Guitarist Who Use Pedals Are Lazy?

Joe Bonamassa recently told Amit Sharma of Total Guitar and musicradar.com. “I’ve really gotten over pedals,” he continues by saying “So you don’t want to play a guitar [properly] so you buy a box that makes it sound like an algorithm.”

“I know I’ll get sh*t for saying this, but it’s f**king lazy,” he added. “It’s insulting to people who spent 35 years playing and learning—like a lot of players—and we continue to work at it! These guys can barely play a chord but call themselves ‘soundscapists.’ Get the f**k outta here! It’s bullsh*t. There’s so much masking and spin going on there. Can we get real for a minute? What do you actually play? Pick up an acoustic guitar. Try that!”

Now this statement sounds pretty comical to me, seriously one of the blandest guitarists that in my opinion is all hype, and repeatedly has put out sub-par performances on each Black Country Communion album, is going to critizise pedal users?  Soundscapists, or those that have learned to texture their guitar playing like Adrian Belew and Reeve Gabriel have done more for music than Bonamassa, and yes they use a ton of pedals.  What about Living Colour’s Vernon Reid?  Have you seen his massive pedal board, how about try writing a riff a tenth as memorable as Cult Of Personality, Type, or any other of the band’s staples, and then you can form an opinion on whether pedal users are lazy?  John Petrucci, not his biggest fan, but he whipes the floor with Bonamassa.  And what about Eddie Van Halen, known for not only having his own line of guitars, amps, cloths, and revolutionizing the guitar, well he uses and has a ton of pedals that brandish his name.  Dimebag Darrell, Zakk Wylde, Alex Lifeson, Dave Navarro, Steve Vai, the list goes on and on, when it comes to “Lazy” guitarists that frequently use pedals.

This all comes down to opinion, and is all subjective, but to say that guitarist that uses pedals is lazy is a joke.  Had he of said “I’m done with using pedals, the no longer do anything for me”, then everyone can respect that opinion.  To use the accoustic guitar as an excuse, well the majority of the players I’ve mentioned have done something memorable with that as well.  Hey what about Tom Morrello, a pedal users, I think you’ve heard of him, given BCC literally ripped off Rage Against The Machine’s Bulls On Parade.  I get it there are players that rely too much on their pedals, but I don’t think anyone can argue that the best players know how to properly mix their use of pedals with their playing.

Written by Victor M. Ruiz of earpeelerMars Attacks Radio & Podcast, and Galaxy Of Geeks Podcast.  Connect with him on Twitter:  @vmr907

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1 comment

  1. Steve November 9, 2017 6:27 am 

    I’ve yet to find a pedal that makes me sound any better than I actually am ( I wish I could! 😀 ) !

    I’ve been playing guitar for over 20 years now, am I amazing? No, am I ok? Yes. Should I be better than I am considering how long I’ve been playing? Yes. Now THAT is what makes me lazy, not any pedal I have in my setup, the fact that I don’t have the time (or make the time) to play as much as I used to when I started.

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