For those who’re a newbie and interested by what guitar pedals to purchase, you should have seen that there’s an enormous variety of selections obtainable. Guitar pedals can generally replenish rooms of guitar retailers. The variety of guitar pedals obtainable is overwhelming.

I skilled this primary hand in an enormous guitar store in Tokyo – a complete wall stuffed with cabinets have been taken up by each guitar pedal I’ve ever heard about. So the nice and unhealthy information is that you’ve got lots of selections with regards to guitar pedals!

On this information, I’ll undergo my suggestions on a newbie guitar pedal setup that provides you a variety of various results whereas staying easy. Consider this as the place to begin to constructing your personal distinctive guitar rig.

The thought is that with the pedals I cowl on this information, you should have an excellent basis in your pedal board. Then as you develop as a guitarist you possibly can determine what additional pedals you wish to add in or which pedals you wish to swap round.

This information will deal with utilizing stompboxes. For those who like the thought of choosing particular person pedals for sure results and customizing your pedalboard precisely the way in which you prefer it, this information will show you how to try this.

The choice is to make use of a multi-effects pedal such because the Zoom G5 or the Line 6 POD HD500X. With a multi-effects pedal you might have on the spot entry to an enormous vary of results.

So whereas a multi-effects pedal is price contemplating, this information will deal with stompboxes.

Kinds of Guitar Pedals

If you wish to study guitar results, how every sort works and easy methods to use them, take a look at this Guitar Results Course. It provides you with examples of every sort of impact in motion in addition to easy methods to use them correctly. On this information, we’ll undergo absolutely the fundamentals on several types of results. If you wish to study extra and listen to examples, take a look at the course.

Guitar pedals might be break up up into just a few broad classes:

  • Tuners
  • Wahs
  • Dynamics (eg: compression or noise gates)
  • Distortion & Overdrive
  • Pitch Shifting
  • Modulation
  • Delay & Reverb

Let’s have a fast have a look at every class so you possibly can determine whether or not you wish to have a pedal from that class or not.


Most guitarists may have a tuner pedal of their rig. When you think about that you would be able to simply get an app in your smartphone for a tuner, it may not appear that vital to have a tuner pedal. There are two principal causes for having a tuner pedal.

First, it’s handy to easily hit the footswitch and be capable to tune your guitar. For those who’re at band apply or at a gig, you positively don’t wish to be messing round with an app or a separate tuner.

The second purpose is that it’s a fast and straightforward approach to mute your guitar. When a tuner pedal is activated it mutes your sign. That is helpful when enjoying reside and makes you look way more skilled. The viewers shouldn’t have to listen to you tune your guitar.


Guitarists from a variety of genres have fallen in love with the wah ever since Jimi Hendrix popularized it again within the 60s. For those who play rock, blues, metallic, funk or comparable kinds, you might have in all probability heard fairly just a few solos utilizing the wah.

It’s a flexible impact that provides you lots of management over your tone. It’s some of the expressive results you should use which is why it’s so widespread on pedalboards. If in case you have by no means used a wah earlier than, I extremely suggest it.

I created a lesson on easy methods to use the Wah pedal so in case you have by no means used one earlier than, use the lesson to get began.


Dynamics pedals aren’t impact pedals within the regular sense. Consider dynamics pedals as a approach to management your sound. Compression pedals mainly even out your quantity so mushy and loud components are a bit extra constant. Some guitarists love them and others hate them.

For those who get to the purpose the place you might have lots of completely different results in your rig, you may wish to contemplate a compressor as a manner to enhance your total tone.

I received’t embody dynamics pedals within the primary rig as newbies will get little or no profit out of them. Afterward as you enhance as a guitarist, you may wish to look into one.

Distortion & Overdrive

A distortion or overdrive pedal is likely one of the first results pedals guitarists have a tendency to purchase. Whilst you can positively use your amp as an alternative of a pedal, a major variety of guitarists desire utilizing a pedal for his or her excessive achieve tones. Your determination to get a distortion or overdrive pedal ought to have a look at the kind of amp you utilize and whether or not you just like the excessive achieve choices it provides you.

