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So how do you lead guitarists do your solo boost?


Kramerguy

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I'm just curious as I've only been actively doing leads at gigs for about three years now-

 

I found that EQ pedals do a great job when you are using a modeling pedal or stompboxes in front into a clean amp. BUT.. when using both marshall channels clean/dirty, the EQ pedal works on the clean channel for boost, but does not boost the heavy channel, So I had to abandon that setup. I found that creating a separate patch on the GSP for boost works, but the other guitarist in my band has issues with switching patches on his line 6 ( he has a really nice flex-wave I think), there's a very small delay, but very noticeable, and his eq does nothing to boost the amp. I don't get any delay with my GSP1101 when switching patches, but I did with my GNX3000 pedal (retired it).

 

So what's your rig and how do you boost?

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I constantly fiddle with my volume knobs. When I'm playing rhythm I back off.. sometimes considerably. I usually turn up the volume knob for leads and use a pedal as a boost, currently a Direct Drive or Boss SD-1. For the most part I get all the dirt/grind I need from the amp when playing rhythm.

 

It is a compromise though.. I've never really been 100% happy with my clean tone. But then again the biggest issue in regards to my sound isn't the equipment as much as it is me. :)

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I'm a little surprised that some are comfortable with not not always going full blown with their volume knob. I'll back off when needed but Id have a tough time leaving room on my guitars volume for solos.

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I'm a little surprised that some are comfortable with not not always going full blown with their volume knob. I'll back off when needed but Id have a tough time leaving room on my guitars volume for solos.

 

 

How come? :confused:

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How come?
:confused:

 

I don't play much electric anymore but I like pushing my pickups so I can get solid harmonics, squeals and all the pyrotechnic stuff. Backing off on my guitar's volume knob seems to inhibit some of those things I just mentioned.

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I use the volume knob/switch pickups or I will use my Xotic EP Booster. Clean boost modeled after the preamp section of an Echoplex.

 

Lots of guitar players are lost when it comes to changing their sound using only the volume knob. I find the volume knob controlsgain more than anything, with the little amount I tweak it volume barely goes down, but sound gets much cleaner

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My amp has a "solo" button which jacks the volume up X amount above the master volume...best thing ever! Before that it was either a TS9, Rat, and/or using a volume pedal (lower for rhythm, higher for leads). With the latter though, I'd usually end up with the volume pedal near or at full by the end of the night :(

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This topic always gets a flood of "just use your guitar volume knob" responses, but these guys probably don't understand the kind of versatility that cover band players need. For example, you may need an all out distorted rhythm sound but at modest volumes, like for 80's stuff, but then your lead comes up and you need that added volume boost. If you play with even a modest amount of overdrive on your basic sound, turning up the volume knob is going to add more gain, but not necessarily volume. If you play mostly clean, then that's a different story.

 

Anyway, solutions I've used in the past that all work--talking tube amps here:

 

Volume pedal or volume boost in the effects loop. Effects loop is key as it comes AFTER your preamp section (where the distortion is generated) but before the power section (where volume is generated).

 

If you play into a clean amp and generate all your distortion/OD with pedals, either of the above work if you put them after your distortion/OD in your pedal chain. Essentially it's the same idea--putting the boost after your overdrive but before your power tubes.

 

Treble booster or EQ. This works pretty well if you have no choice but to put it before your amp distortion. It boosts the high mids and upper EQ to be heard better in the mix. I use this with my JCM 800 which is always running at fairly high gain and doesn't have an effects loop. A Tube Screamer or vol boost can work for this, depending on how much gain you have in your basic sound.

 

Lead boost on your amp. My Mark V has this, but it's annoying because it's adjustable and not linear, so any time I adjust any of the channel levels, it throws the lead boost level out of whack. (A little inside, but if you have a Mark V you understand :D )

 

Right now I use a combination of treble boost (via my Line 6 M13) and lead boost from the amp.

 

Another thing to be considered is the size of your band. A trio or single-guitar unit doesn't require as many "tricks" since there are fewer instruments you need to be heard over. When you go into a solo, you can usually just play it and don't need to leapfrog over someone else's sound to be heard. So if all else fails, you can just kick out everyone else but the rhythm section and be good to go.

