EQ Pedals

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About EQ Pedals

EQ pedals are the unsung heroes of the pedal world. They can act as a subtle utility pedal to shape your tone but they can also be truly transformational. While they can’t turn a strat into a Les Paul or a Vox into a Marshall, they almost can.

The most popular type of EQ pedals are ‘graphic equalisers’. These units divide the frequency range into ‘bands’. You can then increase or reduce the gain of these bands independently using sliders.

EQ pedals encourage you to think about your sound from the perspective of a sound engineer; listening to your guitar in the context of the band rather than in isolation. You’ll often hear the phrase ‘cutting through the mix’ used in relation to how a guitar player is able to be heard while playing with a band.

The temptation is usually just to turn the volume up. The better solution is to use an EQ pedal to turn up the volume of particular frequencies and even turn the volume down of other frequencies. Reducing muddy low end which interferes with the bass player and kick drum and increasing upper midrange will usually do the trick. This can sound quite odd when it’s not in the context of a band but will give you much more bite in the group context.

EQ pedals are popular among metal guitarists for creating the distinctive ‘scooped’ sound by removing much of the midrange. They are also great for creating filtered ‘cocked wah’ sounds a la Mark Knopfler’s ‘Money for Nothing’ tone.


Why Should I Choose an EQ Pedal?

  • A guitar EQ pedal can be truly transformational
  • Think about your sound from the perspective of a sound engineer
  • Create scooped metal and cocked wah sounds

Frequently Asked Questions about EQ Pedals

Question: What type of guitar player needs an EQ pedal?
Anyone who is struggling to be heard in a full band context could do a lot worse than trying an EQ pedal. By filtering particular frequencies, you’ll be able to cut through and be heard loud and clear without relying on simply turning up the volume.
Question: Where should my EQ pedal go?
EQ pedals can be used before overdrive pedals for a subtle effect or after overdrive pedals for a more exaggerated effect.