This feature was submitted by Guitar Jar contributor: Pedals For Hire
Long, long ago in a land far, far away, before council tax, Miranda Hart and X Factor (what a lovely thought), there were cavemen who roamed the wilds doing cavemen-type things. As well as hunting beasties and drawing lopsided pictures in excrement on their walls, when they saw something new and interesting they were drawn to it and collected it for their cave.
…Les Paul had to invent his own way of multi-track recording – we can get an app for that in 2012…
Fast forward a few thousand years and we are still bringing shiny things back to our caves. Except these are brightly painted effects pedals for our guitar. Or new carbon parts for our road bike. Or a new graphics card for your PC.
The challenge to this often “But why do you need another one of those things?” and it is a fair question. Eric Clapton did not spend his formative years wondering about the tone suck characteristics of a particular Boss pedal or reading countless forum posts about the latest and greatest overdrive pedal. He just practised a lot and became (a) god.
Reading all this, you probably think I’ve gone mad. Someone who runs a pedal hire site and extols the virtues of multiple pedals suggesting that one can have too many pedals. But the issue is more subtle than that.
Following your favourite player and wanting to emulate every part of their setup is natural. In fact it’s great. Taking care and time to study a great guitarist can only help inspire you to practise more and become a better player. Wanting to sound better shows a care about the music you make and a desire to improve your playing continuously to be the best you possibly can be.
Man is designed to collect stuff. It is in our nature. It entertains our minds; an excellent way to daydream the afternoon away rather than working or revising.
Whatever the hobby or activity, man will want to tinker and accessorise his hobby. Look at the hordes of magazines for every type of activity offering the newest and greatest fishing rod or running shoe. Yes, part of it is excellent marketing, but there are also vast improvements on offer in this technological age that are worth taking advantage of.
Les Paul had to invent his own way of multi-track recording – we can get an app for that in 2012.
“Practise more” should be everyone’s mantra. Practise is the way to make yourself a better guitarist. But if juggling your pedal order or constantly searching for that perfect drive pedal to complete “your sound” is what inspires you to practise, then it’s definitely worth it.
Photo of Effects Pedals from http://recoverychild.com