You’ve probably already come across the term chorus during your musical journey. It can mean two different things: chorus as a part of a song and chorus as a guitar effect pedal.

What is a chorus as a part of a song?

The chorus is often the most memorable part of a song, which you’ll still be singing after a song has finished. 

A chorus can contain a high dynamic level, meaning that it can potentially contrast with the rest of a song — instruments can sound louder or play faster lines. Also, the harmony of a chorus can differ from the rest of a song. If a song has minor vibes, the chorus may be in a very bright major mood. And vice versa.

Most choruses have a very catchy melody supported by additional voices or instruments. Also, every chorus in a song often has the same lyrics.

For instance, in “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd there are four choruses with the same lyrics, starting with “Sweet home Alabama …” Check our “Songs Explained” series dedicated to “Sweet Home Alabama,” if you want to learn how to play that song. 

What is a chorus as a guitar effects pedal?

Did you know that a chorus is also a guitar effects pedal? Let’s see how the effect impacts the sound of an electric guitar. 

Basically, a chorus pedal splits your guitar sound in two. One is the original. The other is the original sound delayed and with altered pitches. Then both signals are mixed together to create the chorus, which sounds as if there are two guitars playing together in unison. Therefore, the chorus effect pedal makes your guitar sound bigger and fuller.

Nowadays you can find many different chorus pedals. Try different ones before you’ll make a choice. When choosing, remember to trust your ears – notice how a particular chorus pedal sounds with your playing.