Guitar pedals are a staple of any guitarist’s rig. They can make or break your sound, especially when you have a few different pedals on your pedalboard. But if you don’t know the basics, it can be tough to know what to buy and how they all work together. Fortunately, there is an ultimate guide to help you learn everything you need to know about guitar pedals!
This guide will teach how to build guitar pedals book: from which types of effects are best suited for certain genres, to how to build a pedalboard that has just what you need. It also includes reviews for some of the most popular guitar pedals on the market so that you can find out what other people think before you make your next purchase.
You may also look at our other article on How to store guitar pedals
The Basics of Guitar Pedals
The first thing you need to know about guitar pedals is what they are. Simply put, guitar pedals are effects that you plug into your guitar and electric guitar before the amp to change the sound of your instrument. They can range from anything like distortion or fuzz to a delay pedal, reverb, chorus pedal, and more.
Guitar pedals have a wide variety of purposes so it’s important to know which type of effect is best suited for each part of your rig. For example, if you’re playing mostly rhythm guitar parts with some embellishment in the solo sections then a distortion or overdrive pedal might be perfect for you. If you’re playing complex lead parts where heavy distortion could get in the way then you might want a delay pedal in that spot instead.
Pedalboards are one method for organizing all of your different pedals together. You can start by using just one pedal per board and adding as you go from there or start with three or four pedals on one board and then adding more as needed. Either way, this is an easy way to make sure that everything is connected properly and will make setups easier going forward!
What to Look For in a Pedal
The first thing you’ll learn in this guide is what to look for in a pedal. What effects do you need? And how many pedals should you have on your board?
The next thing you’ll learn is how effects are classified. There are two types of guitar effects: stompboxes and rack-mounted effects. Stompboxes can be further broken down into three main categories: distortion/overdrive, modulation, and time-based effects. They’re easy to use and are often found on the floor at gigs or rehearsals. Rack-mounted effects offer more flexibility, but they’re not as compact or affordable as stompboxes.
Both types of pedals can be used with any type of music, but each type has its own strengths and weaknesses that make it better for certain genres than others. For example, distortion/overdrive pedals are best suited for metal and punk, while modulation pedals lend themselves more towards shredding solos and progressive metal music.
Finally, the guide teaches you about pedalboards. There’s a lot to consider when building your pedalboard – from how many pedals you want to have at your disposal at one time, to what size they should be so that they all fit comfortably together. It also discusses power sources (do you need an external power supply?), cases (are they necessary?), and cable management (how do I keep everything neat?). It also includes reviews of some of the most popular pedalboards out there!
Which Effects Should I Choose?
One of the first decisions you need to make is which effects pedals you will use. You may want to choose an all-encompassing multi-effects pedal, or you might only want a few specific types of effects. The type of effect that you are planning on using your pedalboard for will determine what kinds of pedals you should buy. For example, if you’re planning on playing metal music, then distortion, overdrive, and fuzz may be your best options. If you are playing country music on the other hand, then reverbs and delays will work better for you.
Building the Perfect Pedalboard
One of the best ways to figure out what to buy is by looking at your pedalboard. If you have a few pedals, you can start with these six.
An overdrive or distortion pedal will shape the tone of your guitar and add sustain. It’ll be the first effect in the chain. Overdrives are for those who like a heavier sound and want to get into metal-style riffs but don’t want to play with distortion all the time. Distortion pedals make up for lost amp headroom and adds more power to your sound. They also work well for soloing if you have a high gain amp head like a Marshall JCM 800 2203 2301 2204 2205 2206 2112 2262 1959 Silver Jubilee Silverface Bassman Fender Twin Reverb ’65 Deluxe Reverb II Super Twin Reverb
A wah wah pedal is ideal for funk and soul music styles where an exaggerated vowel sound is needed (think James Brown ‘Funky Drummer’). Wahs can also be used as an overdubbing effect, where they double up their frequencies with an octave pedal to create a new sound altogether.
An envelope filter can cut down on some of that unwanted noise from your signal chain by letting you filter out treble frequencies when you’re playing chords or when playing solos, which makes it perfect for any situation where you’d find yourself needing to clean up your sound on stage or
Pedal Order Matters
The order you place your pedals on your pedalboard can have a huge impact on your tone. For example, if you’re using distortion and overdrive in tandem, the distortion will naturally sound more pronounced if it’s placed before the overdrive. It’s also important to know that reverb should be placed near the end of your chain so that it has ample time to reverberate. Placing a compressor before an overdrive or distortion can result in some interesting tonal shifts.
