Playing guitar with effects can offer a variety of sounds and give your sound a polish that is great for performance. Chorus, reverb and delay are a few effects that can add dimension to a relatively clean sound. It is great to play with effects for recording, jamming or performing but when it comes to practice I generally think it best to play without any effects. The reason for this is that effects cover up or diminish the impact of poor technique. It follows that if we are working towards improving technique then we need to hear as much as possible about how we play and what issues we may have. Work on practicing with a dry clean sound. Every room is a little different. When we go to play somewhere live we may become unhappy with the sound and the environment. We need to play though. So it is a benefit to learn how to play with sound that we don’t like. To practice for this try playing with sounds you don’t like in your practice studio. Try practicing with real bright harsh sounds without backing away on volume. Guitars with great tone are another issue. Practicing on beautiful sounding instrument is great, but it can start to pull your attention in a playing direction. For this issue I like to practice on an instrument that is high quality but has very little character. This way the concentration can hold on to pitches, time and technique. Practice sessions that focus on what we don’t know or can’t do just yet are really beneficial. Effects help deliver a sound that enhances what we do know and can play. Try practicing without distracting tone from guitars and effects. Get the best sound you can from your hands on any instruments.