What are good pedals for rhythm guitar? The rhythm guitar is one of the most important, albeit overlooked ingredients in music. When shaping your instrument’s sound, the tone to be used for the rhythm parts must always be considered. Rhythm guitar is an element that can greatly affect the overall mood and texture of a song, so it definitely deserves to have a proper mix of its own.
Since the inception of the electric guitar, playing lead has always been the favorite form of self-expression. Allowing musicians to liberate their minds and soar freely together with the cascading plethora of notes, solos are also the ultimate way to show off some guitar techniques.
However, lead guitar playing only constitutes a small portion of most songs. Even though rhythm guitar players don’t always have the spotlight shining on them, their presence is a driving force that brings songs to life. Guitarists are probably playing rhythm ninety percent of the time, so this integral component of music requires just as much attention as soloing.
How do you get a good rhythm guitar tone?
Know how to use the equalizer/tone controls
Whether you are using the tone controls on your amplifiers or a stompbox EQ, you must keep in mind that these are the main tools that you need to sculpt your sound. It is best to know how to utilize the equalizer properly by understanding the role of each frequency.
When playing together with a band, you might need to give up some low-end to accommodate the bass player and raise the mids to allow your sound to cut through the mix.
Use the right pickup
Learn which pickup is best for certain genres. Whether you are using single coils, humbuckers or P90s, you can find the best pickup combination for almost any kind of music.
Use the right guitar pick
The thickness of the guitar pick that you are using will affect the sound of your strumming. Choose the right pick based on which one is comfortable for you, but also consider the specific style of music that you are playing.
Change your strings
The sound of your strings will become dull after a while and the intonation will also be affected. Replace your old strings with a fresh set to maintain that brilliant sound when you play rhythm.
Check your cables
You can lose some signal and worsen your tone if your guitar cables are faulty. Make sure that the cables that you are using for your guitar and pedals are working perfectly without any unwanted noise.
We’re talking about practice
Proper practice makes perfect. Dedicate at least an hour or two a day just playing rhythm with the help of a metronome or some backing tracks. The tighter your playing becomes, the better your sound will be, hence the expression “tone is in the hands.”
Add some color to your sound
Using effects such as chorus, reverb and tube amp emulators can help improve your rhythm guitar sound. There are a variety of good pedals for rhythm guitar in the market, you just need to look for the right stompboxes for your style of music.
What are good pedals for rhythm guitar?
A boost pedal increases the gain signal of your guitar without affecting the tone or frequency range. It is a very effective way to make your clean sound much louder and transparent without causing any unwanted distortion.
Examples of Boost pedals:
- Electro-Harmonix LPB-1
- Fender Engager Boost
- JHS Prestige
- MXR Booster Mini
- TC Electronic Spark Booster
The magical-sounding chorus is one of the most popular pedals for rhythm guitar. Guitar players love to use chorus effects because it can replicate the sound of two guitars playing at the same time.
Examples of Chorus pedals:
- Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
- Electro-Harmonix Small Clone Full Chorus
- MXR M234 Analog Chorus
- Walrus Audio Julia Chorus/Vibrato
- TC Electronic Corona
Compressor/Limiter pedals are used to control your sound so you can turn your guitar louder without allowing any clipping. In a clean setting, a compressor/limiter will add some percussiveness to the guitar’s sound, making it perfect for funky rhythmic playing.
Examples of Compressor/Limiter pedals:
- Boss CP-1X Compressor
- JHS Pulp ‘n’ Peel Compressor v4
- Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Deluxe
- MXR M228 Dyna Comp Deluxe Compressor
- Wampler Ego Compressor
The delay can do wonders not only for guitar solos, but also for rhythm parts. You just need to spend more time nailing your timing, since the delay pedal will create repeating notes that can interfere with your groove. Once you get used to strumming with delay effects, you can create a massive wall of sound.
Examples of Delay pedals:
- Boss DD-7 Digital Delay
- Electro-harmonix Deluxe Memory Man
- Empress EchoSystem
- Strymon TimeLine
- TC Electronic Flashback2
Whether you are recording your guitar parts or playing live, equalization is the primary way to shape your sound. Having an EQ pedal in your pedalboard will allow you to make adjustments on the fly and make your tone shine without having to rely on effects and emulators.
Examples of Equalizer pedals:
- Behringer EQ700
- Boss GE-7
- Free the Tone PA-1QG
- Joyo JF11 6-Band EQ
- Maxon GE601
Overdriven guitar sound goes way back to the days of tube amplifiers and has been a staple in various genres of music from early rock and roll to metal. Using overdrive effects pedals for rhythm guitar will make your sound warm, gritty and sustain-rich.
Examples of Overdrive pedals:
- Boss BD-2 Blues Driver
- Earthquaker Devices Palisades V2
- Ibanez Tube Screamer
- Keeley D&M Drive
- Mesa Boogie Flux Five
The phaser is one of the earliest effects and it was invented to mimic the phasing sound of a rotating organ. The phaser is great for rhythm guitar playing and you can adjust the swirling effect to modulate together with the tempo of your strumming.
Examples of Phaser pedals:
- Boss PH-3
- Electro-Harmonix Small Stone
- Fender Lost highway
- Source Lunar Phaser
- Whirlwind Rochester Orange Box Phaser
The reverb is one of the most important effects pedals for rhythm guitars. It allows you to recreate an ambient sound ranging from small rooms to theaters and stadiums.
Unless you are trying to achieve a floating, ethereal sound, the reverb should be applied sparingly if you want your strumming to be heard clearly.
Examples of Reverb pedals:
- Boss RV-500
- Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11 Reverb
- Eventide Space
- Strymon BigSky
- TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2