How to Design Your Own Pedal Board

by Christina Gandolfo
Effects pedals make your electric guitar or bass more versatile.

Effects pedals make your electric guitar or bass more versatile.

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Playing out can be exhilarating and satisfying, but you can also get frazzled trying to remember everything you need for the gig. One way to simplify is by putting all your guitar- or bass-effects pedals onto a pedal board. Not only have you simplified what you need to bring to the show, but you've also simplified setting up your gear on stage and accessing it while you are playing. Purchasing a medium-sized pedal board that holds nine or 10 pedals can cost you $300 at the time of publication, but you can design your own for much less money and save more for that new gear you want.

Design the Pedal Board

Step 1

Choose a material out of which to make the board. Wood is a good choice because it is easy to cut and to work with, and depending on which wood you choose, it can be economical.

Step 2

Decide how many pedals you want to house on the board. This will determine the width of the pedal board. Assuming that you are making a medium-sized board that will house nine or 10 pedals in two rows, you need only one strip of wood that is 2 feet long by 1 foot wide.

Step 3

Plan two lines of pedals and attach 2-inch-wide strips of fabric fastener on the board and backs of the pedals to hold the pedals securely. Using the fabric fastener will allow you to trade pedals in and out of your board or to rearrange what you have, depending on the playlist. Make sure you can reach each pedal easily.

Step 4

Power your pedals with a DC power-supply cord that can handle multiple pedals with different voltage ratings. You will also need an adapter to plug each pedal into in sequence. The order of the pedals on the sequencer can easily be changed by unplugging the pedal and moving it to a new position before plugging it back into the adapter.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want your pedal board to hold more than 10 pedals, you will need to build a second level above the bottom strip of wood.
  • You can use batteries to power your pedals, but they won't last long.

About the Author

Christina Gandolfo first began writing professionally in 1985 for the "Burlington County Times." Her work has also appeared in "The Register-News" and "The Leader." She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn., and a Doctor of Philosophy in English from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images