The pedals that the world's greatest guitarists can't live without – only in the new Guitar World

may 2023
(Image credit: Future)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's all about the pedals these days – at least in my neck of the woods. They're small, they're cool looking, they sound amazing and, in the grand scheme of things, they're generally inexpensive. 

Excluding strings, picks, cables, capos, slides, clip-on tuners, used Krivo pickups and Red Stripe beer, a pedal – new or used – is one of the least-expensive ways to bask in that addictive new-gear glow.

And so, with this in mind, for our May 2023 issue, we asked more than 60 top guitarists to choose their ultimate stompboxes, aka the pedals they can't live without. 

And when I say "top guitarists," I'm talking about people with names like Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Slipknot's Mick Thomson, Steve Lukather, Nuno Bettencourt, Billy Corgan, Eric Gales, Kim Thayil, John Petrucci, Scott Ian, Samantha Fish, Paul Gilbert, Richie Faulkner, Marty Friedman, Robb Flynn, Jennifer Batten, Joe Satriani, Kirk Fletcher, Phil Demmel, Guthrie Govan, Sophie Lloyd, Radiohead's Ed O'Brien, Gary Holt, Robben Ford, Mark Tremonti, Mastodon's Bill Kelliher and so many more!

And when I say "so many more," I'm talking about people with names like Orianthi, Brad Paisley, Rival Sons' Scott Holiday, Lari Basilio, Bumblefoot, Dennis Coffey, Nili Brosh, Diamond Rowe, Devin Townsend and so many more!

The all-new May 2023 issue is available right here, right now.

the pedal issue

(Image credit: Future)

Once you're done reading about pedals...

In the same issue, we have...

>>>>> GW catches up with Chris Hayes, the guitarist whose stellar solos and riffs graced Huey Lewis and the News' era-defining songs, including I Want a New Drug and The Power of Love.

>>>>> A tribute to Television's Tom Verlaine (1949-2023), the cult hero who reconfigured guitar music and inspired generations of alternative rock bands.

>>>>> How UK sensations Nova Twins created their heavy and unique sound – and why their pedalboards remain such a closely guarded secret.

>>>>> Misha Mansoor, Mark Holcomb and Jake Bowen take you deep inside their latest slide of trademark Periphery riffery, Periphery V: Djent Is Not a Genre.

>>>>> In the '70s, four British bands achieved wild success pretty much everywhere – except the US. In an exclusive feature, Slade's Noddy Holder & Jim Lea, Status Quo's Francis Rossi, the Sweet's Andy Scott and Dr. Feelgood's Wilko Johnson (in one of his final interviews) explain what did – and didn't – happen. 

april 2023

(Image credit: Future)

We also interview the Melvins' Buzz Osborne, Alvvays, Jared James Nichols, Peter Dankelson, Vinnie Moore, Nikki Lane, the guitarists from Obituary, Gabriel Akhmad Marin and Pat Finnerty (who we called Pete in the caption – sorry, Pat!), plus the Introducing and Playlist columns, the photo of the month and an excerpt from one of the late David Crosby's last guitar-centric interviews.

Meanwhile, Joe Bonamassa provides a new lesson (with tab and video) based on the wonders of the 1961 Gibson ES-335, Andy Aledort shows you how to incorporate oblique bends into ascending and descending phrases, and Josh Smith and Andy Timmons show you how to do some other cool stuff.

This month’s transcriptions are Jeff Beck's Scatterbrain and Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, plus Aerials by System of a Down. 

We have reviews of the Abasi Concepts emi 7 Master Series guitar, the Fixer and Carbon pedals by Browne Amplification, the Cort KX700 EverTune guitar and the Fender '48 Dual Professional JB Edition amp (and that's JB as in Joe Bonamassa). In Power Tools, Chris Gill explores the history and lore of the 1976-present Heet Sound Products EBow.

Hope you enjoy it! Read you in four-ish weeks!

You can buy new issues of Guitar World at Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Hudson News, Books a Million and other stores – and online from Magazines Direct. And, while you're at it, why not save on every issue by subscribing?

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.