How to amplify an electric guitar: All your options

Sound amplification is one of the most vital parts of music production. An amplifier or amplification process picks up the weak signals from an electric guitar and then produces a big sound with loudspeakers’ help. It is an essential procedure for an electric guitar as amplification controls the tone of the sound. A good amplifier will always help the guitar in sounding better. If you have an electric guitar and want to make music professionally, an amplifier has no alternative. You can easily convert the guitar’s raw produced sound to an amplified tune according to your music style. Also, You can also use guitar amplifiers to modify the tone by controlling specific frequencies. You may become strangled while surfing the net about the process of amplification of an electric guitar. Below here, you will get to know how to amplify an electric guitar and an insight into the topic:

Before you know the guitar amplification process, you need to know the working principle of an amplifier.

How Does Guitar Amplifier Operate?

You have to know what an amplifier is before using it for your electric guitar. An amplifier is an electronic gadget having the capability to boost electric signals passed into it as input. If you give a sound sign with a low volume through the amplifier, this instrument will convert that sound to a higher volume.

You can use an amplifier for serving different kinds of purposes. Guitarists like to use amplifiers to have a boosted form of the sounds they produce by their guitars. You cannot make a loud volume in the electric guitars as in acoustic guitars. As a result, the people playing electric guitars felt the necessity of a device that could amplify their sound. That’s why an amplifier is a must to have for electric guitars for the creation of good quality music.

 You will always want a cost-effective solution to whichever problem you face. How about amplifying your electric guitar without an amplifier? You can quickly boost your guitar using household appliances. Below, you will get to know how you can boost the sound of your electric guitar without arranging an amplifier:

1) By connecting the guitar to your pc/laptop

At present, the majority of us have computers in our homes. Most people who don’t have an extra arrangement of an amplifier connect their guitars to the computers to amplify the sound. If you have got good speakers at your home, you should try this amplification procedure. You will be surprised to see the results you get by doing this.

For doing this, you will need to get a ¼ inch cord and then connect it to the guitar interface. You need to plug in the other end of the guitar into the line of the computer speakers. After doing this, you have to switch on the audio interface. Once you have done this, you will now be capable of transforming your computer speakers into an effective amplifier.

While doing this, it is better to set low volume in the computer speakers. Then, it would help if you started playing. After playing for a while, you will need to enhance the work gradually. If you want, you can connect your electric guitar to more than one set of computer speakers. For implementing this, you will need to buy extra cords and adapters. This will be a unique experience if you are a guitar enthusiast. The best thing it offers is that you don’t need to purchase an additional amplifier for your electric guitar.


2) Amplification of your electric guitar with the help of headphones

Headphones are a great type of musical gadget which we love to use. Did you know that you can amplify your electric guitar using your headphones? To connect the headphones to your guitar’s jack, you will have to buy an adapter of 1/4 inch for males and 1/8 inch for females.

It will be better if you can remain in a standing position and belt on your guitar to have a comfortable experience with the guitars being connected to the headphone. In addition to that, you will need to attach the headphone to the strap.

When you plug in the guitar with headphones, you need to reduce the sound from the guitar’s sound using the volume control panel integrated on the guitar. Then it would help if you enhanced the volume gradually until it seems perfect as per your liking. In the meantime, you can start playing the guitar as well.


3) Amplification of your guitar by connecting it to the home stereo or boom box

 This is another effective way of amplification for your electric guitar. You can easily plug your electric guitar into your home stereo. Moreover, you will be able to connect it to any music playing gadget that comes with an input. The majority of the guitarists do this because they don’t want to spend extra money on buying an amplifier. In most cases, you will require a 1/4 inch female and 1/8 male adapter. Some of the home stereos will have a 1/4 inch adapter for your guitar cord.


Once you have bought the adapter, you can use this and plug your electric guitar into the home stereo’s input. After that, you need to turn down its sound and start playing your guitar. While you are doing this, you can increase the volume gradually. Finally, you will be able to hear sounds from the stereo box.

