What Pedal Should Every Guitarist Have?

Guitar players are in a constant search for their ideal tone, and part of finding the perfect tone for your musical style and your own musical preferences is exploring various guitar pedals. There is a multitude of different guitar pedals available on the market right now, which makes finding the right pedals a real challenge. This leads many guitarists to wonder which pedal every guitar player should have?

Every guitarist should have a delay pedal, an overdrive pedal, and a loop pedal. These pedals are versatile and provide many varied sonic opportunities. A guitarist’s first pedal should be based on the music they want to play. The pedal brand is less important than its function. 

There are many different guitar pedals at various price points, and there are even various pedals that achieve the same effects, so which pedals should you use? Are there any pedals that form the sonic foundation tone that every guitarist should use? The truth is that there are some pedals that every guitarist should have or at least experiment with. Let’s find out which pedals every guitarist should have.

What Pedals Should I Start With?

Every electric guitar player spends real time refining their tone. This is part of the right of passage that is all part of learning to master this instrument. Every guitarist develops their own tonal style over time, but this journey begins with your first guitar pedal. 

Many guitar amplifiers have built-in guitar effects, but there is nothing that can match a well-made, purpose-built pedal. It is far better to use a pedal that does one thing well rather than a multi-effects unit that does several things in a mediocre way. 

This leads many new guitar players to wonder what their very first guitar pedal should be? This is a very loaded question that has a different answer depending on various factors. 

The truth is that every guitarist should experiment with pedals, but the first pedal that you buy should be determined by what you want to do with your instrument, what type of music you enjoy playing, and what sonic areas you want to explore. 

For example, if you enjoy playing rock music and love the sound of overdriven guitar, then a good first pedal for you is a good overdrive pedal. A good overdrive pedal will be far better than the overdrive your amp may be able to achieve. 

If you enjoy playing with clan tones and looking to add some extra sparkle to your tone, then a delay, reverb, or chorus pedal may be good options for you. These pedals add an extra layer of versatility to guitar tone and can make the instrument sound far more interesting. 

If you are interested in exploring new musical areas, or if you want to learn how to solo or construct songs, then a great pedal to choose is a loop pedal. These pedals allow you to record yourself and play over it in multiple layers, allowing for easy song construction, and they can teach you how to construct solos and play in time as well. 

However, if you want something more versatile or a pedal that will open up many different areas, choosing a good multi-effects pedal may be a good choice as well. These pedals have multiple different guitar effects built into them, and they can provide a wide range of utility that will allow you to explore different types of guitar pedals and sounds until you discover what you are looking for. 

Choose your first guitar pedal based on the sounds or tones that you want to achieve, and begin building your own individual sonic style from there. 

What Is The Most Used Guitar Pedal?

There are so many different guitar pedals available on the market right now, but a good way to know which pedal o buy is to look at the most popular guitar pedals, and these are the most useful for the most number of guitarists. 

According to some of the largest retailers, the most sold guitar pedal is a loop pedal. For the last few years, the most sold guitar pedal on online stores has been the Ditto Looper by TC Electronics. This type of pedal is ideal for guitar players and has multiple uses and ways to use it. 

A loop pedal is among the most used guitar pedals internationally, but most guitar players will say that other highly used pedals are delay pedals, overdrive pedals, and distortion pedals. Most guitar players have some combination of these pedals in their rigs, regardless of what type of music they play. 

What Pedal Should Every Guitarist Have?

The discussion of the most used guitar pedals, and wondering which pedal a guitarist should buy first, leads us to wonder which guitar pedals should be in the rig of every guitarist?

There are many various guitar pedals, but every guitarist should be equipped with a foundation of pedals that are highly useful and functional for almost every type of music possible. 

Which guitar pedals should every guitarist have? Well, the answer is simple. Every guitarist should have a delay pedal, an overdrive pedal, and a loop pedal in their rig. Let’s explain why. 

Photo by YEH CHE WEI on Unsplash

A Delay Pedal

The delay pedal is an essential part of a guitar rig because it adds significant dimension to the tone of the instrument. A delay pedal can be used to create interesting sonic soundscapes and unique tones, or it can be used in a simple basic form to bring some life and color to an otherwise dry guitar tone. 

Adding a small amount of simple delay to a guitar tone makes it lively and fresh and adds color to the tone without overpowering it. 

An Overdrive Pedal

An overdrive pedal is among the most useful pedals for every guitarist. An overdrive pedal can add dramatic crunch and grit to a guitar tone, or it can slightly elevate the tone of the instrument into something a little more bright and interesting. 

These pedals are versatile and can be used in almost any type of genre and style to add some flavor to the tone of a guitar. Overdrive pedals can add intensity and heavy tone, or they can add just a little crunch to make the tone stand out in a mix. 

A Loop Pedal

A loop pedal is every guitarist’s best friend. It can be used in a myriad of ways, but most guitarists use them to create layered sounds to create songs or even to solo over. The looper is a highly useful and effective pedal. 

If you do not see the value in a loop pedal, you have properly never tried one for yourself. Give this pedal a try, use it for a while, and you will soon be unable to live without it!

Wrapping Up

Every guitarist should explore guitar pedals to some extent. These devices are made to enable guitarists to sculpt their own unique guitar tone to be something that no one else can achieve. Pedals are useful, functional, and a worthwhile investment of time and money. 

Take the time to explore and experiment with pedals for yourself. Do some research, decide on what tones and sounds you want to achieve, and base the pedals you buy on what you want to achieve. Take your time, try different pedals, and build your own unique sound!

About the author

Jake Helman