MusicRadar Basics: effects pedals explained

Everything you need to know to get started on the electric guitar

MusicRadar Basics: electric guitar part 15 – effects pedals explained

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You'll have no doubt seen the boards full of weird looking boxes at the feet of your favourite guitarist. These are effects pedals – sometimes called stomp boxes, 'cos you stomp on 'em – and they allow you to access all sorts of sounds and effects without having to touch anything on your guitar or amp.

We'll show you how they work with this distortion pedal. You'll need two guitar leads, one to go from your guitar to the pedal and the other to link the pedal to the amp.

Pedals usually run on a 9 volt battery – which is why you always need a spare or two in your case – or alternatively they use an external power source.

Effects pedals can be used to access all sorts of sounds, and there are literally thousands out there to try. They range from single units that perform one task such as this distortion pedal, to multi-effects pedals with lots of different types of effects all in one use. It's a whole world to explore, and don't be afraid of trying out new types – they can open up a whole new sound or style of playing to you.

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