The 10 best praise and worship guitar pedals to buy in 2023

Everything you need to build a great worship pedalboard.

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more

Praise and worship music is an incredibly popular genre, played in churches across the world. It does, however, call for a sound that relies on a number of effects pedals – so let’s take a look at your best options, whether you’ve been playing for a while or are just putting your first church board together.

What makes for a good praise and worship tone?

Praise and worship guitar tone shares a lot of traits with ambient music, in that it makes use of swells and immersive reverbs and delays. Many praise and worship rigs make use of stereo pedals, too, which you might want to consider depending on your amplification setup.

Overdrive is present, too, however the popular drive pedals in the scene tend towards the lower-gain side of things, and a ‘transparent’ EQ character. Transparent simply means the pedal doesn’t impart its own EQ signature onto your sound – the most famous example of which is the near-mythical Klon Centaur.

The best praise and worship guitar pedals at a glance:

Strymon BigSky

Strymon Bigsky

A reverb pedal staple, and for good reason, the BigSky offers 12 reverb types, with the stalwart spring, plate and hall sounds well catered for. Where it’s found the most favour, however, is in its proprietary ambient sounds, such as Bloom, Chorale and, especially, Cloud.

These extremely tweakable sounds are fine-tuned for enormous ambience, creating synth-like drones and airy highs that make full use of the pedal’s stereo support.

The sheer number of MIDI presets, matched with deep controls makes this pedal a reverb for those serious about their sound. It’s the ‘reverb nerd’s’ reverb pedal – one which you might find yourself lost in. The price tag certainly reflects this, but given how ubiquitous it is across pedalboards everywhere, the Strymon BigSky has certainly earned its reputation.

Grab today’s deals on the Strymon BigSky now

Jackson Audio Golden Boy

Jackson Audio Golden Boy

Praise and worship boards are so often stacked with midi-controllable reverb, delay and modulation pedals – but why stop there? The Jackson Audio Golden Boy accepts midi control for selecting between its multiple drive and boost modes, giving you a way to fully integrate it into a ‘board with a digital brain.

Aside from this handy detail, it’s also a great overdrive – designed in collaboration with Joey Landreth, it’s based on the Marshall Bluesbreaker, but offers more in-depth EQ control, four clipping diode modes and a fully separate MOSFET boost mode.

The Bluesbreaker format isn’t as completely transparent as something like the Klon Centaur, but for low-gain applications, the chewy compression from the various clipping modes gives you a lovely, characterful sound that doesn’t become overpowering.

Grab today’s deals on the Jackson Audio Golden Boy now

Strymon Cloudburst

Strymon Cloudburst

Yes, it wouldn’t be a praise and worship list without more than one Strymon pedal. But we’d be remiss not to include the new Cloudburst from Strymon, a stripped-down, more compact offering from the brand compared to its flagship big-box pedals. Despite the smaller size though, the sounds the CloudBurst creates are anything but.

The new Ensemble mode offers a shimmering, harmonically-rich accompaniment to your reverberating playing, while the rest of the pedal is of course capable of conjuring huge spaces and creating movement with thick, soupy modulation.

Predictably great sounds aside, however, the more compact form factor might be enough to convince you when compared to the enormous footprint of pedals like the BigSky. And you don’t even have to sacrifice connectivity for the smaller size, as the pedal is still fully stereo and supports midi control.

Grab today’s deals on the Strymon Cloudburst now

Boss DD-8 Digital Delay

Digital delays tend to be favoured by praise and worship players, thanks to their clear and crisp repeats, versatility and deep level of customisation The DD-8 is positively stacked to the brim with features, including stereo ins and outs and a huge number of delay modes. These even include some options with reverb mixed in, which could save you a spot on your pedalboard.

Pairing the DD-8 with an expression pedal also lets you do some interesting tape speed-up and slow-down effects, and the pedal even comes with a looper built right in. The breadth of features found here rivals that of pedals four times the size and price, but thanks to Boss’ commitment to making excellent compact and affordable pedals, the DD-8 is a worthy addition to any pedalboard.

