That is what some guitarists still think of even the rest of the band cannot even be heard anymore

This is a real issue for me I would say though, that comes when playing rythm and solo on the same guitar in the same song. For instance, yesterday I played Whole Lotta Love. Then when the solo comes it just comes out too quiet in relation to the rythm I just played. After all, it's just single notes as compared to the rythm power chords where 2-3 strings are hit at the same time. After increasing the volume of the solo in software it sounded a lot better. A solo that comes out too low can be super lame sound-wise I would say. You kind of don't hear it, it feels like some rythm stuff in the background almost. As a listener I lose attention after a while.

Is this just me experiencing this issue? Perhaps my guitar is badly balanced, so that the solo that mostly is played on the top strings come out a bit quiet? But, I've heard cover bands where the guitarists goes from rythm to solo, and plays a great solo but way too low according to me. With distortion turned on, the volume knob on the guitar doesn't help alot, do many of you use a volume pedal instead? Should I add a compressor? Scared to loose some dynamics though, the distortion should compress a lot already too?

Feel free to share any of your experiences and opinions on this.
I have 4 boost pedals, a clean boost, Ac Booster , BB Preamp and A Fuzz -

the trick is to properly gain stage for your performance - if I need to go from clean to a clean solo I use the clean boost. If I m going from clean to dirty I can use any of the 3 drive pedals, which are all set louder than my clean channel.

For dirty to dirty solo, i use my amp drive channel and then use one of the pedals to boost it for a solo.

I find volume pedals and volume knobs to be less than ideal because you lose a bit of tone when rolling back the volume in front of the amp.
I always use a volume pedal, you don't lose a lot of treble like the volume knob on the guitar does. Tone stays almost the same, and it gives you any time volume control without stopping playing, just use your foot. After using one for 30 years I can't imagine playing without it any more. Can't figure how I ever did really...

I use a distortion pedal and overdrive, and sometimes just guitar and amp for leads. Depends on the sound I want. I set the amp volume so the guitar can stand out on leads when clean, then fine tune the pedals so I get a slight increase in volume, but not too much.

I set the overdrive so it has just a little gain, for a bit of a dirty sound, and the distortion pedal for low gain. You don't need as much gain onstage or with a band as you may think, and you need a lot less than you may normally use for practice by yourself. Took me several years to figure it out the hard way, wondering why my sound was always too muddy onstage. Backed off the gain, no problem ever since. Also try not to dial in too much bass on the amp, that will help make it muddy. I keep bass about halfway and use mids to accent the bass. More or less mids will make more difference than more or less bass.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
The amps I usually use either have multiple channels or a solo boost, so I can have separate rhythm and lead volumes. Sort of like reverb66 was saying with pedals, except built into the amp. An even easier live solution is if the soundman knows when you're going to solo, he can pump up your volume. That's a pretty rare instance though.

Also +1 to the last thing Paleo Pete said. Mids are your friend, especially for solos. Boosting the mids even without a change in volume will help you cut through and fills out the tone on your leads.
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Quote by reverb66
I find volume pedals and volume knobs to be less than ideal because you lose a bit of tone when rolling back the volume in front of the amp.

You're supposed to put the volume pedal in the loop.
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Tony Done

Yes, either FX loop or between the preamp and power amp. Either way works without crushing your tone.

To the OP:
As you can see there are a lot of different ways to skin this cat. I ride the guitar volume control a lot (Santana, Jimi, SRV, Clapton, Robben Ford), also kick in the gain channel for solos or punch in and OD pedal. Having several different gain stages at your disposal is the ticket. Typically I go for a 3-5db boost to get solos to cut through without smothering the rest of the band.
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Last edited by Cajundaddy at Aug 26, 2016,
I use a clean boost pedal before the overdives. It's a really old Fulltone Fatboost, and it just ups the volume and adds a little punch to the low end without messing with the tone of the heavier gain pedals.
Tony Done

I don't know what other loop you would put it in. :P
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Quote by reverb66
theogonia777 hmmm never thought of that of that - anyone try this ?

Pedal steel amps have been designed with two loops in them (one non-switchable for the volume pedal after the pregain section and then another switchable loop for effects like chorus and delay and whatnot) for the last 30 years. And steel players are lightyears ahead of guitarists in terms of technical development of volume pedal use. For a guitar player a volume pedal is a novelty and occasionally a boost. For a steel player a volume pedal is as much an integral part of playing as any other technique. It's probably just as integral to steel playing as a sustain pedal is to piano playing and maybe more.

So to answer your question, a lot of people have tried it.
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Aug 27, 2016,
Yep u need more pedals!.. could be a matter of kicking on a delay pedal, overdrive, or using a volume pedal to give your solo the emphasis you want
apart from using a boost pedal of some sort, another thing i do is have the pickup height on the treble side slightly higher than on the rhythm side, so that the higher strings naturally get a bit more presence and sustain.
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I'd recommend getting a clean boost just for the extra volume for leads. Set it during your sound check so it's not ear piercing loud and forget it.
Try to add a little bit delay and use boost pedal. Little bit reverb is okay too, depends on music tho.
Loads of great input here! What I can see is that

- Pedals are commonly used for this purpose
- The guitars pick-ups can be tilted to help in this
- Using an amplifier with two channels

I already tilted my pick-ups a lot, and it helped some. As far as I can see many people use pedals before the pre-amp to boost the volume. I have some thoughts but no experience on. If already on a lot of distortion it shouldn't help a lot as the distortion compresses (cuts) all peaks. Also it will add more gain before the preamp will make the guitar distort even more, which may not always be desirable. If having pretty low levels of distortion before boosting, it should work though. Is it like this, or does it work differently in practice?

It feels like adding a boost after the pre-amp and gain stage using a FX-loop would solve the aforementioned possible issues though.

Note that I'm not writing an instructional, I'm just reflecting some on what I just read and could be pretty wrong

I think I'll try a volume pedal in the FX-loop this week. Can't afford to buy one, but a pushbutton and a potentiometer is all that should be needed. What it would do is lowering the volume when activated. Needs no battery and shouldnt affect tone.
Volume knob and an overdrive/fuzz pedal always works for me. My overdrive (OD-2 from BYOC) is a tubescreamer clone (with mods) that has a separate boost built in. Check it out, its a great pedal!
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There's no need to get something fancy or put it in the effects loop to boost your volume during leads. There are a number of pedals out there that are just for enhancing tone with low gain.

And don't worry about driving the tubes. It actually takes a fair amount of power to cause tube breakup, and the kind of boost you're looking for isn't enough to cause breakup in the preamp.
^ i'm guessing that's a typo, but just in case anyone else is reading and gets confused, I'm guessing you mean "poweramp" there at the end?
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If you need a volume hike for solos and your rhythm tone isn't too dirty already, you can use an OD pedal of your choice to apply gain / volume (provided you have enough clean headroom on the amp.

If however you already have a pretty dirty and compressed signal, you could use a booster/eq in the FX, which will give you a clean volume (but not gain) boost.

You could also do the front end reverse boost trick whereby you set up you amp for full blown volume/solo mode (pedal off), then stomp on the pedal to reduce volume (and gain) for rhythm.

(I'm presuming you are using a single channel amp).