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If you’re just starting out on your musical journey, then you may be wondering what different types of guitar effects pedals you need to buy. In this article, we will outline the must-have pedals for beginner guitarists, and explain why each one is important. Read on to learn more!

Distortion Pedal

A distortion pedal is an essential tool for guitar players, primarily because of its heavy and aggressive sound. The downside to the distortion pedal is that it can hide your tone.

Types of Guitar Effects Pedals for Beginners

The Boss DS-1 is designed to be easy for beginners. The design makes it an iconic distortion pedal that works well with chorus, wah and delay pedals. It was released first in 1978 and was created by BOSS as a working musician’s distortion pedal.

Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion Pedal
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The first distortion pedal to be released was the DS-1, which is still a top seller today. The distinctive, signature sound of the DS-1 has been used on many classic rock songs.

The DS-1 is the most famous and best selling distortion pedal of all time. The DS-1 has been used by everyone from Michael Jackson to Metallica

Overdrive Pedal

An overdrive pedal produces a gritty, crunchy sound that can add energy to your guitar sounds. It is great for classic rock and blues, but also suitable for pop, funk and country music. When comparing overdrive vs distortion pedals, there are some key differences.

Professional rockers like overdrive and distortion pedals because they provide a milder distortion for light rock and solos (think Aerosmith).

The Fulltone OCD Overdrive Effects Pedal is best for beginners because it is easy to use and allows you to create a variety of classic guitar tones. It has two channels with different gain levels so you can find the right sound for your style. The overdrive pedal is designed to add saturation and grit to guitar clean tones. The amp-like sound is perfect for rock and metal players.

3. Fuzz Pedal

The fuzz pedal provides the signature heavy metal rock sound and creates discreet buzzing sounds. If you want to replicate Jimi Hendrix’s tone, then this is the guitar pedal for you. Fuzz pedals are best used with swirly effects.

Behringer Super Fuzz SF300 is the most popular fuzz pedal available and it can be found in music stores across the country. When active, this pedal will make your guitar sound like it’s pushing your amplifier to the point of blowing up!

Behriger SUPER FUZZ SF300 3-Mode Fuzz Distortion Instrument Effects Pedal, Peach
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There’s a variety of fuzz pedals out there that change your clean to dirty in an instant; however, the Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi is one of the most popular and well-known options on the market. This bass-heavy noise machine is perfect for anyone who wants to emulate classic rock tones from their tube amp or create their own unique sound.

Delay Pedal

The delay pedal is a great tool for creating experimental sounds and smoothing out guitar solos. The sound produced by the pedal will probably be enough to convince you of its usefulness. Some pedals offer control over volume or number of repeats.

The Boss DD-3 has been around for a while and is a staple in guitar players’ effects pedal collection. It’s versatile and easy to use, with great sound quality. The Boss DD-3T includes tap tempo, making it the most modern incarnation of this classic pedal.

TC Electronic FLASHBACK 2 DELAY Legendary Delay Pedal with Groundbreaking MASH Footswitch, Crystal Delay Effect and Built-In TonePrint Technology
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The TC Electronic FLASHBACK 2 is another great delay pedal that offers a wide range of sounds. You can get anything from classic analog delay to modern digital delay. This pedal also has a looper function, allowing you to create complex soundscapes.

Reverb Pedal

The reverb pedal is more professional sounding than a delay. It gives the effect of an instrument being played in a large hall or room. This works well with: Dirt pedals, most especially Overdrive.

MXR Reverb Guitar Effects Pedal (M300)
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The MXR M300 Reverb is a great choice for those wanting to add a little bit of space to their sound. This pedal offers six different types of reverb, each with its own unique character. The MXR M300 also has an Expression Pedal input, so you can control the amount of reverb with your foot.

Tip: Remember that you will want effects pedals such as reverb and delay to go towards the end of your signal chain so put them last when you organize the order of your in your pedalboard.

Pedalboard Order

Spring Reverb vs Digital Reverb

At first glance, spring reverb and digital reverb pedals may seem very similar. Both types of pedals are designed to create a sense of space and depth in your guitar tone, and both can produce a wide range of different effects. However, there are some important differences between these two types of pedals that beginner guitarists should be aware of.

Spring reverbs tend to produce a warmer, more organic-sounding echo, while digital reverbs typically create a colder, more polished sound. Think of the classic American Fender guitar amp reverb tone.

In terms of versatility, digital reverbs usually offer more options for tweaking the sound, while spring reverbs tend to be more limited in this regard. Ultimately, the best type of reverb pedal for you will depend on the kinds of sounds you want to create and the style of music you play.

Wah Pedal

A wah pedal is a beginner guitar pedal that gives your guitar sound a crying or yelling effect. The name “wah” comes from the sound it makes when you move your foot back and forth on the pedal. This beginner guitar pedal is used in rock, blues, and even some pop music.

The wah pedal gives your guitar the ability to make different sounds depending on how you use it. You can use it to make your guitar sound like a crying baby, a dying cat, or even a siren. The wah pedal is a great beginner guitar pedal because it is easy to use and gives your guitar a lot of different sounds.

