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Fig.1. Gibson’s Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar.

Should you choose to purchase an electric guitar there are a few accessories you will need in order to get a good sound.
You may play your electric guitar without any accessories but it will sound very dull and quiet and will lack depth of sound.

Essential Accessories

-The first thing you will want is an amplifier (Amp).  Some of the more popular brands are Marshall, Fender, Line 6 & Peavy just to name a few.

Fig.2. Various Guitar Amplifiers


-There are many sizes to choose from.  Small ones can sound tinny and lack depth while large ones can fill an auditorium with sound.
Keep in mind that if you purchase a large amp, you may get superior sound but when it comes time to move it, you may also get a back ache.
Most larger amps are 2 pieces (the Head and the Cabinet) with the Head containing the Amp and controls and the Cabinet containing the Speakers but these may still be a pain to cart around.  The Head/Cabinet configuration is called a Half Stack.

Fig.3. Marshall Half Stacks.

-Many guitarists own a medium sized amp which is light enough to carry and fits easily into a car.
Should more volume be required the smaller amp is placed in front of a microphone which is then fed through a P.A.(public address) system to increase the sound volume.

Fig.4. Small Fender Amp being Miked.


-Many smaller to medium sized amps sound quite nice and are preferred to the larger stacks.
-Some musicians prefer Tube driven Amps over Solid State because they have a warmer sound.

Fig.5. The Fender Champ is a popular Tube Amp with excellent sound quality.


-Different features and controls are available.  Two inputs are nice if you want to jam or mike your vocals and a master gain is nice if you want to Overdrive the amp for Rock & Roll distortion.

To Overdrive an amp: turn the 1st stage Gain or Volume up full & keep the Master Volume turned down to a minimum and make adjustments of the two from there.

You can also get Reverb (echo produced by Springs which are located near the speaker and feedback the sound through them) and Tremelo (an electronic fluctuation in the volume level).

-Other amps like the Line 6 Spider Jam have all the bells & whistles.  The Spider Jam has onboard sound processing capability  with numerous effects, drum tracks, looping & recording all built right into the Amp.

Fig.6. The Spider Jam Amp.

-You will need to connect your guitar to the amp with a cable (chord).  Purchase a good quality cable as cheaper ones can break or produce noise.  I prefer the coiled cable because it easier to use as it stays out of the way and is easy to pack up.
Choose a length which will suit your needs.

Fig.7. Coiled Guitar Cable.

-If you don’t purchase an amp with built in effects you may add on the effects afterwards.  They are pedals which connect in-line between your guitar and amplifier.
Boss manufactures a wide assortment of guitar effects pedals.  A Distortion and a Digital Delay are essential for Rock playing.  Other pedals include Acoustic Simulator, Compression Sustainer, Equalizer, Noise Suppressor, Tremelo, Flanger, Chorus, Octave Pedal, Pitch Shifter, Reverb and a Tuner.

Fig.8. Boss Effects Pedals.

Individual foot pedals have the advantage of ease of use and control.  While your hands are busy on the guitar you simply step on the color coded pedal to activate it.
The pedal is pre-set to the desired sound using the analog control dials.  This gives you a good visual and feel for the pedals range and capability.
They can be arranged in convenient carry cases with a plug in power supply to conserve the battery power.

-Then there’s the “all in one” option of pedal known as a Multi Effects Processor.  There is a bit of a learning curve to these but they are a good option.

Fig.9. Multi Effects Processor Unit.

Note:If you buy one, don’t forget the extra cable.

 

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