Guitar FX basics: What is a phaser?

Boss's phaser pedal: the PH-3 Phase Shifter
Boss's phaser pedal: the PH-3 Phase Shifter

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Getting to grips with guitar effects can be a complicated business and there are so many different types that it can be difficult to know where to start. This Guitar FX basics series of video lessons is a brief introduction to the most common effects.

This video lesson focuses on the phaser. A phaser works by mixing a copy of the guitar signal with the original after delaying the copy signal for a few fractions of a second, causing a ‘phase shift´ between the two signals. The length of this pause is gradually varied over time, resulting in a ‘sweeping effect. Watch the video below to hear how this sounds.

A phaser is very similar to its cousin the flanger - check out our Guitar FX basics video on the flanger to hear the difference.