A complete beginner’s guide to guitar effects pedals

The right one can enhance the quality of your music!

Why get a guitar pedal?

Guitar pedals are placed between your guitar and amp. It processes the signals from your guitar to the amp to enhance or distort the sound. The quality of sound produced by a guitar can greatly be enhanced by this device and help you achieve the professional quality music you wish to create. This small device helps elevate sound to a whole different level and works great to make even your starting performances impactful and a big success!

Here’s a little something to help you get started!

Guitar pedals are an essential tool to help amp up your guitar skills and improve the overall sound, effect, and experience. In order to create great quality sound and produce some of your finest works right from the start of your music journey, investing in a multi-effects pedal can be a good start. If you are interested in creating and altering sounds and want to explore it and get creative but don’t quite know where to start, this guide is for you. Finding affordable guitar pedals for beginners that are easy to use and last long can be a little confusing. So to help you decide, here is a quick guide about our top four picks and everything you need to know about each one of them before making a purchase.

Our top picks for you:

When you’re first getting started, it may be a little overwhelming to go through all the information and look into all possible options available in the market. This guide focuses on the very basics and provides a base for you to get started and move on to discovering and eventually creating your very own pedalboard. We’ve narrowed it down to the best guitar pedals that work for absolutely anyone who’s just getting started.

Sub ’N’ Up mini Octaver pedal

An octaver is what you need if you are looking to thicken up the sound of your riffs. It works by exchanging your guitar signal an octave higher or lower. This allows you to hear the sound you desire to create. Don’t let the size fool you! This is widely used and helps your solo performance sound complete and elevated.

Special features:

  • This mini version of the hugely successful octave pedal features flawless polyphonic tracking and Tone Print technology. 
  • An advanced polyphonic octave engine provides lightning-quick note monitoring and flawless octave tones. 
  • Toneprint-enabled, allowing you to use the free Toneprint App to beam cool signature tones into your pedal. 
  • Dedicated bass Tone Prints* replace the upper octave with a lower octave.
  • Use the free Toneprint Editor for Desktop, Mac, and iPad to create your own custom effects from scratch.

Sub 'N' Up Mini Octaver Effect Pedal - Hollywood DJ

Here’s why we recommend it:

As this is a mini version, it is easy to use and portable, and works great for everyone. It impacts the sound of your guitar greatly and produces professional-quality sound. This two-octave pedal is what you should opt for if you are looking to create your very own original sounds.

Boss SD-1W, Special Edition Waza Super Overdrive Pedal

An overdrive pedal is used to amp-up sound to the maximum. It is used for creating a distortion of sound. These pedals are made in Japan and represent some of the finest craftsmanship there is to date. The touch response on these is impeccable and remains unmatched by any other. BOSS is no stranger to creating sound; this Waza limited edition version is manufactured to give you the ultimate boss experience. It consists of the supreme SD-1 overdrive. It has standard and custom sound modes.

Product Specifications:

  • The nominal input level is -20 dBu, and the input impedance is also -20 dBu. 
  • 1 k ohm is the output impedance. 
  • 10 k ohms or greater is the recommended load impedance. 
  • Controls include a Pedal switch, a Mode switch, a LEVEL knob, a TONE knob, and a DRIVE knob. 
  • CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK (Serves also as battery check indicator). 
  • INPUT jack, OUTPUT jack, and DC IN jack are the connectors.

Boss SD-1W, Special Edition Waza Super Overdrive Pedal - Hollywood DJ

Here’s why we recommend it:

If you have been on the hunt for cheap guitar pedals that are professional quality, perform flawlessly and aren’t too heavy on your pocket, this is the way to go. This device is highly efficient and has a lightning-fast response to volume change and picking dynamics.

Zoom MS-50G MultiStomp Pedal with 100 Guitar Effects and Amp Models

This pedal is an all-in-one product and serves multiple uses while being compact and easy to operate. This makes altering, rearranging, and creating sound a breezy experience. It works great in both live and studio settings. The accuracy and noise cancellation during pauses while maintaining the natural tone of your instruments is a key feature that makes this unique and intriguing. It comes with 100 built-in sound effects including modulation, equalization, delay, and reverb that are great for beginners and help cut down the size of your pedalboard. It has an amazing battery life of up to seven hours and the pedal automatically turns off after not being in use for an extended period of time.

Special features:

  • Modulation, equalization, delay, and reverb are among the 86 guitar and bass effects available. 
  • Up to six effects can be used at the same time in any order. 
  • User-created patches will be stored in 50 memory locations. 
  • Patches with 40 presets 
  • Patch cycling is a term used to describe the process 
  • Both regular guitar and bass tunings, including open and drops tunings, are supported by the onboard chromatic tuner.
  • The AutoSave feature saves all patch parameters automatically. 
  • Operation in mono and stereo 

Product Specifications:

  • The total number of effects is 100. 
  • The number of simultaneous effects is six, and the number of patch memories is fifty. 
  • 30 patch presets are available. 
  • 32-bit floating-point and 32-bit fixed point signal processing 
  • Dimensions: 130.3 mm (D) x 77.5 mm (W) x 58.5 mm (H). 
  • 350g (approximately) (without batteries).

Zoom MS-50G MultiStomp Guitar Pedal - Hollywood DJ

Here’s why we recommend this:

This allows you complete control over the sound you create. You can really tap into your inner artist and create unique sounds. The auto-save feature is greatly convenient and makes the pedal incredibly user-friendly. You can use up to six effects in any order you desire. This is an all-rounder for those who really want to get creative as it comes with multiple incredible functions to create what you desire without requiring a lot of different equipment.

Zoom MS-70CDR MultiStomp Chorus Reverb Pedal with 86 Guitar and Bass Effects

You will surely be blown away by exactly how much this little device can do. This offers a wide range of sounds from sweet vintage tones all the way to clear and modern notes. If you are a bass guitarist, this really is the way to go and will help cut down the size of your pedalboard. It has 86 different effects that are functionally arranged for the ultimate ease and convenience of the user, making it a great investment for people who are just getting started with pedals. It includes mono and stereo operations. It includes tap tempo to synchronize delay timings and modulation rates.

Special features:

  • Modulation, equalization, delay, and reverb are among the 86 guitar and bass effects available. 
  • Up to six effects can be used at the same time, in any order.
  •  User-created patches will be stored in 50 memory locations.
  •  A total of 40 preset patches Patch cycling is a method of cycling patches.
  •  Both regular guitar and bass tunings, including open and drops tunings, are supported by the onboard chromatic tuner.
  • Tap Tempo for synchronizing delay times or modulation rates; AutoSave feature for saving all patch parameters automatically; Mono and stereo activity

 Product Specifications:

  • DIMENSIONS (WXDH): 130.3) x 77.5 x 58.5 mm
  • The total number of effects is 86. 
  • The maximum number of effects that can be used at the same time is six. 
  • There are 50 patch memories in total. 
  • Signal processing is 32 bits.

Zoom MS-70CDR MultiStomp Chorus Reverb Pedal - Hollywood DJ

Here’s why we recommend this:

This is an ideal multi-effects pedal for beginners as it includes multiple settings you can use. It allows multiple effects to be applied all at once. It is a great pedal to start out on. It supports all standard bass and guitar tunings which means it will fit right in with your instrument and provide a simple and easy creative experience for you that will help you discover your very own personal take on sounds and original tunes you create.