When I first migrated to playing electric I got obsessed with effects pedals.
After a few years I had amassed 2 pedalboards; one for my basic effects and one for all the extra fluff. You name it I either had it before, had it now, or was planning on getting it. It didn’t matter if it was a wah, a reverb, a delay, phaser, flanger, overdrive, distortion… the list goes on and on. I became quite accustomed to all the obscure pedals made by boutique shops all across the states.
Pedals in worship can be the electric guitarists greatest weapon. They enable us to do some pretty amazing things which can help either drive or create ambience for a song. Whether its the heavy drive of a Fulldrive 2 or the subtle drone of a Phase 90…effects pedals add incredible value.
Unfortunately, those effects pedals come at a great cost. At any time my main pedal board would have $4,000 worth of individual effects strapped down in it. Between my pedal board, amp, and guitar…I was constantly carrying around a small fortune to and from each church I played at. I always told myself it was worth it because of the tone I got (and that tone was amazing). But was it really worth it?
The reason I ask this now is because I’ve gotten away from all the pedals. Now I play through a modded out Vox AC15 with built-in reverb and tremolo. Not a single effect pedal at all. Just my strat plugged directly into the amp. You know whats funny? I’ve gotten more compliments on my tone with this setup than I ever have with my previous rig costing thousands more!
Granted I mainly focus on rhythm these days since I lead out…but occasionally I’ll crank my overdrive and reverb to get some really neat textures. If needed I’ll click on the tremolo during key parts to really change things up. Not having my effects makes me focus more on my dynamics and what I can do with the amp and guitar. You’d be surprised the type of ambient sounds you can pull off with your amps spring reverb while you bend the strings and manipulate your guitars volume pots.
If you haven’t gone without your pedalboard for quite some time, you should really consider doing what I did and ditching it for a few Sundays. You may find that you don’t need it as much as you thought you did. Like me you may fall in love with your tone all over again by keeping it as pure as possible. On top of the tone I gained, I was also able to spend less time tinkering with settings and more time to prepare for worship.
Ditching your pedalboard and going direct is not for everyone obviously. Much of it comes down to the guitar you play, the amp you have, the music you play, and obviously your playing style. For some people ditching their pedal board will never be an option. For those of you in that boat, I would recommend reading Simplifying your pedalboard.
Prepare For Worship. A resource provided to you by WorshipTrac.