#1
Hi there. Just got my first electric so i don't know much about them. What do you need a distortion pedal for? I can make my guitar sound very Rock 'n Roll when i turn up the gain on my amp. So i just wanna know if its a good thing to have a distortion pedal?
#2
It is good in that you can change the amount of gain on the fly while you play... in other words you can start a song off slowly with minimal to no gain, but then slam your foot down right before the faster paced, power chord riffs come in.

You don't need one though if you have a solid state amp that can do gain/dist on its own though. Most people who get analog pedals get them for tube amps.
#3
Distortion pedals are for replacing the amp's own distortion, in case either you don't like the tone of your amp's own distortion (but you like it's clean tone) or if your amp cannot produce anywhere near the distortion you want by itself. In these cases, you leave your amp set on a clean channel and then use the distortion pedal to generate all of your distortion.

There are also overdrive pedals, which are used when you like your amp's distortion, but you want more of it and the amp is already maxed out - the overdrive pedal will drive the amplifier harder, causing more distortion.

Then there are high output pickups, which do the same thing as the overdrive pedal only you are able to control their effect using the volume controls on your guitar (whereas with an overdrive pedal you merely click it on or off, you can set it to an in-between setting in the middle of a song).

Generally speaking, you only use one of these things at a time.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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