Musical overload

My guitar teacher has long recommended I get a guitar effects pedal, saying that they make a big difference as you can mimic the exact sounds of guitar work you enjoy. I put some birthday money towards a Zoom G2.1u, and it arrived this morning. It’s simultaneously great and extremely frustrating.

I was previously using a basic amplifier with drive, bass and treble controls, plus a couple of distortion setups and a reverb. The distortion was a little over-the-top and I almost always stuck with the clean sound. This meant little variety, and strumming chords sounded the same for every song. The Zoom G2.1u takes me to the other extreme. I can mimic sixteen different amplifiers, changing the tone and gain of each, while applying endless effects with their own variables. At the moment, it’s too much.

I’m not good enough to know what to change when I want to replicate a particular song. I don’t know whether the sound is characteristic of a particular amplifier, or, say, I need to add a chorus with extra depth. I sometimes feel that I’m quite close, and that if I just changed the right setting it would sound perfect, but it’s knowing which one to change. It’s fun to play around, though, and I have discovered the ‘acoustic guitar’ preset, which does a remarkable job. Lots of playing around, plus taking it along to my next lesson, will hopefully help me get my head around everything.