Setting up your equipment
Before we get in the the fun world or rocking out, we need to know how to connect everything together. How many cables do you need? What should I switch on? Can I really turn it up to 11?!?
Don't worry, we'll cover all of these questions and more. The good news is, setting up is easy to do. We will split it up in to 2 different types of setting up: Acoustic Guitar and Electric Guitar.
With an Acoustic guitar, there is not a lot of equipment needed as they make quite a loud sound on their own. Most Acoustic guitars can be played without amplification when practicing but if you do need to be that little bit louder, there are options.
You could connect a microphone pointing towards the sound-hole of the guitar similar to the picture. There are many ways to mic up an acoustic guitar but this is a good starting point and will help you shine in a band situation!
Some Acoustic guitars are what we call "Electro-Acoustic" which means they connect similarly to the Electric guitar example below. The advantage to these is that they require one less piece of kit (microphone), and they usually have volume and tone controls on them, similar to an Electric, just with that sweet natural sound!
Electric guitars need a helping hand as they are just a little too quiet on their own. Electric guitars need to be plugged in to an Amplifier (learn about those here) with what is known as a "Jack" lead. This goes in to the input on your guitar, then in to the input on your amp. Once your amp is turned up with the volume, and the volume dials are turned up on the guitar, you should be ready to rock!
There are a few other things you can do in between like adding pedal boards with guitar effects (learn more here), but this will be more than enough to get you going!
Once you're there, you can play around with the controls on the guitar to get some creative sounds. Try using the Tone dials, you will notice the sounds change from bright and sharp sounding to a muffled, as if someone has put a pillow in front of the guitar amp!
And that's it! We will look at other effects and ways to change the sound later down the line, but for now, get used to the different sounds by experimenting with the dials and understanding your guitar and amp!
Amplification - This, in a nutshell, means to make something louder!
Amplifier - A box with a speaker inside. This is used to make the sound louder with electric instruments.
Jack Lead - The cable all guitars use to connect to other pieces of musical equipment
Sound Hole - The hole on the front of an acoustic guitar. This acts as a natural Amplifier.
Tone - The way something sounds. For instance, a brighter sound which sounds sharper and more detailed. A darker sound would sound muffled and not as detailed.