Uncle Dave’s Guitar Club – Amp Chat…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s unusual pencil sharpener is the one shaped like the end of a bad dream.

So, guitar amplifiers – have you ever wondered what all the shiny knobs at the top on the front do? It usually says on them, or above them, or below them, things like: ‘gain’, ‘dist’, ‘volume’, ‘bass’, ‘middle’, ‘treble, ‘tremolo or vibrato’ and occasionally ‘presence’. I do like the sound of that last one.
The knob is really just another treble control that adds some extra highs in the frequencies – I wonder who first thought of naming it ‘presence’? Perhaps they thought that it made the instrument sound ‘nearer’ to you, more present – that’s what I always assumed it meant. Hm… generally something is either present, or it isn’t; but I quite like the idea of having a knob that controls the amount of it – sort of ‘not in the room at all’, through ‘just lurking in the doorway’, up to ‘here I am right in front of you, in yer face’.
I suppose the opposite of ‘presence’ might be the knobs usually placed on the far right of the panel – the ‘reverb’ knobs; they add reverberation to your sound and produce an effect like playing in a large room or even an echoing hall; it really is nice, and is also very flattering to your playing. By the way, when uncouth people (musicians) mention reverb they usually pronounce it as RE-verb – hm, this annoys me! I always say reVERB as it is short for reVERBeration. (It’s a bit like people pronouncing the word research as RE-search because they think it sounds cooler and more American.) I mean, you wouldn’t say RE-verberation would you? Oh, but maybe you would…
But let’s go back to knob talk – I like knobs. I fancy making, well not actually making, perhaps adapting an amplifier by carefully putting new words on the knobs – rather like they did in that fine film This is Spinal Tap (1984) where all the knobs go up to 11 rather than the usual 10 – oh, how we laughed!
No, the knobs on my special amplifier would be there to adjust: ’emotion’, ‘irony’, ‘humour’, ‘passion’, ‘sensitivity’, taste’, and ‘expression’. What do you think?
‘Hey Dave…’
‘You know that bit where you do your second long solo in It Hurts Me Too?’
‘Yes, what about it?’
‘Could you put a bit more into it? It’s sounding a bit limp and insubstantial…’
‘Oh?… Is it?… I hadn’t spotted that.’
‘Well it is…’
‘Okay, I’ll turn the ‘irony’ knob on the amp down to 2, and stick the ‘passion’ and ’emotion’ up to 8 or 9… Alright?’
‘Yeah, that should do it… Let’s run through the bloody thing one more time… Wake up everybody… One, two, three…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in blues, cool, Film, guitars, humour, information, irony, music, observations, surrealism, Uncategorized, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Uncle Dave’s Guitar Club – Amp Chat…

  1. I can’t say I have a clue what you are on about, but I do like your re-WORDing on the little dials and knobs. 🙂

  2. ktz2 says:

    Your pieces are delightful !

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