What are the most popular guitar pedals?

What are the most popular guitar pedals?

Photo by Secretaría de Cultura de la Nación / CC BY

Guitar pedals have the ability to shape your tone and transform it to be more personal and unique. Many pedals are out there and most guitarists are very careful before shelling out anything from their pockets for a pedal. Still, some are almost must haves being very popular out there. Which are these?


The tuning pedal is a mute switch for transiting guitars between songs. Obviously, this is very fundamental for your rig. Tuners offer precision to the pitch among the strings while providing a clear visual indication of the same. They are effective when one wants to maintain a coherent flow of tune as one switch between guitars or even notes. The tuner really comes in hand.

Volume Pedal

The fact that your guitar has a volume knob doesn’t mean that a volume pedal won’t benefit you. Many folks confessed to loving this pedal because of its ability to affect the volume in two crucial ways in the various applications. Placed before the amp, it acts as a pure volume for the signal of your guitar. It acts as a master volume when after the amp. A stereo volume pedal can expand your tonal possibilities.


Guitarists like Jerry Cantrell and Hendrix have really popularized the Wah-Wah effect. The pedal controls the Q filter of the instrument which is why the Wah-Wah effect is often called the pedal-controlled Q filter. The vocal-like ultra-recognizable effect comes about due to a Q parameter in the pedal moving back and forth. This either opens up or narrows down the voice of the guitar with amazing effect.


Back then, guitar players had to crank amplifiers to eleven to get a creamy and nice distortion. Well, not anymore, all thanks to overdrive pedals. They allow you to drive every amp to overdrive at any volume and select the shape of tone and amount of gain precisely as desired. This has really impressed many guitarists. Additionally, they are perfect for boosting the amps crunch channel into total distortion.


We have heard many say that distortion and overdrive pedals are the same: very wrong! While an overdrive emulates a cranked amplifier by adding texture and gain to your clean tone, distortion intentionally distorts and clips the waveform from the guitar signal. These pedals have much more audible effects with louder and harsher sounds sometimes so different from the initial sound. These sounds are perfect for metal and rock players making them a favorite for some.

Compressor Pedals

This one is for the many dynamic players who like to play it loud and soft. Every guitar player and listener alike will tell you that this is a must-have.They raise the soft parts of the note and lower the loud ones to give an even tone that won’t bleed the ears. This works for very many applications as the smooth tone creates a great buzz, especially for solos.It makes the guitar very controllable and predictable!

In a Nutshell

There are many effects pedal but the above are the tips of the iceberg for an overwhelming number of people.

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