Video Guitar Lesson 18: Which pedals are most useful and what do they all do?

Video Guitar Lesson 18: Which pedals are most useful and what do they all do?


  1. Thinking of starting out with guitar pedals and not sure where to begin?
  2. What concepts might help you to maintain a big picture regarding guitar pedals?
  3. How do you avoid buying things which may not have the most practical uses?
  4. What is Dan’s thinking behind his pedalboard and how does he dial in tones?
  5. What do some of the types (and brands) of guitar pedal do and how might they benefit you in a performance or practical scenario?


If these questions interest you then keep reading and be sure to check our video and audio out for this lesson.

We divided this lesson into two parts:

  1. A quick rundown and overview of both our boards which will be 13mins and 31secs
  2. The lesson proper for which there are timings and our standard lesson setup (1hour 29mins including start and end)

Rundown and overview of our pedalboards:

Our video on our YouTube channel (my lesson with Dan):

(see below for timings)

In this lesson, Dan talks pedals and pedalboards.  We take a tour round his board and a small tour round mine too.  Then we examine the question (from the perspective of a beginner) of what pedal someone could start out with.  Dan also gives his wisdom on some ways which you can keep in mind the big picture (perhaps of a pedalboard) and get the pedals which are the most useful.

There’s a really big section in which Dan walks me through what the different uses of the Strymon Timeline are and also regularly demonstrates a wide range of pedals with examples.

Our audio podcast on SoundCloud (my lesson with Dan)

Rundown / overview

Lesson proper

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Some things which I am really going to take away from this lesson are that:

  1. I will use my delay and reverb pedal more frequently
  2. I may consider adding a phaser and a tremolo to the arsenal
  3. I still may purchase a Timeline to replace my DSD3
  4. Dan cemented the idea of keeping pedals categorised by their era
  5. It is essential to have a good power supply and think about your cables for ease of setup
  6. The importance of buffers and clean boosts

All the best, Gary and Dan

Timings for Video Guitar Lesson 18 – on pedals:

00:00:33 Start of main lesson
00:02:11 Using the Timeline – set to Pink Floyd Run Like Hell
00:03:19 Timeline setting – Reverse Delay
00:04:30 Timeline setting for Purple Rain
00:05:12 With a lighter chorus sound
00:05:29 Ducking delay
00:05:50 Clean boost
00:06:27 Different boosts
00:06:52 Wah wah pedal on
00:07:19 Sweep Filter
00:07:43 With compression
00:08:00 Octave pedal effect
00:08:28 Delay for Pink Floyd’s – Another Brick in the Wall
00:13:15 Dan playing through my pedalboard
00:13:30 Corona TC Electronic Chorus
00:14:11 Increasing the depth
00:14:26 Delay Boss DSD3
00:15:21 Sampler?
00:15:34 Boss compressor CS3
00:16:34 Using a compressor pedal as a clean boost
00:17:05 Boss Overdrive OD3
00:17:32 A little trick is to leave the drive down and use the level as a boost
00:18:11 Reverb HOF mini
00:18:47 Boss GE7 Equaliser
00:20:06 Stripping it back to beginner level
00:20:29 Running with the question – what pedal ought I buy?
00:20:40 The ‘ice’ delay setting – pitch shifted delay
00:24:09 Srtymon – Timeline
00:25:22 Timeline: The Wall
00:25:54 Timeline: Always
00:26:43 Timeline: Ice
00:26:49 Timeline: Duck
00:27:14 Timeline: Purple Rain
00:28:09 Timeline: Streets have no name
00:28:52 Timeline: Reverse delay
00:29:34 Timeline: Tape delay (slapback rock and roll)
00:30:10 Timeline: multi-tap (run like hell)
00:30:55 Dan’s tips on what pedals to buy
00:31:18 Tremolo – slapback delay (50s)
00:31:30 Less delay, wah wah and fuzz (60s)
00:31:56 Analog delays and chorus (70s)
00:32:52 Chorus and big delay (80s)
00:34:50 Into the Great Wide Open through the looper as a basis for a jam track
00:37:54 First pedal for Dan would be an overdrive
00:41:01 Explanation of overdrive
00:44:27 A good idea for a second pedal – a clean boost
00:44:49 On a clean channel – take into a solo
00:47:37 On a drive setting – a similar application shows the difference in lift
00:50:15 Buffered vs true bypass
00:55:37 Another great pedal is a wah wah
01:01:18 Next suggestion is a compressor
01:03:07 Good for Country music
01:03:46 Using a slight driven sound the compressor sustains the notes
01:06:11 Next type of pedal we discuss is a phaser
01:07:18 Using a phaser on Money (Pink Floyd)
01:08:05 You do something to me – Paul Weller
01:10:12 Another pedal to consider is a flanger
01:11:44 Next pedal is a chorus
01:13:02 Demo – chorus
01:14:18 Tremolo effect
01:17:27 Dan explains how he practically uses his board live
01:20:01 What is delay? Quick rundown
01:26:30 Tying your cables together and prepping your board for a quick setup

Pedals on our boards:

Dan’s Board (although his wah wah is a mini)
Dan also has a long loop pedal (the QuarterMaster6 bottom right) for controlling his other pedals and he has the multiswitch for the Timeline too. He also has his purpose-built amp channel switch on there too.

Gary’s board:

gary's board

Last nine lessons for new arrivals or those who want to brush up on this contentCurt Mangan Strings Website:

Keep watching listening and getting in touch.  We really want to hear from you!

You may want to check Dan Davies out in action.  You can find a video I made of Dan and his band Full House on this YouTube channel: Full House Brighton Band (more to come with improved video and some different approaches to the audio).

Enjoy your musical journey 🙂

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