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Although guitar effects began to appear in the 1940s, it took the introduction of electronic transistors in the early '60s for a practical compact effects pedal to be possible. Since then, pedals have become more and more important in the music scene. Today, decades later, your floor guitar effects are as much a part of your performance as your guitar itself. With that being the case, you're probably as careful when choosing your pedals as you are when picking out strings—and rightly so. Effects pedals come in plenty of varieties, some of which are universal while others are boutique effects, unique to the workshop that makes them. If you're an experienced guitarist, you've probably tried dozens of different effects in your career, picking and choosing your favorites to outfit your pedal board. If you're a novice, you likely have some experimenting left to do. Ultimately, only your own ear is going to tell you which effects are right for you. Looking up the preferred effects of your guitar idols is a great starting point to following in their footsteps. As personalized a choice as effects are, there are a number of basic effects pedals that you'll find on a majority of stages, including classics like the wah-wah or reverb and selections from the array of modulation pedals: chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo and vibrato, among others. To keep your pedal board from turning into a giant mess of pedals and wiring, a multi-effects pedal is a great alternative to individual units for these common effects. Not only do multi-effects pedals help you to keep it simple, they also tend to include additional features such as pre-amp functionality. Some multi-effects boxes provide a rocker pedal so you can get your Hendrix on with the wah effects. Along with the floor effects themselves, consider picking up pedal bags to store them. Ranging in size from one pedal at a time to bags that can fit your whole pedal board, these are not only handy to stash your pedals between uses—they're also a great way to protect them while traveling from one show to the next, ensuring that the only knocks your pedals have to endure are the stomps you give them on stage. Together with amps and cabinets, floor effects are a key part of the guitarist's toolbox. Even if you're new: it's never too early to get into the pedal game, whatever your level of experience. Choosing a good multi-effects pedal will give you a leg up on the competition, bringing the power of multiple pedals together into one simple unit.