There is currently a virtually infinite range of guitar tones, textures and sounds you can create, and the vast majority of these come from guitar effect pedals. These guitar effect pedals can distort, thicken or compress your guitar’s natural sound, among many other effects.
If you’re new to guitar effects pedals, the amount of options you have when making your first purchase can seem daunting. But don’t worry — guitar stores and online guitar shops are staffed by friendly, helpful and knowledgeable employees who can help simplify your first pedal purchase.
As you start your search for electric guitar pedals, here are five cool facts to know about them:
1. The earliest tools to make guitar effects were vacuum tube-powered, heavy, fragile and bulky, not to mention highly expensive for a musician to purchase. These were in use from the 1940s to the early ’60s, when the first guitar effect pedal, the 1962 Maestro Fuzz Pedal, became widely popular.
2. You can use a pedal with an acoustic guitar as well. Acoustic guitar pedals can produce a more “electric” sound. In addition, guitar multi effects pedals can be used to produce different sound effects on both electric and acoustic-electric guitars.
3. Distortion pedals, the most popular of the guitar effect pedals, makes a specific note sound wavy or altered in a way that a guitar would not be able to make on its own.
4. The first amplified guitars were in use during the 1930s, or the “Swing Era.”
5. Before the advent of guitar effect pedals, Duane Eddy, a guitarist, altered his guitar sound by attaching a speaker to one end of a 500-gallon metal water tank and a microphone at the other end. Learn more at this link.