Behringer HELLBABE HB01 Ultimate Wah-Wah Pedal with Optical Control
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The Behringer Hellbabe HB01 Ultimate Wah is a good choice for beginner guitarists on a budget.

Chorus Pedal

The chorus pedal is a type of complex effect which produces a shimmering and swirling sound. It’s perfect for rhythms and adds more depth to your guitar playing.

The chorus effect can create a nice depth to the sound. When used sparingly, it can give the impression that three guitarists are playing your part.

Electro-Harmonix Small Clone Pedal
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Delay and Reverb can be used lightly or heavily, depending on what you’re going for. The Electro Harmonix Small Clone is a popular choice for getting a good chorus sound at an affordable price.

A chorus pedal can be used to recreate guitar tones from the 80s. If you want to add a bit of that 80s sheen to your sound, then the MXR M234 Analog Chorus is a great choice.

Phaser Pedal

A phaser pedal is a beginner guitar pedal that creates a sweeping sound by combining two signals and then splitting them back apart. The result is a “whooshing” or “swirling” sound that can be used to add interest to a guitar solo or fill out the sound of a band. Phaser pedals are usually very easy to use, with just a few basic controls.

Other beginner guitarist tips, How to Change Guitar Strings

The most important thing to understand about phasers is that they work best when used in moderation. Too much of the effect can make your guitar sound like it’s swimming in a pool of glue, so it’s important to find the right balance. When used properly, a phaser pedal can be a great tool for any beginner guitarist.

The Dunlop MXR Phase 90 is best for phasers. It’s a classic phaser that has been used by many famous guitarists.

Flanger Pedal

The flanger creates a thick, noticeable sound. It can be used to produce a “swooshing” sound or to make your guitar tone more dramatic. The time delay is different than the phase delay on other effects pedals, helping it to create a signature sound for Van Halen and other guitar legends.

MXR M152 Micro Flanger
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The MXR M152 Micro Flanger is a great choice for beginner guitarists. It’s easy to use and produces a thick, noticeable sound from even inexpensive beginner guitars.


An octave pedal is a type of guitar effects pedal that allows you to add an octave (an extra note) to your tone. This can be a great way for beginners to get that fuller, thicker sound. It can also provide some unusual guitar sounds for more experienced players.

TC Electronic Sub N Up Octaver Dual Octave Pedal
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The TC Electronic Sub’N’Up Mini Octaver Pedal is a popular choice and adds an octave up or down to your tone. If you are looking for an octave pedal with more features, the Electro Harmonix Nano Pog is industry standard and has many options available. Whichever pedal you choose, make sure it suits your playing style and needs.

Tremolo Pedal

A tremolo pedal is one of the must-have beginner guitar effects pedals. This pedal creates a unique sound that can be used to add texture to your music. The tremolo pedal has two main controls: depth and speed. Depth determines how much the volume changes, while speed determines how often the change occurs.

The tremolo pedal gets its name from the “tremolo arm” on guitars. This arm lets you change the pitch of the notes being played, but it’s actually different from whammy bars, which are used to create vibrato sounds.

The tremolo pedal is great for creating the perfect tone and adding more interest to your music. It’s a versatile pedal that can be used in a variety of ways to achieve different sounds.

Tuner Pedal

When you’re playing live, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to stop in the middle of a song to tune your guitar. A tuner pedal provides a quick and convenient way to tune your instrument during the show or at home.

TC Electronic POLYTUNE 3 MINI Tiny Polyphonic Tuner with Multiple Tuning Modes and Built-In BONAFIDE BUFFER
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The TC Electronic Polytune 3 Mini is a perfect choice for beginner level musicians who want an easy-to-use tuner pedal. The pedal features an LED display that shows which strings are out of tune and turns green when they’re in tune.

New to guitar, see our Getting Started with Guitar Video Lesson

The BOSS TU-3 Tuner Pedal is the industry standard and is used by professional musicians all over the world. This pedal offers accurate tuning, can be used to tune your guitar in alternative tunings such as Drop D or Open G, and has a silent mode so you can tune your guitar without making any noise onstage.

Noise Gate Pedal

A noise gate pedal is a great way to get rid of unwanted noise. It helps to cut down on the hiss and hum that can be heard when you’re not playing your guitar. This is a must-have beginner guitar effects pedal for distractions to be minimized during performances.

The Iron Curtain is best for high gain settings and chains of pedals. It offers a noise gate function that can really come in handy when you’re trying to keep your signal clean.

Acoustic Pedal

An acoustic pedal is a guitar effects pedal that simulates the sound of an acoustic guitar. This type of pedal is often used by guitarists on stage who want to switch between acoustic and electric guitar sounds during a set or even the same song.

