#1
Is it better for serious, focused, chops-building electric guitar practice, to practice unplugged or plugged in? Opinions please!

Personally when i get down to business I do it unplugged w/ my trusty metronome, as this means NONE of my mistakes will be covered up by gain and I can really focus on accuracy and articulation. The only benefit I can see to plugging in is practice with muting symapthetic vibrations, or if the only thing you're into is palm muting...i believe even if your into heavy metal/shred or whatever ( i am into these genres ) that practicing unplugged will only further benefit your playing once plugged in.

My basic underlying principle being: if you can sound good unplugged with no dist/excessive gain levels/reverb to enhance your sound and mask your mistakes, your going to sound SUPURB when you crank ( or krank depending on your amp ) it up and still play with that flawless level of accuracy and articulation which is inevitably cultivated by playing unplugged.


PLEASE POST INTELLEGENTLY, WITH REAL REASONS/ANSWERS/OPINIONS!!!

BONUS: If you prefer to practice plugged in, do you practice in the clean or the dist. channel? ( this is a subjective question as some players ((depending on their style of play)) ONLY want t play clean and others ONLY want to play dist., and some preffer a happy medium and so forth...)
#2
If you play it unplugged you wouldnt even be able to play the same way plugged because you wont hear yourself.

If you are practicing techniques and whatnot, its better to first play it on clean so you know for sure you are doing it right.
#3
Hmmm. What I tend to do is learn new things at the night time so I have to play unplugged and it is handy to hear your technique raw.

Obviously you have to learn plugged in for things like pinch harmonics though. Just decide what suits the situation.

Things like shredding for example, you can't tell if you're playing properly unless you're amplified so you can hear the quality of your muting.
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#6
Correct learn it plugged in on clean. I sound great unplugged but it's a another level when your plugged in clean.
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#7
I been playing unplugged for some weeks because my amp are getting fixed an when I plugg in now it sounds much better. so you should definetely play unplugged (ore on clean)
#8
I play unplugged sometimes; Im a light picker so Im trying to muscle it up a bit. But if Im not working on that, I practice on clean. I almost never practice with distortion, unless Im doing a song, but even then I practice on clean first.
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#9
I typically learn thing unplugged first. I find you hear your errors much better this way. I would think the same could also be said if you played through a completely clean channel as well though. I wouldn't want to go straight to playing in front of people with proper effects if I'd only played unplugged/clean though. Distortion can do funny things at times, and songs should be practiced for awhile with the distortion too.
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#11
i do almost everything unplugged, except tapping, of course.
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#12
I play plugged in. All I do is use my clean channel with no effects whatsoever and a low volume along with my metronome. My metronome is pretty loud and I can't hear it over an unplugged guitar unless its acoustic.
#13
when you're a beginning guitarist unplugged sucks for you. its the same with acoustic guitar players picking up an electric. whatever they do theres always other strings making noise because they never learned to mute them strings correctly.
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#14
When I am first learning a song I practice it on my acoustic guitar, but when I have the hang of it and can play it well I play it on overdrive on my electric guitar.
#15
I play unplugged usually out of lazyness. However, try a song that you are really good at with distortion, and try it on a clean setting. You might find that it's really sloppy. Good for me that I haven't got a pedal for my Sound City amp yet, which doesn't actually have a drive/OD channel.
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#16
I usually practice on clean...same think as unplugged IMO except you can hear your mistakes better.
#17
depends on what type of player you want to be. Practicing clean is good at first, (RH and LH syncing) but when it comes down to it, if you wanna be a distortion player practice with distortion, or youre not gonna be able to mute properly and you'll be sloppy. ( I prefer doing both, but when I need to do some serious practicing its distortion, or else I'll get sloppy and won't be used to muting the thing I'm practicing when playing with dist)

edot: I didn't really answer your question, UNPLUGGED IS THE WORSE! Could form alot of bad habits, unless you plan on playing on stage unplugged ,
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#18
Plugged in with a clean tone dialed (no distortion or overdrive). Timing and picking inconsistancies are easily noticable.
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#19
I practice on my Valve Junior, so unless I'm playing really loud, I practice clean.
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#20
playing unplugged is not better for you, for the simple fact that you cant hear what you are playing as easily. plug in, but play through a clean channel (amps do have these yknow ). this is the best way to hear what you are playing clearly.

equally though, you do need to practice using overdrive/distortion too, because using these things properly is a skill in itself.
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#21
Quote by Gurgle!Argh!
playing unplugged is not better for you, for the simple fact that you cant hear what you are playing as easily. plug in, but play through a clean channel (amps do have these yknow ). this is the best way to hear what you are playing clearly.

equally though, you do need to practice using overdrive/distortion too, because using these things properly is a skill in itself.


Spot on.

