Today's Thoughts about Volume
I believe Tone is a skill, like reading, or playing chords, sight reading could be similar to plugging into an amp for the first time, like the ones in the different venues or rehearsal studios, and 'prepared' reading could be the equivalent of using your own equipment. Both can be improved with practice and experience.
Volume is an important part of guitar tone, if you are too loud, could probably make the people in the audience uncomfortable, and if you play too soft they won't hear you, the amount of volume also changes the bass and treble response,... so,... How loud should we play?
Would love to have a formula for that... but unfortunately I don't. When I started playing I was the typical guitar player "this one goes to eleven" kind of thing. Always wondered why the people in the first two rows were blinking at every note, and ended up half deaf after some rehearsals and gigs.
When I started gigging regularly, started caring about my volume a lot, I just did not want the audience to ever think that It was too loud. Also in certain gigs when there is a PA, and everything is Mic'd up it is important to find a comfortable stage volume.
In my opinion, in a lot of music I listen to, the snare drum is quite present and clear, so I decided to match my volume to that, however, it depends on the drummer (some of them are louder than other ones), but I narrowed down the possibilities quite a lot. Depending on the style and the gig, the drummer will adapt and raise a little the volume or I will turn down a bit.
Played a lot with a lot of different drummers and tried to find a volume that would be good for the audience, and that would blend well with other instruments.These days I use the same volume all the time, it's loud, but a lot of the high end is gone, so it's not ear piercing (however I wouldn't recommend to put your ears close to the speakers) ;)
However when I use an amp for the first time I still try to make my guitar as present as the snare drum.
Also in my pedalboard I have a Volume pedal for fine adjustment but will talk about volume pedals in another blog.