Choosing an Electric Guitar Amp

Choosing an Amp

Almost as important as finding the perfect electric guitar, is buying the correct amplifier to go with it. Pick out the wrong combination and your thrash metal shred will come out in a warm bluesy country tone. If you’re going to go through the process of devoting yourself to one instrument and one amplifier- then you want to make sure you’re getting the right sound. Any reasonable music shop should be sympathetic to this purchase, and will allow you to test your instrument out on their selections. The mistake of rushing the purchase of an amp is done far too often, and can result in an unwise investment. So take your time! Go to as many shops as you need, do the research, and test everything that’s available in your price range... Chances are, you’re going to be playing on this amplifier for a long time.

1 Boredom is the enemy!

So don’t allow a brand new guitar, or anything for that matter to rush your selection of an amp- because it’s not one or the other, but a combination of the two that are creating your sound. So one must ask oneself first, what type of music am I going to be playing? If you’re a seasoned guitarist, then you probably know your tone and the type of sound you’re looking to produce. But if you are a beginner, you might not be so sure. More often then not, you may start by playing one certain genre of music, but in a year or more, move into a whole different sound. When I first started playing, I wanted to sound like Kirk Hammett. Now I like the sound of Junior Brown...

2 Pick a Guitar Amp style

You need to ask yourself, what, where and with whom am I going to be playing? If you’re just playing at home, then you probably don’t need that hundred watt amp to blow the walls down. But if you are playing with others with various instruments, you’ll need that extra push (say 50 watts+) to be heard within and above everyone else. You also should be looking for what different sounds the amp has to offer. If you have a beautiful collection of different effects pedals, then you won’t need the amp with all the bells and whistles built in. But if you are not so lucky, you may want to find an amp with different channels and effects included. On a basic level, test out the overdrive (if you’re specifically looking for the distorted sound) and play around with everything the amps have to offer. The correct distortion, a reverb option, and foot switch pedal included is always a good place to start. You can do the research on picking tube based amps or a solid-state amplifier, but at the end of the day it’s all about you and your own sound. So let your ears and fingers (and unfortunately your wallet) do the research for you- and pick the amp that feels and sounds the best for you. And don’t forget, when purchasing the amp, do so with as much importance as you did in picking the guitar.

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