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If you are like me, you are obsessed with gear. Be it drums, guitars, drum accessories, or guitar accessories, I am constantly checking out sites like Reverb to see what is on the market.
This has inevitably led me to acquire numerous guitar pedals, which in turn led to the need to keep them more organized instead of being scattered across the floor.
The best way to keep pedals organized is, of course, to use a pedalboard. Pedalboards come in numerous designs and sizes and are an excellent way to keep everything set up exactly how you want them.
One big challenge with pedalboards is determining how you want to attach the pedals to the board. Some issues need to be overcome, like the rubber on the bottom of the pedals that can make attaching pedals more challenging.
Velcro has traditionally been the most common method, but it is by no means the only method that can be utilized. So what are some of these methods?
Many alternatives to Velcro can be used to attach pedals to pedalboards. Some of these methods include using cable ties, hair ties, dual lock tape, and specifically designed pedalboard tape, fastening pedals directly to the board with products like Smart Track® and Holeyboard pedalboards that do not utilize Velcro.
Below I will dive into more detail about each of these Velcro alternatives. By the end of this article, you will have an excellent idea of which method to use for your pedalboard.
Method #1: Cable Ties
The first method is also the most cost-effective alternative to Velcro. Cable ties come in various sizes, so finding the sizes you need for your various pedals shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Some exceptions might be some of the larger pedals, in which case you might need to connect a couple of cable ties to make it work.
Cable ties are great because they will save you lots of money, and you can buy them in bulk at an extremely low cost at any local hardware store or online.
The big plus side with using cable ties is that it eliminates one of the major issues with using Velcro, which is how easily hair and dirt collect on the surface. Eliminating the Velcro component makes cleaning and keeping the pedalboard and pedals clean easy. This is especially true if you have a metal pedalboard, as you just need to keep up with the dusting to keep them clean.
The biggest downside to using cable ties is that it is not going anywhere once you have secured the pedal to the board. While this is certainly a positive thing regarding keeping the pedal secure to the board, it is also very inconvenient if you want to move your pedals around or swamp them out.
The video below shows a simple way to attach pedals to a homemade rig using cable ties.
If you are someone who is constantly swapping out pedals or rearranging the order on your board, this method might not be for you. Of course, removing cable ties is easy, requiring only a pair of scissors, but it can still become tedious.
If nothing else, cable ties can be used to secure down wires and patch cables to clean up the look of your board and keep those patch cables well out of the way.
Method #2: Hair Ties
I am going to be honest. I had never considered using hair ties to secure pedals to a pedalboard until I stumbled across Chuck’s YouTube video below. Thanks to Chuck’s Guitar Geekery for this cool, simple, and cost-effective alternative to Velcro.
Hair ties are going to be about the same price range as cable ties, so even if this method does not work how you might like, it is not going to put you out very much money, so it is certainly worth a shot!
This is a method I will try out in the future, as I like to mix and match my pedals frequently, and many of the other methods of securing pedals down can be a pain to swap out.
As with any method, you should first try it out in a safe environment, like your house, just in case a pedal isn’t fully secured to the board. The last thing you want to happen is to move your pedalboard and have your pedals fall off and be damaged.
Method #3: 3M Dual Lock Tape
Method number three is similar to Velcro, but many players seem to have much better success with this method regarding how well the pedals stay put. Plus, the board doesn’t get dirty as fast as with Velcro. Another bonus with 3M Dual Lock tape is that it won’t leave a residue on your board if you decide to get rid of it.
While other competitors are on the market, 3M stands above the rest regarding quality and longevity. It is a bit pricey, coming in at around USD 28 on Amazon for a one-inch by four-foot roll, but that amount should be plenty for your pedalboard.
Of course, some have not had success with 3M Dual Lock tape, but the overwhelming majority of those who have used it report on forums, like The Gear Page, that it works incredibly well for them.
3M Dual Lock is designed for industrial use, which means it is a heavy-duty material. It utilizes tiny mushroom-shaped heads that lock into place with one another (where the dual lock name comes from) and makes a very secure bind.
