Guitar pedals can enhance or completely change your sound, bringing your music to the next level. If you know what kind of sound you’re looking to achieve, it may be easier to narrow down which pedals spark your interest.
If you’re just starting to venture out into the wide world of guitar pedals, there are plenty of resources and sound demos available to help. Here’s an overview of some of the more popular guitar pedals on the market.
Back to Basics with a Volume and Booster Pedals
Volume pedals are essential for many players and allow for a lot of experimentation. They basically serve as an external volume control that you can easily alter with your foot. You can get creative with volume pedals as they can be placed anywhere on your guitar chain, allowing for a lot of variation. Boost pedals can be used in addition to your volume knob by giving you more gain to work with. The best thing about boost pedals is that you are able to boost your signal without changing it. Both volume and boost pedals are very popular go-tos for most guitarists.
Mastering Your Effects
Although you can already play around a lot with volume and boost, for even more effect you should explore some other sought-after options. As guitar playing has evolved, the array of effectshas really exploded, allowing players to get unbelievably creative with their sound.
Reverb pedals, for example, are one of the most loved choices for brightening and expanding your sound. Depending on how you want to use it,reverb pedals are the magical tool behind making it sound almost as if you are performing in church hall. Distortion pedals are another top pick, especially for rock, hard rock, and metal. If you are looking for something truly exceptional, the wah pedaldefinitely stands out from the masses. It is one of the only effect pedals that isn’t overly complicated by a bunch of added controls. Wah pedals are simple footswitches that create an awesome range of tones, boosting lower frequencies through higher ones. It is famous for its versatility, and in even emulating the sound of a human voice.
How to Choose
Again, which guitar pedals you want to look into depends largely on the sound that appeals to you most. As you become more established in your playing, expect to start building your own personal collection of pedals as you discover new and unique ways to incorporate the different effects. You’ll notice that many players are extremely adamant about which brands they buy, so you may also start to develop some favorites along the way.
The absolute best way to make your selection is to listen to as many demos as you can. Get a firsthand feel for what these different pedals can do and read up on what kind of music has really launched their popularity to see if it lines up with your taste.
The most important thing is to have fun with it. Whether you’re a devoted acoustic player, a bass junky, or an avid fan of electric, there are plenty of guitar pedals to play around with. Experiment as much as you can till you narrow down your own signature sound.