Best Guitar Effect Pedal for Beginners - Top Distortion Pedals

First of all, what is even a guitar effect pedal? Basically, it is a cool little electronic gadget that gets attached to your guitar, and allows you to change the sound of your guitar. If you’re new to guitars, then this is all you need to know about what an effect pedal is.

Now, in the world of effect pedals, it might be a bit daunting to buy your first guitar pedal. Mainly because there are so many shiny ones in the market. The more the options there are, the more difficult it becomes for the guitarist to pick one.

In my opinion, the best guitar effect pedal for a beginner guitarist is a distortion pedal.

Rememeber, do not get baited by multi effect pedals. If you are a beginner guitarist, you need to focus and improve on one sound. You need to be comfortable with a sound first, then you’re able to master it. A multi effect pedal will simply put too much on your plate, and you wouldn’t digest anything, nor learn anything.

Distortion pedals are cool because even for a beginner, you can clearly differentiate the sound with them You need a clean amp with it, so make sure you have an amplifier before buying one.

Even though distortion pedals are normally used for rock and metal, but that doesn’t mean you can use it for your practice as well. Another reason why I like distortion pedal is that it is great for soling. Meaning, as a beginner, who is just practicing in his room – you can easily hook it up with your guitar and effectively play it as well.

Now, on to the distortion pedals. Below, I have made a list on the 5 distortion pedals that I would be taking about. They are not in order of ‘rank’, but in terms of budget since I believe beginner guitarists should not spend huge amount of money on their first purchases.

However, beginners should not also be bounded by ‘budget’, but the stuff that they like.

1. BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal

Now, this is the best entry level distortion pedal you can find in the market. Not only it is cheap, around USD 50, but also sounds great. This little piece of hardware produces classical distortion sounds with ease, and in my opinion, if you’re just looking to ‘taste’ pedals, then this device would fulfil your need.

Since you are getting what you are paying for – this isn’t the best distortion pedal out in the market. But that doesn’t mean it is bad in any manner. However, due to cost reductions etc., it does not produce the highest level of sound and grain that a more expensive distortion pedal can.

Nevertheless, this is a great purchase to start you off in the distortion world. If you are interested in this device, then you can get it from this link.

2. Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal

The Pro RAT2 is one of the most unique distortion pedals out in the market, due to their ‘fuzzy’ sound. These pedals are a bit different than your regular, classic distortion pedal due to them having their own sound and vibe.  These pedals produce a lot of grain, with a very nice filter control system. Meaning you can adjust the fuzziness to your desired level.

The price of this device is around budget level as well, waddling around USD 60. If you are looking for a unique, distortion pedal, with a little tint from the 80s. then I would say pick this pedal up.

If you are interested in this, then you can pick it up from Amazon from this link.

3. MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion

Now, as the name suggests, it has a badass distortion pedal. It costs around USD 90-100, but it is totally worth its price.

It has a three band EQ, which gives you a lot of versatility with the pedal itself. You can alter the frequency to your likings, from vintage to metal. Basically, this allows you to play whatever level of distortion you want with it.

Furthermore, I simply love the noise reduction feature of this pedal, which gives you a very pro-like sound. The sound output is great, the volume is great, the control is great, and you get a wide range of gain with it.

I would recommend this to pedal to guitarists who already have a little experience with their guitar, and sort of know what they are doing. You can get this device from over here.

4. Wampler Tumnus V2 Overdrive

Now, this USD 150 pedal makes your guitar sound as good as this device looks. This pedal is the most probably the best sounding distortion pedal that you can find in the market right now.

Not only It is made with the state-of-the-art technology, which allows your guitar to stay true to its tune, but provides a very nice overdrive for distortion.

Since this pedal is not exactly a true ‘bypass’, so it can also act as a buffer to give even more rich sound.

One of the best things about this pedal is that you can either get a nice 70s tone from it, or get a high modern gain. This pedal is very versatile when it comes to the sound it allows your guitar to produce.

However, since this pedal gives you a lot of freedom, it comes as a double edge sword. You can easily mess up the distortion system setting if you have no idea what you’re doing. But that is not a bad thing, you can always reset it, and in a few months, you would be a master of it as well.

If you are looking to buy a pedal, one single distortion pedal that you would want to keep for a long time, then I recommend the Wampler Tumnus V2 Overdrive & Boost Guitar Effects Pedal.

You can check this pedal out from this link.

5. TC Electronic Dark Matter Distortion Effect Pedal

Our last pedal in this list is the Dark Matter Distortion Effect Pedal. This is another budget pedal in the market, but do not let the price of this pedal fool you. It is a great pedal that roars. Usually, dark matter pedals are used for hard rock or metal kind of music, and this pedal does the job perfectly.

If you are out looking for a pedal that fills your metal needs, and you do not want to spend huge amount of cash for it, then this pedal should be your get go.

If you are interested in this pedal, then you can get It from this link.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, I have complied a few questions and terms that you might be asking yourself after reading this article. These terms will help you ‘read’ what the pedal is all about.

What is EQ Control

EQ stands for equalizer. Equalisation means to control the frequency of the sound. Pedals change the EQ of the guitar, that is why they have knobs for things as tremble and bass – to emphasise on that frequency.

What is Gain

Gain is something that adds a bit or dirt, and roughness to the sound. It flattens the tone, or adds more grit to it. Gain is the something you would need to adjust in your pedal to find the perfect tone for your ears.

What is Treble

Treble is something what is added to the tune of your guitar at the end. This is an extremely useful feature in a pedal as it allows you to customize how you would want your guitar to sound like.

What is a difference between a filter and a compressor?

Now, there is a slight difference between the two. The filter on a pedal is simply the controller of the tone of the pedal. If you move the filter to the right, or towards the ‘high’ side, then the pedal would produce a heavier, darker, and bassier sound.

While as a compressor basically compresses the range of your signal of the pedal. Basically, it limits the sound, by sort of ‘holding it’, which produces a softer or a louder tone, depending upon what you have set them up.


Best Distortion Pedals