To me every great blues tone starts with a great overdrive pedal. From there you can branch out if you wish and get some other pedals, maybe a wah pedal or a reverb but without the overdrive, you’ve got nothing.
In days gone by no guitar pedals were used by blues pedals, just loud fuzzy sounding amps. Nowadays, we have an abundance of different guitar pedals available to us that we can use to get exactly the sound we want.
Combine these pedals with our guide on the best strings for the blues and we’ll be flying!
Of course, blues is a genre encompassing decades of experience, in other words, it is not an easy genre to define! So everyone’s idea of a blues tone will be different.
But for those of you looking to get started with a great blues tone read on.
Like I said the overdrive pedal is the most important pedal for the blues. Getting that perfect fuzz sound is priority number one so if you can only afford one pedal make sure it’s an overdrive pedal.
The absolute best overdrive pedal has got to be the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver.
The Blues Driver is considered by many to be the finest pedal ever developed by Boss and this is unsurprising.
The Boss Blues Driver give off warm crunchy distortion and overdrive while providing a gloriously smooth feel akin to a 30-year-old tube amp. Plug this into a Les Paul and your blues will be unstoppable.
Best of all you can click here to buy it on Amazon! The pedal does not come with a power supply or any additional cabling but does come with a 9v Battery.
My original plan was to highlight a few different overdrive pedals that will give you great tone but I really don’t need to. The Boss Blues Driver has such great range it is the only pedal anyone needs who is looking for great blues tone. As an added bonus you can take yourself over to the Street Musician and read a great article on the blues scale. Read it here!
Maybe you’re happy with your overdrive and feel like there is still something missing.
Well I have good news for you, there are another couple of pedals which are perfect for any blues player looking to diversify.
A Wah pedal is a really fun one to add to the collection. By no means necessary but if you are wanting to have more of a blues/rock sound then definitely get yourself a wah pedal.
My personal recommendation is the Dunlop Original Cry Baby.
It has been the standard of wah pedals for many years and the good thing about the blues is that you don’t need anything fancy. There are no complications just a good solid wah pedal.
The Cry Baby comes with a very sturdy die-cast metal construction meaning it was built to last.
Now another pedal you could consider adding is a Reverb Pedal.
A Reverb pedal really opens up your sound but most of the blues guitarists had an amp which already gave great reverb, such as the Fender Blues Junior.
For those of us who can’t afford a new amp you can get yourself the Behringer Reverb Machine! This nifty little piece of kit has a whole range of settings so you can get yourself exactly the tone you are looking for and all for a really great price.
Now that you have your pedal set up complete your probably struggling to organise all your pedals. Well, you my friend need to get yourself a pedal board and I know just the one.
The Donner guitar pedal board and case is ideal for storing and transporting your guitar pedals. It’s hand carry case and easy to use pedal board are perfect for any blues guitarist with a growing pedal collection.