I am not talking about brands of pedals, because everyone has their own taste in brand. What I am talking about is the actual effect pedal. If you were to help a new worship leader get started from the technical side, what effect pedals should he or she have.

Once again, I know that the effects are a matter of taste, and I am not a new worship leader, but I always wonder what others are using and in what situations are they used.

I use three pedals, just because that is all I have. I use an equalization pedal, chorus pedal, and an overdrive pedal (rarely).

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I use the POD XT Live Pro and there is typically nothing I cannot reproduce no matter what song in what style or whatever guitar electric or acoustic I can't reproduce.
For acoustic, I run through a LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI (it adds so much great EQ), into a Boss floor tuner, into a volume pedal, straight into my guitar (a 33 year old Aria) which has a passive LR Baggs pickup. I really don't see the need for too much else for acoustic, maybe a chorus pedal, but that should really be stuff that is left to the electric in my opinion.

For electric, I keep it relatively simple. I run from my '68 Fender Princeton into a Boss tuner, into a Vox wah, into a volume pedal, into my Les Paul. For tremelo I just use the amp controls. I really could use a good reverb, but I'm most likely getting a Vox AC15 that has it built in the amp. I don't usually mess with OD pedals, since I let the amp talk for itself. I'm really just breaking into leading worship period, especially with an electric, so this is a pretty basic configuration. But if you're just laying down rhythm a nice clean sound is all you really want, with just a touch of overdrive. Small tube amps serve that purpose quite well.

A loop station is a pretty sweet thing to get, but it is very hard to master. The worship leader for the band that I play bass in uses it to lay down some sweet high register repetitive lead work to function as a sort of click track for the rest of the band. Great for solo ventures as well.
Even with OD and distortion pedals, (if you have a good tube amp) keep on dialing that puppy in so it speaks for itself. That's one of the reasons I like the Sparkle Drive so much. The clean boost really works well with the amp. Good call on the AC15 (you should also look at this.
I play a Epiphone Sheridan II for the most part, and when I'm using that almost always have on the compression side of a Visual Sound Route 66 and the tape echo setting on my Line6 DL4 (with the mixed heavily favoring the dry signal) for a mock-reverb. Once I get my Line6 Verbzilla I'll use that instead of the DL4 (for that purpose). On songs that need a touch of distortion/OD I like to leave on my Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive. On slower songs I have a BOSS CE-2 Chorus Ensemble tweaked to make my guitar sound like it's coming through an old speaker.
I find these pedals so useful because I can turn them on and leave them on while I'm playing without swamping out my sound. More than anything else, having a few pedals dialed in to be utility hitters makes leading from an electric much easier.
you're right, it does depend on what style you have...but here's my set-up:


compression/sustain pedal, equalizer pedal, holy grail reverb, chorus (i almost never use chorus), and the fishman aura. the aura combined with an eq is absolutely amazing. makes your acoustic sound like it's mic'd as opposed to plugged in.


compression/sustain, eq, holy grail reverb, superoverdrive (soon to add a fulldrive 2), and a line6 dl4 delay.

hope this helps!
The thing to remember about pedals is that they are effect pedals... not your 'main sound'. First if you have a crappy guitar tone to begin with, acoustic or electric, then your pedals will sound crappy too. Second, if you buy a pedal and leave it on ALL OF THE TIME... it's no longer an effect pedal, it is your main sound. Tom Morello, one of my favorite guitar players, has used the same 3 or 4 pedals his entire career... but how he employs them is absolutely amazing.

For acoustic I use a BOSS AD-4 which simply has chorus, anti-feedback, and reverb which I use in varying amounts.
For electric, since I can't afford a MEsa Boobie Dual Rectifier or Roadking... (lol) I use a Line6 POD (the older one) and actually have it mounted on my pedal board, then I use the 4 button switcher I got with it and have it set up as a three stage amp, clean, dirty, and real dirty and then I have the 4th switch set as a compressed delay (ala U2) sound. This gets me by most of the time, I do however also use a TS-9 tube screamer for a different color and a electroharmonix tremolo as well as a ROCKTRON wah. On my Sweetwater wishlist I have a Line6 delay modeler (the green one) and the (purple) Modulation modeler and maybe a MXR phase 90.


My setup:

Primary-Michael Kelly Hybrid Special

Backup-Fender Telecaster / Ovation CDX 44

Line 6 XT Live

Boss Loop RC-2


I'm looking at selling the Line 6 and crossing over to Boss Single Pedals. I use maybe 5% of what the Line 6 can do. It is great, but I'm looking for independent simple solutions like: Boss Distortion, Tuner, Delay, Looper, Flanger, Tremolo, and Chorus. I play through a PA at church so no amp is needed at this time.

So I'm curious - I've always gravitated toward single pedals because I've always felt that the sound quality is better. Is this why you're thinking of the same thing?
To be honest, it just use to be easier to manage one pedal. The line 6 is outstanding, but its just not as easy as changing a few knobs on a individual pedal.
Ah, very good point. I had a Yamaha MagicStomp once and I was uncomfortable with the prospect of cycling through settings to pick the one I wanted.

Mostly with you on that except that I almost always have some compression running and sometimes I do chorus. Very little between my guitar and the amp.

I can't really crank my Brownface 22 Watt amp past 1 in church...

Yes, agreed on the rest, listen to AC/DC or Ted Nugent. Nugent eschewed overdrive and distortion effects, he just played his Gibson Byrdland through a couple dozen daisy-chained Fender Super Twins, no pedals except some wah. However, Jimi used a Fuzzface, don't forget that - one doesn't get a clean tone there. But generally agreed on his signature tone - it seems to be mostly Strat through the Marshall Super Leads and JBL speakers, pushed to the edge of overdrive. In fact, Jimi was very slim on the effects by today's standards. And so am I.

The idea of heavy gain seemed to come into play when Mesa was hot-rodding fender amps (or about that time?) I would have thought a smoother, lower gain sound would have been preferable in worship settings. Not that I mind, I'm just surprised that so few guitarists talk about using Fender clean tones in church. It's a wonderful tone for worship and I never hear about it except that I use it a lot.

I have heard words to the effect that Edge, Bono and Mullen are all believers. There are a couple of interviews out there where they discuss this fact. In fact, they highlight that Adam Clayton goes out and parties without them, him not being a believer.

I'm not a huge fan of Edge and all his effects, but I have much more respect for him after watching the movie, "it might get loud".


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