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The Edge's guitar tip for using delay can make you a tighter player

The Edge
(Image credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

U2's Edge is a player who has shown the possibilities of using effects to create parts, rather than simply colour them. And his methodical approach to delay has earned him an instantly recognisable sound. But using your delay pedal can also be beneficial to make you a tighter guitar player in general.

“One cool result of playing with echo is that it makes you more precise with your timekeeping and rhythm playing," Edge told Total Guitar. "It’s like playing tennis against a brick wall: the ball’s going to fire back at you the same way every time; it isn’t going to waver. 

"You find ways to groove with it," he explained, "to anticipate the way the sound is going to come back at you. Echo has made me a tighter player.”

With this in mind this lesson called Delay, Lay, Lay, Lick is based around that idea…

The trick to getting The Edge’s signature sound is to set your delay pedal to repeat every dotted eighth note, thus setting up a rhythmic effect that you can lock into and, as The Edge himself told TG, improve your timing. 

At 130bpm a dotted eighth note is 346 milliseconds. Remember, dotted notes last half as long again as a regular note, so a dotted eighth note is one and a half eighth notes.

The Edge

(Image credit: Future)