#1
I've played acoustics for quite a few years and just picked up an Epiphone LP to mess around with. As an acoustic guy, I'm intimidated: selector switch, volume and tone on the guitar; gain, bass, treble and volume on the amp.

Can someone point me to some basic instructional material covering the electric side of the instrument? All the beginner books I've looked at are about fretting, chords and the like. I know that part cold.
Dave Bowers

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Last edited by davebowers at Jul 24, 2015,
#2
I don't know about instructional materials but the basics of the controls are well documented.

Selector switch chooses which pickup you're using, generally those closer to the neck have less bite and are a bit more mellow. On an LP you can also select both simultaneously.

Volume is just how loud the signal coming from the guitar is, generally it mostly affects how the amp/effects react to the signal.

Turning down the tone cuts off some treble, making the sound more mellow and muffled.

On the Epi you probably have a volume and tone for each pickup; the bottom ones will be for the bridge pickup, the top ones for the neck.

Gain is closely related to volume and generally concerns how distorted your amp sound is.

Bass, mids (if you have a control for that) and treble are all part of the EQ. Basically they concern how much of which frequencies come out of the amp.
Mids is where the "body" of the guitar sound is, since that's where the actual notes' frequencies are. Higher mids make things punchier, lower make them sound a bit more hollow.
Treble is where a lot of the pick sound and "attack" of the notes happens; turning it up you'll get more apparent harmonics and attack, but things might get a bit shrill. Turning it down will mellow things out, but possible take some definition out of the sound.
Bass is where some of the richness of the sound is. Turn it up and things sound smoother but might get muddy (indistinct), turn it down and you get more definition but things can sound hollow and rough (playing in bands the bass might need to be turned down to better accommodate the bassist's frequencies in the mix).

It's worth taking your time over EQ since a lot of guitarists have quite distinctive tones and this is where you can really shape your sound to your satisfaction.

Volume on the amp controls how loud the sound you hear is.

Some of that stuff was probably already apparent but I figured I'd just go from the basics for completeness' sake. Hope that helps
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#3
Quote by davebowers
I've played acoustics for quite a few years and just picked up an Epiphone LP to mess around with. As an acoustic guy, I'm intimidated: selector switch, volume and tone on the guitar; gain, bass, treble and volume on the amp.

Can someone point me to some basic instructional material covering the electric side of the instrument? All the beginner books I've looked at are about fretting, chords and the like. I know that part cold.


Don't over think the controls. Just play around with them to learn the effect they have on the tone of the guitar.
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#4
i'd start with the tone controls on the amp, bass mid and treble, at about 1/2 way. (also called "noon" or on 5/10 or half etc).

put the guitar vol knobs at 10 and tone knobs at 10.

then adjust vol level with the vol knob on the amp.

from there get to know your pup positions and what they sound like.

then find your way to the "gain" knob.
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#5
Quote by ppiluk
Don't over think the controls. Just play around with them to learn the effect they have on the tone of the guitar.

Good advice to not overthink them but I think if a guitarist intends to play any gig ever then they should really know what the controls do; EQ and everything are a key part of playing a decent set that the audience will properly enjoy.
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#6
Theres likely plenty of videos on youtube, but generally I find its better to sit and work it out yourself with the amp.

Everybody has their own idea as to what sounds good, and each amp has similar controls but will sound different. Especially with how much treble. Of course if your going to play with others in a band then theres a lot more to worry about, trying to not overlap each other.
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