Using your onboard volume?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by alexclaber, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Who really does this? As opposed to just muting things between songs, who actually uses the volume control to mix things up with technique and dynamics, so you can play soft but still loud for fat smooth reggae bottom, or dig in hard but be quiet whilst getting growly funk tones?

    Wondering if I can forego all active EQ on my next bass, and just use my hands, and passive volume and tone controls to get all the sounds.

    Is this in the wrong place? It's that spot where technique and gear mixes. Hmmm...

  2. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I only use it when I need to cut out. The volume knob on my Lakland is superlight, so it takes no effort to bring it down to 0. Honestly though, many say that tone is in the hands, volume is too.
  3. Dash Rantic

    Dash Rantic

    Nov 12, 2005
    Palo Alto, CA
    I mainly use my volume knob for fading in and out. Also, when I have the volume knob down a bit, the volume of my effects units sometime seem to go down quite a bit while my bass' volume doesn't change quite as much. It's kinda interesting, a good way to quickly cut back on the distortion if you have it set for all-out fuzz or something.

  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I used to do this a lot when I had my passive Fender Aerodyne. I got lots of dynamic effects and tonal variation just by playing around with the volume controls within songs, e.g. going from a mellow P-sound during verses to a growlier J-bridge sound for choruses. Ironically, I never touched the tone knob and always ran it wide open.
  5. I generally only use the volume knob while I'm playing to bring my bass volume down while I'm digging in. Sometimes I like that hard playing sound, with the strings really banging off of the fretboard, but without actually being crazy loud. Besides that, I generally save the volume knob for when I take the bass off.
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I usually use it just to mute the bass, but occasionally to make slight tone adjustments or to control the amount of overdrive or how hard Im driving certain sensitive effects.
  7. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    I use the volume knob for somewhat cello-sounding swells, where I'll do a hammer-on with the volume at zero, then gradually turn it up after the attack. Brief tremolo-type effects, too - for these I park my pinky at a tangent to the pot and just roll it back and forth. The action is faster than turning the knob with two or three fingers.