A "New" Pedal Board - Help or Something More That Can Go Wrong

Some time ago, I built a pedal board.  It was a product of not knowing much of anything.  It housed a bunch of “must-have” pedals.  Somebody said, “You need a compressor.”  I bought one.  Somebody else said, “You just have to have a fuzz pedal.”  I bought one.

The pedal board also was a labor of love.  Measured at minimum wage, the value of time spent on the pedal board project exceeded entry-level and mid-level ready-made boards.  Throw in materials including three coats of metallic blue lacquer, and this pedal board was approaching the lower-end of the more pricey boards.

Yet, as my “musicality” jelled, only the tuner was needed.  After buying and trying a bunch of pedals, nothing really emulated a real Fender reverb unit.  The line-up was set and simple as can be:  tuner, reverb unit, amplifier.  My hand-crafted pedal board had no place in our songs.

Recently, however, Robert (“Kool Kat”) and others suggested that our music could use more than one tone at a single volume from me.  The thought of playing and stepping on a pedal or moving a switch always seemed daunting.  More multitasking.  More possibility for screwing up.  More confusion.  More . . . well, you know . . . (keeping it PG) “stuff” that happens!

But a bit experimentation started the wheels turning.  Maybe Robert and the others were correct.  Maybe some changes would add to our songs.  Maybe some changes would make my playing less one dimensional.  Maybe more multitasking will not be so difficult with some practice.  Maybe I won’t trip and dismantle the stage . . . .

One obstacle to exploring what is possible was the existing pedal board with several useless pedals.  Too much clutter.  Too close together.  What would happen if I just simplified what could be at my feet?

A visit to the Musician’s Friend website showed that simplification did not have to be too expensive.  But what about a do-it-yourself job?  Googling “build a pedal board” came up with a guide for a really simple model:  A board, duct tape, and velcro.  Because friends were remodeling their kitchen, wood was a dumpster dive away.

As I sat on the floor of the Doghouse and laid out pedals on newly scavenged materials, the old board beckoned.  It seemed to say, “I’m cool.  Simplify me.”  That reminded me of the hours of time that went into making it.  I remembered that my Dad gave me the original piece of plywood and that he suggested a solution to how to put handles on the board.  But he did not live to see me play an electric guitar.

Plans for a brand new board dissolved.  That ever-present little voice said, “This is easy.  Clean up what you have.  Just simplify it.  Make it work.  Do it for your Dad.”  And that was what I did.  Funny how solutions can be right in front of us.  All that we have to do is see

Okay, time to start practicing all this multitasking stuff!  Oh, oh, don’t trip over that . . . !



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