Tech Tip:Being a Dynamic Player: Part 1

Part 1 | Part 2


The Volume Control Goes Both Ways

In the years I have spent playing in bands I have had many chances to see many other bands perform. One thing I have noticed about guitar players is that many of them do not understand the concept that the volume control turns to the right too, thus reducing the volume of the guitar. Guitar players for some reason always want to play louder than the rest of the band. I was guilty of this myself when I first stated playing in a band. While we are showing off our guitar-playing skills we do not realize just how much damage we are doing to the sound of the entire mix. Guitar players need to understand that there are other musicians on the stage with them. They are there to be heard in the mix too and complement your playing as your playing should complement them as well. Drowning band mates out with your sonic wall of sound does not accomplish this complementary sound.

The volume control on your guitar is essentially a built-in effects unit. It can be used in so many creative ways to improve your sound as well as the sound of the band as a whole. Turning it up and down very fast while a single note is sounding is a great effect and is used quite frequently by many of the world's best players. Smooth volume swells are very dynamic tools to add to your bag of tricks. You can also start a lead out at a lower volume and gradually turn up the volume as you play. The same rule applies here though. Don't end up turning it up so loud that the rest of the band gets drowned out. It takes some practice to learn to manipulate the volume control while playing, but it is well worth the effort.

In Part Two of "Being a Dynamic Player" we will talk about collaborating with the band.

Gary Allen Gary Allen is a freelance writer for the
Guitar Alliance website.

He has 14 years experience playing guitar and drums for
local country and rock bands in Washington state.