For as long as it has existed, the electric guitar has been the instrument of choice for budding rock stars the world over! Loud, proud and beautiful, many a fine solo has come from the creative minds of the player, and a good rock rhythm section is nothing without a quality guitar sound.
The beauty of the electric guitar lies largely in its versatility; add a pedal here and there, and you have a greater range than you might have though possible. What is the pedal of choice? It’s the reverb pedal, of course, and if you don’t use one, we’re about to tell you why you should!
Naturally, you want to get yourself the best reverb pedal available – more of that later – but that’s always going to be a personal choice. Many guitarists are loyal to their favourite brand, and why not? So, why do you need a reverb pedal? Here’s our reasons, and they may change your mind!
A Little Bit of Something
Even with the best amps, the sound can be dull in the wrong circumstances. A touch of reverb will add that little touch of depth and bring things back to life, more than you may realise. It’s about using it sparingly, not too much or you will lose the tone, and adding reverb where you think that touch of decay will give your sound a new, fresh kick. There’s more to reverb than just noise, and if you play acoustic and amplified, you may also find it is the best way to bring the delicate and detailed touches out of your sound. Try it, and you’ll see we’re right!
Space and Depth
Playing live is a million miles away from the recording studio. In the studio, it is easy to create a sense of depth and space by placing microphones in specific places; the top producers are experts in this, and the results can be heard in some of the finest recordings around. Live, however, you don’t have this luxury, but what you do have is a reverb pedal!
Now, you may have stereo or mono reverb; the latter can be used to great effect by introducing a very, very slight delay – a fraction of a second – which will give the effect of greater depth into your playing. It’s a simple yet clever way of giving more space to your sound. With a stereo pedal, you can split it between two amps, and get the feel of a sort of surround sound that will certainly bring something new to the party. It’s worth a try, so check out the best reverb pedal for you and see what you can achieve.
If you think that your sound is too static, that perhaps you’re not achieving the best range you are looking for, it could be that introducing a little movement into your playing is the answer you need. Modulated reverb, an effect used by many of the great guitarists through the ages, is one way of getting such a result, and it is very effective indeed.
Many of the best reverb pedals have the ability to introduce modulated reverb into the package, and they do it in a very subtle manner. It’s a great addition to the sound, and one that is very popular with guitarists. Used with the effects above, the addition of movement when introduced to the space and depth element is something that can bring a whole new feel to the table, and far more easily than you may think. Have a look for reverb pedals that give you this option, and you are adding to your capability.
Sustain and Gain
There was a time, before pedals came to the rescue, when the only way to add a little extra to your sound was to go louder, and add gain. With a reverb pedal, you can take things a step further without the need to add too much in terms of gain. It’s about using the sounds you have available to your advantage, and making it work for you. The best reverb pedals will allow you to enhance your sound without the need for excess volume or too much gain.
Long reverb is a great way of adding sustainability to your playing; it brings out the best in the available noise, and makes things more mobile and volatile. It can also be surprisingly delicate if used the right way, so you get the added enhancement in those pretty moments, too.
Improve the Room
We are really back to the beginning with this one; no musician can change the way a room ‘sounds’. That’s down to the room and its furnishings, and it makes no difference whether you are the greatest player in the world, or a newcomer trying your hand. The room dictates how the room will sound, and the worst are those that offer a very bright and shrill sound, with enhanced reflection.
Enter your friend the reverb pedal, which can be used to overcome the brightness in a room, and by using decay and delay, can help mask any inefficiencies that may be present. It’s a cheap and effective way of getting decent sound in difficult places, and it can be the difference between your audience getting the picture, or hearing what the room is giving rather than you.
So, you need a reverb pedal; those are just a few of the reasons why. It’s not an expensive option – you can choose from a wide variety and selection of pedals that offer you many different functions – and it’s one that will certainly add to your armoury when you are plying live.
Whether you play solo, in a band, electric or amplified acoustic, you can rest assured that once you find the best reverb pedal for you – we recommend you check out a few before you buy – you will wonder why you never used one before. Simple, effective and fun, you’re opening up a whole new world of sounds when you go down this route.