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Guitar Effects Pedals

By Alex Dunlop

A guitar and an amp does not produce quite the sound that most guitarist’s are looking for. However, with the added effects provided by effects pedals in the form of distortion, delay and chorus, they can generate the right sound for them. Multi effects pedals offer a variety of sounds and there is always the option of a dedicated guitar effects pedal. Let’s look at these main effects in more detail.


The most utilised of these effects is distortion. It is the most recognisable sound as it has the most impact, both in terms of style and volume, of any guitar effects pedal. Just how much it is utilised depends upon the genre of music being performed. Heavy metal requires a crunchy sound whilst blues calls for a warmer sound. Country music uses it just enough to create a ‘clean’ sound.


Delay is another effect which is accustomed to much use. A good analogy in terms of the sound that it creates is to compare the sound in a large room with that of a small room. A large room creates a boomy sound whilst a small room, a brighter and more distinct sound. Although the sound isn’t as distinct, the comparisons to reverb are obvious.


The chorus splits the sound and adds a very slight delay to one of the signals. Think of when two guitarists are playing at the same time; inevitably there will always be one marginally out of synch with the other. This effect is created by the chorus effects pedal. Essentially, you think you’re listening to two guitarists playing instead if one which makes for a thicker sound.

Those three guitar effects pedals form the foundation of the electric guitar sound you hear today. Which one bears the greatest impact is debatable; certain guitarist’s prefer a specific effects pedal. There are some guitarist’s whose preference is dictated by that of those whose music influences and inspires them. Later down the line, that sound becomes a standard. Until the next innovative creation.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Dunlop, Alex "Guitar Effects Pedals." Guitar Effects Pedals. 17 Aug. 2010. 3 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Dunlop, A (2010, August 17). Guitar Effects Pedals. Retrieved August 3, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Dunlop, Alex "Guitar Effects Pedals"

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