Guns N’ Roses’ famous shredder Slash gets an extremely recognizable sound out of his guitar. Songs like “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Rocket Queen” feature Slash at his best, utilizing his wide variety of techniques and hardware to craft his unique sound.
There are a few different effects that stand out in these songs, along with Guns N’ Roses’ entire discography. Namely, Slash’s delay effect works to great effect on many GNR tracks, especially those off their best selling record Appetite For Destruction.
But what delay pedal does Slash use to get this effect? Well, historically, Slash mostly uses the Boss DD-3 delay for his delay effects on these tracks. These days he’s got two Boss DD-500s in his loop with a DD-3 going into the front end, but to get that classic Slash sound, the DD-3 is the way to go!
What makes the DD-3 such a reliable and great-sounding pedal? What other gear is in Slash’s rig? What gear can help you get that awesome Slash-like sound? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Slash’s delay effect.
Who is Slash?
To keep a long story short, Saul Hudson, better known as Slash, is the guitar player and one of the most famous members of Guns N’ Roses, whose multiple best-selling albums and long history of touring have made them one of the most successful rock bands of all time.
Slash’s guitar playing is a key part of this group’s appeal, as his unique sound and talent have caught the ears of many listeners over the years.
Slash has been a part of multiple other successful projects, most notably Velvet Underground and his solo career under the name Slash. His unique sound rings through on each record he touches, with his guitar playing being the forefront of any song he’s on.
Other than his Boss DD-3 delay, there are a number of other pieces of equipment that Slash is well known for.
Most famously, Slash is known to play a Les Paul. Usually a standard 50s or 60s model. This guitar’s thick and powerful clean sound and its scorching hot crunchy tones that come through with a little distortion are almost synonymous with Slash’s style, making it the perfect guitar for him and his rip-roaring solos and chunky riffs.
As far as amps, Slash leans towards Marshalls, with his favorite being the Marshall JCM 25/50 2555 Silver Jubilee. This amp can produce both the cutting clean tones and chunk dirty tones that make slash so iconic.
As far as other pedals that slash likes to use, there are a few in his arsenal, but he mostly plays a very analog style in where he uses the amp’s natural sound to switch between dirty and clean tones.
For boost and overdrive, Slash likes the MXR MC-402 boost and overdrive pedal. This two-in-one pedal saves space on a board and sounds great to boot.
Slash uses a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor to make sure his sound is free of unwanted noise, cleaning up the buzzes that come with running your guitar through effects and high gain.
Slash’s MXR ten band EQ helps him have some extra tone control on his board as well.
One of the flashiest pedals on Slash’s board is the MXR M234 analog chorus pedal, which gives a layered shimmer to his guitar parts that can be heard throughout Guns N Roses’ records.
Finally, when Slash needs his sound to have a little extra “oomph” he uses an MXR SF01 Slash Octave Fuzz pedal. He uses this more for its octave effect than the fuzz, however.
Slash’s Delay Pedals
Slash, as stated above, mostly uses a Boss DD-3 delay pedal on all of the most famous Guns N’ Roses tracks. If you want to nail down Slash’s sound in your own playing, this delay pedal is a great start. Its many settings allow for various unique uses.
Listen to tracks like “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Rocket Queen,” and “Slither” to hear it in action and try to mimic the sound with your own DD-3!
Lately, while playing larger crowds, Slash will use two Boss DD-500 delays. These are placed in his amps effects loop, giving a less obvious and up-front effect than his DD-3, which is in front of his amp.
Slash’s DD-3 is only a part of what makes his sound so iconic. However, it is a rather large part of why his riffs sound the way they do. If you’re trying to mimic Slash’s style a bit, or just find yourself a phenomenal delay pedal, the Boss DD-3 is a great choice!
By the way, you might also want to check out our picks for the best delay pedals on the market, our guides to the delay pedals used by David Gilmour and Eddie Van Halen, as well as our tips for where to place your delay in the chain with reverb and chorus pedals.