I know its a noob question but im confused. Does the volume knob in the guitar affect ANYTHING else besides the volume level? Because sometimes i read that in certain songs you need to lower the volume. Does it affect the sound of guitar more besides its level of loudness?

Also how does this apply to the pedal "level" and amp "normal volume"
If you are playing through a decent tube amp you could set your volume at 8 for rhythm, 10 for lead and roll it back to 5 or 6 to clean it up. It gives you a lot of options than just setting everything on 10. Its very useful when playing with another guitar player. He rolls it to 10 for lead you roll yours back a bit to give him room.

This is on a LP but it gives a good showing on how useful volume/tone knobs can be on guitars.
Last edited by cheesefries at Feb 18, 2014,
Yes, if the amp is pretty cranked up lowering the guitar volume will clean up the tone. Watch Gary Moore on Youtube as he uses this technique a lot.
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Feb 18, 2014,
In my guitar with actives, yes. Lowering the volume roles back the gain a little and tightens up the sound. But, on my guitar with passives, it doesn't do anything.
Yes it cuts the output which affects the sound.
"These strings will last longer and sound better because I said so."- Dave Mustaine
It definitely alters the tone. Play around with it (especially with a good tube amp like cheesefired said)!
yeah it does.

if you're playing into a totally clean amp, it'll just affect the volume.

that's no fun (playing into a clean amp), so crank up the distortion. now your volume knob will act more like a distortion control- lower it and the sound will clean up. it'll totally clean up if you're not playing with too much distortion, but if you're playing with really heavy distortion it might only clean it up back to a lighter crunch tone.

also rolling the volume knob down sometimes cuts the highs as well, so it can be used (sorta) like a poor man's tone control too. you can add a capacitor to the volume knob to prevent the treble loss if that annoys you. though some people say that goes too far and thins out the tone (different values etc. will affect exactly how it sounds, and you can use slightly more involved fixes of a capacitor and a resistor to fine tune exactly how the treble response is when the volume is rolled back).

Quote by Tylander
In my guitar with actives, yes. Lowering the volume roles back the gain a little and tightens up the sound. But, on my guitar with passives, it doesn't do anything.

there's something wrong with your guitar with passives, then. it should work with passives too.
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As well as controlling the volume, the volume knob actually slightly rolls off some of the very high frequencies in your sound when you turn it down, unless you have a treble-bleed mod installed.

If you're using a distorted setting on an amp it will usually start to reduce the amount of gain as you turn it down, resulting in a progressively cleaner sound, before you notice an actual drop in volume.

Some people find the volume knob useful because of the way it can interact with a distorted amp or a fuzzbox, other people find it useless because of the way it rolls off the high end "sparkle".
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
Yes, with a cranked tube amp. Lower the volume so that light picking will sound clean. Strum hard to get a light crunch. Increase the volume and you get a good distortion. All without touching the amp knobs.