best worship guitar pedals

The 5 Best Worship Guitar Pedals

Last Updated: July 19, 2021

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best worship guitar pedals are, then I’d recommend the BOSS DD-8 Digital Delay Effects Pedal as the best one.

In worship services, the instruments that play with the music are integral to the overall performance. One such vital instrument is the guitar. The worship guitar complements the passionate singing of the band, choir, and congregation.

But it’s not enough to just have a worship guitar for your service. You need to have a good player and components to create the sound you want to produce for your worship session. Among those essential components are worship guitar pedals.

Here are the worship guitar pedals we’ll be reviewing:

What are Worship Guitar Pedals?

Worship Guitar playing is a guitar style unique to praise and worship performances. Usually, churches use worship guitars with their Worship Band. They lead the flock to sing in praise of God.

You might think that all you need is a guitar and a great set of players and singers. But no. You need to fully equip the band with worship guitar pedals. These are gears that keep the guitar in tune with the song and retain its distinct sound amid the other instruments.

Guitar pedals help create the distinct prayerful vibe of the performance. For contemporary worship songs, guitar sounds are integral to the rhythm and tempo. With guitar pedals, you help make sure that the guitar sounds work well with other instruments in harmony. You ensure that the guitar effects cannot overpower the rest of the performance.

Why are Worship Guitar Pedals Important?

The guitar sound has shaped worship music ever since the guitar was invented. Worship guitar pedals are necessary for musicians to create new worship sounds and techniques. Worship musicians who use guitar pedals regularly include Hillsong United’s guitarist, Nigel Hendroff.

Worship guitar pedals help the guitarist execute the tones and techniques of the music. They also help deliver the guitar player’s message of passion and praise.

Types of Guitar Pedals

Guitar pedals differ in the effects they give to the sound of your guitar. They are very prominent in every guitarist’s routine, with several types kept under their guitar case regularly. 

Here are the different guitar pedals you will encounter in your search for your worship guitar gears:

Gain-staging Effects Pedals

Gain staging pedals form the foundation of your guitar’s tone. This helps creates harmonious and complex tones. There are four types of gain-staging pedals: overdrive, gain boost, compression, distortion, and volume control.

Overdrive

Overdrive pedals drive the preamp of the amplifier. They also add some color and texture to the sound of your guitar. They also include tone control features for different frequencies (i.e. bass, treble, etc.).

Gain Boost

Often used with overdrive pedals, gain boost pedals are signals for your guitar. They push the amplifier and overdrive pedals to the sweet spot of your guitar sound with a footswitch.

Compression

A compressor pedal decreases the dynamic range of signals of your guitar sound. This signal processor boosts the output to get the sustained effect for solo performances. It also works great for complex playing styles. 

Compression pedals range from one-knob compressors to complicated multi-button compressors. 

Distortion

Distortion pedals offer a wide variety of nuances to the guitar sound. Coming from their name, such a pedal distorts the sounds thru diodes and transistors. They push signals to the clipping point. 

You usually use them together with compression and overdrive.

Volume Control

Volume control pedals are large rockers. Place them near the end part of the gain stage section of your guitar pedalboard.

They make smooth swells for additional ambiance or tonal fade-outs.

Frequency Effects Pedals

The frequency type of pedals affects the frequency of guitar sounds. You use them after pedals with gain-staging effects. These include equalizers, wah-wah effects, and pitch shifters.

EQ Pedals

Equalizers, more commonly known as EQ pedals, adjust frequencies, harmonies, and tones. They correct imbalances in frequency from modulation, delay, or reverb effects. They also fix tonal issues mid-song. 

EQ pedals are effortless to use, so you can adjust anything quickly while playing. They range from graphic EQs with five to ten frequency bands, to parametric layouts for tone shifts.

Filter Pedals

Filter pedals resonate with the peak filters across frequencies for more articulate vocals. These pedals affect the rhythm of the guitar sound. One filter pedal is the wah-wah. You control it with a simple rocker pedal. Another filter pedal is the Auto Wah Pedal. This triggers resonating peaking filters off transients such as pick hitting the guitar strings. 

Harmony/Pitch Pedals

Pitch and harmony pedals shift the pitch of the guitar to create extraordinary sounds and tones. However, effects coming from these pedals do not sound realistic. Then you may end up with considerable glitches if you change the pitch you play further.

