Posted by: kubiakl | February 22, 2010

New Roads

I’m not a pedal hopper.  When I first started playing guitar I picked up a multi-effects pedal (the Zoom 505ii, for the curious) and enjoyed the hell out of it.  But over time the stock tones started to sound… wrong.  They were good imitators of various tones but as my ears matured I became less satisfied.  Instead of learning how to edit patches (which would have required me to spend a lot of time pushing buttons) I set it aside and stuck to my two overdrive pedals.

Those pedals, coupled with my tube amp, put out a tone that suited me well.  I could get a nice Fender clean tone, a slightly overdriven bluesy sound, and a lo-fi crunch that didn’t get too mushy.  When my friend (Drummer Guy) and I started recording some of our ideas I kept gravitating towards variations of those same sounds.  It has worked pretty well.

But this past weekend he had me try something completely outside my wheelhouse.  I guess some explanation would help:  Drummer Guy and I have some common musical ground.  We both dig blues-based music like the Black Keys and all.  But we differ on other music – I’d rather hear James McMurtry twanging up a Telecaster, DG would rather enjoy some dropped-D riffs by a metal band.  Which isn’t to say he doesn’t like McMurtry, or that I don’t ever listen to metal.  It’s just not our natural state.  I think in terms of country and blues phrasing, he thinks in metal phrasing.

Back to the story:  he had a song in dropped-D he was recording and wanted me to put a solo over it.  When he had finished all of the rhythm parts I listened and tried to think of what would sound good.  No matter what I thought of I couldn’t hear my guitar part in it.  Nothing would sound right.

Then DG went through some various tones for me to try.  When he hit the Dublin Delay sound in Garageband (based on The Edge’s sound) we stopped.  THIS was the tone for the song.  A few tweaks to the amp settings and the solo came off in two takes.

I’m not going to completely abandon my sound, because like I said – it fits me.  But I will probably be donating some more money to my local guitar shops in the near future.  After all, who knows what new roads a few pedals will lead me down?



  1. […] can also access a variety of amp and stomp box simulations, as well as some preset sounds (like the Dublin Delay I raved about).  It has models of many famous amps – Fender Tweeds and Silverfaces, Marshall […]

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