How to Build Your Own Guitar Effects Kit

Written by brandon wood
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How to Build Your Own Guitar Effects Kit
Jam out like your favourite bands. (Guitar player #1 image by Warren Millar from

You can play a lot of different notes with the strings of your guitar. Those different notes can be combined to make quite a few note combinations. With all those sounds, you can create some pretty cool noises, but it may not be enough to sound like your favourite band. Almost every band today has some kind of guitar effects going for them. It can be costly to buy a complete guitar effects kit, so buy a few pedals and assemble your own mix.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Distortion, overdrive, and chorus pedals
  • Pedalboard
  • Noise gate
  • Patch cables
  • AC adaptor

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  1. 1

    Gather the necessary guitar effects pedals. You'll need different pedals, depending on the type of music that you play. According to, some of the most common guitar pedals are overdrive, distortion, chorus, and wah (wah-wah) pedals. Get three or four different pedals to compile your effects kit. With these pedals in your arsenal, you'll be able to make a very wide range of sounds.

  2. 2

    Set up the pedalboard. You can purchase a pedalboard, or it might be less expensive to assemble your own with a small amount of wood. You need to set up an area where your pedals can sit close to each other in a stable way.

  3. 3

    Lay out the pedals on the pedalboard. Set your pedals close to each other, and connect them using a small patch connector cable. Make sure each pedal is connected in series.

  4. 4

    Attach a noise gate at the end of the chain of pedals. According to, a noise gate is essential for noisier effects like distortion and overdrive. Position the noise gate as the last pedal in the series. The noise gate should be the final piece before reaching the amp.

  5. 5

    Connect the pedals to power and hook up your guitar. Connect the pedals to an AC adaptor, and plug your guitar into the first pedal to complete the chain.

Tips and warnings

  • Some stores sell AC adaptors that have multiple outputs to power more than one pedal.

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