Getting Started With Building Guitar Pedals

I assume you’re here’s because you’re interested in making your own guitar pedals. Awesome. It’s a really cool hobby and a lot of fun. It can be frustrating at times, but it’s also one of those hobbies that you’ll improve at quite quickly. Then you’ll be building more and more guitar pedals, then you’ll get obsessed with it, then you’ll start a blog about it. But I digress…

All that being said, building your own guitar pedals at home can also be intimidating. There are so many resources online. While there are some great resources out there, most DIY pedal builders have grown into this hobby. We all may have a lot of experience, but the mindset in the community is very much “figure it out.” I won’t pretend to be the best resource out there, but I am aiming to be clear and answer questions for people who want to get into this wonderful hobby.

One of the challenges I had when first getting into pedal building was finding a single place that outlined exactly what I needed to know to get started. I jumped around a lot of resources and eventually figured it out. This page is an attempt to make a guide to getting started at making your own guitar pedals. If I missed anything let me know!

Important:¬†this may seem like¬†a lot of information. I don’t want to intimidate anybody by making this hobby look difficult or unapproachable. I’ve gone with a “more is more” approach here. If you just want to know “how,” you can usually navigate to the appropriate part of the articles linked; if you want to know “why,” take a longer read of the articles. I’m assuming zero knowledge, so some readers may want to skim if they have fundamentals.

Why Build Your Own Pedals?

Completed guitar pedal of a Harmonic Jerculator pedal clone called the Jerk Chicken.

Pedal Building Gear

Soldering iron and solder.

What Is A PCB?

Example of a printed circuit board.

What Is Stripboard?

Stripboard layout for a Harmonic Jerculator fuzz pedal.

Stripboard Or PCBs?

Assorted tools for making electronics.

How To Solder

Image saying "coming soon."

Beginner Pedal Builds

Close up of a populated stripboard for a Harmonic Jerculator clone.

Debugging Guitar Pedals

Close up of a guitar pedal being debugged.

How To Wire Input/Outputs

Image of a mono 1/4 inch jack showing where the live wire and ground goes.

How To Wire Power Supplies

How To Read A Circuit Diagram

Wiring diagram for an Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer.

What Is A Breadboard?

Image saying "coming soon."