I've had an electric guitar for ages and I really dunno what they do help pwease ^^
I'm sure someone can explain it better than me, but if you turn it so that it is zero, you get a 'muffled' sound - a tone control basically sucks out the treble.
Plug it into an amp. Turn volume up a bit. Hit a note then turn the dial. Listen. Tell me what happens.

It's 3am where I am and I don't want to find out /haven't even touched my tone dial in ages, forgot what it does.

google is my friend:

Quote by some guy

I'm guessing you have a standard electric guitar with a volume knob and a tone knob. The volume knob adjusts the volume of the output of the guitar, whereas the tone knob adjusts the tone (who would have thought it? ) Roll the tone knob all the way to the right when playing a single note, notice how the sound sorta changes? Roll it to the left, listen, then back to the right. This is a demonstration of what is meant by tone, and one of the ways in which you can change your tone.

Also, on that switch thing on your guitar, move it to different positions whilst playing a single note and listen to how the sound, or the tone, changes slightly in each position.


guy below me did a much better job.
Last edited by Invokke_Havokk at Feb 22, 2009,
well, if you turn it to 1, it will increase the bass, and give you a deeper sound, turning it to 10 will increase the treble, and give you more 'scratchy' and higher tone, if you have 2 tone pots, one of them will work for the neck pickup, while the other works for the bridge pickup
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To put it simply, they just give you a means of varying the sound from the guitar without playing with the amp settings, some guitarists roll the tone controls whilst soloing etc. to be honest as a newbie you probably should just leave them on 10 this will be the treble possition and use the amp controls instead.
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It controls the sharpness of your sound. A high tone setting gives a clear, crisp and more penetrating guitar tone. Rolling the tone back gives a more muffled sound. Practically speaking, just imagine you are playing music out of a stereo. If you are really close to the speaker, the sound is super clear. That's what the tone will sound like if you turn your tone knob up. Conversely, if you are 100m away from the stereo, the sound is a lot more muffled (no where near as crisp). That's the effect of turning your tone knob down.

If you want some examples: most pop and rock guitar sounds have the tone knob all the way up. Jazz on the other hand has the tone knob almost all the way down.
The tone control on a guitar cuts treble. When it's up full then that's the "normal" sound, turning it down cuts back the higher frequencies.
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