The Beginner’s Guide to Essential Guitar Effect Pedals | What You Need To Know

Much like the perfect partner, ‘the perfect guitar pedal’ does not exist. And no matter how many forums or discussions you’ve been a part of, finding your perfect fit comes down to a matter of interpretation. ‘One guitar effects pedal is all you need’, said no guitarist ever; wait! Before you burn a hole in your pocket, take a look at this guitar pedal guide to getting your hands on the best guitar effects pedal there exist for you.

Let’s begin with a TUNER.

Having your guitar sound like a toad is a guitarist’s worst nightmare. Whether you are playing for a family of four or a houseful auditorium, being in-tune is the common goal.

One sight at any pedalboard and you are sure to spot a guitar tuner. There are a wide variety of tuners available in the market-ranging from apps on your smartphone to console tuners and pedal tuners as well. Deciding which tuner is right for you, depends solely on where and when you play the guitar. If you stay at home and play or practice alone, you might want to consider opting for a console guitar tuner. However, if you are a performing musician or a part of a band, you might want to consider investing in a pedal tuner. A pedal guitar tuner comes in handy on stage as it functions as a mute switch for changing guitars without giving hints to the audience. 

The most popular choice in guitar tuners is the BOSS TU-3. The TC Electronic Polytune is also a favourite choice. The Monoprice if an affordable option. 

Wah Pedal

THE WAH PEDAL is most preferred by the guitarist that show a fondness to rock, metal and funk music. Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton were among the first to put it to use. Since then, the Wah guitar pedal has associated itself with the likes of Slash, Steve Vai and many others. Of the noteworthy pieces there exist, depicting the use of the Wah guitar pedal “Sweet Child Of Mine (Guns N’ Roses) and, White Room (Wheels of Fire) are a few of the many.

Vox was the first to bring it into the market and remains the preferred choice even today. Morley and the Dunlop Crybaby have almost secured permanent spots as well. The Wah Pedal is one of the most sorts after guitar pedals online.

Overdrive Pedal

OVERDRIVE, a prefered choice while soloing, this pedal is known to give you an edge. Due to its harmonics is known to squash signals to provide a crunch, thus adding weight and girth. Overdrive guitar pedal will be more true to the original tone of your guitar. These guitar pedals find popularity in the rock and pop music culture, even Jazz players may use it to give their notes a slight boost. John Mayer derives a lot of his tone from three different Ibanez Tube Screamers. Stevie Ray Vaughn loved his Ibanez Tube Screamer TS-808 and used it to boost his volume when switching from rhythm playing to solos. 

Ibanez Tube Screamer and BOSS Blues Driver are the grey-haired boys of overdrive pedal guitars. Fulltone Full-Drive, Hudson Electronics Broadcast, and J Rockett Audio Designs Archer Ikon are preferred modern entries. You can find these guitar pedals online.  

Distortion Pedal

If your choice is to go more aggressive and your comfort place in high gain sounds, then a DISTORTION guitar pedal is the best choice. The Distortion pedal takes your tone and creates something entirely new and much as the name reads- it distorts the sound. This pedal is the staple on pedalboards of fans with a liking of heavy music genres. The chorus from songs of some of your idols sings the tune of the Distortion pedal. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, Slash and Kurt Cobain are eminent users of the Distortion guitar pedals. 

BOSS DS, MXR and Wampler are some of the distortion guitar pedals worth considering. 

Compressor Pedal

If being pleasant on the ears is an intention you seek, then you might want to invest in a COMPRESSOR pedal. Compressor guitar pedals are for guitarists that play soft and loud. It works in a variety of ways with the guitarist of different genre. A metal guitarist could use this pedal to add more oomph to his tone, it can bring more vibrancy and energy to the tone of a Blues guitarist, while a funky guitarist may use it for clear tones.

This guitar pedal works as the catalyst in harmonizing the marriage between two instruments, in a recording studio. Strumming hard or light; under the influence of this pedal will sound the same in terms of volume. These are most preferred by a solo artist, and Bass guitarist. 

Though this pedal is for the more experienced clan; after you make it a part of the pedalboard, you could be left with weakness in its absence.

Here are some of our picks – BOSS CP-1X is known to be the best valued, Fender The Bends Compressor; an affordable and valued newcomer, and the Ampeg Comp Analog Optical Compressor Pedal.

Chorus

CHORUS guitar pedal makes your instrument sound like more than one. Altered waveforms emanating through this pedal maintain the original tone tweaking it a bit to sound like multiple voices playing in harmony. Chorus is a great way to add more ambience and depth to your bass. 

You can witness the wonder of the Electro-Harmonix Small Clone chorus, in the song “Come As You Are” by Nirvana. 

BOSS CH-1, MXR M234 and Dunlop MXR M134 are the three must-try Chorus guitar pedals. 

Delay and Reverb Pedal

DELAY and REVERB are members of the same kin. Let’s put it this way, if you screamed on a mountain top you hear your voice fall on your ears several times; this is exactly how the voice from a delay pedal sounds. Likewise, if you were to scream with your head in a barrel, you would hear your voice repeat in almost identical echoes, creating a blurred effect. The best exhibit of the delay pedal is “Brighton Rock- Queen”. “The Drums- Down By The Water” shows a distinctive use of the Reverb Pedal.  

You may want to consider the BOSS DD7 and the DIGITECH Supernatural ambient stereo as good reverb guitar pedal options. 

MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Pedal are recommended delay pedal options. 

We hope that this read would have successfully cleared the clouds of doubt in your mind and that some of you found the perfect guitar effects pedal. We urge you to experiment and experience different guitar effects pedals as you seek to develop that which makes you stand out. Visit Bajaao.com, your one-stop-shop for guitar effect pedals online. You can reach out to us at helpdesk@bajaao.com for more information on the guitar effects pedal and even speak to our gear specialist at +91-22-61235313.