The video below shows 3M Dual Lock tape in action (with a small strip of Velcro). If you skip to about the 5:10 mark, you can see how strong the tape is as the board is shaken, and the pedals are attempted to be pried off without any luck.
In my opinion, 3M Dual Lock tape is worth trying out, and the cost is more than reasonable for the quality of the product you are receiving. A bonus is that there will be plenty of other uses for the tape you do not use on your pedalboard.
Method #4: Pedalboard Tape
Very similar to the 3M product is specially designed pedalboard tape. The technology is essentially the same, with the only big difference being that it is made specifically for pedalboards and will not be as heavy-duty as the 3M Dual Lock tape.
Scotch brand dual locking tape (owned by 3M) will be very similar to pedalboard tape, meaning it is not as heavy-duty. This doesn’t mean this is an inferior choice to 3M because you do not need an industrial-quality product for your pedals.
The GODLYKE power-grip pedalboard mounting tape is the most well-known brand and has a 4.5-star review on Amazon with over 730 reviews.
A big benefit of choosing this instead of 3M is that it is about half the price, currently coming in at $14.95 on Amazon.
There are also other brands of pedalboard tape that don’t use locking technology, such as Blackbird pedalboard tape. A 9-foot roll only costs $5.99, so it is a much cheaper alternative. However, there is a disclaimer that it is designed specifically for certain Blackbird brand pedalboards, so if you do not own one of their boards, that should be considered.
Method #5: Securing the Pedals With Screws
This method is also called the “bike chain” method, as the easiest way to screw your pedals to your pedalboard is by using an old bike chain.
To use this method properly, you will need to break apart an old bike chain (make sure it is clean first!). Next, you will unscrew the screws on the bottom of your pedal board, then screw in one side of the bike chain link. After that, you will screw down the other link directly to your pedalboard.
This method makes for a very secure pedalboard, and although it is easier to use this method with a wooden pedalboard, it is possible to do this to a metal pedalboard as long as you have the right drill bit. It is imperative always to wear eye protection while doing this, especially if you are drilling into a metal pedalboard.
This method is excellent for a very secure pedalboard, but it can leave lots of unwanted holes if you decide to move your pedals around or opt for a different method later.
This method is a bit more complex than some of the other methods in this article, and it is easier to see how to do it, so check out this excellent tutorial video below.
Method #6: Smart Track®
Smart Track® is a relatively new product to the market and one that I have been interested in purchasing. The idea is similar to screwing down pedals, but it bypasses the step of messing with attaching bike chain links to the pedalboard.
The Smart Track® pedalboard is grooved, so when you place your pedal where you want to go, you secure its fasteners to the board with a flathead screwdriver, and that is all there is to it.
This method is both secure and easy to change, making it one of the more universal methods on this list. It is also one of the cleanest and neatest methods on the list. The downside is the cost, with kits ranging from $95 to over $400, depending on your needs.
This short video will give you a better idea of what the Smart Track® has to offer.
Method #7: Holeyboard
The last method on our list is the Holeyboard. This board is designed with numerous holes to use either cable ties or screws to secure the pedals to the board.
The Holeyboard is essentially like combining methods one and four. The upside to the Holeyboard is that it is specifically designed for securing pedals with these methods, whereas other pedalboards are not.
Holeyboards range in price from around $90 for the mini version to about $200 for the top-of-the-line version.
As you can see, there are many options besides Velcro to secure your pedals to your pedalboard. The good news is that if you are still deciding which method to use, most are relatively inexpensive, so you can experiment with the different methods to find the one that works best for you.
Good luck with your pedalboard designs!
Hi everyone! I have been involved with music most of my life, beginning in grade school with the trumpet. I am a largely self-taught multi-instrumentalist (drums, guitar, bass, and starting the piano and violin). I currently play drums in two rock/folk cover bands and write and produce many genres of music in my home recording studio. I am also an avid guitar and drum collector.