Electric Guitar in Country Music: 5 Must-Have Pedals to Achieve the Iconic Sound

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As a country guitar enthusiast, one of the best ways to elevate your sound is by using the right pedals. But with an overwhelming number of options available, it can be hard to know where to start. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of pedal pairings, and highlight 5 Must-Have Pedals to Pair with Your Amplifier for Country Guitar Playing. From overdrive to chorus to delay, we’ll cover essential pedals that will help you achieve the signature twangy, echoing country sound. So, let’s strap on our boots, grab our guitars, and get started!

Overdrive Pedals

Overdrive Pedals
When it comes to playing country guitar, having the right tone is essential. One of the best ways to achieve that perfect twangy sound is by using overdrive pedals. These pedals can give your guitar tone more warmth and depth, as well as some added grit and distortion. There are a variety of overdrive pedals on the market, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top three must-have options. So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, read on to find out which overdrive pedals you should consider adding to your rig. And if you’re looking for tips on choosing the right amplifier for your country guitar playing, check out our guide on tube amps for country guitarists.

1. Tube Screamer

The Tube Screamer is a must-have pedal for any country guitar player. This overdrive pedal has been used by some of the most famous country guitarists, such as Brad Paisley and Keith Urban. The Tube Screamer offers a warm and smooth distortion that perfectly complements the twangy sound of country guitar.

Here are some key features of the Tube Screamer:

Feature Description
Tone control Allows you to dial in the perfect amount of bass and treble for your sound.
Drive control Controls the amount of overdrive/distortion.
Level control Regulates the overall volume of the effect.
True bypass Ensures that the pedal doesn’t color your tone when it’s not in use.

One reason the Tube Screamer is so popular among country guitar players is because it pairs perfectly with a tube amplifier. The warm and natural sound of a tube amp complements the smooth overdrive of the Tube Screamer, creating the perfect tone for country guitar.

If you’re in the market for an amp to pair with your Tube Screamer, be sure to check out our country guitar amplifier guide, where we break down some of the best options on the market.

It’s important to note that the Tube Screamer isn’t the only overdrive pedal out there. In fact, there are many other great options that can help you achieve your desired tone. To learn more about solid-state vs. tube amplifiers and how to get the perfect country guitar tone, check out our tips for country guitar tone and amplifiers.

2. Klon Centaur

The Klon Centaur is another highly sought-after overdrive pedal by country guitar players. This particular pedal gained its fame for its transparent tone, adding just the right amount of grit to your sound without taking away from the natural tone of your amp and guitar.

Some of the top features of the Klon Centaur include its incredibly responsive and touch-sensitive tonal characteristics. With the Klon Centaur, a player can easily highlight their playing dynamics with ease. It also features a highly versatile tone control, making it easy to dial in the exact sound you’re looking for.

What’s more, is that the Klon Centaur is highly coveted not just for its tonal abilities, but also for its rarity. These pedals have been discontinued for years, and the few that still exist on the market can often fetch for thousands of dollars on the second-hand market.

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a Klon Centaur, you’ll be able to enjoy its unique tonal character that has made it such a favorite among country guitar players. Whether you’re looking to add some extra bite to your solos or just want to give your clean tone some extra shimmer and sustain, the Klon Centaur is a must-have for any serious country guitar player.

For more information on amplifiers, check out our article on solid-state vs tube amplifiers to help you make the best choice for your playing style!

3. Fulltone OCD

The Fulltone OCD is a boutique overdrive pedal that has become a staple for guitar players of all genres, including country. Here are some features that make it a great choice:

  • Transparent overdrive: Unlike some overdrive pedals that tend to color your tone, the Fulltone OCD has a very transparent sound that preserves the natural tone of your guitar and amplifier. This makes it a great pedal for players who want to add a little extra dirt to their tone without sacrificing clarity.
  • Flexible tone control: The tone control on the Fulltone OCD is incredibly versatile, allowing you to dial in everything from warm, classic overdrive to modern high-gain distortion. Whether you’re playing clean arpeggios or heavy riffs, the Fulltone OCD can accommodate your sound.
  • Crisp, dynamic response: The Fulltone OCD is known for its exceptional touch sensitivity, meaning that it responds dynamically to your playing. Whether you’re playing soft or hard, the pedal will react accordingly, making it feel more like an extension of your guitar than an external effect.
  • True bypass: Like many boutique pedals, the Fulltone OCD features a true bypass switch, which preserves the integrity of your tone when the pedal is disengaged. This makes it a great pedal to have on your board, as you can use it just when you need it without worrying about it negatively affecting your sound when it’s not in use.
  • Built to last: Finally, it’s worth noting that the Fulltone OCD is built like a tank, with high-quality components that are designed to withstand the rigors of the road. If you’re looking for a pedal that will last you a lifetime, the Fulltone OCD is definitely worth considering.

