Best Beginner Effects Pedals – 2021 Review

| Last Updated: December 26, 2021

So you bought a guitar and an amplifier, and while you shopped, your eyes caught some weird electronic devices displayed in the music instrument shop.

When you gave it a quick look over, you saw words like effects pedal and EQ and Wah.

If you want to learn more about these special pedals for your guitar, stay with us and keep on reading to satisfy your curiosity.

What is an Effects Pedal?

An effects pedal is a little electronic device with a switch on top tat you step on to switch it on or off. They are also known among guitarists as stompboxes. What these little boxes of circuitry do when connected between the guitar and the amplifier can be categorized in different effects. 

The main categories are dynamic effects, pitch effects, and drive effects like overdrive and distortion. The things to look for when buying effects pedals are the special effect it will have on the sound output of the guitar. Then you have modulation and reverb effects, and those are just a few of the ways to add fun to your guitar playing.

How Do Effects Pedals Work?

Effects pedals come in handy when the sound produced by your guitar and amplifier is just not enough to move you anymore. That is when you need something to push it up another notch. Effects pedals can provide that distorted sound you need in order to play the same heavy tone to sound like your favorite heavy metal bands. 

It can also give you that classic rock or blues effect with the overdrive. Boosting the guitar's sound to give it that full sound is one of the nice effects to add into the amplifier line of effects. Anything that changes the natural sound of your guitar and gives it some tone color and has an overall positive effect on your guitar playing will make it a good investment.

How to Choose an Effects Pedal

To find the right effects pedal, you will need to look at some features you want to include in your music. A natural choice is to go for a good sound boost effect to liven up the sound of the guitar. On the other hand, using an overdrive effect will add that mild distortion while still keeping the character of your guitar’s tone alive and well. The distortion effect has harder and more aggressive sounds and is primarily used in hard rock and punk. 

Alternately, fuzz is an aggressive, compressed distortion-style to achieve the effect of a heavy, saturated sound. This effect gives that sense of a broken amplifier. No matter what type of effects pedal you choose, you should still watch for the following features to find a good effects pedal.


It is that feeling you have when holding something in your hand and you can sense it is going to last. You know, just by holding it, that it won't break easily. That is what you want from a good effects pedal.

Ease of Use 

When you buy something, you want to rush home, take it out of the package, and use it after just a few instructions from the salesmen. You want to become a skilled professional, operating it to its full capability. That way, you can enjoy it from the word go.

Overall Quality of the Product 

It must perform as stated and the functions must perform their tasks as indicated perfectly.

Comparison of the Best Beginner Effects Pedals

  • Best guitar effects pedals for beginners overall
  • Can easily be used by all beginner guitar players
  • The Cry Baby Effects Pedal has a decent tonal expression
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  • Just plug it into An AC Adaptor
  • The Boss TU3 Tuner Pedal is a durable and tough device
  • The configuration for Guitar, chromatic and flat tuning makes it a quick on the go tuner
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  • A well-known Effects Pedal with great phase effects
  • Best guitar effects pedal for beginners for the money
  • The easiness at which you can add it to your line-up is very effective
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  • Most of the effects work quite well
  • It is a good space saver on your pedalboard
  • The EQ Effects pedal has quite a few useful effects. 11 of them to be precise
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  • It has a nice modulation effect and stereo signal processing
  • With the true bypass feature, the signal passes straight through from input to output
  • The sound effects of the NUX Mod Core Effects Pedal has a great sound quality for a decent low price Pedal
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Review of the Best Beginner Effects Pedals

The following is a relatively informed review of some effects pedals for beginner guitar players or first-time effects pedals users may find helpful.

Best Overall:
Dunlop GCB95

Cry Baby Standard Wah (GCB95)


  • Can plug directly into an AC adapter
  • Has a noticeable impact on the overall sound tone
  • Not too expensive for a beginner pedal
  • Well-constructed from a durable cast iron metal
  • Effortless to setup up in your amplification rig and is easy to use


  • Functionality is only for a basic pedal
  • The sound not good in the top ranges

What Recent Buyers Report

This is what recent buyers have to say about the Cry Baby Wah Pedal. It is made out of very durable materials which will last. It also has a notable effect on the tone and the usefulness of the Wah Pedal is top quality. The sounds are amazing and the Cry Baby Wah Pedal is easy to use.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The Cry Baby Wah Pedal is built to last a lifetime and the functions work very well. It is a must-have for every guitar player. One good feature of the Cry Baby Wah Pedal is that you can plug it into an AC adapter. Another great feature is that it has excellent effects on the tone and is seen as the best pedal overall.

