Pedal away your Blues with the Best Guitar Pedals for Blues
Blues is popular music and is a fusion of African and Western cultures in the Southern part of America. Melody, harmony, and rhythm are essential features of blues music, which is expressed in a ‘raw and unfiltered’ manner. Formerly, this effect was achieved by resorting to the use of ‘loud and fuzzy’ amps, but today, the same effect is got by using guitar expression pedals, fuzz, a delay pedal, a reverb or wah pedal with overdrive. A great overdrive pedal will get you a great blues tone. There are different best guitar pedals for blues that help you get the sound you are looking for.
This quality, low cost, the compact and versatile pedal is for all guitar players, regardless of their levels and styles. It is reputed for its capacity to generate that raw tone so characteristic of blues music. Available in classic green, this overdrive pedal is equipped with three knobs capable of producing a wide spectrum of tones. The big knob is meant for a drive while the two smaller ones cater to level and tone. It has a footswitch in the form of a button and the pedal’s size doesn’t allow room for a battery. Hence, it requires an AC adapter.
Featuring among the best guitar pedals for blues, this overdrive pedal revs the guitar signal and pushes the tubes to the limit. With the proper overdrive, tone and volume settings, you will get a rich and creamy sound that’s just perfect for blues. Using a thumb picking approach, it’s possible to get a clean sound while a heavy crunch can be obtained with a combination of strong picks and power chords. Playing and experimenting with the settings can produce an exciting and a broad range of sounds. It can not only add presence to a hot signal but can also act as an overdrive or function as a boost.
Given its small size, great price and expansive tonal capabilities, the Ibanez Tube Mini Screamer has screamed its way right to the top. If you want to go solo for blues, it’s a perfect fit with amazing power. So, even if you have a cramped pedal board, there will always be room for this tiny pedal. Pair it with a tube amp and you have a killer and a winner. Maybe you can’t tweak the tone of the effect to the extent you want, but its tonal excellence pushes those slight disappointments away.
This is a high-quality pedal that has a premium feel despite being affordable. It’s highly rated as a ‘clean boost pedal’. It’s durable and quiet and can add distortion whenever you want. In this, it scores over many other dedicated boost pedals. It’s very versatile in the sense that its function as a moderate distortion pedal, can control volume while onstage and also can drive the front end of a tube amp.
It produces warm, crunchy tones that one expects to hear from a vintage tube amp. Though it doesn’t have the warmth and readiness of a tube amp overdrive, it can hold its own well by producing distortion that ranges from subtle to moderate. It will never let you down on a live stage and can be pushed and pushed to work harder to produce classic blues tones. It is touch-sensitive and minute changes in volume produce big changes in tone. The pedal can be operated on a 9v battery or through an AC adaptor. With a five year warranty, it’s a good pedal and has been a favorite ever since it first decorated the pedal boards in ‘95. Don’t forget to check this one out.
Do you want to bring your blues solo to life? Use the TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 reverb pedal- it’s filled with reverb options. A pressure sensitive Mash footswitch can be used to toggle the reverb effect from off to on and vice versa. This switch can be used as an expression pedal to make reverbs work for you the way you want them to.
For those who like TonePrint effects presets, there are 3 slots which allow you to have customized reverb effects in readiness for use. You can also download reverb presets of your choice directly into the pedal using the TonePrint app if the ones that exist don’t suit your style. The guitar’s pickups help to do this and players can get just as much reverb as they want- more or less. You can blend the reverb with personal expression, add a new shimmer effect and get a new reverb. The shimmer reverb algorithms help to change the pitch of the reverb effect when you want to create effects.
This reverb pedal is easy to use and has a lot of good features going for it. Given the price at which it’s available, it may be the best budget reverb pedal. The pedal can be operated on a battery.
When you’re playing a blues solo, introducing delay into it can change the emotion or feeling of the song. A Delay pedal helps to do that and the MXR Carbon Copy produces those delay tones. This pedal also livens up your gigs by adding a little modulation to repeats. It uses ‘bucket brigade technology’ to ensure that the blues tones produced are warm, friendly and rich. The technology and the pedal lived up to their respective reputations with expressive and huge pedal sounds and great analog tone and delay. The MXR Carbon Copy figures among the top analog delays and is a great value to guitar players because it produces thick solos, deep soundscapes, tight slap back echoes- all equally well. A classic delay pedal that’s a great value and looks and sounds amazing.
Electric guitarists are floored by this pedal which houses a landscape of sound options. This most recent pedal from DigiTech is a visible sign of the pedal design experience it has. It is equipped with stereo inputs and outputs, Liveliness, Decay, Independent Level and Type controls, a true bypass, a footswitch and also a Reverb Tailswitch. As it is battery operated, it can be integrated into the pedalboard.
It offers seven Lexicon reverbs, of which the Outrageous Halo tops the reverbs with its amazing cascade of glorious otherworldly tones that lures listeners. That, however, is just the tip, you can travel through the fast decaying reverb that creates a unique ambiance, experience the classic touch introduced by Plate reverb, be captivated with the quiet crescendos and full volume of Reverb in reverse- the ideal reverb for chords, indulge in the expansiveness of Hall, relish the intimacy of Room and travel through time with the power of Reverse.
The wide spectrum of unique tones that can be blended with the blues music will leave you spellbound. The sonic dimensions of the Digitech Polara Reverb Pedal are immense and you can architect sound the way you want to. Guitarists become heady when they think of the soundscaping possibilities of this pedal.
The pedal is slightly expensive and though it is battery operated, it’s better to connect it to the mains supply. It comes with a three-year warranty and shouldn’t be pushed too far or too hard.
Get a Wah pedal and watch your blues playing metamorphose from dull to powerful. It’s a basic pedal with no extra trimmings but it’s a good one to have in your arsenal, regardless of the music you play. This expression pedal is easy to handle and extremely responsive. Applying effects to any style is a breeze and the quality of sound in both the bass and treble ranges is amazing. Affordable and great for beginners working on a budget.
It has a rugged metal chassis and also a rubber grip pedal and produces different tones in different positions- warm tones in the heel back position and clean leads in the toe position. This Dunlop creation allows players better parameter controls, and that’s why guitarists of every playing genre turned to the Wah whenever they want to create their own sounds. The inductor, which is the heart of the pedal, shapes the tone and differences in the inductor brings about differences in tones. The original Crybaby Wah pedal is timeless and classic and the best in its class. Experience it once and you’ll be hooked.
This is a fuzz pedal with a whale of sound options on a platter and the range is so wide and the core of the tone so warm that it belies description. It has five controls- the first one is for volume, second and third are for Compression and Gate- both of which help set the bias of the transistor, the fourth is the Drive that’s responsible for stability and controlling input and lastly a control that regulates the voltage supply in the circuit. The pedal by itself is unconventional in style and design but it’s a great fuzz pedal to have especially if you’re playing a blues solo. This one is a must for all those who play blues for it lets your emotions come screaming out from the guitar amp.
Of course, there are always pedals and pedals for blues and beginners may well be overwhelmed with the choices available. However, you can’t go wrong with the low-cost Ibanez Tube Screamer. So add that to your rig as a starting point.