What Are All The Knobs On An Electric Guitar For? It doesn’t matter if you’ve been playing guitar for over 20 years or just starting your journey yesterday. The real truth here is that any wrong settings of the guitar knob can destroy all your great effort. The knobs on the guitar and the toggle switch may look small, but they are present there for such huge importance. Even with the presence of an amp, a slightly off positioning of the toggle switch or tone knobs can ruin your solo performance.

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In this article, you’ll be able to figure out what those knobs are for and what settings to use to play with such finesse and quality performance.

Controlling The Guitar Using Guitar Knobs

The toggle switch of the guitar also known as pickup selector is a 5-way switch that chooses which of the pickup will transfer vibrations of the strings into an electric signal. As each pickup delivers different sound to each other, this is very crucial to know what position of the toggle switch selects which pickups.

The very important step is to memorize the different combinations available in which the toggle switch can select the pickups. As selections can vary in different sounds, knowing the sound each pickup creates is a crucial part of this journey.

Capture Sound At The Source

Pickups are meant to capture the strings vibration, the pickup closest to the neck captures the string’s vibrations at their highest volume which then results in a warm sound and consisting of low sounds. On the other hand, the pickup closest to the bridge will capture the vibrations of the strings at their lowest volume, providing a bright and sharp sound. In general knowledge, the same pickup will have a different sound depending on its position and it’s the reason why some guitars are fully equipped with several pickups.

Pumping Up The Volume

The volume control allows the output of the level of your signal. But unlike the amp settings, the best signal-to-noise ratio is achievable with the pot up. If the guitar has multiple volumes, it means it controls a pickup. To get the fat saturation crunchy sound, middle positions can be useful with amps that didn’t have enough power and can be easily distorted. It can also be an added effect if you turn the knob progressively.

Tone Master

The use of a tone knob is to cut highs, this is a good filter capability and gives an amazing sound when turning up. With the existing capability of different pedals, this kind of setting is always forgotten. One way of using it is to smother a jazzy sound or even choke a shrilling fuzz.


Learning how to use guitar knobs significantly helps in the way you do your solo performances. It added texture goes hand in hand with learning how to play blues guitar properly. When you fully understand the usage of all of these toggle switch functions, you’re one step closer to be able to get the best sound out of your guitar.

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