Guitar Effect Pedals – Wah Pedals

One of the most musically expressive effects available in the guitarist’s toolbox is the Wah pedal. Musical legends across several genres have used this effect with great results for decades. Notable Wah effect users include Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Slash, Steve Vai, John Mayer, George Harrison, and the list goes on and on… The Wah effect may be the second most common pedal (just behind Overdrives) found on the pedalboards of pros all around the world. The reason for this is thanks to the many different things a Wah can be used for. You … Read more

Guitar Effect Pedals – Fuzz Pedals

Fuzz pedals are like the unnoticed middle child in the family of distortion-type effects. Their achievements are often overshadowed by their older sibling, Overdrive, and they don’t require as much attention as Distortion, their misbehaving younger brother. However, Fuzz does have its place in the family due to its very unique sonic characteristic. There is not a Distortion or Overdrive pedal that can get you the same sound as a Fuzz pedal. However, some Fuzz pedals can be tweaked to sound similar to a Distortion or Overdrive pedal, which makes Fuzz pedals highly versatile. If you’re a Blues-Rock guitarist, then … Read more

Guitar Effect Pedals – Phaser Pedals

Phaser pedals allow you to get really unique sounds out of your guitar. If you’ve ever wondered how Van Halen got that slow, sweeping sound in his epic guitar solo in “Eruption,” or if you are chasing that psychedelic vibe from Hendrix’s “Little Wing,” look no further than a decent phaser pedal! A phaser is often used to achieve a Wah sound, or a sound that is similar to a Leslie rotating speaker, but make no mistake, this effect can be used in a multitude of manners (as demonstrated by Jimi Hendrix). Phasers are also often used on other instruments … Read more

Great Jazz Licks over the I-iv-ii-V and ii-V-I

After learning how arpeggios are used to improvise and exploring the foundations of improvisation, it’s important to learn from the great improvisers and how they applied the theory so that we can reproduce these techniques in a musical and more authentic way.  One of the best ways to start internalizing the jazz language is to transcribe these great musicians. By transcribing we develop not only our ear, but it also allows us to train our muscle memory to feel swing, accents, and particular passages that are very common in, and are a crucial part of jazz music from a range … Read more

Guitar Effect Pedals – Distortion Pedals

Distortion pedals often can have an identity crisis of some sort; many of them can double as a fuzz or overdrive pedal, and some can even be tweaked to fill in all three roles of overdrive, distortion, and fuzz. Although many of us may prefer to own a pedal that’s a little more versatile, more often than not, a pure distortion pedal will sound and function better than a pedal that’s made to fill multiple roles. When it comes to guitar effects pedals, the saying “Jack of all trades; master of none” often holds true. That’s the reason why you … Read more

7th Chords, Their Arpeggios, and Why We Use Them

Chords are something we deal with everyday in music. Written down on a page, they can be as simple as just ‘A,’ or a completely terrifying ‘Amaj7#11b9’! By discussing the 7th chord, we start our journey into understanding the nature of extended chords, what they imply, and why they are not as terrifying as we may have thought. Delving further into chords gives us a much broader understanding of harmony in not just jazz, but all areas of music. So, whether you are playing classical, rock, jazz or even musical theatre, you will be able to apply this knowledge of … Read more

Guitar Posture – Right Way To Hold The Guitar & Pick

As you start to practice the guitar, it is important to have a good posture, which can prevent you from injuries and allow you to practice longer. In this article, we’ll talk about how to hold a guitar and a pick. How to Hold a Guitar When you play a guitar sitting down, the waist of the guitar (where you would see a curve) should rest on your thigh—the right thigh if you are right-handed and the left thigh if you are left-handed. Next, the guitar is held by the right arm, with the left hand only for fretting. Of … Read more

Guitar Effect Pedals – Reverb Pedals

The reverb effect pedal is used to mimic natural reverb and to create a sense of depth and space in your guitar tone. Without a reverb effect, your guitar tone can often sound like it’s too up close and “dry,” which sounds unnatural as reverb exists in natural spaces. Reverb, in essence, is the persistence and continuation of a sound after it is produced. That persistence of sound is created by sound waves reflecting off surfaces in a room. The eventual decay of the sound occurs when the sound waves get absorbed by objects in the environment, including things like … Read more

Using Major and Minor Arpeggios to Improvise

Many of us have heard of the musical term “arpeggio,” but we are aren’t aware of what it actually means and how arpeggios can help our playing. To play all these notes–with big jumps up and down the fretboard of the guitar seems daunting, and the thought of improvising with them even more so! The reality of this is true in a sense. To master your arpeggios all over the fretboard takes a long time, but when you begin learning, you can use them right from the start, so the process happens naturally as you become more eager to expand … Read more

Guitar Effect Pedals – Delay Pedals

Delay pedals will almost always be on every guitarist’s pedalboard. If you’re looking to create lush soundscapes fitting for worship music, or if you’re looking to recreate the guitar tone of The Edge from U2, a delay pedal, or maybe even multiple delays, will be necessary. Perhaps the coolest characteristic of a delay effect is its ability to create a very full guitar sound with only one guitarist. If you’re unfamiliar with what a delay pedal does, it simply records an incoming signal and replays it several times. Some delay pedals aim to replicate an incoming signal as accurately as … Read more