Do guitarists really need a Bigsby Pedal?

Gamechanger Audio Bigsby Pedal
(Image credit: Gamechanger Audio)

Not everyone wants the experience of fitting, let alone restringing a Bigsby tremolo system (though we can help you there). They look cool but they add weight, however the sound… well it's special isn't it? For rockabilly action, and even adding movement to chords like Stone Gossard does in Pearl Jam, it's hard to beat. But what if you can have the Bigsby experience (and more) without the actual Bigsby?

Gamechanger Audio linked up with the now Fender-owned Bigsby brand to deliver the Bigsby Pitchshifter Pedal. We know from their previous leftfield approaches to effects pedals that Gamechanger are a talented forward-thinking bunch, but this might be the first pedal its made that will appeal to more traditional tastes. 

It not only looks like a Bigsby (albeit one on the floor) but it actually sounds like one. Checking out the Andertons demo above, what strikes us is how it emulates the nuances of the Bigsby's effect on individual strings that gives it such character. And you have the control of pitch shifting with the treadle down (and up) a whole octave with the pedal's treadle. Yes, it can get a bit rockabilly Tom Morello

Of course this might be heresy to purists but we like the idea of the enhanced Rate, Blend and Depth wheel controls (with pulsating lights!) and widening accessibility to Bigsby sounds for all guitars and players. It even allows the Bigsby pedal to add modulation to its detuned effect.

And the best part – your guitar stays in tune afterwards! 

The Gamechanger Audio Bigsby Pitch Shifter Pedal is £329 at Andertons, £339 at Guitar Guitar and $379 at Sweetwater

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.