Gain is not volume.

So, it’s early in the morning and I’ve got tons of things to write about!

Unfortunately, none of those things have a damned thing to do with guitar – or they’re just so damned complicated that we’re looking at a 10,000 word article.


I spent like 30 minutes trying to figure out an excuse to talk about George Price and altruism. Man, I really, really wanted to write about him – ’cause of a conversation with that same ‘crazy_eyes’ who has been featured before.

By the way, that can be summed up as my motives aren’t altruistic. I get something from all this. I get satisfaction and happiness. I love inspiring people to find their passion, it gives me a sense of accomplishment. It’s not altruism – but I can’t really wedge that into an article about Price. Damn it!

I then spent about an hour trying to figure out how to tell you how the 12 tones per octave were only a suggestion and not even strictly a convention in Western music. I really wanted to tell you about some wonderful guitar styles that you may not know about.

By “wonderful” I mean, “fucking weird.”

I’d even made it as far as typing the intro, or at least starting it. That’s when I realized that I’d pretty much have to explain music theory – and not a little bit of it, pretty much all of it!

I can do that – but it’s gonna take a whole lot of articles (with a whole bunch of words) and there are much better teachers than I am. I may very well do it, ’cause you weirdos like my writing style and it’s not like I’m doing anything better, but today is not that day. After all, I just blew about 1.5 hours trying to figure out what to write!

(This was not aided one iota by my tendency to get distracted by shiny objects.)

It’s gonna take a whole lot of discussion about ornamentation, things like slurring, a dozen different instruments, a dozen different cultures, music history, and more. All that just to get to the point where I can explain the music theory behind the various notes that aren’t actually assigned a damned letter. And, all that just so I can show you a picture of a pretty nifty guitar!

So, I figured I’d tell you about ‘blue notes.’ No, no… That’s also gonna require 10,000 words! I’m also reasonably sure it’s not actually useful to the vast majority of people – even within the small segment that reads this site. Chances are, you already play ’em and don’t even know they’re there – or why they are there. (If you do know, you should be reading better sites than this one!)

At that point, I figured I might as well try to explain something useful.

Where’s the fun in that?!? Well, I can at least try to make it fun to write and read!

Before I begin the article, I will tell you that the eldest hoodlum (‘EH’ as some people call her) got her birthday gifts yesterday. After making her wait, ’cause it’s not her birthday, I finally relented (I shan’t say she was ‘surprised’ that I relented, ’cause she knows me too well and wasn’t surprised, but was polite enough to pretend she was!) and let her open them early.

Her reasoning was impeccable and it was logic with which I could not argue. “I need to open them early, in case anything is broken! That way, you can send it back and I’ll have them replaced in time for my birthday!” I can’t really argue with that logic!

It was a wonderful and joyous occasion. If you’d like a more elaborate description of the event, feel free to email me. Sweetwater threw some extras in along with a note that indicated she got the very last example of the guitar she wanted  and a congratulatory note for having reached the ripe old age of 16. (Musician’s Friend and my local music stores didn’t have the item in stock and the local music stores were unable to have them delivered from their supplier in a timely manner.)

So, if you want to read more about that, you can PM or email me. I’ll be happy to type that up for you, but it’s really not something I can shape into an article that has a broad appeal.

Trust me, I tried to think of a way to make it into an article and I drew a blank. I mean, I find it interesting… I’m just not sure that you’d find it interesting, my dear reader! No, you probably won’t have nearly the same level of joy that we experienced in this household and probably won’t find it all that useful. But, do feel free to contact me via the usual channels and I’ll try type something up for you. (I absolutely would love to tell folks about it!)

But, back on subject…

I’ve decided to correct a common misconception and explain gain vs. volume. The two are related, but they are not the same. I’ll probably throw some additional information in, ’cause digression is what I do!
Continue reading “Gain is not volume.”

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