If you are buying a higher quality amp, some of the things you will need include headphone jacks and direct outputs, which will aid in recording. The headphones are helpful when practicing in situations where loud noise is not acceptable. It allows you to play whenever you want without worry of disturbing others.
Many guitarists like to use the effects built into the amps when they play their guitars. There are many amplifier with such built in effects for just this use. Depending on the model the effects will be more or less various. These can really add to your musical experiences. With the delays, chorus, reverb and other such effects, so much more is possible. Having such an amp can really help the beginners motivation to play guitar as it can be more fun doing so with the effects. While this is true, one should not use effects too often for fear of overusing them and creating a very irritating song. When using them, throw them in occasionally for an interesting twist on your music.
Look for an amp with a speaker output. If you can find one with such a feature, you will be able to add a second speaker to your amp and really pump up your volume if you have the urge.
Many amps on the market come with a plethora of features and effects. As with many things, there are certain things that should be avoided among them. something that is nearly necessary is a foot pedal that will allow you to change between clean and overdrive. Having many effects in an amp like those listed above is not necessarily a good thing. They add the temptation to use the effect all the time, which can really hamper a good player. Adding effects is better done with a separate board or more foot pedals. If an amp has too many things in it, that is simply more thing that can go wrong. It is better to have fewer tones that are of good quality than a slew of them that sound terrible.
Saying that, it is a good thing to avoid leaning on effects. If your amp has a good sound by itself then you may not want to use effects at all. Letting the guitar speak for itself, as it were, is a better option. This way your song carries the music and not the effects you added. He who overuses effects does so to cover the bad amp or even the sub par playing. Using too many effects smacks of amateurism. When you have them at your fingertips it is easy to want to use them, so if you don’t have too many, you will rely more on your skills than your technology. If you lose your effects due to technical problems, you will still have a great song. Many effects boards have more than you will use, so they are a better option when looking at using effects of any kind. But since you will not use most, it may not even be worth your time or money to buy.
If your playing doesn’t sound that good, then an effect or a better amp may not be able to fix it. It may be that you need more practice or to pick an easier song to work on.