The opposite manner to consider it’s that you simply’re prone to transfer by means of completely different amps over time so having the identical distortion or overdrive pedal will be sure you get to maintain the drive sounds you want. Distortion and overdrive are two several types of achieve results. I’ll be writing a information on evaluating the 2 choices because it’s an excessive amount of to cowl right here.

Pitch Shifting

Pitch shifters similar to DigiTech’s Whammy takes your guitar sign and raises or lowers the pitch (or a mix). Tom Morello makes use of it to give you some artistic solos and riffs whereas different guitarists use it to play harmonies.

There are numerous completely different pitch shifting pedals on the market that obtain completely different outcomes. For a newbie, a pitch-shifting pedal isn’t too vital until the bands and guitarists you take heed to use one.

So until you’re a Rage Towards the Machine or Audioslave fan or you realize lots of songs that use pitch results, I like to recommend skipping a pitch pedal for now.


Modulation covers just a few differing kinds of results similar to refrain, flanger, phaser, tremolo, Uni-vibe, Vibrato, and lots of wacky sounding results similar to ring modulators. When lots of people consider ‘guitar effects’, they’re usually imagining some kind of modulation impact.

Modulation is nice to give you artistic riffs or concepts and Jimi Hendrix was well-known to experiment with modulation pedals.

You may even use modulation in additional refined methods. For instance, a little bit of refrain can add lots of life to your clear tone. It might take a dry and lifeless tone into one thing a bit extra heat and full.

Some guitarists love the way in which modulation pedals can add shade to your tone whereas others desire an uncolored tone.

Delay & Reverb

Delay and reverb are lumped collectively right here as a result of they each change what occurs after you play one thing. A delay pedal will repeat what you play based mostly on its settings whereas a reverb pedal will create a sound path to simulate what you hear whenever you play in an open room or giant corridor.

I extremely suggest each newbie purchase a flexible delay pedal as a result of they’re so generally utilized in primarily each music model you possibly can consider. Nearly each guitarist has a minimum of one delay pedal of their rig.

Some guitarists have a number of delay pedals to allow them to entry a variety of various delay results or mix them as they need. Delay is such an vital impact as a result of it’s so versatile. You should use it with primarily any guitar tone with nice outcomes.

There are numerous guitar tuner pedals obtainable as we speak and for years the preferred choice was a BOSS TU-2. Many guitarists who used the BOSS TU-2 have upgraded to the TU-3 however that’s not the pedal I like to recommend. The tuner pedal I like to recommend is the PolyTune 2 Mini by TC Digital.

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There are two principal causes I like to recommend the PolyTune 2 Mini:

  1. You may strum your entire guitar strings and immediately discover out which strings are out of tune
  2. It’s a tiny pedal that doesn’t hog house in your pedalboard

There are different the reason why the PolyTune 2 Mini is such an incredible tuner pedal and I cowl them in my evaluate right here. Even in case you have a tuner constructed into your amp or you might have a bodily tuner, I extremely suggest getting a stompbox tuner.

There are a fairly just a few completely different wah pedals obtainable as we speak from totally customizable wahs right down to the only possible. There are additionally loads of signature wahs on the market from well-known wah gamers.

The purpose of this information is to present you an inventory of pedals that you simply’re not going to develop out of. For that purpose, I’m not going to recommend any signature wahs as a result of your tastes could change over time. The wah I’m recommending right here has stood the take a look at of time and is favored by a major variety of guitarists: the Dunlop Unique Crybaby.

The Unique Crybaby provides you the traditional wah sound in a easy package deal. You received’t want to fret about tweaking completely different knobs – you merely plug it in and also you’re good to go. You will discover out extra on the Unique Crybaby in my evaluate right here in addition to options should you really feel you want one thing with extra options and adaptability.

Distortion and overdrive are very private results for guitarists. Each guitarist will need one thing completely different. Having management over the kind of distortion or overdrive you utilize is vital as a newbie. As you develop as a guitarist, your preferences for distortion or overdrive will change.

For those who play a variety of music kinds you might also must shortly soar between utterly completely different drive sounds.

The overdrive/distortion pedal I like to recommend is Electro-Harmonix’s flagship pedal: the EHX Tortion.

