So you are finally starting to be able to play guitar well. Playing your favorite songs and solos with ease now. Now what? What are you going to do next to keep you entertained so you do not put down the guitar which you took so long to perfect. Now you need to curb your sweet guitar tooth with an awesome pedal to add dimension and flavor to your sound. Guitar pedals are what separate the acoustic guitars from the electric guitar. Not only expressing yourself in the notes you play, but also what tone the notes are played in. Adding a nice distortion to your guitar instead of going through your amp distortion is going to sound so much better and you will realize it right way. Either choosing a heavy metal to crank out some Metallica or getting a rough grunge distortion to play your favorite Nirvana licks, a distortion pedal is really going to be a solid pedal for you to have to start your first pedal board or to just mess around with.
Distortion pedals are pretty straight forward to use. You are not going to need a whole bunch of knowledge to work your first distortion pedal. All you need to know is how much distortion you want and then start playing! Just do not get too carried away or your guitar is going to buzz the whole time, unless that is how you like it. Personally I really like the heavy metal sound so when I play my solos it feels like I am screaming with my guitar, but I know everyone is different. Think about all the different songs you like and more than likely you will come up with a couple of specific sounds which you can take in consideration when choosing your pedal.
The point is, if you want to take your guitar playing to the next level you really need to think about investing your money into different pedals. You will be able to mimic different songs better, add versatility to your playing, and just plain out have more fun when you are playing. When choosing your first pedal, really make sure you do your research and listen to what the pedal sounds like before you spend your money. Demoing it for yourself would be the best option but not always possible. The best way to really get to know these pedals is to not only find a review of them but also to find videos of them online so you know what they really sound like.