What is your effects philosophy?


I play in the church scene which is generally excessive expensive boutique pedals just to flex. I generally try to go against the grain and only have what is absolutely necessary or even limit myself to be more creative.
Thank you! There are some stellar players in the church scene, but it's like those "All I need is Jesus and Coffee" shirts... and five Strymons.

The more limits I have, the more creative I feel like I can be.
mine is a few FX, subtle and always make sure the tone of the guitar makes it through. Heavy distortion, phaser, Chorus, Vibe all wreck the basic guitar sound for me and so I dial them in with a low mix. I used to use a lot of long tap temple delay but now keep it mostly to slapback. Working well for me in my covers bands


Less is almost always more. I thought having the biggest board would give me the largest palette of sounds and tones, but it always ended up deterring my playing. Since I would be so focused on the different patches and presets for songs. For me, a couple of stompboxes that cover my needed sounds is all I need. I'm done with having 5 overdrives, 3 delays, reverbs, etc.


Curious how you TGPers use effects? Do you incorporate into songs? Live or recorded? Accent certain parts? Or simply make nice sounds from time to time? Cheers!
Now that I am a bit older, I have decided to create all of those ambitious Pepper, Floyd and Eno kind of records that I couldn't really create when I was in a band, so effects have made my crayon box grow from 8 colors to 8000 colors.

When I was in a band, though, my setup sounded similar to yours. Good guitar, tube amp, reverb, tuner... not much else. I just couldn't be bothered with a larger rig.


Silver Supporting Member
Buy high, sell low.

But really, it’s just the basics for me. Fuzz, boost, a dual overdrive, delay, verb, and trem. I’ve tried lots of stuff but these are the ones that I find useful and inspiring to me. But these days, with the right amp, I’m happy to play clean the majority of the time, so the effects are just about increasing options and adding things I find fun.


Silver Supporting Member
my philosophy:
1. buy many, many dirt pedals
1b. buy more, as you find a “deal”
2. compare them
3. confirm that there isnt THAT much different about most of them
4. tell youself, ill sell these ones not on the board, but not take pics for ebay or reverb
5. place said pedals on shelf in office closet
6. loathe self
7. look at reverb for more dirt pedals
8, loathe self more


Silver Supporting Member
My effects philosophy is simple: I see a pedal, I buy it.

Then I get annoyed at the complexity of too many pedals in the chain so I go straight into the amp much of the time.


The more, the merrier.

There's no rule that says you have to use them all simultaneously. For me, effects are as much a part of the instrument as the instrument, itself. The right combination of effects gives me options for soundscapes that wouldn't be possible, otherwise. They make my guitars more than guitars.

The possibilities are endless - or they will be, once I get my hands on a proper MIDI switcher.
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My philosophy is:
If it was ever used in a Pink Floyd song then I MUST have one. Ironically, my favorite thing to play is the big Echoes solo which is a pretty straightforward fuzz>gain>delay combo.


currently Wet/Dry/Wet
I took 20 years off of FX after I stopped gigging in '95
Then I discovered working in the box in '98 and any amplified playing was no FX except occasional amp reverb...sometimes I'd use a whammy pedal for certain tracking and I would mix in FX into my recordings.

In 2017 I got the bug again. The band Hammock really influenced me.
I've been building up a rack rig since then. Every time I play it's a different journey; I don't really play any covers nor have any desire to.
I like to start clean,
add in fx one at a time,
mold the sound,
get to a point of high delay feedback and/or infinite reverb where the effects are churning away by themselves,
put the guitar down,
go make a cup of tea with the amps still churning those infinite fx,
return to the rig and back out back down to no fx

and so on.

I was experimenting last year with routing LFO out of a DAW through various hardware fx parameters which can be amazing. My big focus since 2017 has been taking the computer out of the equation; I do always use an ipad for remote control, though...to control fx and amp settings.



It also works for pedals, as long as they allow me (and everyone else) to have a good time playing, they stay.
I don't use a lot, though. Mostly a Whammy (mostly for it's shallow detune/chorus) a couple delays, a wah, tuner and Hummingbird or trem.


Try the cheap options first. Ergonomics and practical feature sets often trump tone. You'll never know how anything really sounds until you play it at volume with a band. Digital stuff is cool, but don't spend big money on it because you have to replace it every 5 years.


Interesting realization, isn’t it…

For the longest time, I had to have (at least) one of each effect type available in my rig. A chorus, a flanger, a phaser, a tremolo, a rotary speaker, etc.

But I came to realize that, for how and when I use effects, there was a lot of overlap with having one of everything. I could actually get away with just a Uni-Vibe (covering phaser, rotary, and even tremolo on occasion) and a chorus (covering chorus, flange, and sometimes phaser as well).

But I had to go through all those effects types to find that out. So while the journey involved a lot of different effects and a lot of different versions of each type of effect, the destination ended up only being two modulation pedals on my board.
I totally agree with this. I like to get stuff right cause im a stickler, but when there's a vibe/phase/flange modulation part in a song, any of those options will capture the same feeling for an audience.


Effects aren't just there to embellish what's already there. That is the boring way. Effects can be used as an instrument on their own. Long modulated reverb into a fuzz for drones and walls of noise, added delays for rhythmic purposes and not just for "making your guitar sound more epic". Don't be afraid to to use effects to create something that's not already there. Be creative.


Silver Supporting Member
I use what I think I can use. I don't have any unusable effects on there that I don't normally incorporate into other songs. If they can fit in and make the song a little different, it'll be on my board. Nothing outlandish.

even my other board wouldn't differ too much from the theme: (give or take some interchangeable effects, like chorus = flanger)

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