Too many volumes!
Ok...this is totally stupid! But, I simply have too many pesky volume knobs. 3 on my Gretsch (1 master, 1 each pickup), plus the volume and master on my blues jr. (I'm ignoring any pedals or mfx units I might add in)
What's the best approach? Try to balance my volume in my group with my guitar maxxed, by using the amp's volume and master? Or set those a bit high, and use my guitar's volume knobs? (which begs the question which is preferable, the master, or the pickup volumes)
The group plays church, so we are constantly fighting getting too loud. (Basically just loud enough to match our drummer...who plays relatively softly).
There are two kinds of people in this world:
Those who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and those who don't
Well, think about it, if you are playing in front of an audience, which is easier to do, turn your guitar down, or walk over to your amp and turn down??
When playing live, I always turn my amp up with my guitar volume at 10 to set my volume for solos. For a solo you want to be a little bit louder than everyone else, but not super loud
Now, when you are playing rhythm only, turn your guitar volume down. Time to solo, just reach down and turn your guitar up. This is exactly how the early electric guitars played, and really, it is an excellent way to control volume on stage.
If you find it distracting to reach down and adjust your guitar's volume, invest in a good volume pedal. Or, you can buy a good boost pedal like the Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster:
I own one of these and it really is excellent for a volume boost without changing your tone.
But till then, practice reaching down and adjusting your guitar's volume. Many great players like Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan especially could bring out many interesting and various tones in their guitar by simply adjusting guitar volume. It's a real artform. :D
Check out this video of Stevie Ray Vaughan and you will see he was constantly adjusting his volume to make his tone clean or dirty, add distortion...
If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis
I simply have too many pesky volume knobs. 3 on my Gretsch (1 master, 1 each pickup), plus the volume and master on my blues jr. (I'm ignoring any pedals or mfx units I might add in)
Old tube amps were made with few controls and plenty of tones available from the guitar. Imagine if you had a Fender Champ that has only a volume control. You would set the pickup volumes on the Gretsch to balance rhythm and crunch tones, with extra volume from the master for leads (as described by Wes).
Many pro players return to that simple setup to get back to the roots of music.
1 watt of pure tube tone - the Living Room Amp!
Paper-in-oil caps rule!