What Does A Chorus Pedal Do – Definitive Guide

what does a chorus pedal do

Each year, a new set of budding guitarists are looking for expand gear stumble with a Pedal. They mostly choose a Chorus pedal, but there is always confusion in their knowledge. So, what exactly does a Chorus Pedal do?

Well, here is the answer to that question: a chorus pedal emulates the sound of 2 different guitars or more guitars playing simultaneously. Its purpose is to create a much thicker sound from a single channel and it does so by doubling your source signal into multiple layers and then playing them with a slight delay and detunes them a little.




what does a chorus pedal do?

Why chorus pedal needed in guitar concerts?

Well, first of all, and most importantly, it gives you those big nostalgia feels of the 80's and 90's. This pedal peaked during that era, heavily used by musicians from all the sub-genres of rock and metal.

If you have been to a couple of concerts, perhaps you might have noticed that the sound of the guitar may be a bit thinner live than it was when compared to the sound that the guitar created in the studio version of whatever song it is that the band or artist might be playing. There can be several reasons for it. One of them is the fact that during studio recordings, musicians tend to use double guitars for choruses to make the sound feel thicker, heavier and fuller.

During a live event, more often than not, sacrifices to tones are made. Sometimes, you may not even have multiple guitars on stage to recreate that studio sound. This is where the chorus pedal comes in. The chorus pedal basically creates a tone artificially that would otherwise require multiple guitars being played simultaneously.

One of the most famous examples is this pedal's use by the late Kurt Cobain, vocalist and guitarists of the world-famous band Nirvana. Kurt used it in many songs, but most famously and most remembered is when he used it in the opening riff of 'Come as you are' from the album Nevermind.

When you first listened to the riff, it almost makes you feel like there are multiple guitar playing and well, that is the point. Kurt is the sole guitarist of the band and in order to get a tone where it "seems" like 2 guitars are playing, he needed this pedal.

what does a chorus pedal do

how does Chorus pedal add effects?

So, how does a chorus pedal emulate the sound of 2 guitars? To make it sound like multiple guitars are playing, the pedal creates layers from a single channel and then plays them with a bit of a delay and detunes them a little to make the tone sound as real as possible.

What that means is while some people really like this trait of the chorus pedal. Others, well... not so much. I really like it because it really adds that bit of realism to your tone despite its being artificially generated. No two musicians are the same.

Their playing style, their ability, the tone of their guitar everything varies at least a little. As humans, we can never be in true sync; that area is for the robots and the AI that is eventually going to either control us or live with us. Either way, I won't start rambling about conspiracy theories.

The chorus pedal is a modulation effect and it sounds like a lot like other modulation effecters like the Flanger or Phaser pedal. All modulation effects work in the same way; they add color to the tone via signal processing. The change in tone that a chorus pedal can provide varies from being a subtle, almost vibrato-ish tone to sounding almost like a 12 string to something Joe Rogan would listen to in his float tank.

How to control a chorus pedal?

We have come to the important part of the article, the controls of your chorus pedal depends upon which model of pedal. Some pedals offer more control knobs, but all of them always have 2 specific ones.

The two controls are Rate and Depth. There is also Level and Tone but for now, we will stick with Rate and Depth as they seem to be present in all Chorus Pedals universally.



The Rate Knob allows you to control the “rate” of delay basically. It controls the number of milliseconds between delays. The higher the rate is, the more vibrato-ish sound is created.



The Depth knob allows you to change the intensity of the effect. The higher you set the depth, the more dramatic and intense the sound created will be.

Note: Before choosing a pedal first check the flanger vs phaser article to known the difference and effects of each pedal to pick the perfect pedal for you.


A chorus pedal is a necessary addition to the arsenal of any guitarist. It is the pedal I see most beginner’s gravitating towards and I feel it is a wise choice on their part. Mastering this pedal is not too complicated nor too easy; its the perfect balance.

