5 Best Distortion Pedals For Beginners

Beginner guitarists often find themselves overwhelmed when it comes to choosing pedals. There are just so many options available on the market, and it can be tough to know which ones are right for you. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 10 of the best distortion pedals for beginners. We’ll discuss what each pedal does, and we’ll also provide some tips on how to choose the right one for your needs. So if you’re curious about distortion pedals and want to learn more about them, keep reading!

1. Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal

Simply put, the BOSS DS-1 distortion pedal is a modern classic. For the better part of 30 years, you’ve heard this orange box put through its paces on countless top rock recordings – from Kurt Cobain’s “Nevermind”-era grunge to the renowned distorted tones of Steve Vai. The DS-1 is affordable, it’s incredible sounding, and it’s a rock pedalboard staple – the perfect first distortion stompbox and one that may well be your last. Whether you pair it with your guitar’s single-coil or humbucking pickups, expect rich, dynamic-laden tone with the BOSS DS-1.


2. Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive Pedal


3. Behringer TO800 Vintage Tube Overdrive Pedal

It’s no secret: at Sweetwater, we love tubes. So how cool would it be to get the essence of tubular rock guitar tone in a convenient, super-affordable pedal? Enter the Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive TO800. This stompbox goes to “eleven” as fast as you can kick the On switch, delivering the classic sound of blazing, overdriven vacuum tubes. Behringer spec’d the TO800 with original 4558 op amps and MA150 distortion diodes, for authentic tone, while dedicated Drive, Tone and Level controls let you sculpt the exact sound you’re after. Put the Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive TO800 in your guitar effects chain and prepare to rock.

4. Electro-Harmonix Hot Tubes Nano Overdrive Pedal

Based on a classic, the Electro-Harmonix Hot Tubes Nano overdrive pedal gives your guitar tone an edge. It’s designed just like the original CMOS Hot Tubes pedal from the 1970’s, and it’s incredibly responsive to your playing dynamics. As you dig into your playing harder, the Hot Tubes Nano responds with aggression. Back off your volume control and it cleans up nicely, just like you’d expect from a tube amplifier. And if you’re touchy about your tone (aren’t we all?), there’s even a tone circuit bypass switch that completely removes the tone circuit from your signal path. All this in a rugged die-cast chassis makes the Electro-Harmonix Hot Tubes Nano a sweet overdrive solution.

5. Electro-Harmonix Op-amp Big Muff Pi Fuzz Pedal

Billy Corgan and James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins) built an empire on Siamese Dream‘s distinct brand of psychedelia-meets-rock-alternative. A key ingredient to this record’s iconic sound, as guitarists today know, is Billy’s famed late-’70s V4 IC Big Muff. Now, Corgan and EHX have carefully bottled the tone and response of the original in the Electro-Harmonix Op-Amp Big Muff Pi. This pedal faithfully captures the fuzz-laden and explosive textures of Billy’s op-amp equipped ’70s Muff. Controls for Volume, Tone, and Sustain (gain) make it quick to dial in the textures your music demands. Meanwhile, a tone bypass toggle temporarily bypasses the pedal’s tone circuit for maximum output and aggression. The new compact size and die-cast durability preserve the Siamese Dream tone for a new generation of fuzz fans.


In Conclusion: If you’re a beginner looking for your first distortion pedal, any of the five pedals we’ve listed will do the trick. They all offer a wide range of tones and are relatively easy to use. So what are you waiting for? Start exploring the world of distortion today!

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