Guitar Talk: Why You Need a Volume Pedal

"As soon as you start thinking of a volume pedal as a way to control the amount of signal you're feeding into other pedals or an amp, then it really opens up a whole another world of what you can do with it."

Ultimate Guitar
Guitar Talk: Why You Need a Volume Pedal

Guitar instructor Sean Daniel presented an interesting clip focused on the power of volume pedal.

The musician explained (transcribed by UG):

"You can start incorporating volume swells into your playing. I can hit a chord, and as I bring the pedal down, it engages it.

"What it does is - you're eliminating the attack of your instrument. If you attack first, you can kind of blend in the sustain.

"But you can do a lot more than that. I think that's kind of where it brings in how it interacts with other pedals.

"As soon as you start thinking of a volume pedal as a way to control the amount of signal you're feeding into other pedals or an amp, then it really opens up a whole another world of what you can do with it."

You can check out the specific examples in the embedded player below.

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24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nah. I'm good with abusing my volume knob. 
    My volume pots get a looooot of use and typically end up being kinda loose.  I love it.  It's like a special power
    mee too...(;...I am using modern kits from rc guitarworks on my les pauls...and its really better sounding than with standart pots and caps...(;...
    Except for a delay that stays in the effect loop and is on all the time, a volume pedal is actually the only effect that I use live: - I can control the attack of the guitar with precision (not an easy thing to do if you play a Les Paul with 2 volume knobs) - A good volume pedal with the right capacitors will NOT react like the volume knob on your guitar that will roll off some of the high end. Your sound will remain even. - I can tune silently  - My pedal (Lehle Volume) has a very good buffer so I can run long cable without any tone loss. - I can mute my signal in between songs. - I can play cool bow like swells.
    See, I can do most of that without the pedal.  -First of all, my main beef is being stuck in place. I want to move. I don't want to be stuck in front of my pedal board. -I can tune silently with my tuning pedal and mute the signal between songs too. -Bow like swells work on a knob too. Not disagreeing with you, just saying why it doesn't work for me. 
    In my experience: - I can still move freely, I just wander up to the pedal board when needed, just like most guitarists. A volume pedal doesn't make me spend more nor less time at my board - My tuning pedal also mutes the signal, but that doesn't mean a volume pedal becomes superfluous for that reason, it still has many uses - Volume swells on a pedal are by far smoother and more linear than knob, as not to mention it gives you more freedom with your hands and can make more interesting use of swells than when you use the knob, as not to mention that you can time them more precisely - Volume is just as much a part of the overall experience of music as tone, and more than often adjusting the volume directly on your guitar or amplifier can lead into unwanted/unforseen consequences and hassle - It's just plain practical. To me, not wanting a volume pedal because "the knob is just as fine" is like saying "I don't need a tuner, my ears work just as well" - You are not wrong, but there's no reason to limit yourself either, particularly when you don't really get anything more out of the former.
    Have you tried wiring linear pots to your guitar? Or a whole different kind of wiring to achieve the desired combination of volume/tone control? But, that's just another possibility to achieve the same result. To each their own. I prefer minimalistic approach of knobs
    And like the OP said, controlled swells with a Les Paul are hard to impossible because of the fact that there are 2 volume knobs and they're far further from the strings than on a Strat. The coordination and positioning necessary to play notes and swell them when you're doing both with one hand also limits what you can play while "bowing" the notes when compared to a volume pedal.
    if you're trying to sell the pedal with that video, well it's not gonna happen. Who needs one of those onstage, more batteries , cables and mess..