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  1. #1
    BluesLover
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    Default Options for controlling guitar volume?

    Seems there's often these two strategies, or preferences...some of us control volume from the guitar (for convenience) with the amp volume set at or near 10. The other approach is to set the guitar volume to 10 (supposedly to get the max performance from the pickups) and control the volume from the amp.

    I'd like to hear others' experience with these basic strategies.

    Doug

  2. #2
    BluesTalker
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    Default

    Hi Doug,
    I fall into the first group, most of the time. I like the amp turned up and use my guitar to control the volume.
    Marky

    Remember the music is not in the guitar

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    Default

    I have to agree with Marky. I like the amp turned up loud and use the guitar volume and tone controls to control the sound. I find it is more flexible and easier to do live, especially in the middle of a song.

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    Default

    when i initially set my volume, i turn the amp as loud as i will use it for whoever im jamming with, then control the volume with my guitar.
    i dont want to crank the amp to 10 unless im using my ac4......if i did that with my ac30, then somehow hit a pothole on the stage that made me jerk the volume knob, it would sound very bad.
    I'll have my drink in hand and just give cold stares at my guitar from across the room and say out loud, "this could be you in my hand but you wanted to suck so now you just sit over there and think about that for awhile".---------sam_in_cali

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    Default

    Sounds like most everyone does the same with controlling the volume with your guitar and keep the amp cranked up. I do the same with my harp. i keep the amp cranked up and control the volume with the mike pick up control knob.
    Rdrokit Power channel, rock/blues & roadhouse music.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc4...9lEgoWa39iqEgA

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  10. #6
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    Thanks Rdrokit, helter, Kerry, and Marky. This makes complete sense.

    I've been a folk-style guitarist since 1963; evolved to Delta & Piedmont Blues styles around 1967; but only picked up electric Blues in 2008 after I stopped playin on stage. I'm still learning some of the basics and so many variables about the interaction between electric guitar, amps, and tone.

    So, do you think it's true that, as I just "play with" my new toys in the den, setting the guitar volume to max then adjusting the volume at the amp, brings out the best from my pickups?

    Doug

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    Playing in the den for yourself is very different than playing live. Playing live is about the audience who don't care much about your tone. They just want to dance, clap, or tap their foot. Playing in your den is about pleasing yourself so tone is very important. I play differently and set my controls very differently live or at home. Generally at home I am very finicky. Live I just try to find somewhere to sit in the mix and make the song better. Lately I've been trying my hand at songwriting and playing open mics to see what works for a singer/songwriter setup. That is very different as there is no mix, just you, your voice, and your guitar. Again though I tend to play a lot simpler and just try to get the audience into it. As long as my guitar sounds OK live it works. The reason I use my guitar volume and tone when playing electric live is the audience and other band members tend to get pissed off if you spend a lot of time playing with things rather than playing music. Live with a band the time between songs kills the atmosphere so the less time spent there the better.

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    Of course there is no right answer except for the answer that works for you (at any given moment in time). I've used the guitar volume control to go from clean to mean. I've used a clean boost pedal to push my amp into overdrive. These days, I set y amp pretty clean, and use light overdrive to get to a more singing tone. Even with all of this, I still use my guitar volume too. All useful tools in the arsenal. Use them all to advantage.

    My current setup includes 3 different overdrive pedals AND a clean boost. I start out with the clean boost off, the overdrive of choice for the song turned on, and the volume on my guitar turned down to about 8. If I need a little "more" I can either turn up the guitar volume, or step on the clean boost. If I need a lot more, I can also hit another overdrive pedal and take advantage of stacking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesHawk View Post
    Thanks Rdrokit, helter, Kerry, and Marky. This makes complete sense.

    I've been a folk-style guitarist since 1963; evolved to Delta & Piedmont Blues styles around 1967; but only picked up electric Blues in 2008 after I stopped playin on stage. I'm still learning some of the basics and so many variables about the interaction between electric guitar, amps, and tone.

    So, do you think it's true that, as I just "play with" my new toys in the den, setting the guitar volume to max then adjusting the volume at the amp, brings out the best from my pickups?

    Doug
    not necessarily. when youre in a good band, that band is gonna have good dynamics. theyre gonna be playing loud at times and playing not so loud at times, and everywhere in between. youre gonna want to be able to control your loudness with both your pick attack and your guitars volume knob. otherwise youre gonna be running over to your amp all the time, and that would suck. sometimes the best tones happen when youve barely got your guitar volume on....it just depends on whats going on at the time.
    I'll have my drink in hand and just give cold stares at my guitar from across the room and say out loud, "this could be you in my hand but you wanted to suck so now you just sit over there and think about that for awhile".---------sam_in_cali

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  17. #10
    BluesLover
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    Quote Originally Posted by heltershelton View Post
    not necessarily. when youre in a good band, that band is gonna have good dynamics. theyre gonna be playing loud at times and playing not so loud at times, and everywhere in between. youre gonna want to be able to control your loudness with both your pick attack and your guitars volume knob. otherwise youre gonna be running over to your amp all the time, and that would suck. sometimes the best tones happen when youve barely got your guitar volume on....it just depends on whats going on at the time.
    Thanks, HS. You're more experienced and knowledgeable than me. I value your opinion on that. But the question was, "So, do you think it's true that, as I just "play with" my new toys in the den, setting the guitar volume to max then adjusting the volume at the amp, brings out the best from my pickups?"

    What do you think?

    Doug

 

 

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