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This topic always gets a flood of "just use your guitar volume knob" responses, but these guys probably don't understand the kind of versatility that cover band players need. For example, you may need an all out distorted rhythm sound but at modest volumes, like for 80's stuff, but then your lead comes up and you need that added volume boost. If you play with even a modest amount of overdrive on your basic sound, turning up the volume knob is going to add more gain, but not necessarily volume. If you play mostly clean, then that's a different story.

 

I wasn't aware this forum was only about cover band guitarists with very diverse setlists, nor do I see how someone who prefers to use the volume knob wouldn't understand why other people use different methods.

 

:idk:

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For decades, I have played cover music in diverse situations. By diverse, I mean "Stardust" to "Ace of Spades", "Wicked Game" to "Creeping Death".


I use my guitar's volume knob.

 

 

The only area where I find the volume knob method really lacking is higher "gain+low volume". Otherwise, in general...

 

quiet rhythm= clean, volume down

clean lead= clean, volume up

dirty rhythm= overdriven, volume down

dirty lead- overdriven, volume up

 

I do use an overdrive pedal, but it's generally not a "lead boost"- it's just what I use for a dirtier sound, whatever I'm playing.

 

I also find a god compressor (which I never turn off) really helpful for this method.

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The only area where I find the volume knob method really lacking is higher "gain+low volume". Otherwise, in general...


quiet rhythm= clean, volume down

clean lead= clean, volume up

dirty rhythm= overdriven, volume down

dirty lead- overdriven, volume up


I
do
use an overdrive pedal, but it's generally not a "lead boost"- it's just what I use for a dirtier sound, whatever I'm playing.


I also find a god compressor (which I never turn off) really helpful for this method.

 

Thanks, now you've got me gassing for a God Compressor! :lol:

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I don't play much electric anymore but I like pushing my pickups so I can get solid harmonics, squeals and all the pyrotechnic stuff. Backing off on my guitar's volume knob seems to inhibit some of those things I just mentioned.

 

 

Same here. Backing off the volume makes my tone thin and muffled. I usually leave it wide open and use the (VERY touchy) lead boost on my Egnater for solos.

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Same here. Backing off the volume makes my tone thin and muffled..

 

 

It really depends on what you're looking for in a rhythm sound, but if your guitar has good pickups/electronics, with the right general settings, your sound with the volume backed off doesn't have to be poor. Again, I find a compressor helps, and it depends on your rig in general.

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I've always used something like an old Tube Screamer set for a cleanish boost. But I was jamming with bluesman Chill Boy. When he setup his old Fender Deluxe and Tele, he cranked the amp. No pedals. Then he turned his guitar way down. It was beautiful. He never really cranked the guitar volume back up all the way with a few exceptions. But I was totally impressed with the amount of control he showed using his guitar volume. I've seen guys think in terms of low or max and I love that, but he was all over the place with that volume knob.

 

Sounded really good.

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I started out using an EQ pedal for lead boosts in my Pantera-fan days, then switched to my 7-strings, which are set up like SGs (separate knobs for each pickup) and used the pickup selector to flick between 'rhythm' and 'lead' even when I was the only guitarist in the band.

 

These days, I use a volume pedal set low for most of the song, then hit the gas (so to speak) when it's time for a solo. However, there are times where I don't hit the pedal, depending on my mood or if I'm using another effect (flanger for one).

 

So, my official answer is "it depends."

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nor do I see how someone who prefers to use the volume knob wouldn't understand why other people use different methods.

 

 

Hey, if it works for you then great. I'm just going off my experience as a lead guitarist having used countless rig configurations in countless settings, plus having discussed this ad nauseum with other guitarists here, in real life, and on other forums. I said in certain settings just using a volume knob works fine. For the type of work myself and the OP do, it usually does not. I only mentioned that because the "just use your volume knob" I see here an everywhere else started, which I knew wouldn't be of much use to the OP. Sorry if it came across as harsh.

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