Time-Based Effects Pedals

Among the most popular pedals are time-based effects. These are delay and reverb pedals. Delay pedals add ambient repeats to your guitar sound. They work thru repeating the original signal in a delayed reaction. You can control the time of delay, the number of repeats of the delay (feedback), and the balance between the signals.

On the other hand, reverb pedals set spaces around your tone for solemn sonal impacts. They range from synthetic effects to springs to large spatial tones. You can control how quickly the reverb fades out and the balance of how much reverb you get.

Modulation Pedals

Modulations are the most adventurous types of guitar pedals. They affect everything from gain staging to time. The changes they make goes through an LFO (low-frequency oscillator). They include the following guitar pedals:

Tremolo and Vibrato

These effects work with one LFO that modulates a single element of tone. Tremolo pedals affect the volume while vibrato pedals control the pitch. You can control the depth of the pitch change and the speed of these changes.

Flanger

Flangers are guitar pedals that desynchronize two tape reels. They produce dips and peaks of frequency by controlling the signals through delays and filtering of events. You can control the rate and depth of modulation and the feedback. These guitar pedals create a distinct rise-and-fall sound.

Chorus

Chorus pedals work with wider depth and speed controls in modulating delayed signals. They produce more pronounced effects with more delays and no feedback.

Phaser

Phaser pedals produce frequency changes at well-spaced intervals. They work with an LFO that modulates the cutoff frequencies of phase-shifted signals. This effect adds color to the rhythm of your guitar. Some phasers also offer increased resonance in the filtering signal mechanism. 

Other Effects Pedals

Other types of guitar pedals include amp emulation (for amplification), instrument modelers (transforming the guitar sound to another instrument’s), loopers (playback), loop switchers (for massive tone changes mid-song), and multi-effects pedals.

Essential Guitar Pedals for Worship

When it comes to worship guitar, you don’t need to buy every pedal out there. To get your guitar playing just the way you need for your worship songs, you just need a few. Here are the five essential guitar pedals for worship:

Delay Pedals

Foremost in worship guitar pedals is the delay pedal. This guitar pedal provides the presets and tap tempo you need to execute the rhythmic effects and textural volume of modern worship songs. 

Reverb

For prayerful vibes, your worship guitar needs a reverb pedal. Reverb pedals set the ambient space around your notes.  

Overdrive

Overdrive pedals control the texture and pitch of your guitar. It boosts the amp of your guitar and thickens the notes. 

Volume Control

Having a guitar that plays out of tune is terrible for your performance. So a tuner pedal for volume control is necessary. This pedal also provides swells, volume adjustments, and muting.

Factors in Choosing Worship Guitar Pedals

To help you choose which guitar pedals to get, here are some factors you need to consider: 

Stereo vs. Mono

Guitar pedals run in either mono or stereo. Stereo-run pedals offer the full depth and scope of spatial effects. But they don’t work well with dual amplifiers in the sense that they can lead to tonal loss. But if you can make them work, you get an amazing sound.

Power of the Guitar Pedal

You need to get enough power for your worship guitar pedals to last the entire performance. The best pedals are those with AC power. Run your amp and pedals through a power conditioner. So your pedals won’t run out of power in the middle of the show.

Your Budget

Any purchase in your life should be conscientious. Buy only what your budget will allow. Lest you have no money for the things that matter the most.

You don’t need to chase the latest gear. What you need is the right gear that enables you to play the music of your faith well.

After checking out the guitar pedals you need and the budget you can work with, look up the items online and read product reviews. Ask around to make sure that you check reliable pedals for your worship guitar.

BOSS DD-8 Digital Delay Effects Pedal

For your guitar pedalboard, a delay pedal is a must-have. If you need a delay pedal that offers smooth versatility, then the BOSS DD-8 Digital Delay Pedal may be a great choice. The DD-8 offers everything from versatility, flexibility, and delay signal selection.

An impressive feature of this digital delay pedal is its smooth, wide range of delays to choose from. It tracks signal changes efficiently. This feature is very helpful for guitarists working with different worship songs. This particular worship guitar pedal helped my church’s band when they played Hillsong United, Casting Crown, and Kutless songs. They took advantage of the various presets and tempo for the varied texture of the sounds of these popular worship songs.

