When you play the electric guitar, one of the fun things to experience is drastically altering your tone through the use of effects pedals. While standard pedals, like overdrive and compression pedals, can give you the sound that helps you mimic your favorite artists, you might also wish to experiment with changing your tone through a selection of specialized pedals. Unlike overdrive and compression, the following pedals aren't typically left on for long periods—but they can augment the sound of a riff that you're learning or even making up yourself. Here are some pedals to consider.
Fuzz pedals and overdrive pedals have some tonal similarities, but the former is—for lack of a better description—much fuzzier. Made popular by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, this pedal is ideal for adding richness and warmth to your guitar tone. Fuzz pedals are typically equipped with a selection of knobs that will allow you to tweak the level of fuzz. This means that you can either set the pedal to give you a mild, driven-sounding fuzz or really crank up the fuzz setting to give you a depth that you can't achieve simply by adjusting the settings on your amp.
Adding a delay pedal to your signal chain provides you with a host of tonal changes that can either subtly bulk up your sound or really make it trippy. Used by many artists to add a layered dimension to a guitar riff, a delay pedal give you the ability to adjust the overall volume of the delay, the amount of time until it kicks in and even how long the delay lasts. This means that you can set the pedal to give you everything from a single delay that occurs just a fraction of a second after you strike the note to a delay that seems to never end. The former is ideal for strengthening the sound of your solos, while the latter can be suitable for making off-the-wall sounds with your instrument.
Phaser pedals are often associated with Eddie Van Halen and serve to split your guitar signal so that you're left with sounds that can best be described as "swirling." Set to a lower level, the phaser pedal can give your tone a chime-like quality; when you crank the knob all the way, though, you'll get a rich sound that is instantly recognizable.
To learn more about your opportunities, look for a musical instruments store in your area.