Balancing Clean and Overdriven Levels

By Andy Bassford

I’ve always found it a challenge to balance preset clean and overdriven lead sounds, especially in a festival or multi-act setting where setup time is limited. What seems to work for me is to play clean six string chords at roughly the volume I’m going to play and get a tone I [...]

Managing Your Onstage Volume

By Rat

Always begin your gig with a low volume setting, and never go too loud. How do you know that you’ve gone too loud? Well, if you feel that you’ve won the loudness battle against the bassist and the keyboardist, you’re too loud. During your soundcheck take a long cable and get off the [...]

Turn Your Amp Around

By Phil Ockelford

Turn your amp the wrong way around; better still, point it at a wall/reflective surface. Why? Firstly, no-one is now in it’s direct line of fire, so they won’t get their face peeled off as you thunder away. This has the added bonus that you can now turn it up louder than you [...]

A Cure for Boomy Amps

By Andrew

Is your amp booming in the low end while on stage? Find a way to tilt it back. A normally supported bass can couple with the floor, making the whole stage a giant subwoofer!

Dial in Tones Using a Looper

By Eric Eldridge

When you are trying to set your all of your knobs for your pedals or amp, a looper pedal can make your life much easier. Put your looper pedal first in your pedal board, then record a dynamic loop with a soft chord, a louder chord, and single notes with varying volume. [...]

Volume Pedal in the Amp’s Effect Loop


Volume pedal in the loop (after effects): allows you to crank the amp’s preamp for gain and tone while maintaining a lower volume at home. On the gig, allows you to clean up gain by turning down guitar vol. knob while raising amp vol. with the pedal.

Visualize Before You Play

By Zombie

Envision your hands playing the particular scale/chord you wish to enhance on, if you visualize it without playing it, you visualize the final destination and a path on how to get there.

Warm Up Your Guitars. And Strings. And Hands.

By Double D

Playing in temperate areas, or touring can result in unstable tuning. When at all possible, get your guitars as close to the stage lights or a warm area of the venue and let them warm up before you attempt to tune up. In winter especially, I often won’t tune up beyond a [...]

EQ Your Guitar to the Band

By Ryan Landes

For the best tone I Eq my amp to the mix of the band, I play to the drums and bass, adjust my tone so it pops out, and compliments the big picture. It’s easy to reach for the volume to be heard, that just squashes the rest of the band, (and makes [...]

Use Three Mics on Your Amp

By Dann Valentino

Let say you want to record big, open guitar riffs with nice bottom end (Works fine for cleans too).. You’ll need 3 mics – My way to do this is with SM57 In front, a condenser mic on any other speaker and SM58 inside the cabinet…yes, a SM58 inside.. I told this [...]