12 Ways To Use Your Guitar’s Controls [Volume, Tone & Pickup Selection]

Published 17 Apr 2020

Some people barely use their guitar’s controls all, yet they can unlock a smörgåsbord of extra sounds. We explore 12 things to try on a selection of classic-style electric guitars.

Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

Welcome to the show! In this episode Dan and I begin to unpack the suitcase full of sounds that are just waiting to be found, right there in your guitar. Countless great players down the ages have used their volume, tone and pickup selector switches to coax unique tones and textures from the instrument – it’s less expensive and much easier to access than yet another new bit of gear!
Please join us, grab your guitar and give them a try.
Enjoy the episode!

A note on Clapton’s ‘Woman Tone’ so I don’t need to answer 18,000 comments. Mick here.
Clapton himself has said it could be any of the pickup settings. So take your pick!
And yes, I can’t believe I didn’t mention the SG either! Doh!

I also say ‘Tele middle pickup’ in item 10 rather than ‘mid position’. 10 Points to everyone who says that neither Dan’s Teles nor Steve Cropper’s had a middle pickup. Hopefully this doesn’t cause too much confusion.

Pedals & stuff in this episode…

• TheGigRig Three2One

• Xotic EP Booster
UK & Europe:

• Mythos Pedals Chupacabra

• Keeley D&M Drive
UK & Europe:

• Dunlop EP103 Echoplex Delay Pedal
UK & Europe:

• Crazy Tube Circuites White Whale

• TheGigRig G2

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro and Covid statement: 0:00
- Intro playing: 1:00
- What are we doing today? 2:28
- A Joe Bonamassa tangent: 3:40
1. Make Your Strat Bridge Pickup Sound Fatter: 4:40
- Amps today: 5:05
- Tone controls and pickup selector on Strats? 6:50
- Cap values for tone pots: 8:27
- Dan’s Faradian explanatoralisational tangentile: 9:12
2. Make Your Tele Bridge Pickup Sound A Bit Less Shrill: 10:39
- …and now Red: 12:22
3. Woman Tone? 13:30
- Dan tries it on the Tele: 16:27
- Carlos Santana tangent: 18:04
4. Control Your Gain From The Guitar: 18:58
- The Chupacabra Chewbacca tangent: 19:50
- …and a treble bleed? 21:35
5. Do Eric’s Trick On A Dual Pickup / Four Pot Gibson: 27:30
6. Kill Switch On A Dual Pickup Gibson: 31:58
7. That Lap Steel Wah-Wah Thing: 33:00
8. Swell It Baby: 35:47
- …and a dotted eighth delay: 38:20
9. Split It Thinner: 39:00
10. The In Between Tele Soul/Funk Thing: 41:30
11. Don’t Play On 10 Much At All: 44:10
12. Make Your Junior Almost An Acoustic: 49:57

Guitars in this episode:
• 1965 Fender Telecaster - no video yet
• Fender John Mayer Stratocaster - no video yet
• Fender Custom Shop 1963 Telecaster - Dan’s video at
• Gibson Memphis 1958 ES-335 - Mick’s video at
• PRS DGT – Mick’s video at
• Gibson Custom 1958 Les Paul Standard – Dan’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop ’52 Telecaster – Dan’s video at
• Collings 290 DC S - Mick’s video at
• 1961 Gibson ’61 Les Paul Junior - Dan’s video at

Amps in this episode
• Victory V140 The Super Duchess and V212VCD cab/Celestion G12M-65 Creamback Speakers
• Marshall 1987x with 1960AX cab / Celestion G12M Greenback speakers

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