All of these features make the Fulltone OCD a great choice for country guitar players who are looking for a versatile overdrive pedal that won’t compromise their tone. Whether you’re playing clean country licks or distorted southern rock riffs, the Fulltone OCD can help you nail the perfect sound.

Chorus pedal

Chorus Pedal
If you want to add a touch of depth and dimension to your country guitar playing, you can’t go wrong with a chorus pedal. This type of effect pedal splits and duplicates your guitar’s signal, modulates it slightly, and then blends it back in with the original signal. The result is a shimmering, ethereal sound that’s perfect for adding a sense of richness and space to your sound. With so many chorus pedals on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In this section, we’ll introduce you to our top pick for a chorus pedal that’s perfect for country guitar playing.


When it comes to adding a chorus effect to your country guitar, the BOSS CE-2W chorus pedal is a game-changer. This pedal is a re-creation of the classic CE-2 pedal that was originally released in the 1980s, but with upgraded features that make it a must-have for any country guitarist.

One of the key features of the CE-2W is that it allows you to switch between the classic CE-2 chorus sound and a CE-1 chorus sound with the flip of a switch. This gives you more sonic options to experiment with and helps you achieve your desired sound.

Another feature that sets the CE-2W apart from other chorus pedals is its analog design, which means that the signal is processed through analog circuitry rather than digitally. This gives the pedal a warm, organic sound that cannot be replicated by digital effects.

Here are a few reasons why the BOSS CE-2W is a great addition to any country guitarist’s pedal collection:

1. Adds Texture and Depth

Chorus pedals add depth and texture to your guitar tone by creating a thicker, more complex sound. The CE-2W excels in this area by allowing you to control the depth, rate, and level of the effect to achieve the perfect amount of texture and depth for your specific style of country playing.

2. Versatile Sound Options

The CE-2W offers two different chorus sounds in one pedal, which makes it incredibly versatile. Whether you’re going for a classic country twang or a modern sound, this pedal has you covered.

3. Durable and Reliable

BOSS is known for creating high-quality, durable pedals that can stand up to heavy use on the road. The CE-2W is no exception, and its sturdy construction ensures that it will be a reliable addition to your pedalboard for years to come.

4. Easy to Use

With only three knobs to control the depth, rate, and level of the effect, the CE-2W is intuitive and easy to use. The simplicity of the pedal allows you to focus on your playing and not get bogged down with complicated settings.

The BOSS CE-2W chorus pedal is a must-have for any country guitarist looking to add texture, depth, and versatility to their sound. Its analog design, dual chorus sound options, durability, and simplicity make it a top choice for guitarists of all levels.

Delay Pedals

As your country guitar playing reaches new heights, you’ll quickly notice the importance of having a solid collection of pedals to enhance your unique sound. While overdrive pedals can really help you achieve the crunch and grit you’re after, and chorus pedals provide that sweet depth and shimmer, the final missing piece to the puzzle is a quality delay pedal. Trust us, there’s nothing quite like a tasteful delay to really take your sound to the next level. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the top delay pedals you should consider adding to your rig.

5. Strymon Timeline

If you are a country guitar player who loves creating intricate soundscapes, a delay pedal is a must-have device to add to your arsenal. When it comes to choosing a delay pedal, there are countless options in the market, but the Strymon Timeline stands out from the rest.

The Strymon Timeline is one of the most technologically advanced delay pedals on the market. This beast of a pedal offers 12 different delay machines, each with its unique style and character. These modes include the classic digital delay, tape echo, and even a looper mode that can record up to 30 seconds of sound.

But that’s not all. The Strymon Timeline also includes numerous controls, including feedback, delay time, and modulation. These controls let you fine-tune your sound with precision and create endless combinations of tones. The pedal is equipped with a high-quality 24-bit/96kHz processing engine, ensuring you get studio-quality tones.

