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Blues Tone: Effects

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Overdrive is the distortion of tone caused by the pushing of an amplifier's power. An overdrive pedal simulates that breakup of an amplifier so that you don't have to push an amp's power or volume to achieve the sound.

Although overdrive is a kind of distortion, it shouldn't be confused with a distortion pedal. Distortion is far more harsh and simulates a broken amp or broken speaker. Overdrive is a bit warmer and sounds more natural.