Psychedelic Rock Guitar Gear: What You Need to Know

A comprehensive guide to the essential Psychedelic Rock guitar gear – find out what you need to know to get started.


In order to play psychedelic rock guitar, you will need to have the right equipment. There is a wide range of gear available, from guitars and amps to pedals and accessories, so it can be tricky to know where to start. In this guide, we will take you through some of the essential Psychedelic Rock guitar gear that you need to get started.

The Guitar

The first and most important piece of equipment you need for playing psychedelic rock guitar is, of course, the guitar itself. You’ll need an electric guitar that can produce a wide range of sounds, from clean and mellow to distorted and feedback-laden. A few good choices for psychedelic rock guitars are the Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul, and Rickenbacker 360.

In addition to a quality guitar, you’ll also need a good amplifier. Once again, you’ll want something that can produce a wide range of sounds, from clean and sparkling to heavy and distorted. Some good amplifiers for psychedelic rock include the Vox AC30, Marshall JCM800, and Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier.

Once you have your guitar and amplifier sorted out, you’ll also need some basic accessories. These include a strap, picks, strings, an amplifier cable, and perhaps a pedal or two if you want to get really adventurous with your sound.

The Amp

The amplifier is one of the most important pieces of equipment for a psychedelic rock guitarist. There are many different types and styles of amps, and each has its own unique sound. Selecting the right amp can be a challenge, but it is important to find one that will complement your playing style and the music you are creating.

One type of amp that is often used in psychedelic rock is the tube amplifier. Tube amps are known for their warm, rich sound and their ability to create a wide range of tones. They can be played clean or overdriven, and they respond well to effects pedals. Another type of amp that is popular among psychedelic rockers is the solid state amp. Solid state amps are known for their clarity and power, and they are often used by players who want to create a more aggressive sound.

When choosing an amplifier, it is important to consider the size of the room you will be playing in and the type of guitar you will be using. If you are playing in a small room, you may want to consider a smaller amp that will not overwhelm the space. If you are using a acoustic guitar, you will need an amp with a built-in effects loop so that you can add pedals to your setup. No matter what type of amp you choose, make sure it gives you the sound you are looking for and gives you the flexibility to experiment with different sounds and effects.

The Effects

When it comes to electric guitar, there are so many different directions you can go in terms of tone, style, and overall sound. But if there’s one area that tends to be pretty consistent across the board, it’s the effects that are used.

Psychedelic rock often makes use of a variety of different effects to create its signature sound. While you don’t need all of these effects to play psychedelic rock, they can certainly help you to create the right vibe.

Here are some of the most common effects used in psychedelic rock:

-Reverb: This is an effect that simulates the natural echo that you would hear in a large room or hall. It’s often used to make the guitar sound bigger and more expansive.
-Delay: This is an effect that repeats the sound of your guitar after a brief delay. It’s often used to create a “trippy” sound or to simulate the sound of an echo chamber.
-Chorus: This is an effect that creates a detuned doubling of your guitar signal. It’s often used to make the guitar sound bigger and more “out there.”
-Flanger: This is an effect that creates a whooshing, jet engine-like sound. It’s often used for dramatic effect or to create a sense of movement in the soundscape.
-Phaser: This is an effect that creates a sweeping, swooshing sound. It’s often used to simulate the sound of a Leslie rotating speaker cabinet.

The Strings

Guitar strings are usually made of metal, and the three most common metals used for electric guitar strings are nickel, stainless steel, and cobalt. Acoustic guitar strings are made of bronze. Each type of metal has its own unique tonal characteristics.

Nickel-plated steel strings are the most popular type of string for electric guitars. They have a bright, mellow sound and moderate tension. Stainless steel strings have a brighter sound than nickel-plated strings, though they can be a bit harder on the fingers. Cobalt strings have the brightest sound of all, but they’re also the hardest to find and the most expensive.

If you’re playing psychedelic rock, you’ll want to use lighter gauge strings (gauge is the thickness of the string). Light gauge strings are easier to bend, which is essential for achieving those signature psychedelic rock bends.

The Picks

Picks come in all shapes and sizes, from small tear-drop shape picks to large, thick picks. The size and thickness of the pick will affect the tone of your guitar. If you want a brighter sound, go for a thinner pick. If you want a warmer sound, go for a thicker pick. But ultimately, the type of pick you use is up to you and what feels comfortable in your hand.

There are two main types of picks: pointed picks and beveled picks. Pointed picks have a sharp point on the end, while beveled picks have a rounded edge. Beveled picks are generally considered to be better for strumming chords, while pointed picks are better for single-note playing and lead work. Again, it’s up to you to try out different types of picks and see what works best for you.

Most guitar players prefer to use medium-gauge picks, but you can find picks in a wide range of gauges (thicknesses). If you’re not sure what gauge to get, start with a medium-gauge pick and go from there.

The Accessories

In order to get that psychedelic sound, you will need to use some effects. The most common and important effects are delays and reverbs. Chorus and flanger effects are also used sometimes, but they are not as essential. Psychedelic rock is all about creating a “wall of sound,” so you will need to use at least two different delay pedals set to different delay times. A reverb pedal is also necessary to create the spacious, ethereal sound that is characteristic of the genre.


While there is no one-size-fits-all perfect setup for psychedelic rock guitar, there are certainly some essential pieces of equipment that will help you get the sound you’re looking for. With a little research and experimentation, you can put together a rig that will help you create the unique, mind-bending sounds of this genre.

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