5 Types of Guitar Pedals You Need

guitar pedals you need

Guitar pedals are great for adding special effects to your guitar’s sound. They can also help you tune your guitar, alter its volume, and eliminate unwanted noises.

Whether you’re an aspiring rock and metal player or simply want to enhance your acoustic guitar tone, there are plenty of pedals you should have on your pedal board. Here are the top 10 guitar pedals you need to start building your rig:


Overdrive is a fun and effective way to get more power out of your motor without sacrificing the fuel economy that comes with it. It’s especially useful for highway driving, when you want to make sure that you don’t run out of gas in the middle of nowhere.

Although it can be tempting to use the overdrive function as a crutch, there are several situations in which this feature isn’t quite the savior it might seem. It’s best to avoid using this feature unless it’s the right time and place for it.

For example, it can be dangerous to use the overdrive function when you’re driving downhill as it might cause your car to oversteer or understeer. If you’re in this situation, it may be better to pull out the overdrive lever or turn off the function altogether.

In a modern vehicle, the overdrive function is controlled by an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that activates the overdrive lever or switch when it’s time to go overdrive. Typically, it’s located near the gear selector lever or in the center of the shifter on an older vehicle.

The overdrive function can also be controlled manually by pulling out the overdrive function control handle – it’s usually attached to a bracket at the bottom of the steering wheel. To do this, you’ll need to be standing still or in a stable enough position for the engine to not pull the car off the road when you do.

It’s also a good idea to test the overdrive function to ensure that it works correctly before you actually use it. If you’re unsure, consult your owner’s manual or seek professional help.

The best overdrive pedals aren’t expensive and offer the best value for money. They’re also likely to be made with the best materials for durability and reliability. They should also be easy to maintain and clean. Some pedals even have a lifetime guarantee to protect your investment. Choosing the right overdrive pedal can make a huge difference in your guitar playing.


Distortion is a term that gets used a lot in music production, but it can be hard to know what it means and when to use it. It can refer to an effect type, a mixing technique and a quality of signals.

Unlike overdrive, distortion pedals aren’t designed to maintain your original tone, but instead fundamentally alter it. That’s why they often sound more like amps cranked up to 9 or 10 than overdrive pedals that simply boost your volume. It also means that they’ll offer a variety of different sounds and tones, all of which will make them ideal for your specific style of playing.

The first thing to understand is that distortion pedals are designed to clip the waveforms of your guitar’s pickup vibrations, which are sent to the amp. Once this happens, the peaks of the waveforms get squashed down, or “compressed.” As a result, your sound can become harsh and unnatural.

However, the process of clipping your signal can be quite beneficial for certain purposes. It’s an effective way to add a little extra drive and sustain to your sound without having to turn up the amp too much. It’s a popular choice for engineers who work with rock and metal music, as it can give vocals some punch and help them cut through a dense wall of guitars.

Another type of distortion pedal is an exciter, which uses a circuit that can be set to accent certain harmonics. This allows you to generate new harmonics, which can be very revealing.

In addition to generating new harmonics, exciters can also enhance existing ones. This type of distortion is ideal for sonic exploration, and it’s especially helpful for guitarists who are looking to get into more extreme and complex sounding effects.

For this reason, a great place to start is by experimenting with a frequency analyzer. This is a great way to test out how distortion plugins will work with a specific track, and can be done on any audio editing software.

For example, try dragging the slider in Izotope’s Insight analyzer to see how various distortion plugins impact the frequency range. This will allow you to see which type of distortion works best for your track, and how it can be manipulated to create the perfect sound.


Fuzz is one of the most classic guitar effects pedals ever made, often used by the biggest names in rock and roll to create a wide range of tones. They are very sensitive to dynamics and a great way to add extra grit and power to your guitar tone.

There are many different types of fuzz pedals and each will have its own specific characteristics that you can use to create your desired sound. They all work by distorting your guitar’s signal to produce a fuzzy, distorted sound.

The classic fuzz pedals are based on germanium transistors which gave them their characteristic’smiling face’ and a unique sound that was closely reminiscent of the type of fuzz you would hear coming from an old broken amplifier. However, later models of the fuzz pedals incorporated silicon transistors that provided for a more stable operation but had a harsher sound.

You can use the volume knob to cut back on the harshness of the fuzz or boost its presence if you want. You can also use the tone knob to transform your guitar’s sound and make it sound edgy or no-nonsense.

This pedal is a great choice for players looking to get the classic fuzz sounds of their favourite bands, from Smashing Pumpkins ‘Cherub Rock’ to The Stooges ‘I Wanna be Your Dog’. It’s compact and reasonably priced, so it’s a perfect option for anyone with a small pedalboard or on a budget.

Its features include two knobs that control the volume and fuzz amount, a footswitch, a status LED light, and a pop-open battery lid. It’s also housed in a classic red and black metallic casing that improves the durability of the pedal.

MAS Effects is a USA-based company that makes unique and fun guitar effects pedals. Their goal is to focus on unmet needs, unique novelties, and fun ways to leverage digital expertise for amazing new effects and DIY parts.

They are also very affordable without sacrificing quality and offer a free return policy so you can try out a pedal before making your final purchase.


Tremolo is a great way to add a little bit of percussive texture and personality to your tone. It can either be a smooth, subtle wave that adds an ethereal touch or a harsh, choppy pattern that’s more like a rhythmic pulse, depending on the tremolo you choose and the pedal itself.

There are many different types of tremolo circuits, from simple ones that only change the volume of your signal to complex ones that incorporate a ring modulator and LFO circuitry. These are all designed to create a variety of different tremolo patterns and to fit any playing style.

Most modern tremolo pedals use an LFO (Low-Frequency Oscillator) circuit that generates a sub-audio frequency signal to alter the volume of your guitar signal before it hits the amp. This enables you to create an incredibly wide range of tremolo patterns and a very unique sound.

Some tremolo pedals have a ‘Rate’ dial that controls the speed at which the LFO waves, helping you to match your trem speed with the tempo of your song or to set a certain symmetrical shape. Some pedals also have a ‘Depth’ dial that controls how much variation the LFO waves produce in the volume of your guitar signal.

The trem circuit on a tremolo pedal can also be altered using filters, amplitude, and bias settings to create a vast array of different effects. Some pedals even include tap tempo and subdivision switches, which are very useful for matching a trem effect with the tempo of your song.

Trem pedals can also be used to produce a wavy or choppy effect, which is often more effective than vibrato as it can add a lot of depth to your tone. This type of trem can be especially useful for solos or when you’re playing in a heavy rock band and want to add a little extra percussiveness to your tone.

A good tremolo pedal can be a lot of fun to play with, so it’s well worth investing some time into learning how to control it properly. This will ensure that your trem sounds as good as possible and that it can keep up with the tempo of your song. The best tremolo pedals will also have footswitches to allow you to switch between the different trem shapes that are available.