Last year, Green Day’s groundbreaking album Dookie turned 25. We celebrated that milestone with a pedal that captures the record’s super rad guitar tones—the dirty and punchy yet articulate sound that would become Billie Joe Armstrong’s signature. He got that sound by running his signal through two heavily modified amplifiers—one scooped with a ton of gain and the other with a well-defined midrange. When it came time to mix the record, the band blended the two signals together in different ratios to match the vibe of each track.

The MXR team carefully dissected that sound and created the Dookie Drive Pedal, a stompbox worthy of the name. That pedal was limited in number, but popular demand inspired us to release a couple more with special finishes. The Dookie Drive Pedal V3—bearing the upchucking unicorn from Green Day’s latest release, “Father of All…”—is available now, so get yours while you can.

In the meantime, check out our video interview with Billie Joe below, as well as our printed conversation with master designer Bob Cedro and gear guru Bryan Kehoe to talk about how the Dookie Drive Pedal works and how they nailed the Dookie tone.

Playing at home is a different animal than playing on stage. Playing live requires many different choices to be made—which guitar and amp to use, which pedals to put on your pedalboard, and so on. At home, though, there are no limits. You can just reach for the other guitar or plug in the other amp, and your pedalboard can be as expansive as you want it to be. Here’s what we recommend when it comes to setting up your own practice and recording station, utilitarian and creative alike.

Every guitar and bass player should seriously consider modifying their instrument, especially since most of us aren’t getting custom orders straight from the factory. It’s like having a tailored suit—maybe the one off the rack fits nicely enough, but one that’s specifically tailored to make you look good? There’s just no comparison. Instruments are like that. With a few adjustments, you can turn a decent instrument into a great one, or take an already great instrument and make it even better. Which mods you make is up to your specific needs, but we have two in mind that we consider to be mandatory and universal. As soon as you get a new instrument, you need to install the Straplok® Retainer System and Super Pot Potentiometers. Like, do it as part of your first setup.

Here’s why.

Changing up the sound and feel of your playing experience can be an expensive and complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s great to try out different amps, instruments, and pedals when you can, but there are two ways to mix it up that are easy on effort as well as your wallet: trying out different strings and trying out different picks. Many players take these two parts of their setup for granted, but finding the right set of strings and the right pick is like putting on a pair of shoes that actually fit. You can just slip in, get comfy, and let them take you where your creative spark leads.

Some players are cool with two or three pedals loosely and haphazardly arranged at their feet in a tangle of cables and running on ever-diminishing battery power. If you’re really into effects, though, you’re eventually going to put your foot down into the world of pedalboards. Putting a pedalboard together requires you to make some choices, and it’s a rabbit hole that some of our fellow musicians never find their way back out of. 

But rest easy! We came up with a few great examples of pedalboards you can put together depending on your needs and playing situation.