What Types of Guitar Pedals Are Available?

Whether you’re an experienced types of guitar pedals or just starting out, knowing what types of guitar pedals are available will help you build the perfect effects setup. Choosing the right pedals can open up new sounds and create an entirely different tone for your guitar.

The first category of effects is the one that most people think of when they hear the word ‘guitar pedal’, and that is distortion. This type of effect essentially adds extra grit to your tone, pushing it slightly into saturation and helping it stand out from the rest of the mix. Overdrive is another common option, and this is a more subtle form of distortion that coats the signal in a warm layer of extra gain. This is favored by many musicians across multiple genres, and it is particularly popular in heavier styles like metal and hard rock.

Dive into Distortion: Understanding the Different Types of Guitar Pedals

Fuzz is a more extreme form of distortion, pushing your signal into saturation to the point where it starts to sound broken. This is often used by heavier artists, allowing their single-note riffs and solos to cut through the mix and give them a more powerful tone. The most famous fuzz pedal is probably the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff, as used by Jimi Hendrix, but there are also a whole host of other options on the market, including the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face and the RAT2 from Pro Co.

Other types of pedals include a wah, which does exactly what you might expect it to do. It produces a noise that is very similar to the sound your mouth makes when you say ‘wah’ (although I wouldn’t recommend trying this while playing guitar, it will likely make you look crazy). Tremolo pedals chop up the volume of your signal very quickly, either smoothly to give a wavy sound or in a jumpy on-off style for a more cutting and pulsing effect.

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