Effect Pedal: Compression (Guitar Lesson)


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Chris Liepe

Effect Pedal: Compression

The compression effect pedal is one of the most misunderstood pedals around. Chris Liepe finally sheds some light on the subject. By explaining all the different options and sounds this pedal can create, Chris will help you decide whether this effect should be included in your arsenal.

Taught by Chris Liepe in Basic Electric Guitar with Chris seriesLength: 14:12Difficulty: 1.0 of 5


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Brandon30Brandon30 replied on December 16th, 2015

Awesome lesson and great explanation!

jacques60jacques60 replied on June 3rd, 2015

Excellent rundown Chris. Solved a lot of mysteries for me.

marugeist@gmail.com[email protected] replied on June 26th, 2014

So in my understanding and the way I would explain it is that what the compressor does is to pick up the slack of too low sounding notes while at the same time limiting the sound of a note that is played to hard. If I was to use a metaphor I would say that the same way one uses the center button in a word document to align all the words in the middle to make it look more neat. It is the same idea with the compressor, but with sound: making the sound be balanced in the middle so it sounds uniform!

mikehabadamikehabada replied on August 22nd, 2013

Hi Chris how you doing. so the supressor gives sustain mostrly?

BradleyABradleyA replied on February 7th, 2017

Sustain is actually a by-product of what it does, which is to 'compress' the sound so that the highs don't get too high and the lows don't get too low. It's like it 'pushes in' against the sound from the top and bottom to keep it contained (or compressed) so it gives a tighter sound. Usually makes your playing sound better right away, too, so that's also a plus.

BevvyBevvy replied on December 24th, 2012

Good explanations , found it really helpful thanks

harry9000harry9000 replied on July 22nd, 2012

Ah...Perhaps you could have held this lesson before the previous oone, explaining what the effects WERE before how they're routed. Thanks. At least now I have a clue to what the boxes did.

erik107824erik107824 replied on July 18th, 2010

Thanks Chris, really good overview of the techniques, do you also cover sound processors?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on September 21st, 2010

what sound processors do you have questions about? I'd be happy to answer a few questions.

wcuretonwcureton replied on July 5th, 2010

very nice job. i was playin around with my compressor earlier today and this seesion has definetley cleared some questions. very nice job

speedracerxspeedracerx replied on July 4th, 2010

Chris, First of all, thanks for the great lesson. This is an awesome resource for players looking to understand effects pedals. I do have one question though: would you recommend the CS-3 for a compressor on the professional level and if not, what do you recommend?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on July 5th, 2010

The CS-3 is my favorite guitar compressor. It's easy to get the sounds I want out of it. There are not too many knobs but there is enough control to tweak out the sound. I'm not a fan of compression pedals with just one control, cause I can't really tell what they are doing. I also have not found a compression effect inside a multi effect unit that I've really liked. Even with my TC Electronic Nova System, which has compression built in, I still prefer the CS-3. Hope that helps!

speedracerxspeedracerx replied on July 5th, 2010

Your answer was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the prompt reply!

kimmokimmo replied on July 5th, 2010

Some people say it is not good to use with distortion or for lead playing. I have one, after seeing this I am putting it back in my loop. It sounded just fine to me.

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on July 5th, 2010

hmm, yeah, I almost always use a distortion pedal when I'm playing leads. Even if I'm using my amps distortion, I'll still stack a few gains together to get just the sound I want

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on July 5th, 2010

oh, I mis read your post. yes, I also almost always use a mild compression setting for my distorted lead playing. It really provides a nice musical sustain!

vikingbluesvikingblues replied on July 3rd, 2010

That must have been a great demo as I've just purchased a compression pedal within 24 hours of watching the demo. I never really understood how they worked before - really clearly explained. Thanks Chris.

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on July 5th, 2010

You're welcome! Have Fun! Sometimes just having even a little starter info is enough to get the creativity flowing!

digitaloxdigitalox replied on July 4th, 2010

nice

erik107824erik107824 replied on July 1st, 2010

What is the tab for lick @ 3:20 ?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on July 1st, 2010

The chord played during that lick is a E9 chord. Played from Lo E to Hi e, the fret positions are: 076777. Sliding it down 1 fret and then right after the strum, sliding it back up in to position will give that sound you see in the lesson. The examples in this particular lesson are really just played to demonstrate the sounds possible with a compression pedal... not teaching specific licks or position ideas. So there is no provided tab currently. Think of it as an intro to the effect. With effects and are less subtle and inspire particular types of licks because of the nature of the effect (delay for example) there will be specific licks and ideas tabbed out for you to try. For compression, its best to turn it on and see what comes out in your own playing now that you understand how it works.

erik107824erik107824 replied on July 1st, 2010

Scene 3 :: Sustain

dbaylessdbayless replied on July 1st, 2010

Thanks, Chris. I appreciate you demonstrating some of the different kinds of sounds one can make with the help of the effect.

jimgarveyjimgarvey replied on June 30th, 2010

Fantastic, Chris, I can't wait for the next installment.

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied on June 30th, 2010

Thank you sir!!

mkorsmomkorsmo replied on June 30th, 2010

Great job Chris, one of the best explanations of compression I've seen. (Especially of the CS-3)

Basic Electric Guitar with Chris

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Chris will guide you through the world of electric guitar in this series.



