How to Build a Guitar Pedal Board

Learn how to build a pedal board from Broadway musician Michael Aarons in this Howcast video.


So if you're someone that travels with a lot of guitar pedals, you might get to a point where you want to build a pedal board. You really have to commit to having a lot of pedals and carrying them all with you at the same time. If you're a person that uses a lot of effects, that's great. There's a lot of different kinds of pedal boards.

There's a lot of different sizes and shapes. Cables are important. Get high quality cables. The George L's are great. You can customize the lengths. So depending on where on the pedal board physically the pedal sits and also the order, you can actually put them in different orders, just by lengthening the cable and wrapping it around the back of the pedal board.

Plus, you're kicking them with your feet, so you need to make sure that the cables are high quality and they're not going to get loose and start to crackle, because there's nothing worse than being on a gig and hearing something cutting in and out or static, and you're looking at your pedal board and you have no clue where it's coming from. That's the worst feeling in the world, so you need really high quality cables.

If you don't know what you're doing, it might be good to take it to someone who can really get a tight, good connection on those cables. As far as powering the pedal board, Voodoo Labs makes something called the Pedal Power, which is a great unit that will power multiple pedals. Again, it's true bypass, it has all sorts of bells and whistles, so you can simulate what an old battery sounds like, a lot of vintage pedals used to sound better. The popular opinion was that they sounded better with kind of a dying battery.

They got a distinctive sound. You can actually emulate that with the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power. So the possibilities are endless, but the convenience factor is great. It might be good to invest some money into some high-quality pedals, because if you have 12 pedals on a pedal board, and none of them are true bypass, you're going to get some serious signal loss, and it doesn't matter how good your guitar is and how good your amp is, if you're going through dozens of feet of cable with no true bypass pedals, that can really make your signal weaken and sound pretty bad. Just some things to keep in mind, if you're someone that uses a lot of effects.

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