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Lead volume

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Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 105
Topic starter  

For as long as I have been playing, when it came time to do a solo I always used either a stomp box or switched amp channels to give the signal a slight boost to bring up the volume.

I now have a new amplifier (Fender Mustang IV) which has a very complicated interface. It will take a while before I feel like I'm in the pocket with this. My question to the forum is a poll of sorts:

1. Do you use any kind of extra gain when soloing?
2. If so, what do you do?

Honorable Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 484

I've used channels and boost pedals and OD's but I never really liked the dynamic control I had in different situations, mostly with volume in reference to other instruments. I use the guitars volume almost exclusively now. I set the amp to face melting and back the volume on the guitar way off. I switched to no load pots about 5 years ago, not that it matters too much. I personally like being able to bring the gain up rather than popping it on.

Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 407

I have also used a boost but sometimes I switch from the neck to the bridge pickup which stands out because of the extra treble . Separate volume controls for the pickups allow a gain boost and a treble boost , provided all volumes aren't maxed out .

If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .

Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1224

I'm pretty much always playing through my C-24 desk & ProTools. I keep the volume way up...just shy of peaking...but play quite softly. When I lean into my playing it's loud. Simple...


"Feel what you what you feel!"

Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348

I have tried several things to boost a lead volume.

volume pedal: I have the guitar volume knob full up so I have the largest signal going into my pedal train. I back the volume pedal off full on, but when soloing I floor the pedal.

second overdrive pedal: I have my main overdrive pedal set to the drive and tone I want and use a second drive pedal set to less grit but more output. when the solo comes up I hit the second drive pedal.

EQ pedal: here I set the freqs to my liking, but boost the output setting, so when soloing, clean or dirty, the volume and presence jumps.

now that I am gigging I am trying out the best solution. there isn't a perfect set up yet.

Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 652

+1 for using the guitar's volume knob. Simple, and it works. Just using your dynamics as you play may be even simpler still, but I probably don't quite have the control. :) I pretty much always "lean into it."

I liked using a boost pedal when I was playing with a chain of pedals, but recently am just going straight into an amp- so the "simple" approach works for me. Just set the amp for the maximum amount of gain I'm going to want (which is quite a lot) and then back the guitar volume knob down to what I want for the rest of the time.


Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 680

Here is what I liked to do - my vintage modern it has only two options for clean/distortion, no seperate channel volumes so here is how I work it. I dont use it as a two channel amp because it is not that......... so I have a crunch kinda sound its not entirely nasty and raw but it has bite, then for solos I like to use my T-rex moller to boost the volume or sometimes My OCD to add more volume or fuzz for heavier songs. Ideally I would like a Jekyll and Hyde pedal but that another story. One thing no one has mentioned is this - I like to have that dirty full volume sound not so heavy so that I can roll back on my volume put for a "clean" sound.

together we stand, divided we fall..........

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1305

1. Do you use any kind of extra gain when soloing?
2. If so, what do you do?

1) Yes
2) The minimal amount possible - about +3db, which is the minimum amount of change audible to the human ear. 95% of the time my rig is miked or using a direct split into the PA, with the sound tech controlling what the audience hears. The very LAST thing I want to do is to present our sound tech with sudden LARGE increases in volume that cause the signal to clip. A 3db boost will make sure I'm heard if he's distracted by a cutie-pie on the dance floor, but not endanger expensive speaker components

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5840

Odd, but in the 60's quite a few guitars came with a lead/Rhythm switch. Set your lead level and, when you switch to Rhythm, it drops the volume by a predefined amount (depending on the setup).

Makes more sense to me than adding stomp boxes to the chain

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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