Playing with distortion is important at times. It shows up even the smallest problems with string muting etc.

I practice 90% of the time plugged in.
#22
so it would be fine for me, a newbie, to play unplugged while i'm waiting for an amp to arrive?
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#23
i practice plugged in on clean or use an acoustic guitar (unplugged of course). considering getting a hollowbody because that way you can practice electric unplugged and still hear it
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#24
I play unplugged right now because I don't have an amp. Its good in a way because its not as conducive to go off and noodle. I can more easily stay focused on practicing with a metronome. I read in an interview once, that Eddy Van Halen practiced this way because when he plugged in, it used to drive his sisters crazy. But when I had an amp, I practiced clean and at low volume.
#25
Quote by pringa
so it would be fine for me, a newbie, to play unplugged while i'm waiting for an amp to arrive?


well, its not going to like, give you AIDS or anything...
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#26
all of the above. get good every way you can. no reason not to. i second the earlier comment about acoustic players sounding sloppy on electric. i spent about 3 years with nothing but an acoustic. when i got another electric and amp it was tough to learn not to beat it up so bad when i played it.

either way you decide to practice at any given time is fine, just don't ignore any of them.

and remember. practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect!
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#27
I think it's best to play plugged in, but on clean so no distortion or other effects can cover up your mistakes.

I don't think uplugged is the best, because you can hear some things better when plugged in.
#28
Quote by J_J
all of the above. get good every way you can. no reason not to. i second the earlier comment about acoustic players sounding sloppy on electric. i spent about 3 years with nothing but an acoustic. when i got another electric and amp it was tough to learn not to beat it up so bad when i played it.

either way you decide to practice at any given time is fine, just don't ignore any of them.

and remember. practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect!



Definitely true!

I've played bass for a few years, and just started acoustic a month or so ago. That within itself was a huge transition - learning to pick and all.

I got my first electric yesterday, and again it's a big step. A lot different for me than playing acoustic.
#29
I only practice unplugged when the amp bugs people around me.. I generally do most speed drills on a clean setting, which has resulted in me being faster and more comfortable soloing clean. Unfortunately, but overdrive solos are definitely not as good. I'm stating to try to do both again.
#31
Depends on the technique. I prefer plugged in. But I'll qualify that by saying that I practice things both clean and with as much distortion as a Micro Cube can manage Distortion can mask your errors, say, in speed picked riffs; but it can also accentuate them with other techniques (mainly sweeps).
#32
Quote by GreenDayChris
Plugged in, on clean.



That's what I do, when I played unplugged for a while and went back to the amp I initially had some unwanted string noise...

Maybe that's just me though...
#33
" For example, for the most part I practice on an unplugged electric guitar. I feel this produces the truest form of my music, with no bells and whistles to make me sound better."

Trey Alexander ( Guitar Player's 2007 Guitar Hero )


That was a bit of a paraphrase, but basically i share this guys philosophy: playing unplugged means theres no room for mistakes, and no excuses when they are made. I practice on an unplugged electric as well, and primarily for the reason that this teaches me to play with articulation, accuracy, and feeling. I can't rely on reverb, high gain, or a delay pedal to evoke feeling. Playing unplugged forces me to pay attention to things that really make a guitar sing: vocally inspired vibrato, flawless execution, etc etc

discuss
#34
Quote by lumberjack
" For example, for the most part I practice on an unplugged electric guitar. I feel this produces the truest form of my music, with no bells and whistles to make me sound better."

Trey Alexander ( Guitar Player's 2007 Guitar Hero )


That was a bit of a paraphrase, but basically i share this guys philosophy: playing unplugged means theres no room for mistakes, and no excuses when they are made. I practice on an unplugged electric as well, and primarily for the reason that this teaches me to play with articulation, accuracy, and feeling. I can't rely on reverb, high gain, or a delay pedal to evoke feeling. Playing unplugged forces me to pay attention to things that really make a guitar sing: vocally inspired vibrato, flawless execution, etc etc

discuss


I think this is wrong. Notice I said 'I think'. You can think your way, and so can everyone else. It all boils down to opinion.

HOWEVER. I think it's best to play THROUGH an amp, as that way you notice tons and tons of mistakes. Play on a clean channel WITHOUT those extra things you mentioned. Reverb, gain, delay, or any other effects.

I think it best to play on the cleanest most trebly channel you can. You will notice every single flick of other strings and ever single fret buzz or miss. You'll notice muted strings during chords a lot better as well.
#35
I think it depends what you're practising really. If you're practising your shredding, being on the clean channel can mask your mistakes! For example, if you accidentally clip an open string on the clean channel you might not even hear it, but with the gain cranked it's instantly noticable. It totally depends on what you're practising though.
I don't get why some people would say it's better to play unplugged than clean, because clean is just the same as unplugged but louder.
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