Friday, November 21, 2008

Those little knobs on the guitar - part 2

Two months have gone by since I wrote Those little knobs on the gutiar and I've progressed in how I'm using them. I figure it's time for round two.

For single volume, single tone knobbed guitars, not much has changed. I use volume to control the amount of gain and tone to control the tone. Simple enough.

Using my 4 knob (volume for each pick up and tone for each pickup) has evolved some. I realized I can't constantly be tweaking 4 knobs so I've come up with a hybrid method that only uses the volume knobs. I set both volumes at 7 (which is balanced for my guitar) and set up my amp and pedals to gain and EQ as I like. This works great for most stuff but I've always had a problem, specifically to the style of music most worship stuff follows - mellow lead lines (like in How Great is our God or Enough sound a little thin and when a song gets loud my chords can get lost in the mix. My solution before was to switch to the neck pickup for mellow stuff and bridge pickup when the chords are getting lost. That works but it's kind of abrupt and extreme.

Lately I've been using my volume knobs to use both pickups but blend them towards the bridge pickup for towards the neck pickup. When I want the mellow stuff, I'll keep both pickups on (toggle switch in the middle) but turn the volume up for the neck pickup (also bumps the gain which I like because playing single note stuff doesn't give as much gain as digging into chords). When it goes to chordal stuff I'll put the neck pickup back to 7 so they're balanced. If we get to a particularly loud part where my guitar isn't cutting, instead of switching all the way to the bridge pickup I'll leave the pickups blended but turn up the volume on the bridge pickup, or possibly turn the neck pickup volume down if I'm really digging in and getting too much gain.

So far this has been working great and and it gives a lot more control over my tone than just switching between pickups.

Here's a graphic to illustrate. I don't have photoshop on this computer so I had to make in in MS Paint like it's 1991. If it doesn't help, at least it will be funny to look at...

1 comment:

Karl said...

Nice post, Mike. Extremely informative...I know I'm still not using those guitar controls to their full potential.

And Paint is the best program ever. No, ever.