New to lead guitar and pedals

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Discussion > New to lead guitar and pedals

jimlufc

Registered User

Joined: 02/09/20

Posts: 8

Hi guys. Newbie here. For the last 10 years I've been a rhythm guitarist and singer for various cover bands. I've got a new band together and we are starting rehearsing to gig later this year. I'm playing most of the lead stuff. Mainly playing indie stuff (Oasis/Blur etc), so nothing too difficult lead wise. I've been watching videos about pedals on YouTube and have come out realising I probably know even less now than I did when I first started watching them. I currently have an overdrive pedal but I'm wanting to know what I can use to up my sound for the solos. Does a boost pedal do the trick or would I need a second overdrive pedal? Currently using a Boss ds-1. Any help would be great.

#1

Hi guys. Newbie here. For the last 10 years I've been a rhythm guitarist and singer for various cover bands. I've got a new band together and we are starting rehearsing to gig later this year. I'm playing most of the lead stuff. Mainly playing indie stuff (Oasis/Blur etc), so nothing too difficult lead wise. I've been watching videos about pedals on YouTube and have come out realising I probably know even less now than I did when I first started watching them. I currently have an overdrive pedal but I'm wanting to know what I can use to up my sound for the solos. Does a boost pedal do the trick or would I need a second overdrive pedal? Currently using a Boss ds-1. Any help would be great.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 5996

Originally Posted by: jimlufc
I'm playing most of the lead stuff.[/p]

...

I currently have an overdrive pedal but I'm wanting to know what I can use to up my sound for the solos. Does a boost pedal do the trick or would I need a second overdrive pedal? Currently using a Boss ds-1.

What kind of amp & guitar do you have? Also, the Boss DS-1 is a distortion pedal, which is a type of overdrive, but slightly different than pure overdrive or boost. Typically distortion pedals have a little harsher tone (or clipping of the signal) than an overdrive pedal.

The easiest way to do this is to use the equipment you have. Set your pedal so the distortion (gain) is at the amount you desire for your lead tone. Then set the level (volume) to unity gain. This means that your guitar is at the same volume with the pedal off & on. Then start to dial the level up a little bit until you get the extra amount of volume that you need. You might want to experiment with it on your own, but you should absolutely do this in the context of playing with the full band so you know you've got the settings right.

Also, overdriven tones tend to get washed out in the full band mix. So you might want to adjust the EQ on your amp, or use the tone on the pedal to make sure your guitar cuts through the mix.

You could buy a clean boost pedal. You could buy a separate overdrive pedal & keep everything plugged in, engaging just enough extra "oomph" from the boost or an extra overdrive when you need to get the solo level up. Especially if you need the distortion to play a rhythm part. Sometimes that's the best route.

You can also do quite a bit with the volume knob on your guitar. That's worth exploring if you haven't yet. Often you can get a great rhythm guitar tone with the overdrive pedal on, but the guitar volume down on like 4-5. Then when you need to play a solo turn the guitar up to 10. Back down to 4-5 for the next verse.

Overall, I find the less pedals & gear I have to tweak the more I focus on playing the right notes. :)

You can also get an amp that has channel switching, so you don't need any pedals! You can just preset 2 channels as rhythm & lead tone & have a footswitch to go between them.

Lots of options! Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#2

Originally Posted by: jimlufc
I'm playing most of the lead stuff.[/p]

...

I currently have an overdrive pedal but I'm wanting to know what I can use to up my sound for the solos. Does a boost pedal do the trick or would I need a second overdrive pedal? Currently using a Boss ds-1.

What kind of amp & guitar do you have? Also, the Boss DS-1 is a distortion pedal, which is a type of overdrive, but slightly different than pure overdrive or boost. Typically distortion pedals have a little harsher tone (or clipping of the signal) than an overdrive pedal.

The easiest way to do this is to use the equipment you have. Set your pedal so the distortion (gain) is at the amount you desire for your lead tone. Then set the level (volume) to unity gain. This means that your guitar is at the same volume with the pedal off & on. Then start to dial the level up a little bit until you get the extra amount of volume that you need. You might want to experiment with it on your own, but you should absolutely do this in the context of playing with the full band so you know you've got the settings right.

Also, overdriven tones tend to get washed out in the full band mix. So you might want to adjust the EQ on your amp, or use the tone on the pedal to make sure your guitar cuts through the mix.

You could buy a clean boost pedal. You could buy a separate overdrive pedal & keep everything plugged in, engaging just enough extra "oomph" from the boost or an extra overdrive when you need to get the solo level up. Especially if you need the distortion to play a rhythm part. Sometimes that's the best route.