4) Amplification of your electric guitar by connecting it to your smartphones

Nowadays, people can easily connect their electric guitars to iPads, iPhones, Macs, and also the android devices to amplify the sound. For doing this, you will need a headphone or a speaker, an electric guitar, and a smartphone. Here, the guitar will be the input device, and the headphone or speaker you use is for the output. Firstly, take the guitar and connect it to a headphone or speaker by adapters. Then it comes to the input interface, which is the smartphone. It would help if you used connectors to implement them as a hub among the 3 elements called interfaces.

There are several popular interfaces for guitarists. They contain a USB connector for your smartphone, and they also have input and output interfaces for your guitars and headphones. They usually take in your guitar’s sound, then pass it to your phone for processing it, and then receive the amplified signal back from your smartphone. Finally, it passes the amplified sound to the headphone or speaker.  

5) Amplification of the electric guitar using multi-effect pedals

This is a popular way of amplifying electric guitars. Most modern multi-effect pedals come with a cord where you can plug in a speaker or headphone. For doing this, plug your guitar into a proper multi-effect pedal and plug the headphone into the pedal. Then take a look at the back of a pedal, and you’ll be able to see a headphone’s output. If you plug in your headphone, you will get to hear the amplified sound.

 After this, let us understand the amplification of an electric guitar by using an amplifier.


Amplification of your guitar using an amplifier

A guitar amplifier contains a power booster within the box. The amplifier also has a speaker, so you will not require a separate box to use the guitar. The signal will propagate from your guitar’s pickups to the amplifier, where it will get amplified, then it will propagate to the speaker, so we can hear it.

The guitar pickup is created by using copper wire and surrounding it a permanent magnet. On some of the available guitar pickups, you will notice magnetic extremities that are generally found to be positioned underneath each of the strings. The extremities are implemented to focus the magnetic field. Now, it is time for plucking the string, and after doing this, it will vibrate and disturb the magnetic space formed by the permanent magnet. Finally, the mobile magnetic field will help to induce a little current within the coil of the pickup.

 The pickups are generally made by using a permanent magnet such as ferrite. The current which inducts within the coil of the pickup is very small. An amplifier is implemented to amplify this present and, by boosting it, makes a loud sound that can be appropriately heard and used for your playing.

 When the signal reaches an amplifier, the circuit will boost the input signal twenty to fifty times. After that, the transistors will engage some current to the amplified signal before it is passed on to the speakers.

 Generally, amplifiers have two stages. The first one indicates a preamplifier. The audio signal which arrives at the preamplifier is boosted to a certain level, so it can push the power stage. Moreover, the preamplifier stage will also control the sound level and tone of the signal. However, high preamplifiers can add over-push tones too. The second stage indicates a power amplifier, which will produce an amplified current signal that will drive the loudspeakers. As a result of this, amplified sound is created.


       How to buy a good amplifier for your electric guitar?

      We have already known that the amplification of electric guitars is significant for the production of good music. Before buying an amplifier for your electric guitar, keep in mind the following things:

1) Bringing your guitar to the store while buying the amplifier will help you match with the model.

2) Nowadays, it would help if you preferred the solid-state and digital amplifiers over the steel-made ones because they are cheap and produce an excellent tone.

3) It would help if you were careful while picking the right size so that it doesn’t stress you while finding the place to keep it.

4) You should test the power of the amplified sound several times.

5) You should turn down and crank up the sound until the amplifier is set at the output level you usually like to play at. Then it would help if you increase the gain gradually until the sound becomes as buckled as you want it to be.


Final Words

If we think about electric guitars and the setup, we cannot leave out an amplifier. We always see the big amplifier sets of Marshall at the concerts, which give us the uplift when we go there. The amplification of electric guitar is an important process in the music industry, and this has been adequately explained in this article. We hope this helps you to get equipped with knowledge of guitar amplification.