Lesson 1

Introduction to Your Electric Guitar

Chris Liepe talks about the absolute basics of the guitar, including tuning, the guitar parts, and proper technique.

Length: 23:21 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Playing Your First Chords

Chris Liepe introduces you to your very first 2 chords, E and A. Since this is your first chord lesson, Chris also introduces a backing track for you to slowly play along with. Practicing in this manner...

Length: 28:54 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

3 New Chords: Complete the CAGED Method

Here in lesson 3, Chris teaches the C, G, and D chords. Once you have mastered the chords taught in this lesson and the previous lesson, you will have learned the CAGED method of remembering open chord...

Length: 12:22 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

The Basics to Tablature, Chord Charts, and Musical Notation

Chris is back with his most information packed lesson to date. In this lesson, you will learn how to read tablature, chord charts and musical notation. All of these tools will drastically help you in your...

Length: 25:38 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Introduction to the Concept of Scales

Chris Liepe is back in lesson 5 with an introduction to scales. In this lesson, you will learn how to play up and down simple scale patterns.

Length: 13:55 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Barre and Minor Chords

In this lesson, Chris introduces minor chords and barre chords.

Length: 25:23 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Strum Patterns and Time Signatures

Chris Liepe lays down some grooves in this lesson! He provides instruction on rhythmic strumming patterns and time signatures such as 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8.

Length: 21:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

All About Intervals

Intervals, Intervals, Intervals! Chris Liepe explains what they are, where they are found, and how to play them in this lesson.

Length: 14:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Intervals Pop Quiz

Sharpen your pencils and grab your guitar. It's pop quiz time. Chris Liepe adds to his beginner lesson series with a quiz on intervals. This is a hands-on lesson that will undoubtedly improve your ears....

Length: 15:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Triads: Everything You Need to Know

Chris Liepe breaks through his 10th lesson with a detailed discussion of triads. Dig in and take these triads for a ride!

Length: 24:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Effect Pedal Mini Series

This lesson begins a mini-series on effects pedals. Chris breaks down routing and how effects work with each other.

Length: 8:20 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Effect Pedal: Compression

The compression effect pedal is one of the most misunderstood pedals around. Chris Liepe finally sheds some light on the subject. By explaining all the different options and sounds this pedal can create,...

Length: 14:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Gain Stacking with Overdrive and Distortion

Chris Liepe is back with the 3rd installment in his Effects Pedal mini-series. He explains the concept of "gain stacking" by combining an Ibanez Tube Screamer and a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal.

Length: 7:54 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Effect Pedal: Delay

Chris Liepe adds yet another lesson to his effect pedal-mini series. Here he covers the delay pedal. This effect that operates on the principles of time and rhythm. Use this pedal to add depth to your...

Length: 19:52 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Effect Pedal: Chorus

Chris Liepe quickly demonstrates the chorus pedal with some 80's style licks. This pedal can create a deep and rich addition to solos or add the illusion of multiple guitars.

Length: 3:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

Understanding Key Signatures

Key Signatures! How do they relate to one another? Chris Liepe explains them in lesson 16 of his beginner series. Getting familiar with your key signatures will help pull everything together that has been...

Length: 15:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Chord Harmony Basics

Chris Liepe demonstrates how to take a key signature (the set notes within a key) and stack 3rds on top of a root note to form chords. With the help of a modulating backing track, this should be a fun...

Length: 30:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 18

Technique Basics: Alternate Picking

Chris explains and demonstrates the very basics of alternate picking. He also provides simple exercises to develop the technique in your own playing.

Length: 16:03 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Technique Basics: Legato Playing

Chris details and demonstrates the fundamental movements and suggested left hand position for legato playing -- specifically hammer-ons and pull-offs. He also provides exercises for developing the technique.

Length: 16:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Technique Basics: Palm Muting

Chris talks about proper palm muting and discusses potential snags when first attempting the technique. He offers a number of exercises and patterns to help palm muting become a part of your rhythm playing.

Length: 9:22 Difficulty: 1.0 FREE
Lesson 21

Technique Basics: Hybrid Picking

Hybrid picking can add a fresh dimension to your chord and rhythm playing. In this lesson, Chris briefly covers how to get started with hybrid picking and offers two exercises that you can use to apply...

Length: 6:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Major Scale Positions in G (Part 1)

Chris talks about what it means to play in position and teaches three of the five "CAGED" major scale positions in the key of G.

Length: 12:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

Major Scale Positions in G (Part 2)

Chris continues in his teaching of the five basic "CAGED" major scale positions in the key of G.

Length: 11:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Chris Liepe View Full Biography Chris Liepe was born on September 17th, 1981 in Portland OR. His first instrument was piano which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. He became fans of such groups as Soundgarden, Collective Soul and U2 inspiring him to start singing, songwriting and helping others in their musical endeavors with teaching, co-writing and album production.

Having moved to Colorado with his family, he began gigging, recording and teaching in a number of music stores as well as out of his apartment until deciding to pursue music full time. He moved to Denver, CO to complete a Bachelors in Music Technology and was then hired on by Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me. He also wrote for and played on numerous independent albums and hundreds of radio/TV commercials.

Wanting to get back to his favorite State in the world (Colorado) and feeling the urge to 'go freelance', Chris moved to Greeley, CO and opened his own recording and teaching studio. He continues to write and produce music for artists and agencies and is happy to be among the proud JamPlay.com instructors.

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