As some of you may know, there is a trend in the world of guitar amps for lower wattage lower volume amplifiers. I can’t even count the number of guys on forums asking for advice on achieving whisper quiet volume levels, but want those huge monstrous tones. I get it, you have a baby sleeping, or your wife or neighbors get pissed off. I’ve got neighbors too….unfortunately.
But here’s the deal you low volume players are missing….you need volume. I don’t mean peel the paint off the wall loud, but a good amount of volume above conversation level. Yes as humans we think louder sounds better, but there is something else going on and its taken me awhile to figure out why a loud volume (again not to the point of hearing damage) just feels right.
Look, if you play Saxophone there is no getting around it. Its a loud instrument, you are going to have to figure out how to practice and make music. The same goes for a violin. These aren’t even electric instruments and they can be quite loud. But there is something special about the sound waves moving in the air which just makes things sound real, emotional, and touch are music loving souls.
What I think is happening is that these vibrations moving in the air tend to resonate in our body. You FEEL the music as well as listen to it. By this I mean physically feel the music. A low volume amp won’t push the air and get you in touch with the music. Playing just through headphones won’t really do it either. Again….think about those Brass, woodwind, and string players. The sound of their instrument is right there next to them.
Ok….I think I’m going on too much here, but truly…..I think we as guitar players need to accept volume as an important part of our music. Its not something we can just ignore because modern technology allows to take soul out of the instrument by playing at weedy low volumes.
Turn it up……then apologize later to your neighbors, spouse, etc. :)