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does it make sense to play an unamplified electric guitar?

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(@matteo)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 557
Topic starter  

hello all

just a maybe silly question. A friend of mine lent me an elecrtic guitar without amplifier. Sometimes I play it (of course unamplified) but even if it is a lot easier to play than my classical guitar, I'm not so satisfied by the sound and so i tend to go back to the classical guitar also for playing hard rock and metal because I love its fuller sound.

What I'm asking is if it does make sense to do so. I mean: if i cannot listen to the real sound of my playing (of course I have no distortion) maybe I should develop some bad habits which could harm my playing the day I'll get an amplifier. I.e. being used to classical guitar I could pick the strings with more strength than needed or could not understand if i'm dong palm muting correctly..

thanks for any suggestions

Matteo


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Why not use some free amp simulators for your pc? Hook your guitar up and go.


   
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(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 539
 

+1 for the amp simulator (providing you have a cable to connect the guitar and PC with...)

The thing that sprung to my mind; did your mate lend you the electric guitar for you to find out if you wanted to purchase one of your own, or just to play for a bit then give back?

If it was to see if you wanted to purchase one of your own, then don't worry about the amp so much - just focus on if you enjoy playing this type of guitar.

If you arn't planning on buying one of your own, then don't worry about developing bad habits - chances are you wont have it long enough to play enough to develop them! :lol:

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

I very often play my electric unplugged, late at night when everyone else (everyone in this case being the Mrs and my neighbours) is asleep. I can hear it, no-one else can. I suppose I could use headphones, but there'd be wires everywhere and it's easier to just play unplugged.

During the daytime's a different matter though.....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@matteo)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 557
Topic starter  

Hi

first of all thanks for the suggestions, to answer your question:

a) unfortunately i do not have a pc (I'm writing from the job!!!)

b) my friend did not lent me the his amplifier because it's broken

c) i'll keep playing electric guitar because I have the dream to form a band

so i will have to get an amplifier sooner or later. My doubt is that if get it as soon as possible (if playing witouth it could make me develop some bad habits) or if I could wait a bit. Another trouble is that i live in a blok of flats and my neighbourhood could kill me if I play guitar too loud!!

Matteo

Matteo


   
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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

I often play unplugged, to keep it quiet. With a semihollowbody, it sounds pretty good that way. With a flat axe, you can hear what you're doing, but there's not much tone. You definitely need to keep some amped practice mixed in there, or as you say bad habits will creep in unnoticed.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@rahul)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2736
 

Why don't you get a headphone amp or a mini amp ? That is cheap and will let you hear what you are playing. Then you can decide if you still wanna go unplugged or play with an amp.

Here's the link.


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3995
 

Or a multi effects. For example, my Zoom G2.1u has an output for headphones. A possible advantage is the multi effects also include amp modellers, so you can get a lot of effects and several amps in the same unit. When you get a real amp you can use it for the effects or even the amps. My unit also includes a rhythm box and a tuner.


   
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(@dagwood)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1024
 

+1 on the Mini Amp and/or MEfx unit.

You NEED to plug in. If you play acoustic now and are used to just it, you'll find your self 'over playing' the electric so you can hear it without any amplification which may hurt technique later on, though easily corrected.

For me, it doesn't make sense to play an electric unplugged unless its a hollow body or similar. But you can and will get a sense of feel for it even though its not plugged in.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)


   
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(@landog)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 32
 

+1 to Vic's comments. :D

I have an acoustic and an electric w/amp and headphones.

But last night after the wife went to bed I decided to read through some more of Hodges lessons (House of the Rising Sun, Margaritaville, After the Gold Rush).

Instead of hooking up the amp and headphones, I just grabbed the electric and practiced chords and strumming on a few songs. My intent was just to mess around a bit. I had already practiced for a good 3 hours on the acoustic that day. Lo and behold, I found myself totally engrossed and wound up playing around for another 2 hours.

I wouldn't play like that all the time.

You say you're playing hard rock and metal, but don't have a computer, and eventually want to form a band. It's time to look at a getting a practice amp.

I've got a Roland Cube 15x, but I've heard lots of good things about the Roland Microcube.

Cheers,
Landog


   
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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

It makes sense to my wife and kids for me to play unplugged :lol:

I have a cheap multi-effects box ( a used V-Amp) and a set of headphones that I use when I want to hear what it's really supposed to sound like, but I often play unplugged.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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(@tiffer)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 35
 

hmmmm, i play most of the time unplugged, have done for about 3 years, its down to trying to be quiet, laziness and moving between houses while been at uni and such. Ive had my amp underneath stacks of stuff while im re-decorating my bedroom which has and still is taking months to get round to finishing, Whenever I do plug in, I end up taking distortion off so I can hear my notes properly while learning,


   
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(@chuckster)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 938
 

I quite often play electric unplugged so as not to disturb the rest of the family. My Pacifica plays quite nice unplugged. Usually practice scales and stuff when I'm unplugged so that sound isn't so critical. It's definitely a good idea to mix your playing with some sort of amped sound though.

A multi FX pedal is a good solution if you need quietness. Just plug in the headphones and away you go. This is how I started off before I got my first amp. You can pick a decent one up at a reasonable price.

8)

I've had a lot of sobering thoughts in my time.
It was them that turned me to drink.


   
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(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Why not use some free amp simulators for your pc? Hook your guitar up and go.

Got any links?

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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(@matteo)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 557
Topic starter  

hi all

thanks for the kind suggestions, so in a nut it's better for me to get a small amplifier or a multi-effect and reserve the unplugged session at late night or when I try to learn some complex new parts where the most important thing is to learn the right movements.

Cheers everyone

Matteo


   
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