The Compressor Pedal is one of the most misunderstood pedals out there. There are many ways to use a compressor effectively. I use mine as an always on device that makes my sound really come alive.
A compressor will help even out your sound by bringing out the soft parts and bringing down the loud parts. This will help with clean sustain by bringing up the level as you notes start to fade. You will get a more consistent sound using a compressor this way.
You can use the compressor as more of an effect by turning up the compression level to get more of a “squished” sound. This is great for Chicken Pickin’ country guitar as well as for Funk gitar parts.
You also can use the Compressor for a volume boost by turning up the volume control and turning it on when you need a little more volume.
The Compressor can be a very subtle effect, one of those effects that you don’t notice until it’s not there.
As a beginning player you can find out very quickly one of the most important things is one of the hardest things to do. Tuning your instrument! When I first started I had a pitch pipe. The biggest problem with that is that as a beginner our ears aren’t usually developed enough to match the pitch. As I got a little older electronic tuners started to become more affordable but I still paid over $100.00 for a very basic tuner. Today you can get a much more accurate and flexible tuner for a fraction of the price.
Here are some types of tuners and their advantages:
The Clip on Tuner
I love these things! I keep one in every room that I play in as well as my guitar case. The low cost and ease of use make these a favorite of mine. Just clip it on the head stock of your guitar, turn it on and go. (Pictured is the Tune Tech TT-5)
The Pedal Tuner
Some people find the pedal tuner is a must especially if they are using other effects. It is can just go into your pedal chain on your pedalboard. One big advantage is that when turning it on you can mute your sound. Most of these types of tuners have a bright display which is very useful on a dark stage. (Pictured is the Modtone Pedal Tuner MT-PT1)
Built in Tuner
Some acoustic instruments have built in tuners. This type of tuner is great if you aren’t using any pedals. It is built into your instrument so it is always there!
(Pictured on the left is the built in tuner for the Eddy Finn EF-9-CE. Pictured on the right is the built in Tuner in the Morgan Monroe Music Row series MGV-100E)
What is the best type of tuner?
To me it really depends on the application. If I’m sitting at home you can bet I have a clip on tuner on my headstock and if I’m out playing with a band I have a pedal tuner on my board.
Let us know what your favorite tuner is!
We all love the intimacy and ease of playing our acoustic guitar but sooner or later if you want to gig or play with a group of people you are going to need to plug that guitar in.
Most of us start off by plugging straight into the P.A. System. This is a great option but there are 2 things to consider.
Is my signal hot enough for the board, and how do I go from the high impedance out of my guitar to the low impedance input that most PA systems require? A direct box will get us from the guitar to the PA. ,but there are many options; my favorite is an Acoustic Guitar Preamp pedal.
Here are some advantages of using an Acoustic Preamp Pedal.