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Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:14 pm
by bubbayork
I currently play thru a Fender Frontman 212... its solid state.
at the moment i don't have the money to afford a Tube amp, yet i will someday.

What pedals would help to get a more ideal "Bluesy" tone?

I've heard Tube Screamers and Fuzz pedals would help... any thoutghts, any others?

i played acoustic guitar for 3 n a half years, and jus got into playing electric probably 6 months ago.
thats why i have sooo many questions! lol sorry, i just need sum advice... thanks! :D

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:30 pm
by zhyla
I don't think I'd waste much money on pedals. You can get a tube amp for $100 and up, it makes zero sense to drop $50 on a pedal at this point.

Overdrive pedals (such as tube screamers) don't do much for solid state amps. I'm not sure there really is such a thing as a "bluesy" tone anyways.

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:19 pm
by allanlummox
I'd recommend playing guitar with your fingers rather than your feet. Tone lives in the calluses on your fingertips.

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:07 pm
by leftyguitarman
Get a cheap tube amp like an Epiphone Valve Junior, Vox AC4TV, Blackheart, etc. I have one of the Valve Juniors. I paid $60 for the cab and the head was $129 I think. It screams and I use it all the time.

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:26 pm
by rustyslide
While I think improving your phrasing (playing) will do leaps and bounds for getting a bluesy tone (whatever that is), I remember being in a similar spot, and it's really nice to have a sound you like coming out of the amp.

zhyla wrote:I don't think I'd waste much money on pedals. You can get a tube amp for $100 and up, it makes zero sense to drop $50 on a pedal at this point.

It's certainly worth seeing if a little 5W tube amp sounds good; I have owned a Champion 600 and a Valve Jr. (still have the Champ), and I love them with everything but my Strat.

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:53 pm
by bubbayork
well what i meant by "bluesy" was...

i cant jus turn up the Overdrive to 11 and expect any kinda of familiar tone heard n the blues.
it'd sound like metal or sumthing then.

SRV, seems to have a cleanliness yet crunch in his tone.
i know alot of it has to do with the way you grip the strings, and strike them.
but the basic way he sets up his knobs have to help n sum way...

i guess that'd b where to start 1st.
how should i set my knobs up...


i dont want str8 distortion, but a lil crunch with the smooth clean tone.
a texas blues sorta tone... maybe it just takes using my ear and tweeking.
but there has to be a such thing as a "bluesy" tone, if other music have different tones.
obviously, pop music and death metal tones are completely different.
thus, blues must have its own kinda astmosphere of sound.
it maybe a wide variety of sound, but theres def sumem unique there.

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:57 pm
by bubbayork
but i do realize its 99 percent in the fingers, and hands.

thats what gives every artist a different sound...

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:19 pm
by allanlummox
Blues lives in the low midrange, so I'd set the parametric eq's flat (in the middle of the knob's sweep)and then roll back the highs a bit. This is also a generally good idea since women have smaller eardrums then men - and find an excess of treble annoying. You can't hear this as closely as they can - neither can I - but if part of why you are playing has to do with making ladies shake, it's something to keep in mind.

Reverb is mostly a matter of taste and style - but too much will obscure the harmonic clarity of your notes as much as distortion will. I use a tweek of it on electric guitars - but never any on vocals, for example. A fairly "dry" sound has an intimacy - a closeness to the ear. Reverb creates an illusion of space and distance. Think about whether you want to sound as if you are speaking directly to each listener - or as if you are "way over there".

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:49 pm
by zhyla
rustyslide wrote:it's really nice to have a sound you like coming out of the amp.

Absolutely, there's no point if you don't like the sound you're making :). I haven't really hunted in the pedal domain very much but I haven't found anything I liked that much, especially plugged into a solid state amp. Reverb and delay pedals can be awesome, but I don't see those helping much his problem.

I hesitate to recommend this, but if you can find a used Line6 POD (XT or 3 verions especially) you can get some awfully good sound for not too much. At that point your amp becomes just a loud speaker. I hesitate here because you will spend all your time goofing around with the hundreds of amps/effects and not learn much about playing.

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:10 pm
by bubbayork
SWEET! thanks fellas!

I picked up the guitar, gettin close to 4 yrs ago bc i jus LOVED music, no matter the style.
as I've learned to play guitar the blues just stuck with me, hearing it from my dad all my life.
I never really dove into how to make these certain tones and sounds tho...
so ALL this is really a big help!

its nice to know from more experienced doods, that pedals are more less a cop out, or unnessacary.
and that jus the will of learning, and a nice Tube amp are ur basic needs. (after a guitar of coarse)

My friend went to Arizona Conservatory of Recording Arts, he has ALOT of equipment.
includeing a Line 6 Pod. it has MILLIONS of variations on it. i normally let him mess with it while i play.
it'd take months to figure it out, but is DEF a great tool for tones.

thanks again for the info fellas. i think phrasing and technique are my main objectives at this point.

