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When you learn to play guitar, your lessons are usually filled with the basics — guitar chords, strumming, and picking are high on the list, but when you’re ready to imitate your idols or want to create your own sounds, a guitar pedal from Line 6, Dunlop or Ernie Ball is the way to go. Read on to learn more about what a guitar pedal can do for you.
All guitar pedals fall into one of several design categories:
A typical stomp box offers one effect. To get more than one effect you will need to buy multiple pedals or one multi-effect pedal. A stomp box is usually a 3″ or 4″ square box with a large steel button on the top. By stepping on this button you can turn the effect on or off.
A foot treadle looks like a car gas pedal. By moving your foot down or up you can create a change in your guitar sound. This movement along with the pedal design gives you continuous control over the effect.
These pedals tend to be larger floor units with big buttons that players can easily push with their feet. Sometimes more than one effect is included.
Remember that different pedals possess different characteristic tones, so make sure to test-drive a few before you buy.
Commonly used on rhythm guitar parts, distortion boosts, or used to thicken the incoming guitar signal to produce a heavier and meatier sound. Once considered undesirable, guitar players have now come to embrace these pedals as a way to increase the amount of sustain for each note.
The classic wah-wah sound has been used by the likes of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. It shifts and filters the tones from the incoming guitar signal and can be used to emphasize certain frequency ranges.
For all delay effects the incoming guitar signal is split into two identical signals. One of those signals plays in real time while the other is held back for a brief moment. The signals are then mixed back together to produce a delay output. Depending on the setting, the effect can be subtle or substantial.
An easy way to distinguish modulation from other effects is to think of it as less natural-sounding than delay pedals. Some parts of the signal, specifically frequencies and amplitudes, are altered while other parts aren't. Here are a few considerations.
A close relative of the delay pedal family, reverb is considered the most natural of effects and makes it sound as if you're playing in a large room or hall.
They may not make the most interesting or fun noises compared to the rest of the guitar pedals, but compression pedals can certainly improve the quality of your final signal and sound.
When you want to change the sound of your playing, a guitar pedal can make all the difference. Check out a wide selection of compression, distortion, reverb, delay, and wah pedals from great brands such as Line 6, Dunlop, and Ernie Ball. In-store or online, Best Buy can help you find the one that’s right for you.
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