Examples of Guitar Effect Combinations

In the previous 'Getting the Right Sound' article I was showing you how to achieve powerful distorted sound suitable for punchy guitar riffs that extensively used in modern alt-rock and nu-metal music.

Here I'd like to show you how to get other tones by using different combinations of effects for different music genres and playing styles.

Although my guitar riff lessons are supposed to use high gain distortion, often in songs: heavy metal chorus may be interchanged nicely with smooth, clean sounding version or bridge. Jet or reactive sounding distortion can fit well on intros and fills. 'Cosmic' sound will surprise your listeners with uniqueness...

Clean Rhythm

Distortion: off.
Add some Reverb and Chorus.

audio example

Bright Solo

Distortion: about 70-100%.
EQ: bass - 50% middle - 60% treble - 50%.
Add thick Delay and possibly some Reverb.
audio example

Using bridge pickup on your guitar will make tone more screamy.

Classic Rock Solo

Distortion: about 50-70%.
EQ: bass - 40% middle - 70% treble - 40%.
Add some Delay and/or Reverb.

audio example

Smooth Solo

Distortion: about 20-50%.
EQ: You might raise MIDs a bit.
Add some Chorus, Delay/Reverb.

audio example

Neck pickup near the fingerboard creates a more placid tone.


Overdrive: varies from 0 to a little,
if you want to get a crisp tone.
EQ: all knobs around central positions.
Add some Reverb.

Neck pickup goes very well for blues solos.

audio example

Jet Sounding Distortion

Experiment with adding slow Flanger effect
after the Distortion.

audio example

Cosmic (Trance) Sounding

Imitation of Cut-Off Filter extensively used in trance music.

Switch on the Distortion.

Now slowly push and release Wah pedal, while playing something fast in a loop.

(I used simple two-handed tapping figure in the audio)

audio example

Don't feel bound by the effect values I've put in the chart, they are estimations, and there are many more sounds you can get by mixing different effects, switching pickups, adjusting volume knob on your guitar and so on...

Move to Correct Guitar Effect Ordering

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  Getting the Right Sound

•  More Guitar Effects
   Combinations Examples

   Correct Effect Ordering

If you're going to use guitar effect pedals or virtual stomp boxes on your computer, you should know how to hook them up in the correct order or you might end up with a really pathetic tone.

Look at proper guitar effect order here -->