Fender Princeton Reverb (circa 1978) and MXL99...

Fender Princeton Reverb (circa 1978) and MXL990 condenser mic (Photo credit: Derek K. Miller)

If you’ve performed live on stage or even a casual jam with your friends at band practice — one of the most annoying things guitarists have is a thing called FEEDBACK!

If you don’t know what feedback is — it’s that terrible high pitched sound that comes from speakers.

It usually happens when you place your microphone too close to the speaker or play your guitar directly in front of the amplifier.

Not only does this damage your ears, but it puts your audience off when they come to hear you play!

Now I’m not an expert on the dynamics of feedback. But I have performed on stage many times and have learnt a few tricks to avoid feedback from occurring…

The first step is to turn down your treble on your amplifier. Too much treble invites feedback so don’t have too much treble in your amplifier settings.

The second step is to turn the volume on your guitar up only 3/4. Don’t turn your volume up full as this is invites huge feedback! Always leave a little room on your volume, so don’t turn it up all the way. Only 3/4 and I guarantee you will reduce feedback at least 80% with this trick.

One other trick is to turn down the gain or distortion on your amp. When you play softly, you can turn your gain or distortion full. But when you start playing with some serious volume, turn your gain only 50%.

You will still get the same sound and distortion, but this is the trick to avoiding feedback from occurring when you play loudly.

Finally, if you’re using an effects pedal, only turn it up 3/4 the way. Like your guitar — always leave a bit of leeway as it offers more control over the sound and keeps your playing tight!

Remember this — if you keep control of your volumes, you reduce the level of feedback and have a much tighter sound as an over all band. If you turn everything up full and try to rule the world — you’ll sound a mess and out of control.