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:27 pm
by JLHooker
I played through a Fender Frontman 212 for a while.I used a Danelectro equalizer(Fish and Chips) with the midrange turned up with it.I played the amp clean with the treble turned down. As soon as I could, I traded the Fender in on a Peavey Classic 50 212 which I like very much.

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:06 pm
by Stackabones
Since you are playing a Fender amp, I'd start with the Magic Six settings and tweak from there. It's worked on every Fender I've played.

Even with that in mind, I'd trust your own ears when finding your own sound.

btw, I used a Boss SuperOverdrive SD-1 on a solid state Peavey Bandit and was able to get great tones. Pedals are not a cop out, and they are not unnecessary. They are just tools of the trade. Some folks just don't know how to use them. Even the blues guys use them. Buddy Guy even has a signature wah pedal.


Some guys who don't use pedals still use a two-channel amp: one channel for clean and one for dirt. And many guys who don't use pedals have amps that have reverb, vibrato, etc already built in (like the Fender Deluxe Reverb). On something like a Fender Twin Reverb, you have to get a pedal for overdrive/distortion. It's just too freaking loud to overdrive, and it'll stay clean till the fillings fall out of your head from the loudness.

To get a tube amp to overdrive, you have to crank it way up. Do you live somewhere where you can do that? Keep that it in mind when buying a tube amp for overdrive. You can get a small tube amp, but even 5 watts is a lot louder than you think. I've got an Epi Valve Jr and that lil amp cranks! Pedals allow you to craft your overdrive at lower volume levels, which is great if you live with other or around other people who don't share your passion for searching for the perfect blues tone.

As far as searching for THE bluesy tone. It's different for each player. Ya gotta seek and tweak around till you find your bluesy tone.

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:27 pm
by bubbayork
sweet man. i knew a Wah is a pedal very useful for the blues.
jus about everyone uses them... and are veeeeery cool.
i live in the country, out in the middle of nowhere, so turning up isnt a problem most of the time.

before i got the Frontman 212, i had nooooo idea that low watt Tube amps were sooo loud.
bout 2 weeks after i got the Fender, i tested a small Tube amp and it was LOUD.
i wish I'd tested it first... the prices were just a lil different. not tooo much.

As far as the knob settings go, i just needed a good place to start.
then i'll use my own prefrences to adjust from there...
i watch plenty of videos on ppl talkin about tone, everyone has different veiws.
but everyone seems to say, it has more do with the way u play/handle he instrument.
so... i think it'll just take time. i'll try the "Magic Six" settings if i can find them

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:51 pm
by Buffalo_Bill
I get a Bluesy tone from every guitar I pick up, and amp. It comes out of you Bro. :wink:
I like my acoustic with .09 electric Super Slinkys, just as with my electrics. Easy to bend.
I set my amps mostly with the tone knobs straight up at 5 or 6, a little bit of overdrive, or none at all.
Heavy overdrive/distortion brings everything to the middle and eliminates the bass, I don't like that.

Re: Pedals???? help needed.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:08 am
by Singemonkey
There are a lot of guitar tones that people have used for blues. And what makes guitar playing sound like blues is how you play.

But what we're talking about here is how the amplification/effects complements your playing. Does it still sound like blues tone when it's a tiny solid state practise amp played through a boss metal zone maxed out? I don't think so. I think even Albert King would be frustrated by a rig like that.

The key to blues amplification is that you want it dynamic. Dynamic is the key to that sound. This is why practically no one uses super high gain multi channel amps like Mesa Triple Rectifiers, and very few people use solid state amps. A tube amp is the only device available that can truly give you control over the amount of grit in your sound purely by using your pick attack and your volume knob. Pedals and emulators can sorta get there, but it's never quite the same.

Seriously. A tiny tube amp will inspire you to play and will allow you to hear the dynamics that electric blues players rely on. Best example for me would be Peter Green's playing where he goes from barely touching the strings - producing that chimey clean sound - to digging in and getting a sweet, saturated yowl. Yes it's in his fingers. But the tube amp responds to his fingers in a way that a solid state amp, or a pedal, or a pod, would not.

Luckily these tiny single channel tube amps are often perfect for that sound. Save. Flog the frontman. Get a little tube amp.