You can also do quite a bit with the volume knob on your guitar. That's worth exploring if you haven't yet. Often you can get a great rhythm guitar tone with the overdrive pedal on, but the guitar volume down on like 4-5. Then when you need to play a solo turn the guitar up to 10. Back down to 4-5 for the next verse.

Overall, I find the less pedals & gear I have to tweak the more I focus on playing the right notes. :)

You can also get an amp that has channel switching, so you don't need any pedals! You can just preset 2 channels as rhythm & lead tone & have a footswitch to go between them.

Lots of options! Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

jimlufc

Registered User

Joined: 02/09/20

Posts: 8

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Originally Posted by: jimlufc
I'm playing most of the lead stuff.[/p]

...

I currently have an overdrive pedal but I'm wanting to know what I can use to up my sound for the solos. Does a boost pedal do the trick or would I need a second overdrive pedal? Currently using a Boss ds-1.

What kind of amp & guitar do you have? Also, the Boss DS-1 is a distortion pedal, which is a type of overdrive, but slightly different than pure overdrive or boost. Typically distortion pedals have a little harsher tone (or clipping of the signal) than an overdrive pedal.

The easiest way to do this is to use the equipment you have. Set your pedal so the distortion (gain) is at the amount you desire for your lead tone. Then set the level (volume) to unity gain. This means that your guitar is at the same volume with the pedal off & on. Then start to dial the level up a little bit until you get the extra amount of volume that you need. You might want to experiment with it on your own, but you should absolutely do this in the context of playing with the full band so you know you've got the settings right.

Also, overdriven tones tend to get washed out in the full band mix. So you might want to adjust the EQ on your amp, or use the tone on the pedal to make sure your guitar cuts through the mix.

You could buy a clean boost pedal. You could buy a separate overdrive pedal & keep everything plugged in, engaging just enough extra "oomph" from the boost or an extra overdrive when you need to get the solo level up. Especially if you need the distortion to play a rhythm part. Sometimes that's the best route.

You can also do quite a bit with the volume knob on your guitar. That's worth exploring if you haven't yet. Often you can get a great rhythm guitar tone with the overdrive pedal on, but the guitar volume down on like 4-5. Then when you need to play a solo turn the guitar up to 10. Back down to 4-5 for the next verse.

Overall, I find the less pedals & gear I have to tweak the more I focus on playing the right notes. :)

You can also get an amp that has channel switching, so you don't need any pedals! You can just preset 2 channels as rhythm & lead tone & have a footswitch to go between them.

Lots of options! Hope that helps!

Brilliant. That's a lot for me to go on. I currently play a fender jag or a Gibson 335. Quite different guitars I know. I've been looking at the multi effects units such as the helix 6 but not sure how easy they are to use with the patches etc plus they are quite expensive over here. I did have a Line 6 amolifi FX100 for a while but couldn't get my head round it. I do get quite impatient with these types of things though. I found it quite noisy in the sense that between songs any touch of the strings etc created a lot of hisses etc. Probably just me not taking time to work it properly. Amp wise I'm currently on the look out for a new one!!

#3

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Originally Posted by: jimlufc
I'm playing most of the lead stuff.[/p]

...

I currently have an overdrive pedal but I'm wanting to know what I can use to up my sound for the solos. Does a boost pedal do the trick or would I need a second overdrive pedal? Currently using a Boss ds-1.

What kind of amp & guitar do you have? Also, the Boss DS-1 is a distortion pedal, which is a type of overdrive, but slightly different than pure overdrive or boost. Typically distortion pedals have a little harsher tone (or clipping of the signal) than an overdrive pedal.

The easiest way to do this is to use the equipment you have. Set your pedal so the distortion (gain) is at the amount you desire for your lead tone. Then set the level (volume) to unity gain. This means that your guitar is at the same volume with the pedal off & on. Then start to dial the level up a little bit until you get the extra amount of volume that you need. You might want to experiment with it on your own, but you should absolutely do this in the context of playing with the full band so you know you've got the settings right.

Also, overdriven tones tend to get washed out in the full band mix. So you might want to adjust the EQ on your amp, or use the tone on the pedal to make sure your guitar cuts through the mix.

You could buy a clean boost pedal. You could buy a separate overdrive pedal & keep everything plugged in, engaging just enough extra "oomph" from the boost or an extra overdrive when you need to get the solo level up. Especially if you need the distortion to play a rhythm part. Sometimes that's the best route.

You can also do quite a bit with the volume knob on your guitar. That's worth exploring if you haven't yet. Often you can get a great rhythm guitar tone with the overdrive pedal on, but the guitar volume down on like 4-5. Then when you need to play a solo turn the guitar up to 10. Back down to 4-5 for the next verse.

Overall, I find the less pedals & gear I have to tweak the more I focus on playing the right notes. :)

You can also get an amp that has channel switching, so you don't need any pedals! You can just preset 2 channels as rhythm & lead tone & have a footswitch to go between them.

