Guitar pedals are small devices that can shape, enhance and add creative dimensions to your guitar sound, producing a range of effects to take your playing to the next level.
If you’re looking to enhance the sound of your electric guitar or bass guitar, a guitar pedal is an essential piece of gear that can take your playing to new creative heights, and we at GAK are here to help you find the perfect pedal for your needs. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, we have affordable pedals to suit any budget and playing style, from classic tube screamers and delay/reverb pedals to chorus, flanger and looper pedals.
Guitar pedals are often housed in small metal enclosures containing circuitry that’s designed to shape and modulate the sound of your guitar, offering an infinite combination of effects from subtle to all-out and tone-defining.
Guitar pedals can also be used to add a new sonic dimension to a vocal with a microphone, synthesizers, keyboards and digital pianos. There are also guitar pedals that are specially designed for acoustic guitar and bass guitar, with brands such as Aguilar, Markbass and Darkglass specialising in bass-focussed pedals.
At GAK, we’re proud to offer one of the best selections of guitar pedals UK-wide. We have plenty of popular and boutique pedal brands in stock and ready to ship with next-day delivery, including Electro-Harmonix, Line 6, BOSS, JHS, MXR, Strymon, Walrus Audio, Eventide, Gamechanger Audio, EarthQuaker Devices and many, many more.
Visit our Brighton store or contact us online, via email, or over the phone to talk to our team of guitar experts. We’re here to answer any questions you have about guitars and help you find the right guitar amp, power supply and pedalboard to create your perfect guitar rig.
What is a guitar pedal?
Guitar pedals are small, metal enclosures housing circuitry you step on to activate; hence the slang name stompbox. Once turned on, it can drive, distort, modulate, reverberate your guitar tone and more, depending on what it’s built to do. Guitar pedals are an important piece of the puzzle in shaping the sound made by your guitar.
Why do I need a guitar pedal?
Guitar effects are used to make your tone sound better than it would with just a guitar and amp or are used to create interesting tonal textures. Some effects are more widely used or essential than others. Reverb, overdrive and a select few modulations like chorus, flanger and phaser make up the majority of guitar rigs.
How do I use a guitar pedal?
Plug your ¼ inch guitar lead into the pedal, then plug another lead from the pedal into the amp. If you want to use more than one pedal, use shorter patch cables to link them all up. There are so many variables in organising what we call a signal chain; the order of pedals between the guitar and amp.
What 5 pedals should every guitarist have?
While every player has their unique sound and preferences, some pedals are must-haves for any pedalboard. These include a tuner pedal, an overdrive/distortion pedal, a delay pedal, a reverb pedal, and a modulation pedal like a chorus or flanger.
What is the most useful guitar pedal?
This is subjective and depends on the type of music you play and the sound you want to achieve. However, a tuner pedal is the most essential as it ensures your guitar is in tune before playing.
What does a pedal do for a guitar?
A guitar pedal alters the sound made by the guitar. Pedals can modify the tone, add effects like distortion, reverb, delay, and more, and create new creative dimensions to your playing or improve overall sound quality.
Should beginner guitarists use pedals?
While pedals can enhance the sound of a guitar, it’s important for beginner guitarists to first focus on developing their fundamental playing skills. Once you have a basic understanding of playing, using pedals can help expand your creativity and improve your overall sound.
In what order should I put my guitar pedals?
There is no one right answer to this question, as it depends on your individual setup and the sound you want to achieve. However, a good general rule is to put time-based effects like delay and reverb at the end of the signal chain and to place modulation effects like chorus and flanger before any distortion or overdrive pedals.
Why do guitarists need multiple pedals?
Guitarists use multiple pedals to create unique sounds and effects, as well as to shape their overall tone. Each pedal offers a different effect that can be combined with others to create a vast range of sounds and textures. When it comes to gain or dirt pedals, a guitarist may have an overdrive to use for rhythm or chordal playing and a heavier, louder distortion to give them a volume boost and more sustain for solos.
Can guitar pedals be used on synths and keyboards?
Yes, guitar pedals can be used on synthesizers, keyboards and digital pianos to shape and enhance the sound. Many keyboardists and producers use guitar pedals as a creative tool to add new textures and effects to their productions. However, it’s important to note that not all pedals may work well with synths and keyboards, so experimentation and careful consideration of impedance matching and signal flow is crucial.
Do I need a power supply for my guitar pedals?
Whilst many guitar pedals can be battery-powered, the ideal way to power a pedal is with a dedicated power supply. If you’re serious about your effects pedals and want them to sound their best, an isolated power supply is a convenient way to ensure your pedals receive clean power. Plus, you can power all your pedals with one plug.
Do I need a pedal board for my guitar pedals?
Guitarists with multiple pedals and gigging guitarists tend to group their effects pedals on a pedalboard. A pedalboard is a way to keep all your pedals together and they often feature a raised angle to make stomping on your pedals easier during a live performance. If you take a look at any professional guitarist with pedals, they’ll have them on a pedalboard.
Which famous guitarists use guitar pedals?
Many famous guitarists use guitar pedals to shape their unique sounds and styles. Some guitarists have become synonymous with specific pedals or effects. For example, Jimi Hendrix is known for his use of the Uni-Vibe, Wah, and Fuzz Face pedals. Similarly, Eddie Van Halen popularized the use of the MXR Phase 90 and flanger pedals, while The Edge of U2 is famous for his use of the delay and echo effects.
Other notable guitarists who have incorporated pedals into their sound include David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who used the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff, Roger Mayer Octavia, and Boss CE-2 Chorus; Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, who often uses a Digitech Whammy pedal and Boss OC-2 Octave; and John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers, who has used a variety of pedals including the Electro-Harmonix Small Clone chorus and Zvex Fuzz Factory.
The list of famous guitarists who use pedals is endless, and it includes players from virtually every genre of music. Whether it’s blues, rock, metal, or pop, guitarists of all stripes have used pedals to craft their unique sounds and inspire others. Many guitarists have even designed their signature pedals in collaboration with popular brands.