How to Organize Your Guitar Pedalboard

Guitar Pedaleboard Tips
Guitar Pedaleboard Tips

If you’ve accumulated a lot of guitar pedals and you’ve mastered how to use them and you’re ready to take your show on the road, now all you need is a way to transport and quickly set up your rig at your gig. In short, you need a pedalboard.

You could obviously buy one pre-made – it’ll cost more, but works well and looks good. Or, you could buy the board and case, but add your pedals at home. This is a great option that still looks and works great but allows you the freedom to customize the configuration. Or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, you could even build it from scratch!

If you do buy the board and case without pedals, or you build the whole thing from scratch, then consider these pedalboard organization tips to get the most out of your efforts:

  • An angled board is more convenient to use and makes for fewer unintentional gaffs during your performance.
  • Slotted boards and boards with holes make for less damage and cleanup from spilled drinks and also allow you to change the configuration without building a whole new board.
  • The pedals need to be wired in a planned order for the power supply to work correctly. It not only makes a difference in whether or not it will actually work consistently – it can affect the tone of your guitar negatively if you don’t do it right.
  • When you set up the physical location of each pedal (once you’ve got the wiring planned) keep in mind how often you use each and how/if the order will affect the sound.
  • You may, and probably will, need more than one power supply. Not all of the pedals will use the same voltage. Having dedicated power supplies by voltage will isolate the pedals from each other and you’ll no longer have to worry about hums, noises, and buzzes that you would get from daisy chaining, power strips, or transformers.
  • Use cables with right angle plugs and use short cables to minimize noise from the signal path.

Once you’ve built the board and you’re ready to head out, take some batteries along too. Should anything happen to the power supply, or you’re getting reverb or buzzing, you can pop the batteries into the offending pedals and the show can go on.