For local gigs with questionable sound systems, this really does wonders to your tone so I always encourage everyone to have one. Hope this article helped in clarifying your doubts and no more the question ‘what does a chorus pedal do’ bothers you anytime.

how to play electric guitar

Okay, so, before I start writing this article, I will address the elephant in the wrong; can you learn how to play electric guitar just by reading an article? No, no you cannot.

That being said, an article can provide you with the knowledge you are going to require to get started on your journey of mastering the instrument or just playing well enough to impress your crush. Whatever your end goal is, it’s all cool.

I have been playing the guitar for about ten years at this point and here, I will share all the knowledge that I have accumulated thus far.




Choose your electric guitar wisely. Do some research and see which electric guitar suits you the best. You do not have to spend a ton of money on your first electric guitar. See some videos on the guitar and if you like how it looks and feels, go for it.



Get your hands on a practice amplifier for now. You do not have to spend big bucks while choosing amplifier, now you only need an amplifier for the beginning stages; however, you are going to eventually want one.



No point in playing if you are going to play out of tune. First you have to know how to tune a guitar or You can get tuners online or at any music store. Also, I use this personally, just download a tuner app for they work just as well.



Guitar cables are 6.35mm to 6.35mm. One end goes into the guitar jack while the other into the amplifier. Get yourself a good lead; you do not want to cheap out here.



Buy picks of different densities for different styles of playing. And yeah, you are gonna lose a lot!



Guitar Strap, Capo and Pedals are additional things for now. You are eventually going to need them but for now, you can do without them.


Once you have all the essential items, it is time to play. Set your up your equipment because it is showtime.


It is not easy starting out; there is no denying that. When I first got my guitar, I played it for a week and then gave up. Till eventually, I got the motivation to start playing again and I have not stopped ever since. However, I realize now, looking back, with the knowledge hindsight provides, I could have had a much smoother road when it came to playing.

There is no hard and fast rule or set standard that you have to follow. You can absolutely just start playing and master it yourself. They said, the wise thing to do would be allowing others to help you and seeking the advice of those that have been in the game for a long time.

Here are some things you ought to do:


This is perhaps the most worn out and annoying piece of advice out there, but it is true. Consistency is the key. When you are starting, you should practice daily. There is no need to play for 2 hours every day; playing every day is what’s important.


Your fingers are going to hurt, deal with it. When you start running, your legs hurt. If you quit on the second day because of the pain, maybe running is not for you. It is the same here. There are many exercises out there designed exactly for the purpose of training your fingers. Practice them daily, if only for 15 minutes a day. Do that and the pain will eventually go away and your fingers will grid through the fretboard.



No matter what your end goal is, whether it is playing Dream Theatre or Justin Bieber, you are going to require the knowledge of basic chords and scales. Underneath the complications and personal artistic variations, every song is based on a simple scale. I never bothered learning scales or chords and directly jumped into learning songs.

I feel now that was a mistake and I should have first learned these chords and eventually gotten around to learning those songs. Some chords, like F and B, can seem a bit tough and that is perfectly normal. Try to play them but if you are unsuccessful, learn their simplified version for now.


Another thing I never did till late in my guitar playing life was getting a teacher. I always thought I was too cool and too smart for a teacher and I cringe when I think about my mindset. Online or in real life, a guitar teacher can boost your progress tenfold. They will smooth many hurdles that you might have faced otherwise. Any problem you face, they will help you with it.

Not only that, but teachers will also notice mistakes that you are making that you, as a newbie, would never. If, for whatever reason, you cannot get a teacher. That’s fine.

There are plenty of youtube channels dedicated to teaching you how to play electric guitar and I recommend you check them out. I still sometimes go to these channels for help even after ten years of playing. You are never too good and that is perfectly fine.


That is the end of this how to play electric guitar article. I hope you learned something, and I hope my experience provided you with some useful information that will help you in your journey of becoming the greatest and best guitarist in the world. That’s a Tenacious D reference btw.

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