Grab today’s deals on the Boss DD-8 now

MXR Timmy Overdrive Mini

MXR Timmy

Paul Cochrane’s Timmy overdrive has been a favourite of praise and worship guitarists for a while, thanks to its transparent character and pleasing “edge of breakup” sound. This collaboration between the acclaimed device maker and MXR’s Custom Shop has led to this scaled-down version of the celebrated stompbox, more affordable and space-saving than the original.

Hailed for its transparency, the Timmy comes highly deployable as a clean boost to push your amplifier, or as a fuller overdrive providing ample amounts of sustain, responsiveness and harmonics to boot.

Add to that a three-way voice switch with three distinct clipping modes, and you’ve got all the makings of a truly versatile dirtbox.

Grab today’s deals on the MXR Timmy now

JHS Superbolt V2

JHS’ excellent Superbolt is another staple overdrive seen on many praise and worship pedalboards. It’s based on the sound of the classic Supro amps of the 1960s, used most famously by Jimmy Page. This means an old-school, characterful overdrive tone that’s warm and full without being too in-your-face.

The spongy, compressed sound of an old-school amp overdrive is a perfect match for the character of praise and worship music, where gnarly distorted sounds are less common. However, it does offer a little more oomph and character than more transparent overdrives.

Grab today’s deals on the JHS Superbolt V2 now

EHX Soul Food

Electro-Harmonix cooked up Soul Food as a means to deliver Klon Centaur-like tones to the masses. It’s an affordable transparent overdrive with a circuit design that includes the same TL072 op-amp that drove the mythical overdrive that inspired it.

Great as an always-on drive, or to provide a clean boost when the gain is at zero, the Soul Food manages to push tube amplifiers into their sweet spot efficiently. Boosted power rails also means an increase in headroom, which helps this pedal play extra nicely with others on your board.

Check out today’s deals on the Electro-Harmonix Soul Food overdrive now

Dunlop Volume (X) Mini

This miniature volume pedal is a great option for your worship board for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a little smaller than a standard volume pedal. Given the number of pedals present on the average praise and worship ‘board, plonking a full-size volume pedal down might not always be viable.

Secondly, it can double as an expression pedal – providing greater control over pedals – such as the Strymon BigSky – to achieve more complex sounds.

Grab today’s deals on the Dunlop Volume (X) Mini now

Keeley Compressor Plus

A solid compressor can really add that final touch to your guitar tone, clean or overdriven. The Compressor Plus gives you all the standard benefits of a guitar compressor: evening out dynamics to stay audible in a mix, boosting your signal for a more lively feel and bringing your transients to life.

What makes the Compressor Plus especially flexible is its Blend control, which mixes back in a bit of your dry signal. It’s a technique known as parallel compression, which is often used in mixing to get a more balanced sound out of a compressor: the dry signal provides the wide dynamic range, while the compressed signal keeps things nice and punchy.

Additionally, there’s a toggle switch for choosing between single-coil and humbucker operating modes, offering greater consistency no matter what guitar you bring along.

Grab today’s deals on the Keeley Compressor Plus now

Walrus Audio Julianna

Walrus Julianna

While praise and worship tones aren’t often heavily modulated, some subtle chorus can really bring your sound to life. Walrus Audio’s Julianna, as its name suggests, is a slight update on its predecessor, the Julia. Already off to a good start, as the Julia’s an excellent chorus pedal, the Julianna now adds a hidden ‘drift’ function, which can ramp the speed of the LFO up or down at a rate of your choosing.

There’s also an additional random wave LFO option for increased wooziness should you feel inclined, but all in all, expect to find the same excellent chorus platform as the Julia, with more breadth to each control parameter.

Grab today’s deals on the Walrus Audio Julianna now


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.