Different Types of Guitar Effect Pedals

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As this article from Sound-Unsound proves it, a tuner pedal is a great piece of musical equipment. However, there are some other guitar effects pedals that will help you create a unique style of playing. So we put together information about some of the most popular pedals for you to check and decide which one is the best for you.

Distortion pedal

The distortion pedal is the most popular effects pedal and some would say it is the most useful pedal ever created. It takes the signal produced by your guitar and distorts it, adds volume and sustains that sound. The newly modified sound is often used as a contrast to the regular sound of the guitar. 

How the sound is changed by the distortion pedal depends on what guitar you use. A distortion pedal is sometimes confused for an overdrive or fuzz pedal, but more experienced musicians can identify the sound’s differences without any problem. 

Wah pedals

When it comes to this type of pedal, the name explains it entirely. If you say ‘wah, wah, wah’ slowly, you will get the same sound the pedal makes. The Wah sound is used by funk and rock enthusiasts and was probably made famous by Jimi Hendrix’s famous song called ‘Foxy Lady’.

Delay pedals

A delay pedal takes the original signal (a note or a guitar chord), delays it and replays it exactly how you played it the first time. You can get creative when using a delay pedal since you have the possibility to set it to play the note back once or multiple times.

There are two types of delay pedals: analog delay pedals and digital delay pedals. The big difference is that digital delay pedals provide a ‘cleaner’ sound and can be set for longer delays. 

However, some guitar performers stick with the analog version as it gives subtle nuances and superficial fluctuation in sound. Anyway, it all comes down to personal preferences and style of playing. 

Overdrive pedals

An overdrive pedal is responsible for retaining the guitar signal and making it into a heavier, thicker signal. It is usually paired with tube amps since they push the tubes to the limit and it also allows them to get the natural distortion specific to tube amplifiers.

Reverb pedals

In general, amplifiers are sold with a pre-installed reverb so you might not need a reverb pedal. Nevertheless, some of the amps available on today’s market don’t have the option of turning off the reverb through a foot pedal. 

A reverb pedal provides an echo effect that gives the sound more ‘weight’. It is similar to the sound you are hearing when entering a cave or a big cathedra: A large far-reaching sound that reverberates of the stone walls. 

In case you are looking to completely oversaturate your guitar’s sound with reverb so it sounds like you are playing in a large cave, turn the reverb all the way up and engage it when the song asks for it.

Fuzz pedals

These effect pedals can be used by guitarists, bass players, and even keyboard players. Using a fuzz pedal will add to the sound a noticeable amount of distortion that is different from a regular distortion sound. You may not hear it at the beginning, but as you get more experienced you will notice the difference between a distortion and a fuzz pedal.

Fuzz pedals will transform the sound into a heavy, fizzy, and quite noisy sound. It can vary from a bass-heavy sound to something similar to a malfunctioning amplifier sound, depending on which pedal you use.

Chorus pedals

A chorus pedal is a great guitar effect tool but you need to be really skilled to use it properly. It will make your guitar sound like there are other different guitars playing the same song slightly out of time. This spectacular effect will thicken your guitar or bass line. 

More experienced guitar players recommend experimenting with a chorus pedal since it can add weight to the sound or use it for its full-blown effect that takes over your sound.

Looper pedals

If you are a beginner as a guitar or bass player, a looper pedal is a great method to improve your skills. While it’s more a tool than an effect pedal, it allows you to record notes, riffs or chord progressions and replay them through the amplifier. 

It is great for playing a rhythm section, making it into a loop and then playing a riff or solo over it. It basically records what you are playing when you press the pedal and it plays it back when you hit it again. Every time you press the pedal, you can record another loop. 

A looper pedal is a great tool for live performances or practice sessions when you want to make it sound like there’s more than one guitar player. 

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