Volume Swells: A How To

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by WhippingPost, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. WhippingPost

    WhippingPost Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,011
    Likes Received:
    653
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Video! :naughty:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EJwJvP1EiM]YouTube - Volume Swells Using Your Guitar's Volume Knob[/ame]

    I figured someone could benefit from having the video to show them the actual technique, since it's not really all that common.

    I seemed to have started channeling Andy from the PGS videos somewhere through the recording process... "Here's my favorite setting." :shock:

    Hope it helps, and please feel free to offer constructive criticism. :thumb:
     
  2. River

    River Senior Member

    Messages:
    57,250
    Likes Received:
    91,222
    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Great video, great technique. I particularly appreciate being shown what I can do without a pinky.
     
  3. WhippingPost

    WhippingPost Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,011
    Likes Received:
    653
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    I can't see using the technique on a Les Paul without the little guy (or big hands), but we don't always have to play those. Telecasters can sound the same, anyway, or very close.

    There's always volume pedals...
     
  4. Rock

    Rock Senior Member

    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    143
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Yeah, Strats and Teles are great for volume swells but Les Paul?

    I never thought about using the neck volume. When I want to do volume swells with a Les Paul I always just turned up the gain/volume or use a volume pedal.

    If my volume is high enough or has enough gain I sometimes don't even use my right hand to pick. I just hit the note or chords with my left finger/hand and use the right hand to lower/raise the volume.
     
  5. siore

    siore Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,984
    Likes Received:
    124
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Les paul volume swells? Cool video. :thumb:
     
  6. ScottGrove

    ScottGrove Banned

    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    108
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    The Morley volume pedals will always give you the best sounding swells as they actually use an LED and a Photoelectic cell as opposed to a typical volume pot that is in your guitar or any other brand volume pedal. The Morley allows your tone to remain constant where the volume pots destroy your tone when you back them off.....your highs are killed first and the actual gain gets messed with which creates a very undesired effect. You can check out my use of a the Morley volume pedals on a guitar I had custom made.....the guitar in this video does not have any pots at all.....no volume or tone knobs at all on this guitar.....check out the difference.
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSehLdxtkc]YouTube - Pedal Steel For The Guitarist Intro Scott Grove[/ame]
     
  7. Rock

    Rock Senior Member

    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    143
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Loved the playing! I love pedal steel on guitar! Some stuff I do with my hands and other things, like bending a note in a chord, I like using a B bender.

    I should look at the Morley. I have a Dunlop and it's only good clean. If I add volume or gain you can still hear the note being picked with the volume all the way off. I don't like that.
     
  8. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

    Messages:
    27,005
    Likes Received:
    9,322
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    If you're big into volume swells....eh, get single coils with 250k pots. Otherwise you're fighting a losing battle. (Or a Morely volume pedal.) 2 cents.

    PS: A Strat is probably the best guitar for this sort of thing...
     
  9. ScottGrove

    ScottGrove Banned

    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    108
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Both very good points, the 250K pots will render this method usable and of course the Strat has the best location for the pot if that's the route you'll use. I've got to grab me a B and G bender Tele, they are just too much fun.
     
  10. WhippingPost

    WhippingPost Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,011
    Likes Received:
    653
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    I'm not arguing that a volume pedal isn't better for this sort of thing - it clearly offers much better control and tone in this application.

    This was more for those who don't have/want a volume pedal in their rig, and still want to use the technique. It works much better on a Tele than it does a Les Paul, and a Strat is way better than the Tele.

    Scott, awesome video! Thanks!
     
  11. NoStatic

    NoStatic Banned

    Messages:
    2,625
    Likes Received:
    226
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010

    I dont want a volume pedal and use this technique a lot. Ive always been able to use this LPs, Strats are far and away best- but the guitar I struggle with is the Tele actually.

    Scott- how does the Morley not affect the signal available to the amps's pre-amp in the same way rolling back a volume pot on a guitar or in a normal volume pedal?
     
  12. ScottGrove

    ScottGrove Banned

    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    108
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    FX loop.
     
  13. The_Sentry

    The_Sentry Senior Member

    Messages:
    27,005
    Likes Received:
    9,322
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    You know, I was hangin' out at that Guitar B Que...and I gotta tell ya...Roman Rist is really, really good at doing these.

    Of course....he was playing a Strat. ;)

    (In fact, every guy I've ever seen in person who just nailed these...Strats, Strats, and more Strats. I think it's a Jeff Beck thing to be honest about it...)
     
  14. NoStatic

    NoStatic Banned

    Messages:
    2,625
    Likes Received:
    226
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Right, so it functions the same way as a normal pot equipped vol pedal might in an FX loop (or in front), but its better doesnt alter the frequency response as a pot might.
     
  15. ScottGrove

    ScottGrove Banned

    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    108
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Exactly, they are just super clean, which I require being a country player and also a pedal steel guitar player. Someone using distortion all the time wouldn't care too much, but my tone has to stay crystal clean and bright at any volume and this combination along with tons of compression is a winner and is the standard way of getting this sound in the Nashville circuit. Plus, it helps to run your amp twice as hot as you would really ever need just so you have plenty of clean headroom for those clean notes to just last forever.
     
  16. NoStatic

    NoStatic Banned

    Messages:
    2,625
    Likes Received:
    226
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Its the golden rule- if it sounds good, do it.

    Personally, id be leary about sticking, say , 30 ft of cable in the FX loop between pre amp and amp. But horses for courses.
     
  17. ScottGrove

    ScottGrove Banned

    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    108
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Then there's always the Eddie Van Halen Method on Cathedral. If you look closely, his volume knob on his guitar looks as though it is pretty much off at about 8 on the knob and goes right from nothing to full volume from the 8ish postion to 10. It does what it's supposed to do for this one song. It's quite possible that this one guitar is set up that way and meant to only be used on this tune. Either way, it's interesting.
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhfy-QMWxHM&feature=related]YouTube - EVH - Cathedral (Live!)[/ame]
     
  18. Mookakian

    Mookakian Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,961
    Likes Received:
    2,129
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    I swapped my pots so the bridge is on the top! Split coils and then swell sounds? Sorry, awul pun. But i still want a morely, its just not the same, maybe if i had 250k's i never thought of that. So i can try out the morely, (there's alot out there), are there any lemons in the range to avoid?
     
  19. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    3,446
    Likes Received:
    4,641
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    For those wanting to swell the bridge pup on a Les Paul, this is worth trying - use the middle position...

    Bridge vol at 10, neck vol at 0 (to begin) & use the neck vol to do the swells. :)

    Because both pups are on it kicks in a lot louder earlier in the sweep of the pot, but (a) the bridge pup will dominate the sound, & (b) it still looses the pick attack.

    Kudos for this one to Phil Keaggy :)
     
  20. VictorB

    VictorB Formerly LZF Staff Member Super Mod

    Messages:
    32,635
    Likes Received:
    63,029
    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Dickey Betts is the master of volume swells. Listen to Elizabeth Reed from Live At the Filmore.... He calls using a volume pedal "cheating", BTW...
     

Share This Page