Lots of options! Hope that helps!

Brilliant. That's a lot for me to go on. I currently play a fender jag or a Gibson 335. Quite different guitars I know. I've been looking at the multi effects units such as the helix 6 but not sure how easy they are to use with the patches etc plus they are quite expensive over here. I did have a Line 6 amolifi FX100 for a while but couldn't get my head round it. I do get quite impatient with these types of things though. I found it quite noisy in the sense that between songs any touch of the strings etc created a lot of hisses etc. Probably just me not taking time to work it properly. Amp wise I'm currently on the look out for a new one!!

jimlufc

Registered User

Joined: 02/09/20

Posts: 8

Friend of mine has the Line 6 Helix pedal (the expensive one). Been at his house all morning having a play and I'm surprised how easy it is to use. He runs it straight through his band PA when he plays live but if I was to go through an amp, what's the best type to get. I like an amp on stage so would rather go down this path than through the PA.

#4

Friend of mine has the Line 6 Helix pedal (the expensive one). Been at his house all morning having a play and I'm surprised how easy it is to use. He runs it straight through his band PA when he plays live but if I was to go through an amp, what's the best type to get. I like an amp on stage so would rather go down this path than through the PA.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 5996

Good deal. Hope you find a solution you can work with!

Originally Posted by: jimlufc
I currently play a fender jag or a Gibson 335. Quite different guitars I know.

Yes they are. You might have to prepare settings teaked for each one!

Originally Posted by: jimlufc
Amp wise I'm currently on the look out for a new one!!

Classic style tube amps typically work best with pedals. That's the topology they were developed for. Digital modelling amps are more typically all-in-one solutions. They can work with pedals, but typically the goal is to have it all in one unit.

Originally Posted by: jimlufc

Friend of mine has the Line 6 Helix pedal (the expensive one). Been at his house all morning having a play and I'm surprised how easy it is to use. He runs it straight through his band PA when he plays live but if I was to go through an amp, what's the best type to get. I like an amp on stage so would rather go down this path than through the PA.

Those are great units if you can afford them!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#5

Good deal. Hope you find a solution you can work with!

Originally Posted by: jimlufc
I currently play a fender jag or a Gibson 335. Quite different guitars I know.

Yes they are. You might have to prepare settings teaked for each one!

Originally Posted by: jimlufc
Amp wise I'm currently on the look out for a new one!!

Classic style tube amps typically work best with pedals. That's the topology they were developed for. Digital modelling amps are more typically all-in-one solutions. They can work with pedals, but typically the goal is to have it all in one unit.

Originally Posted by: jimlufc

Friend of mine has the Line 6 Helix pedal (the expensive one). Been at his house all morning having a play and I'm surprised how easy it is to use. He runs it straight through his band PA when he plays live but if I was to go through an amp, what's the best type to get. I like an amp on stage so would rather go down this path than through the PA.

Those are great units if you can afford them!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

jimlufc

Registered User

Joined: 02/09/20

Posts: 8

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel

Good deal. Hope you find a solution you can work with!

Those are great units if you can afford them!

Thats the million dollar question! Need to run it past the wife first and also do some more reading up on them. Struggling to find any info anywhere on the best type of amps to use these with. I've seen people use it as just an effects unit and not use the amp sounds, but wondering if there's anything you can buy that let's you use everything it has to offer.

#6

Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel

Good deal. Hope you find a solution you can work with!

Those are great units if you can afford them!

Thats the million dollar question! Need to run it past the wife first and also do some more reading up on them. Struggling to find any info anywhere on the best type of amps to use these with. I've seen people use it as just an effects unit and not use the amp sounds, but wondering if there's anything you can buy that let's you use everything it has to offer.

matonanjin2

Full Access

Joined: 08/11/17

Posts: 146

Originally Posted by: jimlufc
Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel

Good deal. Hope you find a solution you can work with!

Those are great units if you can afford them!

Thats the million dollar question! Need to run it past the wife first and also do some more reading up on them. Struggling to find any info anywhere on the best type of amps to use these with. I've seen people use it as just an effects unit and not use the amp sounds, but wondering if there's anything you can buy that let's you use everything it has to offer.

There are lots of reviews on YT and elsewhere on the Line 6 POD HD 500X which is what I use. Less expensive than the Helix from Line 6.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PODHD500X--line-6-pod-hd500x-guitar-multi-effects-floor-processor

And, yes, you can use everything it has to offer. It has, I think, 22 Amp models and 100's of different effects. But there is somewhat of a learning curve.

I have a nice Fender Blues, Jr. 3 (tube amp)and a handfull of pedals. I keep going back and forth between it and the digital modeller. As you can see from that link it is the same cost as just a few pedals.

