Acoustic Guitar Effects

acoustic guitar effects

Acoustic guitars sound great on their own, but you can really improve your tone by adding some effects. Whether you’re trying to add some depth to your playing or add a little extra oomph to your riffs, there are a few effects that can take your acoustic guitar playing to the next level.


EQ is an incredibly powerful tool for altering the sound of an acoustic guitar, and it can be used to create many different effects. Whether you want to add air or boost your treble, a little bit of EQ can go a long way in making your track sound great.

When it comes to EQ, the first thing you should do is figure out which frequencies need to be cut or enhanced. This is a simple matter of listening to the mix and using your ears to determine which areas need to be adjusted.

The lower mids (200 Hz to 1kHz) are where most of an acoustic guitar’s body and resonance reside, so it’s essential that you get this area right. Overcutting in this region can create a sense of muddiness, while overboosting can make your acoustic guitar sound too loud and bright.

You should also take care to avoid overboosting or overcutting the lower bass ranges on your acoustic guitar, because this can sound weak and anemic. This can be particularly troublesome on parlor or mini-acoustic guitars, because their bodies simply don’t generate a lot of low-frequency vibrations.

A good rule of thumb when adjusting the EQ on an acoustic guitar is to start with a small boost at 200Hz to goose the low end and then boost up the 5kHz region to perk up the midrange. Finally, you can boost 10kHz to add high-end sparkle and a brighter sound to the overall tone of your acoustic guitar.


Compression is a technique that helps to glue sounds together. It can also be used to increase the volume of a song, but it should only be used when necessary. It’s important to know what type of sound you’re trying to achieve before using compression, as this can help you choose the right compressor for your needs.

Compressors are very useful for guitars because they can shape the tone of your instrument and help to even out the sound of the individual strings. However, it’s important to remember that compression can be very detrimental if you use it incorrectly.

The sound of an acoustic guitar is naturally warm and natural-sounding, so it’s important to make sure that any compression you apply doesn’t negatively affect the tone. Typically, you should set the threshold of your compressor to just below the peak of the signal.

In addition to defining the threshold, you can also adjust how much the compressor compresses the signal. This is known as the knee and can be adjusted based on the type of sound you’re trying to compress.

For example, you can make it more “hard” if you’re trying to add a mechanical feel to your sound. On the other hand, you can use a “soft” knee if you’re trying to add realism to your sound.

Compression can be an essential tool for any guitarist, but it’s important to use it correctly so that you don’t end up with a sound that doesn’t fit in the mix. It can also be a great way to enhance the performance of your acoustic guitar.


Delay is a time-based audio effect that repeats the sound of your guitar at a specified interval. It can be used in a variety of ways to add ambiance and texture to your sound.

Many acoustic guitarists use delay pedals to create different effects. These include flanging, chorus and reverb.

Adding a delay to a guitar can be a great way to fill out the room and add an ethereal feel to your song. You can also use delay to create a more dramatic feel by adding multiple delays.

When you are using a delay pedal, you can adjust the amount of delay time and the amount of feedback that it provides. The amount of feedback will affect the volume of the delay sound.

You can also choose to set the tempo of the delay. Most pedals have a footswitch that will allow you to match the delay tempo to your playing style.

Delay can be used in a wide range of music genres and is a great sounding effect. It can add an ethereal feel to your sound and give it depth, but it is important to be careful when using delay as it can quickly turn a song into a muddy mix.


Tremolo is one of the most popular effects that guitarists use to create dramatic musical statements. It can be found on songs by Green Day, Pink Floyd and more.

It’s an effect that affects the volume of a guitar signal, creating a rhythmic change in the tone of the guitar as it’s played. This can be very dramatic and make a great impression on the audience.

Traditionally, tremolo pedals are used to replicate this effect but you can also create it with amp tremolo at different rates and depth settings. It’s also a great way to add some variety to your sound while not overloading your guitar.

Another tremolo style that’s becoming more common is the optical tremolo, which uses a photodiode to modulate a signal and increase or decrease its amplitude. This is an easy and inexpensive way to add a bit of tremolo to your guitar without needing to buy any extra hardware.

There are many different types of tremolos that you can choose from, including tube circuits and transistor based devices. Tube based tremolos are typically more accurate and precise, while transistor based tremolos can produce a smoother sounding effect.


A looper is a pedal that allows you to record and play back an entire guitar loop. You can use this to create different acoustic guitar effects.

You can also use a looper to help improve your playing skills. You can use a looper to jam out over chord progressions or riffs, which will help you develop your playing technique and improve your timing.

Some guitarists also like to use a looper to practice their soloing skills. This can be a great way to improve your guitar soloing technique and also helps you to get more familiar with the fretboard.

One of the first things you should do when using a looper is to make sure that you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. It is important to have a plan before you begin, as it will save you time and effort in the long run.

Another thing you should do is to strum down the strings after each note so that you can have more control over your rhythm. This can help to emphasize a stronger, choppier sound to your strums and add more of a punch to your rhythm playing.

The most important tip is to keep your timing and phrasing as accurate as possible when you are playing the guitar loop. This is important because it will affect how your acoustic guitar sounds.


Reverb is a common acoustic guitar effect that happens naturally as sound waves bounce off surfaces. It can also be artificially created with reverb pedals and plugins.

Reverb affects the sound of a guitar by adding a subtle ambiance to it. You can adjust the type of reverb, wet/dry balance, decay time and pre-delay to achieve different effects.

For example, you can use a short slap-back delay with a moderate reverb to add a pleasant room tone to your guitar. If you are looking to create a more dramatic effect, you can use a reverb with a long decay time and pre-delay.

You can also mix reverb with delay to create an interesting sound that moves away from typical guitar timbres. This type of reverb/delay combination is perfect for synth-like pads and filling out empty space in a song with airy sounds.

There are a few types of reverb that you can use with your acoustic guitar, including hall, chamber, plate and spring. Each has its own unique characteristics, so you will need to carefully choose the one that best matches the acoustic guitar sound you want to create.