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Wanna Sound Like Tame Impala? Here’s The Only 8 Guitar Pedals You Need!


So you have bought a new guitar (bass or 6-string) and you want to sound like sound wizard Kevin Parker. You think a phaser and a delay pedal will do you good enough? We’re afraid you are quite wrong my friend, but don’t fret, we’ve got you covered!

Keep in mind we’re going to be staying on a lower budget buying you pedals to sound like K-dog, because let’s face it there’s quite a few pedals you will have to get to sound close to the huge psych-pop of Tame Impala (have you seen their pedal boards?). Always keep in mind the power of second hand pedals  (Gumtree is a treasure trove!) though, they’ll get you better tones at cheap costs and if you take sweet care of them they’ll last you at least a few years.

For starters, an essential element of your pedal board is going to be a compressor which will turn your guitar into a punchy, spanky rock machine. Your best bet is to spend a little extra dough and pick up a Keeley compressor, or you could try out some of the lovely compressors from MXR and Dunlop.

Compressors are used across guitar and bass in Tame Impala for essentially every song, especially tunes like The Less I Know The Better with its fantastic punchy bass tone, which also makes use of an grit pedal to make the bass a little more punchy when needed.

Speaking of grit pedals, a Boss Blues Driver is a great choice, and the M-Audio Crunch Box is also a terrific Aussie choice that is very economical (less $$$, more tunes). These pedals are not for over-the-top distortion but more when you need a subtle drive that makes the clean break-up and generally gives a nice crunch to your sound (essential for the guitars on Lucidity).

While we are talking about the fuzzier side of sounds, you are going to need a fuzz pedal. Most fuzz pedals will do the trick, but you don’t want to get too wild with it. A good choice is a fuzz-face from Dunlop or a big muff from Electro-Harmonix.

Before we continue with the pedals, let’s not forget what guitar you’re going to want for the perfect Kev Parks tone. Obviously the man himself uses a Rickenbacker on repeat, and that’s pricey AF, but you can still get some great sounds from a Fender Stratocaster or any double cut axe with single coil or P90 pickups.

You would probably want to steer clear of humbuckers for these sounds as they’ll be a bit too beefy and thick, which won’t play as nicely with some of the more wild effects we are going for.

Moving on to wilder territory, delays, everybody loves ’em because they are so much fun and sound amazing, but choosing the right one can be a struggle. You can’t go wrong with something like a Boss DD-20 or an MXR Carbon Copy. It is useful to buy two delay pedals if you want to get into some really crazy tone, as well as a volume pedal for those sweet volume swells.

For modulation you’re going to need a phaser and a chorus, the be-all end-all for the phaser is an Electro-Harmonix Small Stone. As for the chorus, the Boss CE-20 is a good choice or the Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy.

If you really want to get down to brass tacks on your Tame Impala tribute, you’re going to want to cover the crazy synth tones we get on Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind. What’s used live by Tame is a Boss BR-600, unfortunately for synth on guitar it’s quite slim pickings for pedals so good luck to you on your journey to find a used Boss BR-600!

If you would like a visual take on getting the Tame Impala tone, have a look below!