Guitar effects pedals (or simply FX Pedals) are also known as guitar stomp boxes and used to radically change and manipulate the sound that a guitar makes. Guitar Effects Pedals are popular due to the ease of use in live situations, as they're operated by the users' foot to engage the effect, leaving the artist's hands to concentrate on the guitar (unless you're The Edge, whose guitar tech does it all, backstage!)
FX pedals made their first appearance in pop music in the Sixties, when artists such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix started to use effects such as fuzz and wah, creating new sounds unheard of before. The most popular type of effects today are Distortion and Overdrive; time-based effects such as Delay and Reverb, and modulation effects such as Tremolo,Chorus, Phase, and Flange - besides the traditional Wah and Fuzz, of course!
Several units became iconic due to their association with some famous users. To name a few: Fuzz Face (Hendrix, Gilmour), POG and Whammy (Jack White, Matt Bellamy), DS2 Distortion (Kurt Cobain), Tube Screamer (Noel Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and Deluxe Memory Man (The Edge). Brands such as MXR, Boss and Electro-Harmonix have been popular for decades, but new boutique FX brands such as Strymon and Wampler are quite respected now. Since Ed Sheeran went massive, looper pedals have also become a must for electro-acoustic guitar players. Users of analogue synths are also fond of plugging their synthesizers to effects originally made for guitars!
If you're a beginner who's not sure what kind of effect you're after, the best option is to get yourself a Multi-Effect Unit, which will have all the major types (distortions, delays etc.) in one convenient package.
There's no single way to connect your pedals to each other, any combinantion is possible, but as a rule of thumb, the most widely way to do combine your effects is in this order:
Guitar > Booster / Distortion / Fuzz > Modulation > Delay> Reverb > Amp
After the amplifier and the guitar, effects are the most vital part of a performing musicians rig; they go a long way in giving your sound its own unique identity, and no two guitarists ever have quite the same setup, nor use the same exact settings... finding your own especial combination of pedals, amp and guitar is what gives each player their own distinctive sound! A good choice of fx pedals can transform an average performance into a truly great one. And yeah... they are GREAT fun to experiment with!
The beauty of fx pedals is that they are usually compact and easy to use, and often you require no more than a battery and an extra lead. However... most players don't have just one pedal, and the more fx pedals you use, the more you'll probably need to get some extras: get a multi power supply to save money on batteries, and get yourself a good pedal board to keep all your pedals tidy. Check our pedals accessories for more extras you may need, such as patch leads to connect your pedals to each other.
Besides a huge selection of great guitar FX pedals for sale at PMT Online, you can also visit one of our PMT Guitar Shops across the UK, to try before you buy! All items in-stock worth over £99 are eligible for FREE Next Day Delivery, and you can also Reserve & Collect the items you want, in-store.