Top 10 Best Guitar Effects Pedals in 2020 Reviews

Guitar effects pedals buying guide and testAs a guitarist you can often feel that your soundscape is not quite what you want it to be. You can sometimes feel that you are standing with the right amplifier and guitar, but that something is still missing. – For example, a last touch on a piece of music.

Guitar effects on Amazon

Here guitar effects can be the answer to your prayers, and these effects can be made using what is called guitar effects pedals. These guitar pedals can either come as individual with just one effect in each, or with multiple effects, what is called multi-effects pedals. Which means a ‘big’ pedal that has several in-built effects. Guitar pedals are widely used among guitarists, and they are often seen and heard at concerts, as well as on records. The sounds can be both defining and beautiful, but they can also be ridiculous and fun.

Top 10 Best Guitar Effects Pedals

If you have any doubts about which pedals are of good quality, then don’t give up. I’ve found some of the best guitar pedals on the market for you. There is little to every taste.

Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedal (both for beginners and experts)

Best Guitar Loop Pedal

Best Guitar Compressor Pedal

Best Guitar Tuner Pedal

Best Guitar Volume Pedal

Best Pedals for Acoustic Guitar

Best Guitar Delay Pedal

Best Guitar Reverb Pedal

Best Metal Guitar Pedal

Best Guitar Distortion Pedal

Best Guitar Chorus Pedal

Best Guitar Synth Pedal

Best Guitar Overdrive Pedal

Best Guitar Pedal for Blues

Best Sustain Guitar Pedal

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Guitar pedal history

The first guitar effects pedals already saw the light of day in the 1940s. At this time, the guitar effects pedals was not yet developed, but for the first time you started playing with new sounds, to experiment with the guitar, and thereby create a new types of music. The first ones to try it out were in fact the people who were responsible for recording and producing the music of the musicians. They quickly found out that you could manipulate signals, levels and much more, thereby creating new exciting sounds. For example, they tried to use amplifiers for the other instrument. Simply to create new sounds. You tried to play with basses on guitar amplifiers. Afterwards, they then tried to imitate the sounds and insert them in pedals.

It was and is incredibly smart, as you are not forced to play with these effects all the time. Now, you were able to turn on and off the effects that you wanted. In 1948, DeArmond released the first commercial guitar effect pedal ever. This was a tremolo pedal. In the beginning, and until the mid-1960s, guitar effects pedals were incredibly expensive. Furthermore, they also needed converters, so it wasn’t something any guitarist had. However, this changed over time, and today we can only be happy that we can get so many incredibly good effects and pedals for a nearly no money.

Different types of guitar effects pedals

The number of guitar effects, sounds and guitar effects pedals are many. But some are more familiar than others. Let’s look at the most well known pedals/effects.

Guitar Reverb Pedal

The guitar reverb pedal gives the effect of being inside a room. This can be a small room, but also a big one depending on the settings. This effect creates an illusion of the acoustics. This makes it particularly good for quieter numbers, where you want the sound to fill a lot and be thick.

Guitar Tuner Pedal

The guitar tuner is the pedal that helps you tune your guitar. It captures the various frequencies and tells you how your guitar is currently tuned. And depending on how you screw on the tuning pegs, it tells you when you hit the correct notes (usually by showing a small green light).

Guitar Delay Pedal

Delay gives the effect of repeating a tone you just played. Depending on how the pedal is adjusted, there may be few or many repetitions, and at the same time you can also determine how quickly the tones should to be repeated. Delay is a very popular effect, which makes your tone fill much in the soundscape.

Distortion Guitar Pedal

A distortion guitar pedal distorts the signal of the guitar. It is often seen that guitarists do not use distortion pedals, as they usually get a fatter sound through the amplifier’s natural distortion. However, this is not always the case, and therefore some guitarists choose to use distortion pedals. Distortion usually has a lot of gain (distortion), but the level of this can be adjusted by the guitarist.

Tremolo Guitar Pedal

The tremolo guitar pedal makes a quick repetition of a tone or chord. Slightly the same as the delay, but the tremolo makes it faster. It can be a really cool guitar effect to use, but since it is very concrete, you must also be careful when using it, because every listener will notice these repetitions.

Boost Guitar Pedal

The boost pedal is most often used for solo pieces. In addition, it is also common for a guitarist to use it in particularly important places. Its function is to boost (amplify) the entire signal of the guitar, and the sound therefore becomes higher. It is therefore a fantastic pedal for solo pieces, because here you would like to play higher and be heard clearly by the listening audience.

Phaser Guitar Pedal

A phaser guitar pedal makes the guitar’s sound frequencies swing up and down a little. This gives the effect that the entire soundscape opens and closes at a fixed pace. It is a very special effect, which is not quite known. The most famous piece using this pedal is probably the guitar solo in the song Eruption by Van Halen, where legendary Eddie Van Halen plays the solo with a mix of phases and distortion.

Octave Guitar Pedal

An octave guitar pedal adds one or more tones. These added tones are always in octaves. This means that they are the same notes, just higher or deeper or a mix. This can create a lot of bass and fill. For example, it could be a guitarist who played solo on high frets and strings, but where deep octave tones were added at the same time.

