How To Use An Overdrive Pedal Or Distortion Effects Pedal For Guitar

How To Use An Overdrive Pedal Or Distortion Effects Pedal For Guitar

The overdrive pedal is one of the most commonly seen guitar effects pedals on the pedalboards of guitar players all over the world. In all styles of music there is a place for an overdrive pedal! It's not just used for rock, many of the best blues and country tones, for example, use overdrive on them.

How do you use an overdrive pedal, or distortion pedal, to get the best possible sound out of it? What can an overdrive pedal be used for? In this video lesson I demonstrate the different sounds you can get from an overdrive pedal, and the best ways to use it.

There are many, many different brands and models of overdrive and distortion pedals available today. You may have a Tube Screamer, or a more boutique overdrive pedal. But no matter what you use, this lesson will help you out with how to use it in the best possible way. The basic controls, and how they work, are very similar across all the different types of overdrive pedal.

In this lesson I will show you how you can use an overdrive pedal in three different ways; to give an overdrive sound on the clean channel of your amp, as a gain boost for your overdrive channel and as a volume boost for solos. I also explain the different controls on an overdrive effects pedal. All with sound demos.

Guitar effects pedals are not only great for getting the sounds you want, but they are also fun to experiment with! Try different settings on the pedals, and also try swapping the order of your pedals. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to pedals, so have some fun with them 🙂

For the gear spotters out there, here is the gear I used in this video:
Guitar: Gibson Les Paul Standard
Amp: Splawn Street Rod / Marshall VS112 Cabinet
Pedal: G2D Custom Overdrive

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About the Author

Owen Vickers is a professional guitarist and online guitar teacher (exclusively for Guitar Mastery Method). Owen has played and taught guitar for over 25 years. He spends much of his spare time playing many different sports. He currently lives in his home country of New Zealand.