The explanation I extremely suggest this pedal is that it provides you with unimaginable flexibility in dialing up the precise distortion or overdrive you need. Meaning it’s not a pedal you’ll outgrow as you’ll with many different distortion or overdrive pedals.

As a guitar trainer, I see it on a regular basis the place a newbie buys a pedal then just a few months later sells it as a result of they don’t prefer it anymore. Having a versatile distortion pedal the place you possibly can tweak the tone and check out a variety of various model distortions or overdrive means you’re not prone to develop out of this pedal.

It’s arduous to suggest a modulation pedal as a result of modulation covers just a few completely different results. Modulation can also be a really private factor so what one particular person says is the most effective can be very completely different to what one other particular person says is the most effective.

You may simply discover individuals arguing on boards over which refrain pedal is the most effective as a result of each guitarist has completely different tastes and preferences.

As a result of each guitarist may have completely different preferences with regards to modulation, I like to recommend the Corona Refrain by TC Digital.

The principle purpose I like to recommend it’s due to it’s ‘TonePrint’ characteristic – it lets you create your personal distinctive refrain impact and put it aside to the pedal. With the ability to choose the kind of refrain you like and create your personal customized preset means you received’t outgrow the pedal.

Whereas there are many different unbelievable refrain pedals, this pedal provides you with the flexibleness you want as you develop as a guitarist. As your preferences in refrain change over time, you merely edit your TonePrint preset and it’s good to go.

Getting an excellent high quality delay pedal ought to be one among your first purchases. Nearly all of guitarists use delay as a result of it’s such a versatile and helpful impact. You should use it with primarily any tone with any mixture of results and anticipate nice outcomes.

The probabilities are lots of songs you take heed to will use delay. There are fairly just a few several types of delay and with the ability to simply swap between completely different delay sorts is vital. For that reason, I’m not going to suggest a pedal that solely provides you one sort of delay.

It’s irritating whenever you purchase a delay pedal then notice that you would be able to’t get the best settings for half of the songs you want. So the precedence right here is flexibility. If in case you have a versatile delay pedal with a variety of various delay choices, you’re going to have the ability to replicate extra delay results you hear in songs.

The delay pedal I like to recommend is the Flashback Delay by TC Digital (now in model 2).

There are two the reason why I like to recommend this pedal. The primary purpose is that it provides you entry to a variety of helpful delay sorts. The TonePrint characteristic lets you dial within the actual settings you need. That is actually vital for delay as a result of lots of songs would require a selected delay setting right down to the proper millisecond.

The second purpose I like to recommend the Flashback is as a result of it has a easy built-in looper. Whilst you may purchase a separate looper pedal such because the extremely popular Ditto Looper, having one constructed right into a delay pedal merely means you will get extra out of fewer pedals.

As a guitar trainer, I extremely suggest each newbie have a looper pedal. You may study easy methods to use a looper pedal in my lesson right here.

Need Extra Results?

Regardless of what number of particular person stompboxes you purchase, there’s at all times some tune you wish to play that makes use of an impact you don’t have. Earlier than I purchased a multi-effects pedal I used to be at all times annoyed every time I’d play a tune however didn’t have the correct impact pedals.

One tune may use a tremolo impact or one other tune may use a Uni-Vibe and I wasn’t going to litter my pedalboard with results that I’d solely use on uncommon events. For those who wish to have a wider vary of results obtainable however primarily wish to keep on with stompboxes, right here’s a manner you possibly can cheat and have each.

Use the above suggestions in your principal impact pedals and use a small multi-effects pedal for these random results that present up sometimes however aren’t vital sufficient to purchase a devoted stompbox for.

The way in which I take into consideration that is that you simply’re utilizing a pedal as a ‘backup effects library’. Everytime you wish to play a tune that makes use of an impact you don’t have along with your stompboxes, you possibly can flick thru your backup library and discover the impact.

Whereas it would sound unusual to incorporate this in a pedalboard targeted on particular person stompboxes, as a newbie gaining access to a broad vary of results can be extremely helpful.

The multi-effects pedal I like to recommend for this goal is the M5 Stompbox Modeler by Line 6.

It’s a bit greater than a big stompbox and provides you entry to effectively over 100 completely different results. It’s designed for use as a typical stompbox so it suits in with this pedalboard completely.

