Guitar effects pedals
If you are a beginner guitarist then pedals and effects are not necessarily an area that you need to concern your self with at this stage. However you maybe interested in what they are and what they do. For the most part effect pedals are a tool that a guitarist can use to create new sounds for their guitar other than the bare sound of the amp. As stated above in the amplification section some amps come with built in effects, the essential ones that are most frequently used amongst guitar player worldwide. Such effects include delay, reverb, chorus, flanger and tremolo. Some effects will completely alter the sound of the guitar others will add to the original sound.
There are two main types of effects pedals singular pedals, which only create one sound per unit and multi effects, which have a mixture of singular pedals within them. While singular pedals are more versatile and generally create the best tone per effect they can be quite pricey. Singular pedals have an advantage of you being able to just pick and choose the effects that you want or need and each manufacturers version of that effect will sound slightly different so some research is in order before making a purchase. Most people when buying singular pedals will be looking to start a pedal board, a collection of pedals that make up a complete board of effects, similar to buying a multi effects unit. However it can contain many different brands of pedals and also the pedals can be interchanged in their order which is know as a signal chain thus changing the overall tone. Most people will buy a distortion/ overdrive pedal first then perhaps a floor tuner, wah wah or delay pedal as these are considered the most useable to begin with.
A multi effects unit can offer you all the sounds you will ever need all in one unit and the quality of the tones will be determined buy how expensive the unit was. Multi effects are a great way of getting everything in one go and you will find the sounds more than usable for most applications. Some multi effects are easier to use than others. Some allow you to alter more aspects of the effects than others much in the same way as the single pedals. One of the biggest advantages of a multi effects unit is that you can save the guitar tone that you have create and switch to it on any point. This is a great feature for live performance as you can have multiple sounds stored on the unit and you can easily switch to them as and when it is needed, generally with the touch of one button. This will mean that if you wanted to turn on three effects in on go you can save a patch as it is called with all the effects turned on and hit one button and have them all on. Where as with singular pedals you would have to manually switch all of them on one at a time. However single pedals will allow you to switch each one on and off when it is needed, where in a multi effects you may need to set up a new patch for each pedal being on or off. This very much depends on the unit you buy as some of the newer multi effects have an option to switch between patches or operate the effects in single pedal mode so that you can turn each effect off and on in the way you can use single pedals.