How To Get A Good Sound From An Unfamiliar Guitar Amp

Learning how to quickly get a good sound from an amp you have never used before is an important skill. It’s not uncommon these days for clubs or venues to supply their own amps on top of their house sound system. Reasons for this might be anything from space issues to time constraints, as having their own amps will help lessen the time between band setups. And if you’re one of the many players out there who book time at a rehearsal studio for practice sessions, being able to use the in-house amps quickly will give you more time to do what you’re paying for. Read on for three key tips on how to quickly get a good sound from an unfamiliar amp.


Set Everything To The Flat Or Off Position

There’s no reason you should spend valuable time trying to blindly figure out controls you have never worked on before. Instead, always start from scratch by setting everything to the off or flat position. This includes everything from the EQ, gain controls, and especially built-in effects. They key here is to be able to listen to what the amp sounds like with nothing but your instrument. After you have a good sense of what you’re working with, you can begin to figure out what elements in your tone are missing and go from there.


Gradually Fix Your Guitar Tone

After you’ve set everything on the amp to its flat or off position, listen to what might be missing or what you might have too much of. For example, maybe the amp is naturally too boomy with your instrument, or maybe it’s too bright. Try using the onboard controls on your guitar first. If that doesn’t correct the problem, you can start using the amp to correct any issues. Remember to dial it in gradually and keep on listening until you have something that is acceptable.


Don’t Experiment With Unfamiliar Sounds

While it can get pretty tempting trying to get your sound just right and even start messing with some of the onboard effects, now is not the time to experiment. Not only does this take a lot more time, you could end up with something that may not work for your entire set. Instead go for a simple, natural tone that you can work with for all of your songs. And don’t forget, you can always use your effects pedals to further color your sound. This allows you to work with sounds you are already familiar with.




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In Conclusion …

If you’re an up and coming musician getting with a few gigs under their belt or a fresh guitarist looking to break into the scene, you need to be versatile and learn how to work with what you have in any given situation. By using the three tips above, you should be able to crank out a good tone without wasting time trying to figure out unfamiliar equipment. In the end, it’s not the equipment, it’s how you use it.



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What are some other tips on using unfamiliar amps?

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