Behringer V-TONE ACOUSTIC DRIVER DI ADI21 Acoustic Amp Modeler/Direct Recording Preamp/DI Box
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There are a few different types of acoustic pedals available on the market, but the Behringer V-TONE ADI21 is one of the best options available because it’s affordable and acoustically simulates any other instrument you might use on stage, whether an acoustic or electric guitar. This works great if you need to do a few acoustic songs and not looking to bring an acoustic amp and your Martin or Taylor acoustic along with you.

Compressor Pedal

The compressor beginner guitar pedal is a great tool for those just starting out. It can help to even out the sound of your guitar, making it more consistent and preventing any unwanted noise. It also helps to increase the sustain of your notes, giving them a fuller sound. In addition, the compressor pedal can also be used to add some extra distortion to your sound.

By turning up the compression, you can create a heavier guitar tone that is perfect for metal and hard rock. However, it is important to remember that too much compression can make your sound muddy and unclear. As with all effects pedals, it is important to experiment with the settings to find what sounds best for you.

Wampler Ego Compressor V2 Guitar Effects Pedal
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The Wampler Ego is an optical compressor that’s been getting a lot of buzz lately. It’s a must-have for any beginner trying to get into the world of guitar effects pedals. The Ego is perfect for those who want to add more sustain to their sound and make their notes sound fuller.

The MXR Dyna Comp Mini is also a great choice for beginners. It’s a small and compact pedal that’s easy to use. The Dyna Comp is perfect for those who want to add more punch to their sound and make their notes sound sharper.

Volume Pedal

A volume pedal is a beginner guitar pedal that allows the guitarist to control the volume of their instrument with their foot. The pedal is placed on the floor in front of the guitarist and is connected to the guitar’s output jack. The guitarist can then use their foot to control the volume by moving the pedal up and down.

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The volume pedal is a great way for beginner guitarists to get more control over their sound. By being able to control the volume with their feet, beginner guitarists can experiment with different sounds and find what works best for them. In addition, the volume pedal can be used to create a variety of effects, such as stutter or tremolo. So if you’re a beginner guitarist looking for more control over your sound, be sure to check out a volume pedal.

Multi Effects Pedals vs Single Effects Pedals?

You may be wondering if you should get a multi effects pedal or a bunch of single pedals.

The answer to that question is it depends on what you want to use them for. If you’re just starting out, you may want to get a single pedal that does one thing and get familiar with using it before moving on to multiple pedals. On the other hand, if you’re looking to create a specific sound or experiment with different effects, then you may want to get a multi effects pedal.

Advantages of multi-effects pedals

Multi-effects pedals offer more versatility and sound better than single-use effects pedals. They have a bit of a steep learning curve, but they make up for it with the raw power that digital multi-effects provide over analog single-use effect pedals.

Analog single-use effect pedals are easier to carry around because they’re less bulky, while digital multi-effects units can be quite bulky and difficult to carry around. A double-use pedal is a great compromise between these two options.

Line 6 POD Go Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal, Black
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A “multi-effects pedal” is an effects unit that stores huge banks of digital effects, with 4 to 6 foot switches. This gives you access to many different sounds without having to change your pedalboard layout or take up too much space on stage.

Advantages of single effects pedals

When starting out with guitar pedals, many beginner guitarists choose a multi-effects pedal. These pedals offer a wide range of sounds and effects, making them a great option for those just starting out. However, there are also many advantages to choosing single effects pedals over multi-effects pedals.

First, single effects pedals tend to be more affordable than multi-effects pedals.

Second, they are typically easier to use and understand, with fewer buttons and functions to learn.

Third, single effects pedals often provide higher-quality sound than multi-effects pedals.

Finally, they take up less space on your pedalboard, making them a great option for those with limited space. While multi-effects pedals can be a great option for beginner guitarists, single effects pedals offer a number of advantages that make them the better choice for many players.

Drawbacks to multi-effects pedals

Multi-effects pedals take some time to learn, whereas single effects pedals are easier. The analog circuitry of a single effects pedal is better for purists than digital settings in a multi-effects unit. Multi-effects pedals allow for combos of two or more effects and will often cost less than their separate counterparts would. However, they also have drawbacks:

One downside is that you may not have as much control over each individual effect as you would with separate pedals. This can make it difficult to get the sound you want, and it may take some time to get used to attenuating the different effects.

Additionally, multi-effects pedals tend to be larger and more expensive than separate pedals, so they may not be the best option if you’re on a tight budget. However, if you’re just starting out and you’re not sure which effects you want to use, a multi-effects pedal can be a good way to experiment without spending a lot of money.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know the different type of guitar effects pedals, it’s up to you to decide which ones you want to use. If you’re just starting out, we recommend getting a few single effects pedals to get familiar with using them before moving on to multi-effects units. However, if you’re looking for more versatility or you want to experiment with different sounds, a multi-effects pedal may be the better choice. No matter which type of pedal you choose, make sure to do your research and buy from a reputable brand to get the best quality and sound.

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Hi, I am Dan your host here at Sound Check Music Blog. I have been a guitar player for the last 35 years. Although I no longer get to play live shows I am still active in the recording industry. I look forward to sharing with you some great gear reviews.