Building Your First Pedalboard
If you’re new to the world of guitar pedals, or have been playing for awhile but have never ventured into pedalboard design, one of the first things to consider is what order to put your pedals in. Generally speaking, a pedalboard should be arranged so that it starts with the volume pedal and ends with any fuzz pedals and/or modulation effects. This ensures that your guitar’s signal will gradually become more powerful as you go from one pedal to the next. The first pedal on your board should also be a wah if you want to use it as an effect rather than a filter.
Guitar boards are build around four main types of effects: overdrive/distortion, modulation, delay, and reverb. Overdrive pedals are meant for boosting the amp’s natural distortion up a few notches without coloring your tone too much; modulation effects like chorus and flange add depth and motion to your sound; delay creates echoes that can thicken up your tone while reverb creates spatial sense of like being in a room
Reviews for Some of the Best Guitar Pedals on the Market
In this buyer’s guide, you’ll find reviews for some of the best guitar pedals on the market. Each pedal will be reviewed in detail and then given a rating based on how it suits the needs of different musicians.
The Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter Pedal is a great entry-level pedal that is perfect for any guitarist who doesn’t want to spend too much money. It has three different modes (classic, vintage, and volume swell) that can give you classic sounds or newer ones. It also includes a manual mode that lets you tweak your settings without an amp, which is great for practicing your effects.
If you’re looking for something more versatile, the TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 Reverb Pedal has six different reverb sounds and can give you an effect from subtle to intense. It also comes with modulation options and controls to make it easier than ever to customize your sound.
At the top tier in terms of versatility, there is the TC Electronic Ditto Looper Pedal . It’s one of the most popular loopers on the market because it does exactly what its name says: loops your sound so that you can create cool parts over it or just do solo guitar pieces if you want to practice singing on top of them. The looping modes are endless as well so you don’t have to worry about running out of space while playing around with different textures.
Boss TU-3 Tuner Pedal
One of the most popular guitar pedals on the market is the Boss TU-3 Tuner Pedal. This tuner pedal is compact and easy to take with you on the go. It even comes with a battery so that you don’t have to worry about purchasing one separately. You can use this tuner pedal in any situation, whether you’re onstage or sitting at home. It also has an LED screen that makes it easier to tune your guitar and has a hold function that keeps your tuning steady while you change cords or do other things.
Boss TU-3 Tuner Pedal Review
The Boss TU-3 Tuner Pedal is an affordable choice for any guitarist looking for a reliable tuner pedal. The one downside is that it doesn’t come with a battery, but luckily they are cheap and easy to find separately!
Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Wah
The Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Wah is a classic pedal that has been around for decades. This pedal is most commonly used for its wah effect, providing a sweep of sound similar to the human voice. The Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Wah also features a volume control and an on/off switch.
One downside to the Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Wah is that it only has one effect, so if you’re looking for more variety, this won’t be the pedal for you.
That said, if you’re looking for a quality wah effect and don’t need anything else from your guitar pedals, then this would be an excellent choice.
TC Electronic Ditto Looper
TC Electronic’s Ditto Looper is a great choice for those who want high-quality looping at a budget-friendly price. It’s compact and lightweight with the ability to record up to five minutes of audio, making it perfect for something like songwriting or live looping.
It also has four different loop modes: one-shot, auto fade, trigger mode, and REPEAT. One-shot mode means that you’ll hear each note as soon as you play it. Auto fade will keep playing until the tempo slows down to zero before letting you move on to the next phrase. Trigger mode will play your loops over and over until you stop them (ideal for practicing). Lastly, REPEAT will continue playing your loops over again until you need more space on your pedalboard!
The best thing about this looper is that it doesn’t require power so you can use it anywhere.
How to build guitar pedals book FAQS
This guide will teach you the basics about guitar pedals and which ones are best suited for beginners. But if you want to know what specific pedal is best for beginners, we recommend starting with a distortion or overdrive pedal that has a built-in tuner. You can also invest in a multi-effects unit that has all of these features as well as many other effects.
If your guitar volume fluctuates when using your guitar pedals, it means that you don’t have enough power running to your pedals. This could be due to a lack of battery life or too much resistance on your cables. You may need to replace your batteries or use shorter cables to make sure there isn’t any unnecessary resistance reducing the power going through them.
Guitar pedalboards are a great way to go from being a good guitar player to being a great guitar player. But they can be intimidating, especially if you’re just starting out.
To build a pedalboard that’s right for you, you need to know what you want your pedalboard to do. Do you want your pedalboard to be versatile and have lots of options? Or do you want your pedalboard to be simple and streamlined?
It’s up to you. And don’t worry, we’re going to break it down nice and easy.