Harmonizer Guitar Pedal

A harmonizer guitar pedal can help you play other tones than those you play. Typically from a scale. This means, you play a tone, and the pedal ensures that a tone sounds a certain interval higher/lower than the played tone. The effect is used if you do not have an extra guitarist in the band, but at the same time want to play harmonies.

Overdrive guitar pedal

Overdrive, like distortion, is a distortion of sound. However, the difference from overdrive to distortion is that distortion is most somewhat more distorted – something more “gain”. It is used when you do not want a completely clean sound, but at the same time you do not want too loud and distorted sound. Overdrive is often used in slightly softer rock and pop, such as Taylor Swift.

Chorus Guitar Pedal

The chorus guitar effect pedal should originally mimic strings and choral singers. It does this by changing the tone slightly up and down constantly. It is not very much, but enough to get its very characteristic sound. The effect is often used – especially for songs or riffs that are slightly softer. Examples are Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” and Nirvanas “Come As You Are”.

Fuzz Guitar Pedal

The fuzz is just as exaggerated and the distortion, a type of distortion. Unlike the others, it compresses the signal more and, so to speak, packs it closely. It gives it the sound. Among other people, Jack White has used it. Especially in more modern rock it is often chosen over the classic distortion.

Noise Gate Guitar Pedal

Especially when you play loud and have many distorting effects, such as distortion and fuzz, then you may feel that the amplifier is noisy. This is called feedback. Sometimes a musician uses this as a trick, and here it is of course the intentional. But most often it is more annoying than awesome. A noise gate goes in and ‘cut’ particular frequencies so that only the musician hears what he actually plays on the guitar.

Guitar Volume Pedal

The guitar volume pedal is relatively simple. As the name suggests, it controls the sound volume, and you can therefore turn up and down your entire signal and thereby hear the audience more/less. This can be a greasy effect if you want to fade a piece or tone. Fading in means that the sound starts weak and becomes stronger. To fade out means the opposite.

Wah (wah-wah) Guitar Pedal

Wah guitar pedals (also known as wah-wah pedal) are a pedal that turns your guitar into a vocal-like sound. It sounds a little like saying wah wah (hence also the name). The pedal works by expanding the spectrum of the sound, which makes this sound. The pedal is used a lot and very common – especially in funk and rock music. The most well-known musician using this pedal is probably Jimi Hendrix in the song “Voodoo Child”.

Talk Box Guitar Pedal

The talk box pedal is a synth that can be used for guitar. This is done by the synth being connected to the circuit of the guitar, and in addition there is a tube and a microphone attached. The guitarist then sings into the microphone. Depending on whether the guitarist sings vowels or consonants, it changes the sound. The most famous who have used this talk box guitar pedal effect must be Bon Jovis “Livin ‘On A Prayer” and Alice In Chains “Man In The Box”.

Guitar Loop Pedal

The guitar loop pedal is a very useful pedal. Not only live but also when sitting at home and practicing. The idea of ​​it is that you can sit and record layers. This could, for example, be a chord round. You press the button when you want it to start recording and press again when it should end. Then it plays the recorded music in a loop. This can be really smart if you want to practice some music without having other people who can play it right now and here. It will also be used live if, for example, you play two guitar roles, but you are only one guitarist. An example of this is Silverflame by Dizzy Mizz Lizzy, where the tone at the beginning is looped.

Guitar Compressor Pedal

The guitar compressor pedal is an effect pedal used to compress the guitar’s signal. In fact, this will mean that it will be packed closer together, thereby pushing the sound level up. Therefore, it is often used for solos. A boost pedal is also a kind of compressor.

Choosing guitar effects pedals

Of course, there are a lot of options when it comes to guitar effects pedals. Most of the time, you also end up with several pedals of the same type, as each one sounds a little different, and maybe because you are completely crazy about both of them. This is quite normal for guitarists, but where do you really start?

When are talking guitar effects pedals, there is no “beginner pedal”. It is not the same scenario that you might know from purchasing a beginner guitar. Which pedal you should start by throwing yourself into, depends entirely on what you need it for. As you have already know now, all guitar effects pedals are incredibly different and have different functions, so it is difficult to choose one instead of another. That being said, some pedals are usually used more than others. And some are therefore more essential than others. For example, overdrive pedals, tuner pedals and delay pedals. These are some pedals that you pretty much all guitarists have, and they could therefore be some nice one’s to start buying.

Every music store usually have a huge range of guitar effects pedals. They tend to be freely available, which means they are on a table where you can try them as you like. Therefore you just sit at the table, find a guitar you like the sound of, find an amplifier you like the sound of, and then you just plug everything together with the help of jack cables. What I mean is jack cable from guitar to pedal and then another jack cable from pedal to amplifier. However, it is also really easy to buy guitar pedals online, because you can find audio samples.

If you try several different pedals at once, you only have jacks between these. However, it is important to know that they sound different, depending on the order they are in. Therefore, try to play around with the order and the settings of the pedals. Then you are sure that not only the pedal, but also the order, sounds good. This will complement your instrument as best as possible. Then it’s just about trying as many as possible. Only you can decide which pedals, that are the right ones for what you play. Remember that you can of course also have several pedals turned on at the same time – thus creating even more exciting sounds!

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