Paul Gilbert: “This Is the Most Important Pedal in My Rig”

(Image credit: Jordi Vidal/Getty Images)

What’s the most important effect on Paul Gilbert’s pedal board?

Gilbert weighs in on that topic, and effects in general, with Guitarist magazine.

“As far as pedals are concerned, the test for me is if I step on it, do I seem to be playing better?” he says.

“They should just make a placebo box. It doesn’t do anything, but it looks cool. It’s got some knobs. You hit it and nothing happens but you just feel like, ‘I’m just playing better now.’

“The thing with guitar—as opposed to playing a flute or something that’s purely an acoustic instrument—is that it changes the dynamics of how you can approach the instrument so much that the player really has to adapt to it, and it can be for good or for evil depending on whether you’re ready for it.”

As for specific pieces of gear that he likes, Gilbert says he’s recently started playing with a Kemper profiling amp. “It’s sounding pretty good, so I might take it out [on the road].

  • Usually, though, Gilbert says he just uses “a Marshall and some pedals,” including one that’s become the principal piece in his rig.
  • “I’ll have a chorus pedal or a flanger or an echo, that kind of thing. But as far as specific pedals, the one that’s really been a mainstay is the TC Electronic MojoMojo. It’s really a normal [overdrive] pedal. There’s nothing unusual about it except it just sounds good.”

You can

Take a look at Paul demoing his MojoMojo Overdrive in the video below.

Gilbert is on tour in support of his most recent album, I Can Destroy. For dates, visit

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Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World, a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.