Guitar, Bass, Pickup, and Effects Resources

How to Use Guitar Effect Pedals


Learn To Use Guitar Pedals



How to Use Guitar Pedals | Guitar Pedal Instructions

Page Update 3/7/2016


Guitar Effects Pedals take the sound from your electric guitar and route the signal into your guitar effects pedal or effects units.  The guitar effects pedal then affects the sound going to your amplifier by adding guitar effects.  The tone or pitch is modified before the signal reaches your guitar amp.  Effects Pedals are sometimes referred to as Stomp Boxes.  Guitar Effects Pedals include Distortion, Overdrive, Fuzz, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Wah Wah, Pitch Shifting, Octave, Digital Delay, Tape Delay, Reverb, Volume, Noise Gate, and many more.  Guitar Effects Pedals have become popular due to their relative inexpensive nature as related to a high priced guitar amp with the same effects.  A guitar amp with Certain Distortion or Delay may run in the thousands of dollars.

Guitar Effects Pedals Listed by Effect Type - Stomp Boxes

  • Distortion Pedals
  • Overdrive Distortion
  • Fuzz Distortion Effects
  • Tube Distortion Effects
  • Chorus Effects
  • Flanger Effects
  • Phaser Pedals, Phase, & Phase Shifters
  • Wah-Wah Effect, or Auto Wah Pedals
  • Delay Effects Pedals, Digital Delay Effects Pedals, Analog Delay
  • Reverb Pedals and Reverb Units
  • Multi-Effects Guitar Effects Pedals - (More than one effect included on the pedal)
  • Pitch Shifter Pedal, Harmonizer, or Pitch Shifting Effects
  • Octave Pedals and Octaver Effects
  • Noise Gate or Noise Reduction Effects
  • Volume Expression Pedals (Including Stereo and Mono Volume Pedals)
  • Talk Box Pedals
  • Tremelo, Vibrato, Whammy, Equalizer, & Rotary Effects Pedals
  • Compressor Pedals & Sustainer Pedals

Learn more about each of these pedal effects from our pedal guitar effects page. 

While some guitar effects pedals are less than a hundred dollars, others can cost much more.  Guitar effects pedals are used by many professional guitarists that you may know of today.  For example, Slash uses Wah Wah effects pedals on some of his solos and has a signature pedal.  Eddie Van Halen uses the Phase 90 MXR effects pedal on his famous 'Eruption' Solo on Van Halen I.  Many guitarists try to emulate famous guitar sounds from their favorite bands.  Guitar effects pedals allow you to at least get close to the sounds of your favorite bands and guitarists.  Above we will list a number of guitar effects and explain a little about each of those guitar pedals.   Shop, buy, or read reviews on any guitar effects pedal of interest. Also try our new Date Your Guitar Pedal page.  Find guitar pedal dating and guitar pedal serial number information.  Locate Guitar Pedal Wiring and Manufacturers as well.


How To Use a Guitar Effects Pedal? How To Hook Up A Guitar Effects Pedal

The great thing about added guitar effects to your sound is the ease of use.  /span>Pedals are relatively easy to hook up and operate.  Most guitar effect pedals run on 9 volt batteries or 9V adapters.  The adapters are usually sold separately, but they are relatively inexpensive.  A chord will also be needed to hook the guitar pedal into your amplifier or amp.

How To Hook Up A Guitar Effects Pedal Unit?

  1. Place your 9V battery in the unit
  2. Hook up a guitar cable going from the guitar jack to the input of the pedal
  3. Take another guitar chord and hook this chord from the output of the pedal to the input of your guitar amp. 
  4. (Optional) Amps with effects loop capability - Many guitarists like to have their effects go through the effects loop function of your guitar amplifier.  To do this hook a chord from the input of the effects loop to the input of your pedal, then take the output chord from the pedal output to the output on the effects loop of your amp.  Your guitar will hook in normally to the input of your amp.  Some guitarist prefer doing this method, others say it weakens the sound of the effects.  Either method will work for the guitarist in search of adding effects pedals to their guitar amp.

Linking Guitar Effects Unit in a Chain

You can also link many guitar effects boxes in a chain to have more than one /span> guitar effects pedal sound going at a time.  The have smaller cables for linking pedals at most guitar shops.  Basically, follow the instructions above but link the pedals so that the beginning of the chains of pedals hooks from the guitar to the input of the pedal.  The end of the chain of pedals should have a chord going from the output of the last pedal to the guitar amp input jack.  If your chain of effects is not working check all your connection and make sure your chords are working properly.

How to Use A Guitar Effects Pedal or Stomp Box

Once you have your Stomp Box pedal hooked up (See Instructions above) you are now ready to use the guitar pedal effect.  Turn on your amp and hook up your guitar into your effects chain.  Stomp on the effects pedal, and it should start to affect your sound depending on the type of effect.  Adjust any controls on the stomp box pedal to further affect the sound.  Most pedals have a depth or range settings that allow you to adjust sound tone or pitch.  One note, if you are using a wah wah pedal, you must keep pressing and then letting up on the pedal to get the acrual wah effect.  Also, Talk box and some other effects have specific ways of using them that we will discuss more in those particular guitar pedal sections.