Additionally, the Strymon Timeline boasts a sturdy construction that can withstand even the toughest conditions. The pedal is also compatible with the Strymon’s free application and can be updated to include new features, thus making it an excellent long-term investment.

The Strymon Timeline is the ultimate pedal for country guitar playing. With its advanced features, endless customization options, and solid construction, this delay pedal is a game-changer for creating unique and engaging sounds. Whether you’re a bedroom guitarist, a gigging musician, or a studio artist, the Strymon Timeline is a must-have pedal for your collection.


After exploring these five must-have pedals for country guitar playing, it is important to note that each pedal serves a specific purpose and can significantly enhance your overall sound. No matter what style of country guitar playing you are aiming for, incorporating at least one, if not all, of these pedals can elevate your sound to another level.

The overdrive pedals, particularly the Tube Screamer, Klon Centaur, and Fulltone OCD, offer a range of tones from a warm, organic crunch to a more distorted, modern sound. These pedals can be subtle or aggressive, and they give your guitar that classic country twang.

Adding a chorus pedal, such as the BOSS CE-2W, to your rig can give your sound a lush, shimmering effect that beautifully complements country guitar playing. This pedal can be used sparingly to add a hint of depth to your sound, or cranked up for a more pronounced, chorus-heavy tone.

Finally, a delay pedal like the Strymon Timeline can add a sense of space and depth to your playing that is essential for creating ambiance, especially in the context of a live performance. The Timeline offers an incredible range of delay types, from classic analog to modern digital, and can be customized to fit any playing style.

In conclusion, incorporating any of these pedals into your guitar rig can take your country playing to the next level. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, experimenting with these pedals can help you find the perfect tone for your music. So, don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new to take your country guitar playing to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it necessary to have pedals for country guitar playing?

No, it’s not necessary to have pedals to play country music. However, pedals can enhance your sound and offer a wider variety of tones.

2. What is an overdrive pedal?

An overdrive pedal is a type of effect pedal that simulates the sound of an overdriven tube amplifier. It’s used to add distortion and sustain to a guitar’s signal.

3. Is the Tube Screamer a good choice for country guitar playing?

Yes, the Tube Screamer is a popular choice for country guitar playing. It offers a warm overdrive with a mid-range boost, which is great for country-style rhythm playing.

4. What about the Klon Centaur overdrive pedal?

The Klon Centaur is another excellent overdrive pedal for country guitar playing. It offers a transparent boost that retains the natural tone of your guitar, and it can be used as a clean boost, overdrive, or distortion pedal.

5. What is a chorus pedal?

A chorus pedal is an effect pedal that makes a guitar’s sound sound ‘fatter’ by adding a duplicate of the original signal with slight variations in pitch and time. It’s used to create a shimmering, ‘wavy’ sound.

6. Which chorus pedal is recommended for country guitar playing?

The BOSS CE-2W is a great option for adding some chorus to your country guitar sound. It’s versatile and can create subtle or more pronounced chorus effects.

7. What is a delay pedal?

A delay pedal is an effect pedal that can create repeating echoes of your guitar signal. It’s used to create space and depth in your sound, and can be adjusted for tempo, feedback, and other settings.

8. Is the Strymon Timeline delay pedal a good choice for country guitar playing?

Yes, the Strymon Timeline is an exceptional delay pedal that can create a wide range of delay effects. It’s particularly useful for creating country-style slapback delay and other rhythmic effects.

9. How do I know which pedals to choose for my guitar amp?

The best way to choose pedals for your guitar amp is to experiment with different combinations and make adjustments based on your personal preferences. It’s also a good idea to research the types of pedals that are commonly used for the style of music you want to play.

10. Is it best to use pedals with a clean or distorted amplifier?

It depends on the type of pedals you’re using and the sound you’re trying to achieve. Some pedals work better with a clean amplifier, while others are designed to work with a distorted amplifier. Experiment with different combinations to find what works best for you.


About the author

Hi there! I’m Jack Little – an avid country music fan with tons of live country performances in the past. I used to play banjo in a country band with my best friend John Peters, who’s a true country harmonica master. Those were great years and I’m still mastering new banjo playing techniques, writing my own country songs and lyrics, and collecting banjos!

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