4 Best Small Pedalboards

My jam room is a maelstrom of wires, guitar pedals, and for some reason, old sneakers. I’m a guitar pedal addict and I won’t apologize for it. However, playing live demands a different approach. Set up time and floor space at a venue are usually scarce (especially for small gigs), so good planning, organization, and efficiency are key if you want to get a callback. Less really is more for live gigs.

For pedal-hoarders like myself, designing the right minimalist pedal chain is a challenge. Luckily, pedalboard makers are doing their part to make our lives easier. Here are four killer pedalboards that are ideal companions for small gigs.

Model Powered Best For Price
BOSS BCB-30 No BOSS pedals only. $15-$50
Gator G-Bone 5 Pedalboard Yes Light and durable. $50-$80
Gator G-Mini-Bone No Small and simple. ~$50
Pedaltrain Metro 16 with Hard Case No Lightest on the market. $80-$120

BOSS BCB-30

The BOSS BCB-30 is a fantastic, all-in-one pedalboard that’s built to last. Molded out of super-durable plastic, it folds neatly into its own carrying case, making it one of the simplest and most convenient entries on the list.

The one drawback is that it only accommodates BOSS style pedals. While you can modify the board to fit other brands, you do run the risk of breaking the plastic. However, if you’re a BOSS player looking for value, you can’t beat this board/case at $20 used.

  • Powered: No
  • Number of Pedals: 3

Gator G-Bone 5 Pedalboard

With great deals available on this pedalboard used, it’s the best option on this list for most guitarists. At just 3.5 lbs., this durable plastic board is light, efficient, and cleverly designed. It holds five pedals, which is plenty for a small or medium sized gig.

The velcro surface offers easy mounting, and a convenient carry-bag is included with the board. While it may not be as visually appealing as some of the aluminum options, the G-Bone offers immense value and practicality. Plus, it’s got a cool name and logo, but I digress.

  • Powered: Yes
  • Number of Pedals: 5

Gator G-Mini-Bone

If you’re looking for something small, light, and simple, the Gator G-Mini-Bone is your best choice. At only 12.5” long and 2 lbs., it’s one of the most portable pedalboards on the market.

The little brother of the Gator G-Bone, it’s made of the same high-quality plastic and also offers velcro for securing your pedals quickly and easily. The board includes a small, lightweight carrying bag and is the simplest option for guitarists on the go. The only drawback is that you can’t tack on a power supply for your pedals. Oh well.

  • Powered: No
  • Number of Pedals: 3

Pedaltrain Metro 16 with Hard Case

Sleek, lightweight, and durable, the Pedaltrain Metro 16 is a premium three-rail aluminum board that offers plenty of customization and heavy duty construction for the guitarist who gigs often (or just wants a pretty-looking pedal station for their home).

At only 1.6 lbs., the board itself is among the lightest on the market. Plus, a secret agent-style hard case is included and ready for a long life on the rocky road. Not only will the case protect all of your pedals, it’s also a great place to store your strings and picks. The Pedaltrain Metro 16 includes velcro straps and zip ties for an elegant and simple rig that’s easy to transport. Grab it used for around $50.

  • Powered: No
  • Number of Pedals: 4-6

Whether you’re a busy working musician or a bedroom guitarist with a growing collection of stompboxes, there’s a pedalboard out there made just for you. And the best part? These things are so durable that you really don’t need to buy them brand new. With the money you’ll save buying used, you can probably pick up a few sweet new pedals to cram into it. Happy gigging!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rick Belluso is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ninebuzz, a boutique music software company based in Rhode Island, USA. They make the metronome app Drum Beats+ (Top 50 — App Store/Music), Guitar Jam Tracks - Scale Trainer (Top 25 — Guitar World Magazine) and several other lead practice guitar apps.

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