1 Wade H 3 months ago I resently watched a YouTube video entitled "Ed King teaches the right way to play Sweet Home Alabama Link. In it Ed talks about getting good tone, and he uses the technique" Amp up, Guitar down". He was talking about the volume controls. It's an old school technique that I was fortunate to have learned from my first real guitar mentor in 1979. Hearing Ed King discus it, brought to mind a GDP thread a few months past, that touched upon this old school technique. I was troubled to read that some of us have had difficulty getting this technique down, because it is the fundamentals of the electric guitar. What follows is a back to basics reminder for how to get more tone options out of your electric guitar. It takes a degree of commitment and practice to make full use of it, but it may be worth the effort. I've noticed over the years, that many guitar players have come to rely on foot pedals to control their volume levels between rhythm and lead playing, and the tone of their guitar. The guys I've played with dime out all the knobs on the guitar, and rely nearly completely on their foot pedals to get their sound. This is all well and fine, but I believe that it is limiting, and removes so many more tonal options that are available simply by using the guitars control features. When I was teaching the electric guitar, I always encouraged people to learn how to use the guitar controls first, then add a pedal board. You'll be surprised by how many pedal effects can be eliminated by using the Amp up Guitar down technique. I rarely use more than three pedal effects. (YMMV) I start by setting up my lead volume and overdrive first. I put the guitar volume on about #9, and set the volume on the amp to the maximum volume that I will need to play a solo. I also set my overdrive to the maximum level of overdrive that I will need for a solo.I then dial back the volume on the guitar, to the level where I want my rhythm playing to be. This will automatically reduce the level of the overdrive, and I make note of the sweet spot on the volume knob, that has the perfect balance of volume and overdrive. If it helps to remember the spot, mark the spot on the volume knob with a dot of White Out. I roll the volume up for solos, and back down for rhythm playing. I then set the guitar tone controls to maximum treble, and set the tone knobs on the amp, for the maximum amount of brightness that I will need. I then tone down brightness with the guitars tone knobs as needed. I then use any other effects in the normal way.This technique puts you in the driver's seat of your guitar, and opens up a huge amount of tonal variety. Backing off my guitar volume gives me better dynamic control of the instrument, and allows me to inject emotion into the music better. I almost never play at full volume, not even for lead guitar. This is something that you have to play around with, and discover how you can best work it in to your own playing style and material. But the more you use it, the more it will become second nature, and it will just start happening without much thought. As I mentioned, I was fortunate to have learned how to play this way from the start of my electric guitar life. I've taught it to many people over the years, with much success. All that's required is the desire to try something different, and the commitment to practice it. Your guitar is capable of a tremendous amount of tonal variation all on its own, and it's right at your fingertips. Good luck and happy picking!