How to Put Pedals on a Guitar Rack

Written by michael black
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How to Put Pedals on a Guitar Rack
Effects pedals can drastically change the sound of your guitar. (accoustic guitar image by Chris Edwards from

Putting guitar effects pedals on a guitar rack or pedal board will help keep your pedals in place, no matter how much movement you have when you play. Using a power supply pedal (or a powered rack unit or pedal board) can also keep all of your pedals properly powered all of the time, thus avoiding pesky battery outage issues. The biggest problem when setting up a pedal board is figuring out where to place the pedals in the effects chain. This has a larger effect on the sound of your guitar than you may think.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Guitar effects pedals
  • Guitar rack or pedal board
  • As many instrument cables as you need (depending on how many pedals you have)

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  1. 1

    Decide how many pedals you are going to use in your rack set-up. Guitar racks come in different sizes, so before you buy a rack or pedal board, make sure it is large enough to hold all of your pedals.

  2. 2

    Purchase a rack unit from a music store. If you cannot find a rack unit that you like at your local music store, several online retailers exist that sell many different types of guitar racks and pedal boards. Buy any extra cables you may need as well.

  3. 3

    Place your pedals into the rack in proper order. In order to get the best sound, most guitarists place wah-wah pedals at the front of the effects chain (near the guitar input on the rack unit), followed by compressors, overdrive pedals, EQ pedals, pitch-altering pedals, modulation pedals, volume-level pedals and finally echo pedals. Feel free to experiment with the placement of pedals, however.

  4. 4

    Attach each pedal with a working instrument cable. You will want to use short cables when connecting pedals in a small area such as a guitar rack.

  5. 5

    Test your set-up. If you are not getting any sound, you will have to troubleshoot your rack set-up. One faulty pedal can ruin an effects chain.

Tips and warnings

  • Different types of guitar racks and pedal boards secure the pedals in different manners. Read your instruction manual if you are having trouble getting pedals to stay put.
  • If your set-up is giving you problems, double-check that every cable is connected properly. If all the cables are properly attached, you will have to check the pedals one by one until you find the faulty pedal or cord.

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