The M5 provides you entry to 19 completely different delays, 23 modulation results, 17 distortions, 12 compressors and EQs, 26 filters and 12 reverbs. So should you discover a tune that wants a spring reverb, an envelope filter or another random impact you’ve by no means heard of earlier than, the probabilities are the M5 may have it.

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When you think about that it prices about the identical as among the stompboxes above, it’s a great way to increase your assortment and mess around with completely different results. You’ll discover that the M5 incorporates lots of the results coated within the different pedals. For instance, it has a stereo refrain, lots of delays, loads of distortions and even a tuner.

So why would you need the M5 in addition to the opposite pedals? The reply is easy: having the M5 means you possibly can run two delays directly (a quite common factor to do), two refrain results directly or two completely different distortions on the similar time or prepared to modify forwards and backwards.

Use your principal pedals in your results and use the M5 to complement your results when wanted. When you give it a go you will notice how highly effective this rig is.

Important Pedals Abstract

So should you construct your pedalboard based mostly on all of my suggestions, you should have:

  1. PolyTune 2 Mini by TC Digital as your guitar tuner
  2. Unique Crybaby by Dunlop as your wah
  3. EHXTortion by Electro-Harmonix as your distortion/overdrive
  4. Corona Refrain by TC Digital as your refrain
  5. Flashback Delay by TC Digital as your delay
  6. M5 by Line 6 as your ‘backup effects library’

There’s just a few pedals by TC Digital right here and that’s primarily as a result of their pedals deal with flexibility – one thing that’s actually vital for newbies. There are many nice options to all the above pedals, however this rig focuses on pedals that may work nice for newbies based mostly on my expertise as a guitar trainer.

This is usually a stereo rig!

An important profit with this rig is that each one 4 results stompboxes (not together with the tuner or wah) are stereo. This implies should you ever wish to make some recordings, you possibly can benefit from your stereo rig. Or you possibly can even join a second amp to your rig and experiment with completely different stereo results similar to stereo delay or refrain.

That is one thing lots of guitarists miss out on as a result of a few of their pedals are mono. For those who haven’t performed by means of a stereo rig earlier than with a stereo refrain or delay – you’re lacking out! Whereas the wah and tuner are mono, as they are going to be firstly of your rig it received’t affect your stereo sign.

Necessary Equipment for Your Pedalboard

As soon as you purchase your pedals, you have to to consider equipment similar to energy provide, cables and a pedalboard to mount your pedals to. I’ll undergo these choices so you realize what to get:

Energy provide

Most pedals include an influence provide which is nice should you solely have a few pedals, however when you might have greater than a pair the person energy provides grow to be a ache. An important different is to purchase a devoted energy provide unit to energy your total pedalboard.

There are just a few choices obtainable however the preferred alternative is the Voodoo Lab Pedal Energy 2 Plus (hyperlink to Amazon for value and particulars). It’s a well-built unit that may energy this whole rig in addition to have room for extra pedals you may add sooner or later. Try my evaluate on the Pedal Energy 2 Plus right here to search out out why it’s price contemplating.


Connecting just a few pedals collectively is usually a mess should you’re utilizing normal instrument cables. Shopping for just a few ‘patch’ cables as they’re referred to as will assist preserve your pedalboard neat and tidy. Patch cables are normally round 6 inches lengthy so preserve this in thoughts whenever you prepare your pedalboard. I like to recommend ChromaCast Professional Collection Cables (4-Pack) as they’ve nice critiques.

They arrive in a 4 pack so be sure you rely what number of cables you want in your rig. For this rig, you have to 5 patch cables for mono and eight for stereo. I like to recommend beginning along with your rig in mono for simplicity.

In whole, for a mono rig you have to 5 patch cables and two longer instrument cables (one to attach your guitar to the pedalboard and one to attach the pedalboard to your amp). For a stereo rig, you have to 8 patch cables and three longer instrument cables.


If you wish to keep on with a low price range, simply preserve your pedals on the ground. However having a pedalboard the place you possibly can mount your pedals to makes a giant distinction. Within the subsequent part, I’ll discuss utilizing knowledgeable pedalboard. For those who select to get one, one helpful accent you’ll want to get is velcro strips to mount your pedals to your board.

