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How to choose guitar effects

3 min. read
Juraj Haruštiak
An effects unit or pedal is a small or big box, and the target of and undying desire – sometimes even a pathological one – of musicians, since the first one was created in 1962. Since then some time has passed and there are so may boxes in existence that even the best experts lose the overview. How to pick one that is a perfect fit for your guitar personality? Let us consider the problem together.
How to choose guitar effects

Is there even a need for effects?

That is one of the basic questions that should be asked. If you belong to the Punk or the Hard Rock arena, an amplifier with a clear and distorted channel is sufficient for you. If you however plan to step on the road of never ending experiments and music colors, you will forever have to shift through of sounds of boxes, you are just going explore. In any case, do not forget to enjoy the music itself.

What effects unit is right for me?

The choice is yours. Do you hope for a loud play or do you plan to float in relaxing tones? Effects units can be used in every music type and there are so many of them that they ought to delight every one musician in the world. You just have to know what you want. If only it were so easy, right? Alright, here is a brief description of the various effects do and how they sound.

  • Boost/Overdrive/Fuzz/Distortion - effects that belong to the distortion class. However, each has a specific flavor. As you follow the sequence - the greater and more characteristic is the distortion. Imagine everything from Rock riffs, through 60s Rock up to the most total Metal.
  • Choruses / Flangers / Phasers - also known as modulation effects. How do they sound? Recall the beginning of the Nirvana song “Come as you are” (chorus), a flying interceptor (no joke –flanger), or a lot of other effects that color your guitar into psychedelics.
  • Delays / Reverbs - these effects change the dimension of your sound. From the imitation of an echo in a small room to huge temples or even classical rhythmic echo you know from childhood, when you shouted in the mountains.

Are there any differences between guitar and bass guitar effects?

It is like this: bass guitar effects are always functional with any instrument you connect them with. These boxes are adjustable to low-frequency range and mostly function best with a bass guitar. The reverse is a bit different, as many "guitar" effects became one with the bass guitar. Do not worry, experiment and give it a try! Effects can be bought and sold, but experience is invaluable.

What else do you need anything else with the effects unit?

Effects pedals are electronic equipment. They require a power supply, usually by a 9V battery. If you however do not want to lose the sound in the middle of a concert, we recommend the use of power adapters. Beware of incorrect voltage and polarity! Cables are as important as power – otherwise you cannot connect anything anywhere.

Guitar Effects