Do you "play" your amp or "play through" your amp?

Do you "play" your amp or "play through" your amp?

  • Play

    Votes: 47 63.5%
  • Play through

    Votes: 27 36.5%

  • Total voters


Just Wanna Be Misunderstood
I hear and read folk say they actually "play" their amps as if they are instruments themselves. Conversely, others only "play through" their amps as an end point to the guitar's sound.

What say you?


Definitely play the amp. When I'm playing I only hear the end sound (obviously), but am doing all sorts of things with my hands and the guitar controls to change how the guitar sounds. What I'm responding to, even though I don't think about it in the moment, it how the amp reacts to the guitar signal it is receiving.

So, yeah, I think you play it all.


I find the amp sound dictates what I naturally get directed towards music wise. For example, a more vintage sound and it's likely more bluesy, more rock and it works for leads and more aggro is rifting and chunky.

It might be just me, but the amp in my personal experience is much more important than the guitar.


I think the question implies you have to put more emphasis or importance on the guitar or amp, i.e. you cannot give both units the same emphasis/importance. I do think the ultimate tonal quality and response is more due from the amp, but the intonation and user playability is moreso the guitar.

If you play a guitar through an amp, you are traditionally playing guitar. Now if you take the amp out and just strum on the guitar acoustically, you are still playing the guitar. However, if you take the guitar out the equation and you "play the amp" by tapping the input lead hooked up to the guitar amp, you are doing something of relatively no musical use which is making annoying buzzing sounds.

So you play the guitar. But then really the guitar plays the amp, because grids, cathodes, and anodes and something something...

Dad love mom

Gold Supporting Member
An electric guitar isn't very electric without an amp. The amp is 50% of the instrument to me, the guitar is the interface.

It wasn't until I played a 5e3 that this all made sense to me, before the amps just made guitars louder but the 5e3 was so interactive.
Whenever people try to call me an acoustic guitar player, I always remind them, "Hey, I'm also a SOUND HOLE PLAYER, TOO!"

Trending Topics