Popular in Stompbox
Coating your guitar sound in effects only makes the life of any guitarist more exciting. A stompbox can be loaded with one or more effects that can be tweaked to warp or add an edge to your sound and can either be set up on the floor or mounted on a pedal board. These units come fitted with robust footswitches for toggling the effect or other features on and off as well as a set of control pots for dialling in the effect.
The Best Stompbox for You & Your Guitar
We stock an immense range of electric guitar stompboxes, including the legendary compact models built by big names like Boss. And, while most stompboxes are designed for the electric guitar, there are also plenty of pedals built exclusively for electro-acoustic guitars. By combining a small army of different stomboxes, guitarists are able to carve out pretty much any sound they can imagine, so if you're gigging regularly, a pedalboard will be an essential accessory as well as some patch leads for linking up your pedals. A power supply is also recommended, which can be combined with a daisy chain to power multiple pedals at once. It's worth noting that most stompboxes won't come with a power supply as standard for this reason - who wants to plug in twenty power plugs every time they set up their pedals? See our Power Supply Buyer's Guide for more info.
Overdrive & Other Distortion Pedals
If you want that classic, raw guitar sound that made hard rock and metal possible, then there are three different kinds of effect pedals to try out. An overdrive pedal gives the sound of a guitar a nicely distorted edge which is perfect for old-school blues or indie, while a fuzz pedal will give you that retro sixties-style buzzing distortion that was first made famous by the likes of Jimi Hendrix. Of course, if you want an all-out metal sound, then you'll need a distortion pedal.
Jamming with Reverbs, Delays & Loopers
If you just want a less dry guitar sound, or want to give it a more spacey atmosphere then you can't go wrong with a delay pedal, which creates echoes to make it feel like you're playing anywhere from a lift shaft to a massive cave. You could also opt for a reverb pedal which can recreate the more flowing echoes of anywhere from a small room to a cathedral, or just combine a reverb and delay to build a stunning wall of sound. Of course, you can also play around with ideas, play along with yourself and even create entire songs on your own with a looper pedal.
Warp Your Sound with Modulation & Pitch Shifting
Besides distortion, delay and reverb, you can try more extreme, sound-warping pedals like a chorus, flanger or phaser. You could go for the more vintage sound of a vibrato pedal, which shifts the pitch back and forth in a wave-like sound, or a tremolo pedal which pulls the volume up and down for a flowing or stuttering effect. Then there are pitch-shifting effects which literally shift the pitch of your sound up or down by a few notes. With some of these pedals you can add an extra, lower pitched or higher pitched tone which serves as a harmony. Going even further, octaver pedals add an entire octave up or down to create a big, stomping sound.
Using an equalizer stompbox, you have control over the specific frequencies that make up your guitar sound and can either enhance them or filter them out. So you can make your guitar sound darker, brighter, sharper, fuller or more dead. Other EQ pedals include the wah-pedal or auto-wah pedal, which is where that classic funky wah-wah guitar sound comes from. Wah pedals are expression pedals and look a bit like the accelerator pedal of a car, so you can adjust the effect in real-time by tipping the pedal forward or back. Some say that a wah pedal can make a guitar sound like it's talking (an entirely different way of making your guitar 'talk' is using a talkbox). An auto-wah is a bit different since it warps the frequencies automatically depending on how hard you hit the strings. Filter pedals, on the other hand can be set up to emphasise a fixed frequency.
Compressors and Other Sound Sculptors
A compressor balances your output volume to bring your guitar sound to the forefront of the band sound. What it basically does is make quieter notes or chords louder and louder notes or chords quieter, so if you hit the strings too softly, the note won't die off in the mix. A limiter is a slightly different kind of compressor that limits the volume in a less-than subtle way while a sustainer is a kind of compressor that's specifically designed to stretch out guitar notes so they can be held for longer without dying out. If the single-coils of your guitar are adding buzz and hum to the sound, or you're bothered by other signal noise, then you can always use a noise gate or suppressor to solve the problem.