Practicing Electric Guitar Unplugged

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Qstick333, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Qstick333

    Qstick333 Member

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    I feel like I have gotten a bit lazy and sloppy lately with my playing and am thinking of spending more time with my guitars unplugged. I've also thought about buying something like a thinline or 339, etc... that would give better acoustic feedback. This should, in theory, force me to be a little more precise and if it sounds good unplugged, it should only sound better plugged in.

    My preferred tonal palette is Billy Gibbons during tres hombres era, Hendrix, Clapton...the usual suspects.

    Does anyone spend their practice time this way?
     

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  2. Suave Eddie

    Suave Eddie Member

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    Ask your doctor if lobotomy is for you.
  3. Stox

    Stox Member

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    I’m not sure how that will solve the problem you describe but caring about it is a good place to start. I don’t know that I even agree that acoustic translates to amplified, considering how much effects and volume can change how you play. But you can def try it for a bit and see if it works for you. Not my approach but it could be just the thing.

    You might try recording yourself practicing or playing - and listening back. You’ll probably get a good idea of where your technique is falling apart - certain ideas, areas of the neck, etc. Then slow down and work on those things.

    rinse/repeat
     
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  4. ieso

    ieso Member

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    Years ago I would plink around with an unplugged Strat while watching TV or whatever.

    But if I want an 'unplugged' experience I play my Martin.
     
  5. ToneDeVille

    ToneDeVille Member

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    all the time. Strat.
    I know if my phrasing, timing, bend accuracy, etc is solid when it's unplugged it will sound even better plugged in
     
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  6. burton56

    burton56 Member

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    I went about a year where I didn’t plug in and would only practice silent. When I finally did plug back in, it sounded bad. Practicing plugged in means you’re practicing not only your guitar, but how your guitar interacts with your pedals and amp. At least that’s what I found out for me.
     
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  7. JonR

    JonR Member

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    True
    That's not really relevant. Unless you like the way they play unplugged (I know Clapton does, and Hendrix in private, but Gibbons?).
    Absolutely. But mainly because I only practise on acoustic. I only play electric when gigging. If I do pull it out at home, I wouldn't usually plug it in - unless it's specifically to test a particular amplified sound, e.g., trying out certain FX.
    Hence my comment about your tonal palette; if you want to work on that - and if it involves being plugged in - then do it plugged in, with whatever FX are required. If it's to improve sloppiness in your playing - rather than get that tonal palette right - unplugged is the way: learning to control the sound with fingers alone.

    I once had a jazz group lesson with John Etheridge. Six of us, all on electric. He banned us from using amps. It was a great lesson.
     
  8. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    Interesting.… I find the exact opposite to be true.
     
  9. ToneDeVille

    ToneDeVille Member

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    It's also good practice if you ever do any reamping when recording. For instance, you DI into the DAW and record the part clean, then apply an amp plug in and tweak. This is something I do quite often so practicing unplugged makes good sense, for me anyway.
     
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  10. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Member

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    Nope. If I want to play unplugged, I play an acoustic or my mandolin. If I am playing an electric I always plug in.
     
  11. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    I don't do much recording anymore, other than working with a looper. My point was, I'll work on something new, on unplugged electric and think I ‘have it down’ until I plug in and all the sloppiness shows up.
     
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  12. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Member

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    TBH it's better with a bass guitar, because you can feel it more.

    Gordon (Sting) Sumner cites it as a reason for switching to bass!
     
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  13. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    90% of the time with my strat. I like it. But I've played lotsa acoustic guitar. It's partly laziness.
     
  14. Leader Desslok

    Leader Desslok Member

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    Yeah, but on acoustic guitar. I've found that if I play what I would normally play on electric on acoustic for like a week, my playing improves when I get back to electric.
     
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  15. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    I have a hollow body electric I often play unplugged. I don’t play solid bodies unplugged often, I have a Blackstar core ID 40 I keep around for practicing.
     
  16. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    for me it's a layer. The basis is unplugged tone. But then when you plug in you have to learn to play the rest of your rig.
     
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  17. BluesForDan

    BluesForDan Member

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    the way I figure it, the more time playing the better. you can't always play plugged into an amplifier if you're trying to not disturb other people, unless you're one of the lucky ones who live alone out in the country or you have a sound proof studio/practice place. I've actually been playing a lot going into my DAW even if I'm not recording.
     
  18. The bear

    The bear Member

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    90%of the time unplugged, mainly on telecasters.
     
  19. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    I did it a lot until I got a Yamaha THR10...… it's easy to plug in and get a good sound at a low volume whether you want clean or dirty. And it's small enough you can sit it on the coffee table or wherever.
     
  20. Pelagic

    Pelagic Supporting Member

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    I believe Tomo recommends to plug in and to turn up the Treble so that any imperfections are amplified.
     

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