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Nov '12


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BOSS GT-10 Guitar Effects Pedal: How to Memorize Guitar Pickups Selection

La versione in Italiano di questo articolo è disponibile qui: Memorizzare la Selezione dei Pickup della Chitarra nelle Patch della Pedaliera BOSS GT-10.


Photo credit: BOSS Corporation

The BOSS GT-10 Guitar Effects Pedal is a compact and powerful unit that can provide an impressive amount of possibilities to shape the sound of your guitar.

It can contain 400 patches, 200 factory preset not modifiable and 200 user modifiable, and this means that you can create 200 different patches that you can select at your desire. Cool, but what about the selection of your guitar pickups associated to every patch, should you remember it?

This article shows you a method to memorize the guitar pickups selection in every user patch.

Inside the article there are some references to the GT-10 Owner’s manual that can be freely downloaded from BOSS here.

The problem of associate the guitar pickups selection to the patch

I own a BOSS GT-10 that I use during my live performances, and the article is based on my personal experience and opinions.

Let’s list briefly what you have at your disposal in order to create tones using a BOSS GT-10 guitar effects pedal:

  • 30 types of overdrive/distortion, the emulation of 41 preamplifier models, 34 different types of effects (compressors, equalizers, choruses, flangers, wah-wahs, etc. etc.), 7 types of reverbers, 11 types of delays
  • The Parallel Chain functionality that let you create two independent chains of effects where each one gives you the full freedom of organizing the effects in any order
  • 400 patches, 200 factory preset not modifiable and 200 user modifiable

And let’s clarify for our younger readers and beginners the concept of patch: in guitar and bass effects pedals a patch is usually intended like “a combination (or set) of effects together with a group of parameter settings“. Into a patch you can decide which effects use, for example preamplifier “x”, chorus “y”, delay “z” maintaining all the other effects disabled (effects combination); decide the values of parameters of every active effect , for example preamplifier gain, chorus rate, delay time (group of parameters settings); decide the sound input/output order through the effects, for example chorus first, than the preamplifier and at the end the delay (Parallel Chain). Recalling a patch the pedal will set up immediately according to what decided, than changing the available tone. You can play a decennial with this  … ;)

I use the 200 preset patches only as a source of inspiration, while I use continuously the 200 user patches that I like to program as I want. During my live performances I use massively different tones, about 120 patches for 25/30 songs contained into my band repertoire, with a great satisfaction for the diversity of sonorities that I am able to obtain thanks to the GT-10.

But the tone generated by a patch depends on the guitar that you use, the way you play it, the amplifier utilized but for sure from the guitar pickups selection. A tone created for the neck pickup of a Fender Stratocaster probably will not sound well using the bridge pickup.

From this originates the problem of remembering the pickups selection that must be used for every patch.

How to solve this problem with this memorization method

I want to show you immediately what you can do with this method, than if you are interested you can continue on reading the article and I will describe you how it works.

The trick consists in using the Category Name zone of the Play Screen page of the graphic display of the GT-10 (see page 23 of manual):


Photo credit: BOSS Corporation.

The BOSS GT-10 guitar effects pedal offers 10 user programmable categories, so writing into them all the possible pickups selections and associating the right category to every single patch recalling it you will see on the display even the pickups selection to be used, that of course has to be set manually.

I always use a Fender Stratocaster original guitar made in U.S.A. that permits 5 possible pickups selections. I have decided to associate a letter to every pickup as follows:

M from the Italian “Manico” that means “neck” in English

C from the Italian “Centrale” that means “central” in English

P from the Italian “Ponte” that means “bridge” in English

and to identify each pickups selection as follows:


M _ _ usage of neck pickup alone
M C _ usage of neck and central pickups together
_ C _ usage of central pickup alone
_ C P usage of central and bridge pickups together
_ _ P usage of  bridge pickup alone

you can see the effect obtained in this pictures:

boss_gt10_020.jpg boss_gt10_021.jpg boss_gt10_022.jpg boss_gt10_023.jpg boss_gt10_024.jpg

This method is simply applicable to other guitar types and to a different number of pickups.

Hot to realize in practice this method

If you are arrived here it means that you are interested in how to realize in practice this memorization method. It is quite simple.

At first a preliminary phase is necessary where you program the user categories needed, then they will be available to be associated to every user patch.


User categories programming


The BOSS GT-10 guitar effects pedal has the functionality Category thought to group the patches (see page 31 and 39 of manual), and every patch is associated to a category. There are some factory preset fixed categories not modifiable and other 10 user categories  (USER 1-10) that can be programmed as you like.

The memorization method is based on using the user categories.

Once defined the words to use to identify the possible pickups combinations for your guitar, considering that there are 8  characters available, you have to program them into the user categories as follows:

Starting from the boss_gt10_025.jpg Play Screen page of GT-10 graphic display press the system key ( 1 )

boss_gt10_026.jpg Now you are into the system menu page. Proceed as follows:

  • press the right arrow key ( 2 ) until you select the ABC category name menu ( 3 )
  • press the category / enter key ( 4 )

boss_gt10_027.jpg Now you are into the category name page where is possible to program the user categories:

  • positioning on the available categories using the parameter N° 4 knob ( 5 )
  • modifying its value via the functions associated to the cursor keys of the dial knob and to the parameter N° 1,2 and 3 knobs ( 6 )

Warning: any change made in this page is immediately memorized, there is no way to exit without save, neither using the exit key.

  • when you have finished exit pressing the exit key

The following images show you how I have programmed into this page the 5 user categories that I use:

boss_gt10_027A-.jpg boss_gt10_028.jpg boss_gt10_029.jpg boss_gt10_030.jpg boss_gt10_031.jpg


Association of the category to a patch


Once prepared your user categories that identify the pickups combinations of the guitar that you use, you can associate them to the single patch in this way:

boss_gt10_032.jpg Starting from the Play Screen page of the GT-10 graphic display press the write key ( 1 )

boss_gt10_033.jpg Now you are into the patch copy page. Press the display mode key ( 2 )

boss_gt10_034.jpg You are arrived at the patch name page, where using the parameter N° 4 knob ( 3 ) you can change the category associated to the patch.

Warning: any change made in this page is immediately memorized, there is no way to exit without save, neither using the exit key.

when you have finished exit pressing the exit or write keys


Related articles

BOSS GT-10 Guitar Effects Pedal: How To Make the Connections to Obtain the Best

Changing Marshall JMD presets from a BOSS GT-10

BOSS GT-10 or BOSS GT-100? That is the Question


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3 comments to “BOSS GT-10 Guitar Effects Pedal: How to Memorize Guitar Pickups Selection”

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  2. Stereo Chorus Says:

    I like this stuff!! So good and it really the one I need! Thanks for sharing!!! This post is very useful and I already bookmarked it!!

  3. rick Says:

    I use a Strat as well…I have a patch written for each song I play live. I use the name of the song for each title (and keep them in alphabetical order to make them easy to find when the band makes a change on the fly) and at the end I use a 1-5 number for the five p/u combos. i.e., 1-neck,2 out of phase neck and mid, 3 mid p/u, etc.

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