Let’s face it, almost everyone who has a career in the music business plays at least a little guitar, and if you happen to get good at it you begin to add some nuances into your playing. Adding vibrato is one of the first skills that begins to separate a beginner from a pro, but there’s only so much that we can do that on the fret board. For extremes like dive bombs, you need a good old fashioned Bigsby arm (or Fender’s version on Strats, Jaguars and Jazzmasters). The problem is that many players (myself included) don’t want to drill holes in their favorite instruments to add a piece of hardware that they might decide they don’t want later. That’s why Gamechanger Audio’s Bigsby Pedal can be a . . .game changer.
Yes, It’s A Pedal
The Bigsby pedal is really a polyphonic pitch changer that’s shaped to look like a real Bigsby vibrato bar, only it’s on the floor instead of the guitar. Since it’s electronic, it has a slew of advantages over the real thing, including less string and body wear and tear, and much more functionality.
There are 3 controls on the pedal that makes it highly variable. The Depth control sets how much the pitch will shift up or down. The white layer sets the downward pitch shift while the red layer sets it upward. It ranges from a full octave to no pitch shift at all. There are also quarter and half-tone settings available.
The Blend control is basically a wet/dry feature that’s useful when you want to harmonize with yourself. It also acts as a basic tone control. The Rate knob adds the pedal’s built-in LFO so you can have a nice even vibrato even though you may not have the finger control to do it manually. It’s disengaged when the pedal is fully depressed.
Not Like The Others
Yes, there are other polyphonic pitch shifters out there but this one seems like it’s come from a guitar players mind rather than an engineer’s. It’s not a one-trick pony, but even if it was, it would still be worth having in your toolbox. I can see this becoming a standard piece of kit the way the wah and distortion/overdrive pedals have become through the years.
The Gamechanger Audio Bigsby pedal sells for $379. You can find out more here, or watch the video below for more details on how it works and sounds.