Who Will Use This Most

Every guitar player at one stage must have one of these Cry Baby Wah Pedals. If you are a guitar player and you are a fan of classic rock or a blues player, then this Cry Baby Wah Pedal is for you.

Bottom Line

The durability of the Cry Baby Wah Pedal and its functionality make it a preferable effects pedal to add to your arsenal of useful musical instrument enhancers. It will surely improve your ability to perform. But it is only a basic beginner’s effects pedal and may not perform as well as more expensive devices.

Boss TU3

Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal with Bypass image_link="none"


  • Accurate and quick tuning on the go
  • Tough and can stand the stomping abuse
  • With the output and the bypass you can use it as a splitter
  • Has an easy configuration for guitar and flat-drop tuning
  • Has a double 9 volt out for daisy-chaining to other panels


  • The buffer is not adjustable
  • May not really be worth the extra money
  • Does not always hear the notes correctly

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a very useful and easy to operate effects pedal. The color and design are nice, and it is a reliable and durable tuner pedal. The Boss TU3 keeps you in tune all the time and it bright and easy to read. The Boss Tuner Pedal works perfectly and super-fast.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Boss TU3 is reliable and a tough tuner pedal, it works every time you need it. This is going to be the tuner of choice at gigs and with practice sessions at home. The tune on the go feature makes quick and easy to use.

Who Will Use This Most

Every string musician may find this tuning pedal from Boss a handy addition to their pedal arsenal, along with their other effects pedals. It also supports seven-string guitars and six-string basses, and includes guitar flat mode for your drop-tuning for six semitones below standard pitch.

Bottom Line

On this device, there was very little negative feedback from customers and it seems like there were mostly just positive things to say about the Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal. And that simply backs the claim that it is a very reliable technological device from a trustworthy source.

Best for the Money:
MXR M101 Phase 90

MXR M101 Phase 90 Guitar Effects Pedal


  • Of top quality and durability
  • Will tweak your sound effectively
  • Very easy to use in your signal train
  • This model works fine on a clean channel
  • An excellent value for your money product


  • Only gives one phase effect
  • Has a pleasant sweep but cuts the high end totally off
  • Not a nice high volume sound when playing through overdrive channel

What Recent Buyers Report

It sounds great when the phase effects pedal simulates the rotating speaker sound. The MXR is of top quality yet is still an affordable device. For such a low-priced device, it sounds much better than expected. The workmanship and material are top-grade. The phase effect is nice when on low for ambiance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The MXR M101 Phase Effects Pedal for guitars by Dunlop is well-known for its high quality and value for your money devices. It is suitable for your phasing needs and will do what it is intended for quite some time. This gear is reliable and will give you good support.

Who Will Use This Most

This effects pedal is useful for any who want to add a phase effects pedal to their signal chain for improved music and sound tone quality. It adds momentum and that noticeable swooshing sound to your tone. For perennial service, it can be connected to an AC adapter.

Bottom Line

This is the phase effects pedal you are going to want add to your guitar improvement signal chain of effects pedals. Simply put, this device is the most affordable and reliable phase pedal for any beginner guitar player. But it is also suitable for professional instrument players.

4. Mooer EQ Effects Pedal

Mooer EQ Effects Pedal, 2.25 x 4.25 x 1.75 (Mod Factory)


  • Light and has a nice pocket size
  • The stutter effects sound pleasant on the device
  • Works quite well if you need a tremolo effect
  • Has quite a few useful effects
  • Comes with 11 different effects, leaving you with lots of space on the pedalboard


  • May sometimes wreck your signal
  • Drops the volume when turned on

What Recent Buyers Report

This device is a simple way to get some diversity on a crowded pedalboard. The Mooer EQ Effects Pedal has a high-quality modulation effect. This is a nice device for an entry-level player who wants to understand modulation and the effects it has on the sound.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you use just three effects pedals, this EQ Pedal should be one of them. With all the extra effects on this compact pedal, you may only need this one pedal for most of your effects. The good thing about an EQ pedal is that you can remove the darker frequencies from your line.

