Pedal Board

Nice pedalboard

Image by John Hope

A pedal board is what it’s name implies: a board that contains a collection of pedals. A pedalboard is designed to turn your entire effect pedal chain into a single unit. This makes traveling a lot easier and it prevents the patch cables (cables between the guitar pedals) from moving and wearing out. In this article we’ll discuss different types of pedal boards. And what you should look for when you want to purchase a pedal board. We’ll also discuss in which order different guitar pedals should be placed and how your pedals can be attached to the pedalboard.

Pedal board size

The first thing to consider is the size of your pedal board. The bigger your board, the more pedals it can contain and the heavier it will be. If you want to travel light, make sure you keep your pedalboard small. Also consider the size of the venues you’ll be playing in. Small stages require smaller pedalboards. The bigger your board the more maintenance it will require. It will be harder to find a broken patch cable when you have 16 pedals then when you have 8.

So limiting the amount of pedals on your pedal board has a couple of advantages: It keeps the pedalboard weight down. Less pedals means less maintenance. It helps you to focus on playing (a multitude of pedals can actually distract you from playing music).

When designing a pedalboard it’s tempting to put on every overdrive you like. But as a rule of thumb I try to avoid overlap. So if there are two TS type overdrive pedals, I remove one. I can always switch out one for the other, but its likely I won’t need them both at the same time. The audience will probably not hear any difference.

Pedal board bag or case

When you buy a pedal board, you need to consider if you need a bag or a case. In my experience a bag is good enough for light traveling (i.e. once a week by car). If you’re traveling a lot it’s probably better to buy a pedal board with a case.