Skip to content
Clear all

Way to loud

17 Posts
16 Users
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8
Topic starter  

I have a friend who we play guitar with and he is not to bad, the only problem we have with him is he is TO LOUD. The drummer that we use for practice will never have a problem untill my friend turns up,Then he as to mike is drum kit up to the PA system to be heard whats that about.
I would be very greatfull to anybody who can help me with this matter as he is a good friend and we don`t to hurt his feelings, so any advice would be great on how to make him play at lower volumes.

Thank you

P.S you know who I meen don`t you sathmo

Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2261

I know how you feel about treading gently, but that'll give you nothing but problems in the long run. He'll carry on and you'll get more and more frustrated by it. Maybe he doesn't even realise? Maybe he's right and the rest of you are too quiet? What if your next gig is in a place where you need the drums miked?

Whatever the situation, you have to tell him. If communicating something as fundamental as all playing at the same volume causes problems, you need to think carefully about whether or not you can work together as a band. I have a very good friend who also plays guitar, but we can't work together in music. It just doesn't work, we end up bickering about every little thing. It's not his fault, or mine, it just doesn't work and I'd rather not fall out with him.

Maybe you can put one person in charge of the equipment? That one person, and only that one person, takes charge of all the EQ and volumes of everyone... it's much easier to find your balance like that too, as you're not constantly adjusting to other people's adjustments, etc. Just don't use it as an excuse to get out of telling him that you think he's too loud. Get it out in the open. - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer

Chris C
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3454

Sound advice. :)

Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 6348

another thing that can help is to talk about dynamics. everyone should look into the meaning and talk about how it helps a song.
dynamics is not about playing loud all the time. silent spots are good. and more important, louder AND softer parts adds interest, and can offer a moment ofr all to display their playing.
so loud guy can have his moment, but he'l then understand where to find the volume knob.

Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2801

As the vocalist I find myself stopping everything and reminding people that, although I LOVE what they are playing, I cant damage my voice trying to get above it and I ask them if they could turn it down a touch. I repeat that until their "touch" is the same as my "touch"

It was usually the drummers that caused the problems in my case.

Good luck.

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)

Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 240

My guess would be that maybe he can't hear his guitar over the other instruments so he turns it up louder. Is he using a monitor when you play together? That might help.

"How could you possibly be scared of being bad? Once you get past that, it's all beautiful." -Trey Anastasio

Alan Green
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5342

Being in a band means there's no place for ego-trips. If he's turning up the volume to be able to hear himself then get a couple of monitors blasting up at him and turn him down, and if he's turning up the volume so you can hear how wonderful he is, then turn him down or sack him.


"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:

Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4338

Being in a band means there's no place for ego-trips. If he's turning up the volume to be able to hear himself then get a couple of monitors blasting up at him and turn him down, and if he's turning up the volume so you can hear how wonderful he is, then turn him down or sack him.


That's just what I was going to say! The bass player in the last band I played with was really bad about turning up. The rest of us just decided to stop playing when he got too loud during practices. After a few dozen times of us quitting mid-song and just looking at him until he turned down, he finally stopped!

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 7833

Peer pressure is most effective.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Doc Gliss
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 34

You have to mike the drums at practice to match the guitarist's volume? That is indeed way too loud. It's very difficult to stay tight at that volume and it's bound to cause your singer(s) vocal chord problems sooner or later. I have a friend who actually had to stop singing for a couple of years after a year and a half of standing in front of a too-loud drummer because she damaged her chords and had to go through therapy to help them heal. Turning her mike up didn't help because it picked up his drums as well.

There's also the inevitability of irreversible hearing loss. Hearing damage is only funny when one is very young. If your friend intends to keep at this for any length of time, he'll need to back it down a bit or end up like Pete Townsend has been for the last twenty years - under doctor's orders to play acoustic guitar most of the time. (Or learn to read lips.)

It sounds to me as though your guitarist has not yet learned that our purpose as musicians is to do whatever it takes to make the best music possible. Sometimes that means turning down (or up) and sometimes it means playing something "beneath" your technical ability if that's what the song needs.

For example, last year I was asked to play in a local musical. Mostly simple chords played on beats 2 and 4 with only a handful of solos spread out over nearly thirty songs. Clean, no effects, no distortion, very low volume. But the "orchestra" that we put together became a "band" almost instantaneously and we ended up accompanying the star of the show to Nashville to play on WSM radio live. A year later, we've been asked to bring back the musical and play a $1500 gig a couple of hours away. All that by way of saying that the music we made together was far greater than any of our individual contributions to it.

Best wishes with your friend and your band!


If the dude woke up this mornin', he's playin'.

Vic Lewis VL
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 10264

It might help to record rehearsals, play it back to him to show him how he's drowning out the band. If you're going to be playing together, you have to WORK together.....

:D :D :D


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

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 168

At a jam or practice (ie. negligible crowd noise) all the instruments/amps should adjust to the level of the drums... acoustic drums are definitely loud enough on their own..
This is where you learn group dynamics.. every musician should learn to keep the correct volume, relative to each other via their technique...
Position your friend to stand right next to his amp (pointing up towards his ears) so he hears it louder than everyone else.. This may give him the extra volume that he thinks he needs for his own guitar, but still balance with everyone else.

Insert random quote here

Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2337

Lots of great suggestions here. There's a time and place's to play loud. The real trick is harness the power to a lower volume. I run 100's of watts which come out the other end at line level. It wouldn't take me much to completely over power the sound system. It wouldn't be the same and it would sound bad. I need to have the control and feel right at my finger tips.


Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8184

have him point his amp straight at his head, either by tilting or elevating it.

Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 91

Just say you want to get the levels right so you know how to do it at gigs. Get everyone to play and someone stands out the front somewhere and tells everyone to go up or down until the mix sounds right. If you're worried about his feelings, get the bass player to turn up really loud for this exercise, then you get to tell them both to turn down. That way you're not just picking on the one dude.

Page 1 / 2