View Full Version : controling volume

11-22-2009, 05:38 AM
This is kind of a silly question, but how do I control how loud or how soft I'm strumming/plucking?

Obviously strumming harder warrants a louder sound and vice versa; but is there a special way to practice (or a particular way one plucks/strums that will ensure the resulting volume to be loud or soft) so I can control the volume better (and have no stray loud/quiet strum/pick)? Or does it just come down to more practicing, period?

I've noticed that even with a simple d du udu strum, it takes a certain amount of effort to keep the exact same volume through a song; and in songs with plucking, there's always a stray note or two that are plucked quieter (and that they shouldn't) than others.

11-22-2009, 06:20 AM
One thing you can do if you want to get around that 'practice' thing, move your right hand down toward the bridge while you're strumming/picking. Its a quiet yet 'harsher' sound. It can make for a nice effect when done gradually.

11-22-2009, 06:48 AM
if you ahve a mic in your comp you can look at your wave length volume when you play and work on evening things out hat way.

Brad Bordessa
11-22-2009, 07:39 AM
You pretty much answered your own question on volume. The best way to learn dynamics is to define what your "loud", "medium", and "soft" is - and play them. Play as quiet as you can, then as loud as you can, and then somewhere in between. Consistency comes with practice.

11-22-2009, 11:41 AM
And you have to understand also that you're a human being physically strumming a set of strings. You can be consistent to a certain extent, but you cannot be perfect and that's what will eventually make your playing interesting and unique.
It's the little variations between being on beat and off and timbre of notes that make for much more enjoyable listening. It's part of the reason a good drummer is more interesting than a drum machine.
Don't sweat it so much at this stage of the game though. Practice will give you more control down the line. Just keep plugging away.

11-22-2009, 11:51 AM
responses are bang on - you will find your "touch" with practice.

In the meantime, if you want to try some real soft sound for either delicate practice, or without waking the neighbours - use the soft part of your thumb!

thumb strumming can get quite jazzy to be honest!

11-23-2009, 03:24 AM
Thanks for all your advice! Duly noted - I'll practice more. :D