The large benefit with velcro is that you would be able to rearrange your pedalboard shortly and simply. Try Energy-Grip Pedalboard Velcro Various Pedal Mounting Tape for a well-liked choice.

Merely apply one strip to your pedalboard, then the opposite strip to the again of your pedal. The one time the place you received’t want that is should you set your pedals in your ground and not using a pedalboard.

Organising knowledgeable wanting pedalboard

Whilst you can merely lay your pedals out on the ground, in order for you a extra skilled wanting pedalboard I like to recommend getting a pedalboard similar to one by Pedaltrain. These pedalboards will let you velcro your pedals onto a board which is helpful should you ever be part of a band and wish to move your gear for gigs or apply periods.

The pedalboard that works with this rig is the Pedaltrain Metro 24 (or something bigger). This dimension pedalboard will simply match all pedals with room for a pair extra smaller pedals sooner or later.

For those who assume that you’ll purchase including lots of pedals to your pedalboard over time, you may wish to purchase a bigger pedalboard such because the Pedaltrain Traditional 2 (comes with softcase). It would really feel unusual to have a giant pedalboard with heaps of house, however as you begin accumulating pedals house shortly grow to be increasingly helpful!

So should you really feel like you can be shopping for extra pedals over time, I like to recommend getting the Pedaltrain Traditional 2. In any other case, the Metro 24 can be sufficient for this rig.

You may both place the wah pedal on the pedalboard or place it on the ground subsequent to the pedalboard. Some guitarists desire expression pedals similar to a wah or quantity pedal to be on the flat ground as an alternative of a pedalboard. Mess around and see what works for you.

Listed below are the pedals organized on the Pedaltrain Metro 24 so you will get an concept of the dimensions of the pedals and the Pedaltrain:

You may see that the wah pedal is longer than the width of the pedalboard which is why I recommend experimenting to get a really feel for whether or not you like it on the Pedaltrain or should you desire it on the ground.

The PolyTune 2 Mini simply suits on the pedalboard when rotated. Hopefully it’s clear why I beneficial this tuner – it takes up very minimal house in your pedalboard and permits extra room for different extra vital pedals.

The fundamental concept behind this format is that you really want the footswitches in your most used results simply accessible and another pedals you possibly can sit larger up on the board or rotated. So rotating the tuner isn’t a giant deal.

Chaining Your Pedals Collectively

In 2014, Steve Vai gave an hour-long webinar titled ‘Perfect Pedal Order’ (you possibly can watch it on YouTube right here). Whereas it incorporates lots of nice info and recommendation for newbies, the video might be summed up in a single brief sentence: there isn’t any excellent pedal order.

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Whereas there are common guidelines guitarists are inclined to comply with with regards to the order of your pedals, breaking these guidelines can result in fascinating results and inspiration. On this information, I’ll recommend a pedal order for this rig, however it’s best to experiment with switching the order of pedals so you possibly can hear the way it adjustments your tone. You may discover that breaking the foundations produces a greater tone.

In my Guitar Results Course, I stroll you thru each sort of impact and the way altering the place of the pedal can change the tone. For those who’re severe about constructing a pedalboard with a number of results pedals, it’s price studying how every sort of results works and the way all of them work together. Within the course, you’ll learn to arrange the best rig for you.

As a easy instance, most guitarists place the wah earlier than any distortion pedal. The thought is that the wah ought to obtain a dry sign out of your guitar. However inserting the wah behind a distortion pedal can produce some dramatic and artistic outcomes. Some individuals will find it irresistible and a few will hate it. The purpose is that you’ll solely discover out what you like by experimenting.

I extremely suggest beginning with the order I recommend, then experiment and select the order you like. There is no such thing as a excellent pedal order.

Right here is the order I recommend for this rig:

Guitar > PolyTune > Crybaby Wah > EHXtortion > Corona Refrain > M5 > Flashback > Amp

Every > image signifies a connection between your pedals. If you wish to run your pedalboard in stereo, you have to two patch cables between every stereo pedal in addition to to your amps.

