Electric guitars and acoustic amplifiers may seem like an unlikely pair, but there are situations where this unconventional setup can be useful. Perhaps you own an acoustic amplifier, but you’d like to experiment with the unique tones of your electric guitar. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to successfully plug an electric guitar into an acoustic amp, ensuring a harmonious fusion of sound.
- Choose the Right Electric Guitar
Before you connect your electric guitar to an acoustic amp, consider the type of electric guitar you have. Single-coil pickups and humbuckers will produce different tones when played through an acoustic amp. Experimentation is key, but be aware that the results may vary depending on your guitar’s pickup configuration.
- Select the Clean Channel
Most acoustic amplifiers come equipped with a clean channel designed to faithfully reproduce the natural sound of acoustic instruments. Start by selecting the clean channel on your acoustic amp, as this will provide a neutral platform for your electric guitar’s sound.
- Adjust the EQ Settings
Acoustic amps typically have EQ controls for adjusting the bass, midrange, and treble frequencies. Set the EQ to a neutral or flat position initially, as this will give you a balanced starting point. You can fine-tune the EQ settings later to match your guitar and personal preferences.
- Use an Adequate Cable
Ensure you have the right cable for the job. You’ll need a standard guitar cable with a 1/4-inch jack on both ends. Plug one end into your electric guitar’s output jack and the other into the amp’s input.
- Manage Volume and Gain
Start with low volume and gain settings on your amp to avoid any sudden bursts of loud sound. Gradually increase the volume and gain until you achieve the desired sound level. Be mindful of feedback, especially when playing at higher volumes, as acoustic amps are designed to amplify acoustic instruments that naturally resist feedback.
- Experiment with Effects
Many acoustic amps come with built-in effects like reverb and chorus. Experiment with these effects to add depth and character to your electric guitar’s sound. These effects can create a unique blend of tones that are reminiscent of both acoustic and electric characteristics.
- Be Mindful of Feedback
Feedback can be a challenge when plugging an electric guitar into an acoustic amp, especially at high volumes. To minimize feedback, stand at a good distance from the amp, and avoid pointing the guitar directly at the amp’s speaker. You can also experiment with feedback suppressors or notch filters if your amp has them.
- Fine-Tune to Taste
Finally, remember that experimenting is key. Adjust the amp’s EQ settings, effects, and volume to find the tone that suits your music style and preferences. Don’t be afraid to explore different combinations until you discover the sound that satisfies you.
While electric guitars and acoustic amplifiers may not be the most common combination, they can lead to exciting and unique sonic possibilities. By following these steps and experimenting with your setup, you can successfully plug your electric guitar into an acoustic amp, unlocking new tones and creative avenues for your musical journey. Embrace the fusion of acoustic and electric, and let your creativity flow through your strings.