Who Will Use This Most

This effects pedal can be used by both professional players and those who are on their journey to becoming professionals. Anybody who plays an instrument and is part of a band may find this device handy. With all the extra effects, a beginner can start out with only this device.

Bottom Line

Sometimes you have to do a quick gig and you don’t want to carry your full quota of pedals around with you. This is the device you are going to use if you want to travel light. And you will still be traveling with a decent quality device.

5. NUX Mod Core Effect Pedal

NUX Mod Core Guitar Effect Pedal 8 Modulation Effects Preset Tone Lock


  • Build quality is fine
  • A great, inexpensive NUX Effects Pedal
  • Foot-switch is very quiet
  • With some tweaking, it offers a nice modulation for your sound
  • Sound quality is very good


  • Has a noticeable random hiss sound when turned on
  • Does not sound as good as the original non-deluxe pedal
  • Tremolo is somewhat disappointing with no depth of the effect

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a decent and well-priced device with the extra features of a multiple modulation effects pedal. The NUX Effects Pedal fits the bill for a pedal with decent modulation effects. The sound quality is exceptional in stereo. This is a great all-in-one pedal to use with a compressor.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This device is quiet and has a clean sound. It is made from durable materials and can handle the stomping on the pedal. With all the effects available on this device and at such a low price, it is a valuable addition to your sound effects pedals.

Who Will Use This Most

The NUX Mod Core Effects Pedal is undoubtedly for guitar players and maybe keyboard players. It would be a nice device for beginners and those who are already on their sound-making journey. It has a range of models and different ranges within each of the effects.

Bottom Line

With the different effects and the amount ranges in the effects, this device’s multiple modal effects are outstanding. If you are looking for a device with varying effects on a budget, this is the one to have.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying an Effects Pedal?

Before buying an effects pedal, it is necessary to know why you need one and when are you going to use it. The obvious fact is that you want to add an effects pedal to your gain and loss line-up. 

Multi-Effect vs Single-Effect Pedal

You may be asking your which effects pedals you need to add to your line-up. Do you need all the effects pedals for your amplification setup, or can you use one multi-effects pedal to replace some or most of your single-effect pedals? Or do you only need a single-effect pedal for a few variations to your acoustic setup? You may find that for your unique sound setup, it will only be necessary to get some multi-effects pedals. It would be a good thing to gain some professional advice before buying an effects pedal to determine what your needs are.


Whether you select a multi or single-effect pedal, most effects pedals come with presets. These effects are typically very simple to access and have effects tweaked to give you a specific sound. Depending on what sound effects you would like for your guitar, you need to consider the included presets.

Quality and Budget

It is good to go for the better quality effects pedals, which will, of course, be much more expensive than your entry-level options. If you are on a budget, it will be better to look for a product that will suit your pocket but still give you value for your money. The medium is always a safe way to go, where you get decent quality for a reasonable price.

How to Connect Multi-Effects Pedal to an Amp

The simple way to connect a multi-effects pedal to an amplifier is to connect the output jack of the pedal to the input jack of the amp. Then you will connect your guitar to the input jack of the effects pedal. 

There is also a four-cable method with a multi-effects pedal, as long as it has a send and return option. Cable one goes from your guitar to the input of the multi-effects pedal. Cable two connects the end of the multi-effects to the input of the amp. Cable three goes from the amplifiers jack to the multi-effects pedal's return jack. 

Cable four comes from the output of the effects pedal and into the return jack of the amplifier. The next thing to do is to configure the settings of the effects pedal. The standard is to use the line six helix effects. Next, you need to look at the signal flow. The compressor pedal should run into the distortion, and from there into the noise gate. Then it should hit the phaser pedal, the delay pedal, and finally, the reverb pedal

The key thing then is to add a send and return in-between the noise gate and the phaser. And that should do it.


It is found that some of the effects pedals lacked in certain categories while others lacked in different branches. Every final decision depends on the unique point of view and position of you, the reader. Read through our information and consider the products we have reviewed in order to choose the best pedal for your use. 

Hi there, my name is Craig. I took over Gear Savvy in mid-2019 and have had a blast writing content about music ever since. My role here is to steer the ship and ensure readers have the best information available for learning a thing or two. When I’m not working on content, I’m a husband and a dad. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing guitar, or messing around in my woodshop.