If I knew and the beginning what I know now, I don't know that I would have bought the amp. I just would have gone with the POD. But I'm just a music room player and will never go on stage. But I also sat in with a band once at their practice and it's all the lead guitar player uses. He doesn't take an amp anymore and just plugs into the venue's PA.

All the analog purists should be jumping in very soon and pointing out the blasphemy of my ways

#7

Originally Posted by: jimlufc
Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel

Good deal. Hope you find a solution you can work with!

Those are great units if you can afford them!

Thats the million dollar question! Need to run it past the wife first and also do some more reading up on them. Struggling to find any info anywhere on the best type of amps to use these with. I've seen people use it as just an effects unit and not use the amp sounds, but wondering if there's anything you can buy that let's you use everything it has to offer.

There are lots of reviews on YT and elsewhere on the Line 6 POD HD 500X which is what I use. Less expensive than the Helix from Line 6.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PODHD500X--line-6-pod-hd500x-guitar-multi-effects-floor-processor

And, yes, you can use everything it has to offer. It has, I think, 22 Amp models and 100's of different effects. But there is somewhat of a learning curve.

I have a nice Fender Blues, Jr. 3 (tube amp)and a handfull of pedals. I keep going back and forth between it and the digital modeller. As you can see from that link it is the same cost as just a few pedals.

If I knew and the beginning what I know now, I don't know that I would have bought the amp. I just would have gone with the POD. But I'm just a music room player and will never go on stage. But I also sat in with a band once at their practice and it's all the lead guitar player uses. He doesn't take an amp anymore and just plugs into the venue's PA.

All the analog purists should be jumping in very soon and pointing out the blasphemy of my ways

hsnoeckx

Full Access

Joined: 12/03/19

Posts: 71

I have the POD HD500X and what I do on live gigs is putting the xlr connectors directly to the PA system and the regular jack out to my amp, a Fender 410 hotrod Deville MK I so the audience gets the real POD sound in stereo and I can still hear myself play very good to without having to mix my signal to much in the monitors and clutter that sound up.

For home use I have the Line 6 Amplifi 75 which is nice to since I can play backing tracks from my smartphone through bluetooth and play along with the guitar ( and mix ) with any sound like the POD,

regards Herman

#8

I have the POD HD500X and what I do on live gigs is putting the xlr connectors directly to the PA system and the regular jack out to my amp, a Fender 410 hotrod Deville MK I so the audience gets the real POD sound in stereo and I can still hear myself play very good to without having to mix my signal to much in the monitors and clutter that sound up.

For home use I have the Line 6 Amplifi 75 which is nice to since I can play backing tracks from my smartphone through bluetooth and play along with the guitar ( and mix ) with any sound like the POD,

regards Herman

matonanjin2

Full Access

Joined: 08/11/17

Posts: 146

Originally Posted by: hsnoeckx

I have the POD HD500X and what I do on live gigs is putting the xlr connectors directly to the PA system and the regular jack out to my amp, a Fender 410 hotrod Deville MK I so the audience gets the real POD sound in stereo and I can still hear myself play very good to without having to mix my signal to much in the monitors and clutter that sound up.

I didn't realize you can do that. The POD HD500X is like the (overused analogy of ) onion. The more I peel back the layers of it the more I learn it can do.

#9

Originally Posted by: hsnoeckx

I have the POD HD500X and what I do on live gigs is putting the xlr connectors directly to the PA system and the regular jack out to my amp, a Fender 410 hotrod Deville MK I so the audience gets the real POD sound in stereo and I can still hear myself play very good to without having to mix my signal to much in the monitors and clutter that sound up.

I didn't realize you can do that. The POD HD500X is like the (overused analogy of ) onion. The more I peel back the layers of it the more I learn it can do.

jimlufc

Registered User

Joined: 02/09/20

Posts: 8

After spending many hours watching hundreds of videos on YouTube about the helix I think I know less than before 😂😂 From what I can tell I have 2 options if I want sound on stage. Firstly to use an amp but obviously not be able to use the amp feature on the pedal and just use the effect on there. Secondly I could get some like a Line 6 Powercab and use everything the pedal can do. How well do things like this actually work as a "guitar amp?" Can you use nice feedback and things like that like you would with a normal amp? Sorry for all the questions by the way!!

#10

After spending many hours watching hundreds of videos on YouTube about the helix I think I know less than before 😂😂 From what I can tell I have 2 options if I want sound on stage. Firstly to use an amp but obviously not be able to use the amp feature on the pedal and just use the effect on there. Secondly I could get some like a Line 6 Powercab and use everything the pedal can do. How well do things like this actually work as a "guitar amp?" Can you use nice feedback and things like that like you would with a normal amp? Sorry for all the questions by the way!!