Playing LOUD - question for those who gig

I 100% agree that many performers have their volume too loud for the venue. I’ve seen that quite a bit. If you have a loud drummer there’s a certain minimum volume level you need, but when it’s one or two guys with acoustic guitars and vocals there’s absolutely no need for some of the volume levels I’ve seen in relatively small bars and such.

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I haven’t gig’d since pre-original COVID, so I can only offer general electric guitar practice advice at this point. Yes, do practice at loud volumes when you can, and learn to “tame” things --and likewise open things up --with your guitar knobs and pick attack. There is a brave new world of discovery right there. Also, don’t always practice with a clean amp. Turning up the gain on your amp (or dirt pedal like a tubescreamer) will quickly tip you off that you need to work on important skills like string muting.

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Thanks Toby, yes I’m a big fan of Tomo - I should spend some time on this.

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Thanks Clint, Yep, I’m definitely guilty of setting volume and tone to 10 on the guitar and leaving them there. Good advice on gain - I play clean a lot!

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Thanks Tony - I guess it’s all about balance. I probably need to play a little louder than polite bedroom volume if I want to get to OMs.

Hmm, interesting thread. I turn my amp up loud rarely. I’ve done it a few times and it’s fun, but can’t do it when anyone’s home and I don’t want to annoy the neighbours.

However I play through headphones a lot, up loud, and the amps do speaker cab emulation. Would that be similar? Clearly there is no feedback or feeling it in my ribcage, though.

Every open mic I’ve played at, over 100 now, someone else takes care of the volume / pa.


JK, as someone who has listened to music a lot through headphones over my lifetime, please reconsider doing the above. Protect your ears as much as you can. Since dipping into my 50’s my ears are now making me suffer for my past mistakes and I find they are now a lot more sensitive to louder noises and can give me grief at times that can last for a few days.

The physical propertiex of sound become apparent.

  • I have to mitigate feedback (or induce when wanted)

  • The louder the rehearsal room, the harder it becaomes for me to hear if it works well together, especially if you’re the singer and the balance between physically feeling and hearing yourself sing and what comes from monitors sifts dramatically.

  • You notice that playing high gain brings noise as well; the need for noise suppressors becomes obvious

  • My sloppy technique got amplified and it was comfronting. I had to clean up my powerchords work and keep it tighter with proper muting and hitting only necessary strings

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Just realised I hadn’t responded to you Stefan…

Hearing damage - yeah I also have some. Drumming and really loud car audio when I was younger. I’m a bit more sensible now, but still need times with the volume up high. I can’t hear the music detail properly if it’s not :roll_eyes:

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No worries JK.

I just thought I’d give you the heads up about how even more parts of your body start to let you down once 50 rolls around. :smiley: