Five Essential Guitar Pedals for Beginners

Everyone had always wondered how guitarists sound like they are. When the secret in 2021 is not hidden anymore. Anyone can almost sound like a pro by buying these essential types of stompboxes nowadays.

5 - The Echo/Delay Pedal

The echo is the least needed pedal on the board, but it can make an enormous difference on your sound if you have one. The selling point of an echo or a delay pedal depends on two kinds of delay sounds: the clean repeat and the unclean repeat of the echoes.

Analog delays in the past had their allure because their repeats weren’t as polished as digital delays. For example, most analog delays have a clean echo on the first repeat, and it turns bleaker than the second repeat and more bleaker than the second on the next ones.

Digital Delays emulate repeated sounds perfectly. Subjectively, you are the one who will decide what fits your sound as a musician. The selling point of modern DSPs like the Strymon Timeline is that they can emulate both lo-fi Analog sounds and accurate digital delays.

The appeal of digital and modulated delays came into fruition because of Brian Eno’s notable experimental works and his subjective interpretations of what being in space sounds like. Eno’s eccentric and experimental route birthed rock bands like Heroin, Radiohead, and Cave In to create nuanced musical soundscapes.

4 - "Dirt" pedals

Dirt pedals tend to boost or clip the sound of your guitar. The “Dirt” in Dirt pedals amplifies several frequencies of your sound to sound better or even worse. The staff pedals organized the classifications according to dirt: Clean Boost, Overdrive, Distortion, and Fuzz.

The worst-sounding dirt pedals had the best recordings. If you wonder why, ask David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix, Metallica, and Jimmy Page, among others. This pedal is everyone’s first guitar pedal.

However, some guitarists gravitate towards boosting their clean sound. John Mayer and a progressive band like Periphery tend to gravitate towards compressing and boosting their clean sounds. For John Mayer, it is his preference for sound clarity. Periphery tends to gravitate to their heavy-gauged strings for their distorted sounds, so boosting them would be logical.

3 - Modulation

Modulation pedals are the most decorated pedals in marketing. Usually, a modulation pedal Emulates the modulated effect you want. These marketing buzzwords range from Flangers, “Uni-vibes,” “Choruses,” “Vibratos,” “Phasers,” “Tremolos,” “Ring Modulators,” and “Envelope Filters” to name a few descriptors.

2 - Reverb

Reverb is the character of the venue you are in. Once the sound comes out of your speakers, it’s supposed to bounce back to the walls and reflect the sound you made. This factor is why live music is visceral and direly missed by the public. Live shows reflect the venue’s sound, which reflects the musicians’ music on that venue live.

1 - Tuners

Before you bend all the possibilities of your sound, first, you need to learn to tune your guitar depending on your preference. This factor is the most underlooked part of guitar and bass playing. If you are a musician and do not recognize why this is important, you have a problem. Even singers check if they’re in tune before performing. The best advice that another musician can give you is to learn how to tune and intonate your guitar first. After that, everything below the list can follow.

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