No pictures in this one. Just a bunch of words.
I've had to kind of chuckle recently. I've seen and heard this several times, and it doesn't make sense to me.
At some point in our musical journey, we've all had that mega-pedalboard with enough pedals on it that we could recreate the sound of any popular song ever written and recorded if we were asked to do so. I had that once. It was like 3 foot by 2 1/2 foot double stacked in places, and so unwieldy that it never actually got out of my practice space. I did like most, and whittled it down and settled for the 6 or 7 or 8 pedals that I find myself using most and put them on a modest board. Not too big. Not too small.
Then we hit the minimalist stage where we started getting much smaller boards and sticking 3 pedals, maybe 4 tops, and using that. Tuner, an OD, maybe a delay or reverb, and that's about it. That, to me is the minimalist board. Not all 400 pedals tucked away in the closet. Not even the 8 or 10 usual suspects. Just the bare minimum we feel we need to get the job done.
Now I'm seeing guys talking about their "minimalist" board. Except they're mis-defining "minimalist" as "small." They picked up one of the small boards somewhere, decide they're going to use a clip-on tuner (which isn't always great in a live environment), and load that small board up with the mini pedals that everyone seems to be making now. Heck, I saw one earlier this week that had 9 pedals crammed on it. All his buddies were solemnly shaking their heads and making comments about "that's bare bones" and "less is more." I wanted to tell them, that board was no less than anyone else's in the room. It was just smaller!
Please understand that a minimalist approach to pedals is fewer pedals, not the same amount that you always use only with a smaller footprint. Words mean things. If you have more than 4 pedals on your board, I wouldn't consider it a minimalist board.
Yes, I have a bare bones board. I call it my Triple B. I'm a bit of a hypocrite with my statement above because my Triple B actually has 5 pedals on it. Tuner > always on Klone > OD > delay > something else that rarely gets used (reverb, tremolo, etc). The only reason I have 5 on it is because they're all full size pedals, and the board was built for 5 of them. So by adding the fifth, it doesn't leave a gap at the end or the others weirdly, widely spaced. The days that I'm truly doing the minimalist thing, I just throw a tuner and OD in my bag and call it a day.
Snarf is a wannabe musician who currently resides in the great state of Texas. His wife is his favorite. If Coca Cola was alcohol, he'd be a raging alcoholic. He dislikes going to the grocery store. And he still misses his dog who was taken by cancer 2 years ago. Check out his Reverb shop and see if he has any gear he's trying to get rid of.