Adult Guitar Lessons

ezineIf you're building a house there are some "must have" tools you should keep in your toolbox. A hammer for driving nails, a saw for cutting wood, a tape measure, pliers and screwdrivers, just to name a few.

When playing guitar there are some great "tools" available to color the tone of your guitar in various ways. Some purists would argue that, with the right amp and guitar, no extra tools should be needed.

But let's face it, we guitar players love our toys. All the new fangled gadgets that produce and endless array of tones and sounds. But if money is tight, and we absolutely had to choose a handful of the most "important" effects pedals, here are my "hands down" top 4 picks.

1. Distortion - Unless your amp has a killer crunch with channel switching, a good distortion pedal is a must have. In fact, if I could only choose one pedal to own, it would be a distortion pedal. There are a ton a choices on the market and your choice will be largely dependent on your style of music and personal taste.

2. Chorus - My number two pick would be a chorus pedal. This is a modulating effect that produces a "sweet" swirly sound. It's a great effect for clean rhythms, as well as a nice touch for crunchy leads.

3. Delay - Most amps come equipped with reverb, and most times that will do the trick. But having the ability to add some "slap back" to your leads will bring a whole new dimension to your sound. This is one of those "a little goes a long way" effects, so use it wisely.

4. Wah-Wah - As an "old school" guitarist, I grew up with a wah-wah pedal and have used one as long as I can remember. They are great for adding a "talking" or "singing" effect to your leads, and are also a good rhythm tool for the funky stuff.

It's important to remember that any effects pedal is just a tool and should never become a crutch. I have seen too many new guitarists go out and purchase a plethora of pedals, only to become dependent on them. Take the pedals away and they suffer from guitar paralysis.

Keep your main focus on truly learning how to play guitar, and use the pedals only to spice things up. Use them sparingly and tastefully and you will become a well rounded player with a wide range of tones at your disposal.

Keep on Picking!

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Keith Dean is founder of and a 30 veteran of stage and studio. He toured extensively as a road musician throughout the US and Europe, was a former lead guitarist for Jason Aldean, and has shared stages with Little Big Town, Wild Rose, Winger, Confederate Railroad and more. He is a published songwriter, owned and operated a successful music store, and has instructed numerous students in guitar.

Keith Dean - EzineArticles Expert Author