Another thing to love about this guitar pedal is that it is effortless to dial in and use. BOSS also made it to be sturdy and resist damage to continue working flawlessly through countless performances.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Handy looper function
  • Smooth delays

Cons:

  • Has a slight learning curve
  • You can’t combine settings

Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo Effects Pedal

If you want a sophisticated worship guitar pedal, the El Capistan dTape Echo would be a fine choice. Strymon developed their patented dTape technology to create an effects pedal that produces the vibe of tape echo machines. The Strymon El Capistan has ten modes to control with three different tape machines in its structure. 

While the El Capistan is more expensive than other pedals, they make guitar playing more enjoyable and better in sound. A fine feature is the multiple tape adjustment and tone sculpting buttons such as Time, Mix, Tape Age, Repeats, Wow & Flutter. My friend who is a guitarist in our church loves this pedal because it offers incredible sound quality.

They work on all guitar-playing avenues from guitar rigs to studio use. This versatility comes from these particular features: extremely low noise with high performance 24-bit 96kHz A/D and D/A converters, 115dB typical signal to noise, and True Bypass (electromechanical relay switching).

Pros:

  • Improves guitar sounds
  • Incredible sound versatility
  • Great ambient setup

Cons:

  • Expensive

Electro-Harmonix MICRO POG Effects Pedal

Need a multi-effects guitar pedal? Then the Micro POG (Polyphonic Octave Generator) will be a solid addition to your pedalboard. Coming from the award-winning Electro-Harmonix POG, the Micro POG offers a smooth polyphonic tracking mechanism and versatile musical range. 

Its best feature is its production of multiple octaves from an input signal. With this pedal, you can play everything from single notes to full chords with full precision. The Micro POG tracks all notes you play so you can adjust the pitch and octave volumes. You can also mix the original signal with octaves up and below the original note to produce new, exciting tones. 

The Micro POG also comes with a rugged, sturdy, and small die-cast chassis. This design makes it easy to put in your guitar pedalboard.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Perfect for piercing the sound mix
  • Tracks all notes well
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Requires the use of a power adapter
  • Super lows and highs can lose clarity midsong

JHS Panther Cub Delay Guitar Effects Pedal

Another fine delay pedal is the JHS Pedals’ Panther Cub Delay Effects Pedal. It works with an all-analog delay with tap tempo controls. The delay time is 1000 milliseconds. 

My favorite feature with this delay pedal is its effects loop. With this, you can set any sound effects on repeat. This is perfect for setting the tone to match most contemporary worship music.

You can control the expressions using the many knobs to set the tempo and beats of any live performance.

Pros:

  • Speed LED indicator
  • Tap tempo controls
  • Easy to customize

Cons:

  • Self-oscillating
  • Distorted delay signal
  • Extremely loud repeats

MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay Effects Pedal

The MXR Analog Copy offers rich, all-analog delay with up to 600 milliseconds of delay time. It works with modulation controls through an upwards-mounted switch and three knobs that control delay time, sound mix, and repeats.

Dunlop, the leading manufacturer of analog pedal technology made this true hardwire bypass pedal for rich tonal variety.

Pros:

  • Organic sound texture
  • Nice analog delay
  • Sturdy built

Cons:

  • Minimal effect with mod button
  • Power input located poorly

Conclusion

Guitar pedals are necessary to make your guitar sound the way you want it. These are tools to control the rhythm, tonal shifts, volume, and harmonics. But remember to be careful as you assemble the pedalboard of your worship guitar.

Worship guitar pedals are best in fewer quantities than more. It’s not about having the latest and fastest pedals. Instead, you need to get the essential worship guitar pedals that fit within your God-given budget.

The best worship guitar pedal I’d recommend is the BOSS DD-8 Digital Delay Effects Pedal. With this delay pedal, you get smooth versatility, sound flexibility, and vast delay signal selection. With its precise signal changes, you can control the rhythm and tempo of your guitar sounds. This guitar pedal can also execute the different musical techniques for modern contemporary worship music. Best of all, it is effortless to dial in so the guitarist can deliver his passionate song to the congregation.

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