Using Guitar EQ Pedals

An EQ pedal is a useful tool to mould your guitar tone to fit certain scenarios. It can be used to create specific effects like scooped mids or a high gain sound.

This is an affordable EQ that offers decent cut and boost across 6 different frequencies. It can be placed before other pedals like dirt pedals so you can sculpt your tone.


If you are a guitarist looking to add some extra power or cut through the mix then an EQ pedal is one of the best tools available. Unlike distortion and overdrive pedals that boost the whole signal, an EQ pedal can be used to boost only specific frequency ranges. Most EQ pedals will have sliders or bands that represent different frequency ranges, allowing you to boost or cut the frequencies to your liking. Typically, EQ pedals will give you the ability to boost up to 6dB on each of the bands, giving you the ability to shape your tone in a very precise manner.

Many session players use EQ pedals in their rigs to help them achieve a certain sound or style. This is especially true when playing live where they often need to cover a wide variety of genres and sounds. This can require a diverse guitar tone and often requires taking multiple guitars with various pickup combinations as well as several pedals to create the desired tones. EQ pedals can be useful for eliminating this need and allowing musicians to take their rig on the road more easily.

One such session player is jazz guitarist Mike Moreno, who uses an EQ pedal in his signal chain to help him shape the tone of his distorted guitar tones. Moreno has played with a number of well-known artists and bands, including Alicia Keys, Don Henley (of the Eagles), and Jewel. He also has a popular YouTube channel featuring gear reviews and demos of his equipment. Similarly, funk guitarist Mark Lettieri uses an EQ pedal in his rig. The Source Audio Melody is an EQ and drive pedal that can be used for both EQ shaping as well as providing an overdrive effect. The pedal has 6 bands of 18dB of active boost and cut, and features a stage-ready LED lit control panel.


A lot of guitar pedals have built-in EQ controls, especially overdrive or distortion pedals. However, a standalone EQ pedal allows you to cut specific frequencies which can be useful for certain situations. For example, if you find yourself with a bass that sounds boomy in certain rooms then dialling down the low frequencies can help. Similarly, if your overdrive pedal tends to accentuate the mid-range frequencies when played at high gain you can take this out with an EQ pedal to achieve a cleaner crunch.

Having an EQ in your signal chain can also be useful for shaping the tone of other pedals. By placing a pedal like this at the beginning of your pedalboard you can use it to cut out frequencies that the other pedals in your chain might amplify, creating a unique sound. For example, if you want to create the kind of lo-fi sound that many old radios used to have then taking the frequencies under 600Hz out will work well. This will remove all of the lower-mid frequencies and only allow the top-end frequencies to pass through.

An EQ pedal is one of the most under-appreciated effects in a guitarist’s arsenal, but it’s an effective way to bring clarity and focus to your tone. Whether you’re playing to 100 people in your basement or a huge stadium, EQ can make all the difference in making sure that you’re heard above the noise. You can also use it to correct unwanted frequencies emitted by your amplifier or by other musicians in the room, such as the singer’s voice or drummer’s cymbals. Experimenting with EQ can be a powerful tool for discovering new tones and can change the way you think about your tone forever.


If you’re going to be boosting frequencies in your guitar tone, an EQ pedal can be a valuable addition to your rig. These pedals allow you to craft specific frequency ranges and boost or cut these with the touch of a button or knob. Most EQ pedals work with 3 different frequency bands, these are usually called Bass, Mid and Treble but there are pedals out there that offer more flexibility and can operate with up to 10 or even 12 band-pass filters allowing you to shape your tone in a much more precise way.

Guitarists like jazz guitarist Mike Moreno use a parametric 3-band EQ pedal before their overdrive pedals, this helps them to shape the tone of their distorted sounds and can even help to reduce any significant differences in tone that may occur when switching between different guitars or when playing in different sized rooms.

Another popular reason for using an EQ is to reduce any unwanted frequencies in your signal, such as the infamous Tube Screamer mid-hump which can be eliminated by adjusting the 800Hz slider on most EQ pedals. This is a very handy feature and can help to ensure that you sound louder, tighter and punchier at your gigs or rehearsals.

In addition to the above, EQ pedals can also be used to increase pick articulation by increasing the high-mids or mids, or to reduce any muddiness in your tone by decreasing the low-mids. Some pedals also have the option to add compression, this can be a great feature to have on a pedal as it can increase the sustain of your notes and can really make the difference when recording a guitar track.


Many guitarists use a wide range of pedals to achieve the sounds they have in their head. One of the most important tools for a musician to master is an equalizer. This pedal helps you define, shape and mould your tone to exactly what you want it to be.

There are three main types of EQ pedals: graphic, parametric and rotary. Graphic EQ pedals have a series of sliders with boost or cut settings for each frequency band, and are often easy to understand and use for beginners. Parametric EQ pedals have more detailed controls, and can change the actual centre frequencies and widths of each frequency band. Changing these settings can have a much more profound effect than adjusting the overall gain. Rotary EQs are the most advanced, and can have an almost infinite number of possible settings.

Whether you’re a singer-songwriter or a rock star, an EQ can help you sound more like yourself on stage. By boosting or cutting certain frequencies, you can remove unwanted sounds and give your guitar an individual character that sets it apart from other instruments. It can also improve your signal chain by placing it before any other effects, and make sure that you’re heard above the rest of the mix.

Many people struggle with balancing their home tone with the high-volume live environment. A well-tuned guitar can easily get lost amongst the other mid-range and top-end frequencies emitted by your voice, the other guitarists’ amplifiers and the drummer’s cymbals. An EQ can be used to help you cut through this mix and ensure that your guitar is clearly audible, even when it’s playing at half the volume of your normal setting.