Right here is the pedalboard diagram once more with arrows to indicate how the pedals are related collectively

The yellow arrows point out mono connections (one cable) and the orange arrows point out non-obligatory stereo connections (two cables). Keep in mind should you don’t have two amps or wish to preserve issues easy, keep on with operating your rig in mono.

4 cable technique

As this rig is meant for newbies, I’ve recommended the only wiring potential. Nevertheless it’s price noting that there are different methods you possibly can join your pedalboard collectively. One choice is to make use of one thing referred to as the ‘four cable method’. This may solely be used in case your amp has an ‘effects loop’. It includes mainly splitting up your pedalboard.

Some pedals will hook up with the entrance of your amp whereas different pedals will hook up with your amp’s results loop.

Utilizing the 4 cable technique is messier and a bit extra sophisticated than the above setup. The benefit to utilizing the 4 cable technique is that it will possibly produce a greater high quality tone. I like to recommend utilizing the setup described above should you’re a newbie. It can nonetheless sound nice and can be far simpler to arrange and use. For those who’re considering utilizing the 4 cable technique, learn my information on it right here.

Getting The Most Out Of Your New Rig

Your new rig provides you entry to a variety of results and might be tweaked and customised to provide lots of completely different tones. Right here is how I like to recommend beginning out with this rig:

  1. Get used to the format and learn to inform which pedals are energetic at any time based mostly on the LEDs you see lit up. This may sound primary, however it’s a good suggestion to immediately know which pedals are energetic with out having to play one thing. For instance should you don’t know that the tuner is energetic, you’ll be scratching your head questioning why there’s no sound.
  2. The M5 makes use of completely different colours to point completely different results. Memorize what the colours are so you realize what sort of impact you might have chosen at any time.
  3. Observe tuning your guitar utilizing the PolyTune. Strum your entire strings and get used to the show exhibiting you which ones strings are out of tune.
  4. Deal with one pedal at a time and learn to use it. Mess around with every particular person pedal and alter the management knobs to study the way it impacts your tone.
  5. Lookup songs that use every impact and attempt to replicate what you hear as intently as potential. This can assist tune your ears to completely different results.
  6. Begin combining a couple of pedal at a time. Begin with one thing primary similar to distortion and delay or wah and refrain. Experiment with two pedal combos.
  7. Go all out and activate all pedals. Experiment and give you as many alternative loopy sounds as you possibly can. Study what works and what doesn’t.
  8. Undergo all the results on the M5 to study what you might have accessible in your backup library. Begin combining these results along with your different pedals.

For those who comply with the above steps, you’ll shortly grow to be a professional at controlling your rig. The newbies who truly comply with these steps find yourself with higher outcomes as a result of they learn to tweak and refine their results. It’s price spending the time to learn to try this.

For those who comply with my recommendation, you’ll find yourself with a really highly effective and versatile rig. In fact, each guitarist has completely different wants and also you may discover that over time your rig will change. This rig isn’t excellent as a result of there’s no such factor as an ideal rig. The fitting rig for you can be completely different to all people else.

This rig provides you with an incredible place to begin and it’s best to be at liberty to customise it as you want. Be at liberty to learn by means of my critiques of different pedals and substitute any pedals out and in of this rig as you need. You would have a complete of three pedals in your rig or you could possibly have over ten.

For those who do create a rig, I’d like to see what you create. Ship me a message right here and embody a photograph (utilizing a photograph sharing web site similar to or

Further Assets

For those who’re severe about guitar results and wish to study extra, the Guitar Results Course is the most effective studying useful resource I’ve created on the subject. Test it out to learn how to get probably the most out of each single pedal you purchase.

Listed below are a few associated sources that will help you learn to use among the results used on this rig:

I’ll be including extra classes over time so be part of my mailing record for brand spanking new classes and guides. For those who’re searching for extra suggestions in your pedalboard, take a look at the Important Guitar Pedals Beneficial by Prime Guitar Bloggers. There are some nice pedals in these suggestions so if you wish to take your pedalboard additional, it’s an incredible place to start out.

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Article Identify

Newbie Guitar Pedal Rig: Setup and Suggestions


This information explains in depth easy methods to arrange a flexible guitar pedalboard designed for newbies. Discover out what guitar pedals are beneficial for newbies and create a pedalboard you will not develop out of.


Aaron Matthies

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