Unique and exciting sounds are what a guitar pedal brings to the stage. Musicians use this device to help them transform an ordinary song into an unforgettable masterpiece. Nowadays, it's rare to find any performer without a guitar pedal in their arsenal. Songwriters have taken this beautiful device for granted, but have you ever wondered how it was invented?
Let's explore the history of the guitar pedal.
Before the invention of guitar pedals, musicians modified their sounds manually. They crank the volume of their amps to have an overdrive effect or even use water and their stereo to create an echo. Thankfully, the company Rowe Industries has seen the struggle of guitarists and released the first commercially available guitar pedal in 1946. It was called the DeArmond Tremolo Control.
At first, it wasn't popular, but when the legendary American singer-songwriter, Bo Diddley, utilized the DeArmond on his 1955 self-titled hit song "Bo Diddley," the guitar pedal gained a mainstream following. The world of composers learned they don't need to crank up their amps to achieve unique sounds and only need the guitar pedal.
After 1955, guitar pedals became a must-have for every guitarist, soloist, and composer. Everyone can't get their hands on DeArmond, so they need alternatives from the first guitar pedal. The next pedal sold in the market differs from the first one. It was called the Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone and was a distortion pedal released in 1962.
The Gibson distortion pedal is the first one with a button that you can strike on the musician's foot. It changed the world of music when The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" 1965 hit. After this year, guitar pedals are in demand, so companies made their own version of this pedal or created new ones.
Next is the wah pedal that emerged in 1967. The Vox company was the first to release this type of pedal and stormed the world. After the emergence of the first three pedals, many pedal companies created their own versions to accommodate the different needs of musicians. They have given the world of music a variety of guitar pedals they could choose from, and over the years, innovative engineers have permanently changed the creation of music.