Becoming a great electric guitar player is hard:
- You must know chords in many different shapes and inversions.
- You must be able to create interesting parts.
- You must be able to improvise a solo.
- You must understand signal chain.
- You must understand rhythms and delays.
- You must be a technician to troubleshoot gear.
You must be able to think like a producer, intuitively knowing when to play, when not to play, what to play, how much to play, and with what effects to play through.
- You must be an engineer understanding things like EQ, compression, and distortion.
- And I'm sure I'm forgetting something.
I'm sure electric guitar players reading will rate themselves at differing levels for each of these disciplines – we are all in different places of experience and training.
One piece of the puzzle that up-and-coming players often get wrong is signal chain – or put more simply, in what order should these pedals go.
I found a nice guitar blog with this great image and a well-written reasoning behind this signal chain. Check it out here.
I am not a pro guitarist, so please let me know if you disagree with his signal chain. Tell me why in the comments!