Guitar Tips and Tricks – Volume Swells

Last year I started a YouTube video series called “One Shot, One Song”.  The idea behind it is to capture a song or sketch idea live in one take, usually with the help of a looper.

In the latest installment I wanted to focus more on a technique I use from time to time.  When I’m writing or playing guitar at home, I often try to find ways to make my guitar sound like other instruments.  I’ve found that changing the attack transient (or removing it altogether) is the easiest way to do that.

In this video I use the Autoswell feature on my Strymon Mobius with a very fast ramp time to effectively mute my attack on the strings.  You can accomplish the same thing with a volume pedal or the volume control on your guitar.  This simple trick and a bit of modulation can do a lot to make your guitar sound like a synthesizer.

Special thanks to guest contributor A.J. McQuay for this post. You can listen to his post-rock EP here, also follow him on Twitter, check him out on Facebook or check out more great videos on YouTube.