What are the most important pedals to include on a pedal board?

Well it depends on your needs and preferences…

for me this is what I have and the order I have it

Guitar ->

Tuner pedal – I use the Boss TU3 for its great buffer which is important to preserve your tone when you have a bunch of pedals with true bypass. True Bypass is nice and all but if you have ALL true bypass it will suck your tone out so make sure you have a pedal with a buffer at the beginning and end of your chain.

Wah pedal -> I use the BBE Wah, although any number of options is great here. Teese, Fulltone, Budda, Vox, Dunlop, Xotic all make great wahs

Booster/Preamp pedal -> I use the Dunlop EP101 for this. There’s some great pedals for this. The Keeley Katana and Xotic EP Booster are also some nice alternatives. There’s also Treble Boosters like the Dallas Rangemaster and its clones (Brian May pedals has a few of these).

Overdrive pedal -> there’s SO many overdrive pedals. I personally use the Wampler Euphoria due to its versatility but there’s so many great OD pedals. There’s the Ibanez/Maxon Tubescreamer and Tubescreamer clones like the Seymour Duncan 805 and Wampler Clarksdale, there’s Klon Centaur and Klon clones like the Wampler Tumnus and MXR Sugar Drive, there’s Dumble type overdrives like the Fulltone OCD, Hermida Zendrive and MXR Shinjuku Drive, there’s Chandler Tube Driver types like the MXR FET Driver and Lovepedals Dover Drive etc I can go on and on here

Distortion/Fuzz pedal -> Again, so many choices here. There’s the ‘classic’ hard clip distortions like the Pro Co Rat, Boss SD-1 etc but these days there’s a bunch of ‘amp in a box’ pedals here as well which attempt to duplicate the sounds of the Marshall Plexi (Xotic SL Drive, Lovepedals Purple Plexi, RambleFX Marvel Drive, JHS Charlie Brown etc), Bluesbreaker, Fender Bassman, Fender Deluxe etc Supro even makes a pedal that duplicates their small amp! For Fuzzes there’s generally Fuzz Faces (now made by Dunlop) and Fuzz Face clones (either silicon or germanium), Electro-harmonix Big Muff Pi and Big Muff Pi clones, and Maestro Tone Bender (not made anymore) and Tone Bender clones. I personally use the BBE Windowpane because its a cheap and an effective silicon fuzz clone.

Delay/Flanger/Phaser/other modulation etc -> I put my delay near the end of my chain here though depending on your amp you may choose to run it through the effects loop instead. I found Delay to be the most useful out of the modulation effects. There’s generally three types here, analog delay like the Boss DM-2W I use (Way Huge Aqua Puss, Electro-harmonix Memory man, Maxon AD9 and MXR Carbon Copy are a few other popular analog delays), tape delay like the Maestro Echoplex and its clones (Strymon El Capistan, Keeley Magnetic Echo, Catalinbread Belle Epoch etc), digital delay like the Boss DD-7 etc although some specialists like Catalinbread even try to copy obscure delays like the oil drum and echorec delays

Compressor -> I put my compressor after my delay, some people may put it before. I personally use the Xotic SP Compressor which is a copy of the Ross compressor which is a popular compressor, but the Keeley Compressor, MXR Custom Comp, etc are also popular

Reverb -> This is my second to last effect in my chain and its because I like reverb to apply to everything. Again there’s many reverb types but the most popular reverbs are the Spring Reverbs (Catalinbread Topanga, Hermida Reverb etc), Plate Reverbs (Catalinbread Talisman), Hall/Room Reverbs (Keeley Abbey Chamber) or some combination of those (Keeley Omni Reverb which I use, Keeley Hooke, Digitech Supernatural, TC Electronic Hall of Fame, Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail, Strymon Flint etc)

Looper -> Since I’m a solo guitarists this is pretty necessary for me. If you’re in a band, you might or might not need it. I use the Boss RC-3 looper. The Digitech Jam-man is also pretty popular. In addition, this is the second buffered pedal I use and put it at the end of my chain in order to preserve my highs.

-> Amp

What famous musicians died prematurely?

The list is long for this one. First what do you consider premature – would 50 years old count? (The age Michael Jackson died at)? A lot of musicians tend to die young… part of the reason is probably due to their active risk taking lifestyle.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – 35 years old

Franz Schubert – 31 years old

Felix Mendelssohn – 38 years old

Frederic Chopin – 39 years old

Robert Schumann – 46 years old

Robert Johnson – 27 years old

Scott Joplin – 48 years old

Billie Holiday – 44 years old

Charlie Christian – 25 years old

Art Tatum – 47 years old

Bud Powell – 41 years old

John Coltrane – 40 years old

Charlie Parker – 34 years old

Eric Dolphy – 36 years old

Django Reinhardt – 43 years old

Wes Montgomery – 45 years old

Ritchie Valens – 17 years old

Buddy Holly – 22 years old

Elvis Presley – 42 years old

Otis Redding – 26 years old

Hank Williams – 29 years old

Sam Cooke – 33 years old

Brian Jones (Rolling Stones) – 27 years old

Jimi Hendrix – 27 years old

Janis Joplin – 27 years old

Jim Morrison (The Doors) – 27 years old

John Lennon (Beatles) – 40 years old

Paul Kossoff (Free) – 25 years old

Duane Allman (Allman Brothers) -24 years old

John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) – 32 years old

Keith Moon (The Who) – 32 years old

Bon Scott (AC/DC) – 33 years old

Elmore James – 45 years old

Dennis Wilson (Beach Boys) – 39 years old

Freddie King – 42 years old

Marvin Gaye – 44 years old

Freddie Mercury (Queen) – 45 years old

Cliff Burton (Metallica) – 24 years old

Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne) – 25 years old

Stevie Ray Vaughan – 35 years old

Roy Buchanan – 48 years old

Mike Bloomfield – 37 years old

Eddie Hazel (Funkadelic) – 42 years old

Allen Collins (Lynyrd Skynyrd) – 37 years old

James Jamerson – 47 years old

Shawn Lane – 40 years old

Chris Bell (Big Star) – 27 years old

Andrew Wood (MotherLoveBone) – 24 years old

Dimebag Darrell (Pantera) – 38 years old

Elliot Smith – 34 years old

Tom Evans (Badfinger) – 36 years old

Jeff Buckley – 30 years old

Rory Gallagher – 47 years old

Hillel Slovak (Red Hot Chili Peppers) – 26 years old

Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) – 27 years old

Amy Winehouse – 27 years old

Tupac – 25 years old

Michael Jackson – 50 years old

Karen Carpenter (Carpenters) – 32 years old

Teresa Teng – 42 years old

JongHyun (of kpop band SHINEE) – 27 years old

EunB and RiSe (of kpop band Ladies Code) – 22 years old

Just to name a few…

If Korean music is popular in China/Taiwan, why isn’t Chinese music popular in Korea?

It should be pretty obvious why Chinese music and dramas aren’t as popular worldwide as Korean music/dramas; the CCP censors everything deemed too ‘creative’ and sexual, and China seems to turn a blind eye to fostering the entertainment industry in general.

I saw some kpop group on a video ad on the Seoul subway promoting the Seoul subway system, that’s government sponsored!! You would never see that in China! sexy dancing girls sponsored by the government, who knew?

One of the top selling pop artists in China is a boy band that talks about how great the harmony and stability the CCP brings and how great China is, it’s like something they would do in North Korea. That’s why China will never get an international audience, unless they change this. Of course so far it hasn’t needed to since China has a massive domestic market.