When starting out in the world of electric guitars, it is not uncommon for a newcomer to look at the pedalboard of a veteran player or a famous guitarist and wonder: There are so many pedals with different names, which pedal should I choose for myself? Everyone knows that sound depends a lot on playing techniques, guitar, and amp. However, the unique sound of each type of pedal can help shape your tone and make it unique. Before you spend a fortune to buy all the pedals you want, read through this guide on how to choose your boss pedals.
The most important thing when performing a guitar is that the guitar must be properly tuned to the correct sound of a song. This is a pedal that can be considered indispensable for every guitarist and is often placed first in the signal sequence.
The pedal tuner will be convenient when performing on stage thanks to its reliability because there is no interference from other instruments on the stage. In addition, the ability to mute when winding does not make the audience “uncomfortable”. The typical product you can mention is Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner.
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner / Source: https://www.boss.info/us/products/tu-3s/
Some argue that there is not much difference between overdrive and distortion, although the sound output may be similar to some players. A difference in the principle of the operation of two pedals, overdrive lead simply increases the signal of the guitar without having to change the volume, while distortion is interfering with the signal’s negative sound waves. Distortion sounds will be thicker and harder to handle than overdrives so players need to have better techniques.
There are pedal models that integrate both overdrive and distortion such as Boss OS-2 OverDrive / Distortion, Boss ST-2 Power Stack. Unlike the overdrive commonly used in blues, distortion is often found in genres like rock and metal. Typical Pedal: Boss MT-2 Metal Zone.
Boss MT-2 Metal Zone / Source: https://www.boss.info/global/products/mt-2w/
There was a time when guitarists had to adjust the volume of the amplifier to the maximum to achieve the desired sound, but now only one pedal overdrive was able to achieve that sound.
Pedal overdrive helps reproduce the sound of an amplifier at a volume of “110%”. It is especially beneficial in small performance spaces or home practice when adjusting the amplifier volume to the maximum is not feasible.
Overdrives are often used in the blues genre as well as being the choice for guitarists to play the lead. Typical Pedal: Boss OD-1X Overdrive.
Boss OD-1X Overdrive / Source: https://www.boss.info/us/products/od-1x/
Reverb is one of the first effects for guitar, often built into the amp as Fender Deluxe Reverb models. Thanks to technological development reverb can now be encapsulated in a small pedal size.
Reverb is an effect that helps simulate the space for the sound of the guitar playing in a wide, narrow, remote or near space. Especially useful when you play in a small space and want to have a thick sound and reverberate from the guitar. Usually, when playing in large spaces, you will not need to adjust too much reverb because space itself has created echoes, the very effect that the reverb pedal tries to reproduce.
There are different types of reverb effects depending on different usage needs, so when choosing a pedal reverb you should choose one that integrates many different types of reverb such as plate, spring, hall, church. It is widely used in singing accompaniment, used for both electric and acoustic guitars. Typical pedal product: Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb.
Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb / Source: https://www.boss.info/us/products/rv-5/
Fuzz is one of the earliest available pedals on the market, fuzz for round sound, heavy bass, and “dirty” – the kind of sound often found in old rock songs. You will hardly be able to hear the original sound of the guitar while using fuzz.
However, this is a very versatile pedal if used properly, it can create powerful sound or add a little strength to the sound depending on custom. Fuzz is commonly used in modern music, indie, modern blues, modern rock. Typical pedal: Boss FZ-5 Fuzz.
Boss FZ-5 Fuzz / Source: https://www.boss.info/us/products/fz-5/
Delay is an effect based on receiving the original input signal and repeating it many times later. Pedal delay settings usually have the delay time, the number of repetitions of the delay, and the balance between the input signal and the delay signal.
Delay is a familiar effect for all genres, from the short delay used for surf music, rock to the long delay of blues guitarists. Many guitarists believe that a full pedalboard always has a pedal delay. Today’s pedal delay is often integrated with many types of delay and tap mode for you to create impressive effects in your own style.
Typical pedal: Boss DD-7 Digital Delay.
Boss DD-7 Digital Delay / Source: https://www.boss.info/us/products/dd-7/
Pedal chorus can make the sound of your guitar deeper and thicker than you can not get when using reverb. When used properly, it will bring the feeling of the sound coming from many different harps at the same time, which also makes the pedal chorus difficult to use because the sound easily becomes excessive when using it.
Typical pedal: Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble.
Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble / Source: https://www.boss.info/us/products/ce-5/
The flanger is one of a number of specific effects, with sounds like jet engine sounds but can also be very subtle. This is a modulation effect similar to the chorus. The flanger delays a copy of the original signal and mix it with a “dry” signal. This misalignment creates a “swoosh” effect, which can be performed multiple times to create a more impressive flanger sound.
Typical product: Boss BF-3 Flanger.
Boss BF-3 Flanger / Source: https://www.boss.info/us/products/bf-3/
The pedal loop acts as a recorder capable of replaying recordings continuously and repeatedly. The main function of the pedal loop is to record the music and automatically turn it into a loop. This device can overwrite the recorded track, or record multiple layers or many different instruments at the same time.
Depending on the complexity of the pedal loop models with just one control, up to the custom loop workstation models. Typical product: Boss RC-3 Loop Station.
Boss RC-3 Loop Station / Source: https://www.boss.info/uk/products/rc-3/
Tremolo is one of the simplest and oldest effects among guitar effects. The principle of tremolo operation is to provide you with the effect of memory interfering with this sound wave by reducing and increasing the volume of the guitar’s input signal. You can adjust the speed of the effect and the amount of sound increase or decrease the signal.
Some tremolo pedal models give you more sophisticated features including waveform selection and more. For those who are looking for a new style of sound that doesn’t want the input signal to be affected or you just need a great classical style tremolo effect, this device is a suitable choice.
Typical pedal: Boss TR-2 Tremolo.
Boss TR-2 Tremolo / Source: https://www.boss.info/us/products/tr-2/
In a nutshell
Choosing to buy and use the pedal has and will always be one of the problems that a guitar player must definitely learn. This is not a simple task but it is not too difficult. Dare to check out Musical Study to get more tips and tricks. Hope this article helped you a lot. Thanks for reading.