When it comes to playing the electric guitar, the amplifier is a must. This equipment is what picks up the electric signals from the guitar, allowing the sound to be produced. Without an amplifier, your electric guitar playing won’t sound like much of anything.
Depending on where you purchased your electric guitar, you most likely got a bundle-deal that included some sort of amplifier. But, of course, you will want to think about whether that amplifier meets your needs. And as you get better at playing guitar, you might decide you want something with more power than the one that came with your guitar.
As you start trying to navigate the world of amps, here are some tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
Four types of amps
There are four types of amps to familiarize yourself with. These are tube, modeling, hybrid, and solid-state. Research all four types and read various reviews to determine which type works best for you.
Tube amps might also be referred to as valve amps. Many guitarists feel that tube amps produce the best sounds. They are also some of the oldest types of amps available and are relatively simple to use. However, despite their smooth sounds, there are some downsides with tube amps. They’re expensive, heavy, and tend to burn out easily.
Solid-state amps are lighter than tube amps and produce clear tones. They also require very little maintenance. Most beginners are using some type of solid-state amp. However, the tones they produce might not be as smooth as a tube amp or as wide as a modeling amp.
Hybrid guitar amps mix the sounds of tube amps with the sounds of solid-state amps. While a hybrid amp gives guitarists access to a wider range of tones, many find that they do not work as well as a tube amp. Some people do prefer these, but it is important to remember that they aren’t necessarily the best of both worlds, but a compromise.
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Modeling amps (or digital/amp simulators) use modern technology to replicate (or model) tones from other types of amps. This allows guitarists to have access to many different types of models and sound effects. Modeling amps are becoming increasingly more popular, especially considering improvements are made each year. One downside is older models won’t sound as good as newer models.
Next, you’ll want to develop an understanding of the power behind the amp. Many beginners assume that the more power an amp has, the better. After all, then they make more noise!
However, how much power you need depends on how you’re going to be using your guitar. If you’re just playing at home in your bedroom, you only need a small amplifier. You would only need a larger one if you were playing for a larger audience.
Most of the time, if you’re a beginner or if you’re playing at home, you will only need an amplifier that has between five and 20 watts. If you ever reach the point where you’re playing for a larger audience, you’ll need to think about getting something with more power. This could also include the need for some sort of speaker system.
Figuring out features
As you start looking at potential amps, you’ll notice that some offer certain features. These features often come in the form of various knobs and buttons on the amp.
Features could include channels, effects (such as different rhythms), and different input and output jacks (these allow you to hook up different equipment, such as a speaker). While some features could be fun to play around with, an amp with too many features can be overwhelming for beginners.
Start simple. And once you have a basic idea of how your amp is working, start to dive into different features. As you become a better guitar player, you may eventually want to upgrade to an amp that offers more features. But in the beginning, sticking with the basics will provide you with the best possible sounds.
There’s no point in owning an electric guitar if you don’t own an amp! Without an amp, you won’t be able to produce those electrifying sounds that you can use for your electronic dance music. If your guitar came with an amp, take the time to get used to that one before deciding to upgrade to something with different features and tones