricks, a guitar players pursuit of tone can also be the biggest distraction from actually working on your playing and really getting better as a guitar player. So always tread carefully when it ...

22: Arpeggios: Pedal Notes

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If you've followed my other tutorials you know that I love the sound of pedal notes! Here's how I like to use pedal notes in combination with arpeggios in my lead playing. Set the pickup selector to the neck position for that nice pick attack sound.





23: Slow Jam: Pedal Note Arpeggios

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This is a slower version of the backing track for the example called Pedal Note Arpeggios. The tempo here is 60 bpm instead of the original 100 bpm.





24: Rock Effects: Volume Pedal

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This pedal is simple. It's a volume knob for your foot. That's it, short and sweet. Here's a look at how it works and what you'll want to do with it.





25: Pedal Point Major (I) Chord

  • Focus: Technique
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In this lesson I show you an pedal point lick in E major to play over the E major, the I chord of a chord progression in E major.





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