Live Playing: Anyone use the volume knob?

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by Dr Improbable, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Squier-holic

    Apr 4, 2015
    In the past, I always used my volume to go from lead volume back down to rhythm. I've been away from playing out for a good 13 years, and I notice that a lot of guitar players just set their rhythm volume and mash on a boost for leads. Is this the norm? How does that work for you? What do you use? Any old overdrive?
  2. Stratlover84

    Stratlover84 Squier-Nut

    Jun 16, 2016
    Depends. If I have only one volume and one tone, then yes, tweaking of the volume and tone will happen. But also depends if I am using an overdrive pedal, or if I am using a multieffects pedal/foot pedal and switching between saved presets or banks.

    Now, if I am using a Les Paul or SG with independent volume and tone for each pickup, then I just switch between pickups with the volumes and tones already set for each.

    That is the beauty of different guitars, and rigs. Each setup requires some flexibility and tweaking to get the desired effect :D
  3. jefffam

    jefffam Dr. Squier

    Jan 26, 2015
    Portland, TN
    While I have never been at the level of many of you folks, and never will be...when playing at the local amateur night, I've always used both the volume & tone. I may not change in the middle of songs, but for individual songs, I will set both, relying on the pickup switch for changes within a song. As I said, I'm just a hack hobbyist, not at the pro or semi-pro level of many of you, but that is my take on the volume & tone knobs.

    Added into it is any Strat is converted to a 1 volume / 1 master tone knob, rather than the original two tone.
  4. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Feb 10, 2010
    I always use the controls of the guitar/bass whatever they may be regardless of any effects or amp.

    Actually thinking about it, back when I first started out that's what I did -set the controls on the guitar and step on the DOD Overdrive 250 preamp for that boost. It works for many people, but I have gained a better handle on what the sound is once I started to use the rest of the guitar. YMMV
  5. fadetoz

    fadetoz Squier-holic

    Jun 29, 2011
    It all depends on what your playing. I prefer using the volume when possible but also have used the clean channel and then switch to a overdrive or dist channel without using the volume knob. I think it depends on your setup. I use the volume knob all the time on my Fender Tweed amp but my Jet City 2 channel amp I can just switch between channels. Just got to find what works for you and your setup.
    Kenneth Mountain and dbrian66 like this.
  6. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Squier-Axpert

    Dec 12, 2009
    Swanton Ohio
    I seldom mess with the vol when playing, except for effects..But then I don't really think of rhythm or lead..I just play guitar..
  7. xtomx2000

    xtomx2000 Squier-Nut

    Jun 7, 2014
    Hamburg, Germany
    Using the volume knob a lot but never touch the tone knob(s) for some reason, I guess it is because tone knobs usually are just too far away from my right hand making them difficult to reach when playing.

    The volume knob, however, is easy to reach on most guitars, so I use it. Not sure, though, when exactly I use it. It is just a thing I do when I play guitar ... I guess I am inline with PJ;-)
  8. dtsreiuqs

    dtsreiuqs Squier-Nut

    Oct 18, 2015
    Well yes Dr Improbable, in the past I used my guitar volume as you did, with no effect but a wah, and rely on the amp to give the tone, from clean to overdriven. Due to the requirements of my band, needing for more versatility, I had to find a compromise :


    I alternate between the master volume of the guitar and the master volume of the amp, depending on the situation. So a guitar with only a master tone and a master volume pots is perfect for me, the master volume pot being fitted with a treble bleed in accordance.

    I mainly use the master volume of the guitar to balance my volume level in clean sound versus the rest of the band. For overdriven tone, I'm more akeen to adjust my volume level on the amp (which need then to be accessible and no-hassle to set-up) and sometimes reduce the overdrive level on the master volume of the guitar, or correct the setting of my overdrive pedal.

  9. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Squier-holic

    Apr 4, 2015
    Yeah, I'm inclined to use the guitar vol, as it's what I'm most comfortable doing. I really don't use pedals.

    That's a really hip Danelectro, btw!

    Thanks for all the input folks!
    Kenneth Mountain and dbrian66 like this.
  10. dtsreiuqs

    dtsreiuqs Squier-Nut

    Oct 18, 2015
    Yes, I agree - like you, I feel it's the best solution, but unfortunately I can't use very often :(...

    Yes, thanks ! But it's a "Fake Lefty Dano 59 Custom Solid-Body One-Of-A-Kind" model ;) :


  11. mechanic1908

    mechanic1908 Squier-Meister

    Mar 18, 2010
    I set my amp up so it's clean to the half way mark on the guitar volume then I can just up the guitar volume for some overdrive without having to be tethered to my pedals so to speak.
    SquierTap likes this.
  12. fuelish

    fuelish Squier-Nut

    Inches from your fingers is too far? LOL

    LOSTVENTURE Squier-Nut

    I've never had a lot of use for pedals, and I play everything pretty clean. So using the guitars volume control is pretty much normal with my setup. I don't play a Jaguar, or Jazzmaster, so much anymore, but when I did, those separate lead and rythem circuits really came in handy.
  14. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    The old ways are often the best ways... For 20+ years I never touched my volume or tone knobs... Much shame, lol... But, then again, ALL the bands I played with, and even my heros (Kurt Cobain was my biggest influence) never used the volume and tone controls... I guess it was a "90's" thing, and most people wanted to be as different from "traditional" as they could get...
    I've only recently learned about tone and how my guitar actually works... But from what I hear, back in the day, Clapton and alot of the greats seldom used pedals... They just set the amps to have as much overdrive/distortion as they'd need with the volume on their guitar dimed, then rolled it off til it cleaned up (thanks,"real" tube amps!) for clean tones... If it's good enough for Clapton, I'm sure it's good enough for us, lol...
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