How to Set Up a Pedalboard

If you play the electric guitar or bass, you will probably get to the point where you want to experiment with effects pedals.

Effects pedals are great pieces of equipment that allow you to play around with lots of different sounds. Different pedals can affect the volume, distortion and clarity of your music. Using effects pedals lets you develop your own unique sound.

If you're using more than one effects pedal, you'll need to set up a pedalboard. Your pedalboard will keep your pedals organized and help you set up a signal chain that makes the most sense for you.

The Basic Setup

Before you get started, make sure you understand the basics of how a pedalboard works.

When you're not using effects pedals, your guitar will be connected directly into the amplifier. When you are using pedals, they will go in between the guitar and the amp. This creates a signal chain that allows you to change how your guitar sounds coming out of your amp.

The order that you place your pedals between the guitar and the amp will affect its sound in different ways. With this basic explanation of how a pedalboard works, you can start setting one up.

Get the Gear

Before you can begin setting up your pedalboard, you need to gather all of the necessary equipment.

The equipment that will help you make the most of your pedalboard is your effects pedals. The types of effects pedals you have, and how many, will help you create the best setup for your own personal tastes and playing style.

Once you've got all of your pedals, you'll need to find the pedalboard itself. This piece of equipment is a frame where you can attach all of your pedals. Pedalboards come in three main sizes: small, medium and large. The size of your pedalboard depends on how many pedals you have. If you only have a few pedals, a smaller one would make the most sense. After you begin using more pedals, you can move to a larger board.

Some pedalboards are made with their own power supply built in while others are just the frame. If you don't have a pedalboard with the built-in power supply, you'll need to decide how to power it. When choosing the right power supply, make sure that it will meet the voltage requirements of all of your equipment.

The last pieces of equipment you need are your cables to connect everything. A great rule of thumb to use when choosing the right cables for your pedalboard is to choose right-angle plugs with short lengths. When you use long cables, it only adds more clutter to your board, and the right-angle plugs are more compact.

Now that you have all of your equipment, you're ready to start putting together your pedalboard.

Picking the Right Layout

Your pedalboard layout will come down to your own style and tastes, but it should be efficient and easy to navigate.

If you're just starting out on learning how to put together a pedalboard, there's a basic layout to get you started. Follow this basic setup to get started and then change it around later to get the exact sound you want.

Here's the order to set up your effects pedals on your pedalboard:

  1. Dynamics pedals, filters, pitch shifters and harmonizers will go first in your signal chain
  2. Distortion effects pedals, like overdrive, fuzz and boost pedals, will go second
  3. Modulation pedals go third, like chorus and phaser pedals
  4. Time effects pedals go last, like delay, tremolo and reverb pedals
  5. Volume pedals can also be added at the end for a different effect

This order will give you the best sound. Ordering your effects pedals differently will add unwanted noise and distortion to your setup. Instead, you'll get the most out of each of your effects pedals.

But this is just a guideline to get you started. You have the freedom to play around with your pedals and try them in different orders. If you find a setup that you like better, go for it!

Bananas at Large® has all the equipment you need, and more, to set up your perfect pedalboard. For great deals and excellent service, visit us in-store or online today. Shop all pedals at

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