Delay pedals

Remember the awesome 1994 movie Airheads? You know, the one about three dudes in a wannabe metal band who take over a radio station with squirt guns in the hopes that the jocks will play their demo over the air. It starred Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi and Adam Sandler as the band confusingly called The Lone Rangers — in all their long-haired, grungy glory.

Anyway, their demo tape gets fried before they have the chance to spin it, so they turn to the next logical step (as determined by big-budget Hollywood flicks, of course): setting up a stage and playing it live — guitar distortion, stadium-sized drums and all. Fraser requests a Paul Reed Smith guitar, Sandler needs a shimmery drum kit and Buscemi asks for a banging bass to reverberate throughout the parking lot.

Though it’s just a silly little film, Airheads could easily double as a how-to guide for kids today who are aspiring to start their own garage band operations. No, they shouldn’t go around taking radio stations hostage, but they can pay attention to the simple gear and instruments setups The Lone Rangers utilize for their stage presence. It’s really not rocket science when it comes to starting a band. All you really need to do is…

Save up for top-shelf instruments.

PRS guitars might be a bit out of the price range of a teen who mows lawns for a living, but Breedlove and Dean guitars for sale both offer impressively affordable selections for beginners. A name brand guitar is guaranteed to sound better than some knockoff, so why waste your hard-earned cash on an unknown? Call up two other dudes from the neighborhood, see what you can scrounge together with your allowances and start stringing some songs together.

Maximize your sound with a proper amp.

Once you get your strings and kits set up, it’s time to pool your money and start looking at amps. A good Rocktron will only run you a few hundred dollars, so start mowing all the lawns you can find! Offer to rake leaves and take out the trash, too — every little bit helps. The important thing is finding a way to get your sound equipment as near to pro level as you possibly can, and a powerful amp is the first step.

Get colorful with guitar multi effects pedals.

Guitar distortion. Echo. Delay. Wah-wah. Take some time to try out different pedals like these inside local guitar shops and get your hands on as many as you can possibly afford. Ask for them for your birthday and Christmas (or both combined). You really can’t have professional sounding music without proper pedals — especially guitar distortion, the hallmark sound of rock music.

There used to be a clever ad that ran in rock magazines in the 1970s. It showed a diagram of three different chords with the text: “This is a chord. This is another chord. This is a third. Now go start a band.” These are words to live by, as long as you have the right equipment to pump up your sound.

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