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MusicRadar basics: introduction to guitar pedals and effects

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Guitar effects are a great was for any guitarist with any setup to take their core sound and enhance it. You can guarantee your favourite guitarists have used effects to find their own voice on their instrument.

There is an unbelievable range of effects pedals on the market to help you produce almost any sound you can imagine in your head. Most pedals feature an array of controls to manipulate the various tones within it, and the pedal is activated by stomping on the main switch with your foot - hence the often used term 'stompbox' - to bring the effect in and out as and when you need it.

You will need two cables to hook up a pedal. One to go from your amplifier to the pedal, and a second from the pedal to your guitar. Take a look at the video to see exactly how this works.

Most commonly guitar effects pedals are powered by a 9 volt battery or, more efficiently, by using an adapter and plugging it into the mains.

Once you're plugged in you're ready to experiment and find your own signature sound.