15 guitar pedals we wish existed

(Image credit: Martin Diebel/fstop/Corbis)

Everybody loves a good stompbox. There's nothing quite like smashing your foot on a pedal and hearing your sound enter the stratosphere. And though it might seem like there's a pedal for everything, there are plenty of effects we long to employ.

And so here, in all their impossible glory, are the pedals we wish we could walk our filthy size 11s all over…

1. The Nerve Shredder

Type: Performance enhancer

For: Those of a nervous disposition; tremblers

Nerves can keep you sharp and give you the edge you need to reach the toppermost of the poppermost. But when the shakes get the better of you, convert all that nervous energy into guitar wizardry with the Nerve Shredder. Thanks to its Anxiety Rerouting Circuitry and fully customisable Sweat Sensor, this magical little box will make you feel like a god - and play like one, too.

2. TubThumper

Type: Ear-pleaser

For: The drum solo averse

Guitar solos are wonderful things, earthquakes coated in honey bursting with melodic invention and flair. Drum solos are a waste of everyone's time. You know it, your audience knows it, but your drummer? He does not know it. TubThumper rights this terrible wrong. Use its patented DrummerDown expression pedal to rein in your sticksman every time he goes rogue. Some drummers are restrained. For the rest, there's TubThumper.


Type: Performance enhancer

For: The uninspired; the nervous

It is often said that tone comes from the fingers. But what if your fingers are little more than chalk-dry vegetarian sausages, and entirely unsuited to creating musical magic? You need FINGERFUNK™, and fast. FINGERFUNK™ will take your dry signal and inject it with pure, filthy funkiness. No matter the genre or the gear, the technique or the skill level, FINGERFUNK™ will drizzle a thick slathering of juicy funk over every note you play.

Warning: do not over-funk. Do not use in enclosed spaces. FINGERFUNK™ admits no liability for dangerously funky situations.

4. The Great Leveller

Type: Band gel

For: Egos run rampant

It all starts so innocently. The bass player can't hear himself, so he turns up a notch. But now he's too loud, so you turn up. Pretty soon things have escalated into an all-out volume war. The Great Leveller is the answer: a sound man in a box, it'll keep your and your entire band at the perfect sound level, and drop a large cage on anyone who tries to turn themselves up while it's on. Sorted.

5. Insta-sober

Type: Performance enhancer

For: Anyone with poor impulse control

It's a big gig. Maybe you're headlining. The nerves are high and you've got hours before your set. So what do you do? You drink. Come gig o'clock, your fingers have transformed into string cheese - and not even the good sort, the off-brand stuff that doesn't even smell like cheese. It's a real horror show. Enter the Insta-sober: one stamp on this comically oversized pedal (all the better for unsteady feet to find), and you'll sharpen up for the duration of your gig. There's a price to pay - it'll double the strength of your hangover - but you deserve it, don't you?

6. Tune-all

Type: Ear-pleaser

For: The tone deaf

You've been diligently tuning your guitar all night, but the lead singer's acoustic sounds like it's been brutally ravaged by a bear and your bass player appears to have tuned himself to the concept of shame. Enter the Tune-All, a one-touch pedal that will immediately tune yourself and the rest of your band to whichever key you've decided to make your own. The perfect Christmas gift for the lazy, the inept and the tin-eared.

7. The Lightning Bottle

Type: Mind-blower

For: The wildly inconsistent

Are you only able to nail your big solo in the sanctity of your own bedroom? Incapable of replicating rehearsal room excellence on stage? Then you need The Lightning Bottle. An intelligent recorder that senses when you're about to do something spectacular, then automatically captures it for later playback, Lightning Bottle is more than simply a recorder. With playback engaged, it will send an electronic signal to your fingers so that you actually replay the part as you did that one, perfect time. This isn't miming. This is lightning in a bottle.

8. Taste Differential Equaliser

Type: Band gel

For: Tense rehearsal sessions; musicians in search of 'the new sound'

Musical differences have scuppered many a promising outfit. Blending disparate musical tastes into a coherent whole is a tricky business, but the Taste Differential Equaliser takes care of the whole thing for you. Use its blend controls to effortlessly combine your SRV obsession with your drummer's Slayer love and your bass player's commitment to jazz-funk into a seamless new sound.

9. Cringe-o-meter

Type: Crowd engager

For: The chronically unaware

If you've ever attempted to play your guitar behind your head, worn spandex on stage, or thought that a djent One Direction cover was a good idea, then you're in desperate need of the Cringe-o-Meter. Featuring a high-visibility LED meter that gives an exact readout of your nonsense, it'll put you within throwing distance of self-awareness.

10. Quantum Chord Calculator

Type: Mind-blower

For: Musical innovators; seekers of the new sound

According to string theory, the universe is made of elementary particles vibrating just like your Super Slinkys do (well, sort of). The Quantum Chord Calculator lets guitarists do what they do best: access super-strings floating in space-time and whale on those mothers. Gig not going well? BOOM. Chord from the thirteenth dimension. Instant transcendence. Guaranteed to lift even the most lifeless of performances, with only a very small chance of altering the basis of all existence.

11. Sincerity Siphon

Type: Performance enhancer

For: Singer-songwriters; the recently dumped

There isn't a guitarist alive who hasn't attempted to channel the raw emotion of a catastrophic break-up into his music. This is a safe space, you can admit it. Now, nobody is saying you shouldn't do this. Not at all. But for the sake of the rest of us, please employ a Sincerity Siphon before playing in public. Take this pedal's in-no-way-disgusting clear plastic tube, pop it in your gob, and play your broken little heart out, safe in the knowledge that it's taking the edge off your over-emotional outpourings.

12. Ricket Filter

Type: Ear pleaser

For: The under-rehearsed; the terminally nervous; the not-very-good

Ricket (noun): a mistake; a balls-up; see also: clanger. We all make mistakes from time to time. We're only human, after all. Which is why the Ricket Filter (patent pending) is such a crucial addition to any pedalboard. Adaptive circuitry filters out duff notes, wrong chords, missed cues and anything else that might cause embarrassment. There's no shame in being a bit rubbish, but now, thanks to the Ricket Filter, nobody needs to know about it…

13. Credibility Boost

Type: Performance enhancer

For: The terminally uncool

You are a great player. You have taste and technique and all the right influences. But you look like you've just fallen out of a clothes recycling bin, and haven't looked anyone in the eye since 1998. Nobody knows who you are, and nobody cares about your music. Credibility Boost will do the hard work for you: plug in, play, and with a little manipulation of the Hipster Attenuation Control, you'll be neck-deep in people claiming they found you first.

14. Random Atmosphere Generator

Type: Crowd engager

For: Personality vacuums; the shy

Some of us aren't born performers. And that's fine, as long as there's somebody in your band able to bring the star-wattage when required. But what if your frontman bails? That's where the Random Atmosphere Generator comes in: tap the pedal and your crowd will be infused with the spirit of one of the greatest gigs of all time. Options include Woodstock, the Sex Pistols at the Manchester Free Trade Hall, Queen at Live Aid and more. Warning: use in an empty venue will void warranty.

15. Noodle Whacker

Type: Performance enhancer

For: The stoned; the delusional

Jamming is fun. It's self-indulgent. It's... naughty. But it's also very near the top of the list of things you should never do in public. Nobody wants to see you jamming, unless you're Jerry Garcia. And you're not Jerry Garcia, are you? The Noodle Whacker will prevent your playing from going radically off piste by giving you an electric shock every time you attempt to extend a solo. The Noodle Whacker will save you from yourself. It's for the best, it really is.

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