Can You Play Electric Guitar Without An Amp

Can You Play An Electric Guitar Without An Amp?

They make electric guitars to be played with an amp. However, does that mean there is no hope of it being played without one? Amplifiers pave the way toward a great-sounding electric guitar. So, can you play an electric guitar without an amp?

An amp is not required when playing the electric guitar. Amps are optional for personal use. However, during live performances or recordings, an amp is necessary. If an amp isn’t available, electric guitar sounds can be produced through alternative equipment, such as a software-based amplifier.

Given amps are so expensive. There are some creative ways around this issue. Below, we will give you more information on what you need to know about electric guitars, amps, and apps that try to replace them. 

When is an Amp Not Required To Play The Guitar?

An amp isn’t required for personal use. An amp is only needed to make the music you are playing louder. You can hear the music you are playing when you play an electric guitar without an amp. It is much quieter, but the metal strings will make enough noise to help you find the right chord.

The one problem: you won’t get that sweet electric sound. You won’t get some of the deep music you can expect from acoustic guitars. Instead, it will be pretty weak and not impressive.

When is an Amp Required To Play The Guitar?

Amps are required during any situation that requires noise or specific sounds. Typically, this is in two situations: live music and recording studios.

A Live Performance Without an Amp

Imagine trying to play sick riffs on your electric guitar without an amp. Short answer: it isn’t happening. In this situation, it won’t take long before you get booed off the stage.

You can even get an amplifier for some acoustic guitars. Output jacks plugged into acoustic systems or microphones close enough can catch them. But, electric guitar players can’t position a mic close enough, because the solid body of electric guitars won’t cause the strings to ring loud enough to be picked up by a microphone.

Electric guitars are also used in bands with drums, a bass guitar, and a keyboard. If these instruments have amplifiers, you need an amplifier as well. Anything else will end up laughed off the stage.

Amps in Recording Studios

When recording music, amps give you a perspective on what your guitar sounds like through an amplifier. Without the amp, you might not find an audio imperfection.

While in recording studios, an amp is necessary because it allows the music to be heard and easily modified during the editing process. Amps allow you, the studio manager, and the recording equipment to hear the full sound that the electric guitar can produce.

It will help ease the editing process and minimize the need for sound editing to improve your performance. It will also make giving audiences what they want during live and recorded performances easier.

The “amps” in recording studios are likelier to be studio monitors. These are specialized music-listening devices that don’t add any optional effects.

You can also expect a guitar with headphones, as the close-and-personal relationship of headphones lets you hear audio details. Guitar headphones need to run through some sort of audio system in most cases. We will revisit this later.

Why Should I Not Play With An Amp?

  • Amplifiers are loud. Although you can adjust the volume, that sound, and vibrations can still radiate and disturb those around you (family, neighbors, etc.).
  • You don’t have the money. Amps are expensive and can range from $100 to $300 for one of good quality.
  • Your practice space isn’t ideal. Electric guitar requires practice, and you can play that instrument in the early morning and late at night. Because of this, it is not the best decision to have that sound blaring out.
  • They are big. Many amps are too big to fit in a space. Of course, you can check out some of the best mini guitar amps to solve this problem. 

Three Ways To Play an Electric Guitar as an Amp

1. Use a Regular Speaker System (or PA System)

Amplifiers amplify sound, much like speakers. This means you can use any normal amplification system to do it. But, if you want that sound system to make cool sounds, you’ll need a direct input box or preamp.

This is a great option for those who want to save money on purchasing an amp when they already have a suitable sound system. The only downside to this is that any old sound system won’t have the features of a true amp.

Bestseller No. 1
Pyle Powered PA Speaker System Active & Passive Bluetooth Loudspeakers Kit with 8 Inch Speakers, Wired Microphone, MP3/USB/SD/AUX Readers, Speaker Stands,Remote Control – Pyle PPHP849KT Black
  • 700 WATT POWER: Portable high powered 2 way full range audio projection loudspeaker PA system has a power output of 700 watt MAX / 350 watt RMS so you can play your favorite tracks as loud as you want and with style
  • 8” SUBWOOFERS PLUS 1” TWEETERS: This active plus passive PA speaker kit is equipped with pro audio woofers & high performance compression drivers w/ titanium diaphragms for stereo sound with impressive bass response
  • WIRELESS BLUETOOTH: PA Speaker supports bluetooth for wireless audio streaming and works with devices like Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops and Computers. Ideal for personal indoor home use or for outdoor backyard DJ parties
  • EXTERNAL AUDIO INPUTS: USB flash drive and SD card readers for MP3 audio file playback 3.5mm AUX input, 1/4″ SpeakOn Input, XLR microphone input for karaoke 35mm stand mount, includes 2 stands, remote, microphone, power cable
  • EQ CONFIGURATION: Heavy duty PA system also features a digital LCD display and rear panel rotary dial / button control center to adjust the master volume, mic volume, treble, bass so you can balance the audio levels to your liking
Bestseller No. 2
PRORECK Party 12 12-Inch 1000 Watts 2-Way Powered PA Speaker System Combo Set with Bluetooth/USB Drive Read Function/SD Card Reader/FM Radio/Remote Control/Speaker Stand
  • Portable 12-Inch 1000 Watt 2-Way Powered Dj/PA Speaker System with Bluetooth /USB Drive read function/SD Card Reader/ FM Radio Functions
  • 150-Watt RMS,1000 Watts Peak; 12″ Woofer and Compression Driver with 1.35″ Titanium Diaphragm; Digital LCD Screen; Master volume controls, Mic, Line, Tremble, Bass volume controls
  • XLR and 1/4” Mic Inputs for balanced and unbalanced microphones ; RCA Line Input and RCA Line Output; Speakon output;
  • Remote control included for easy operation; Integrated 35-mm speaker stand; 2 transport wheels for easy mobility
  • Package Dimensions: 30” × 12” × 30” (W x D x H) ; Package Weight: 60 lbs; 30ft speakon cable; 2m power cable
Bestseller No. 3
PRORECK Club 3000 12-Inch 4000w DJ Powered PA Speaker System Combo Set with Bluetooth USB Drive Read Function SD Card Remote Control,Two subwoofers and 8 line Array Speakers Set for Church, DJ, Live
  • ★ PRORECK CLUB 3000 PA SYSTEM: All-in-one 4000 watt bluetooth PA system consists of (1) active subwoofer, (1) passive subwoofer, (2) 4×4-inch array speakers(totally eight speakers), (2) speaker stands, (1) 30-feet speakon cable, (6) 8-inch 6.35mm cables,(1) 6-feet 6.35mm cables, (1) 33-feet 6.35mm cables, (1) remote control and (1) user manual. The active subwoofer features a 12-inch amplifier and streams music to the passive speaker and line array speakers, to deliver music to all audiences.
  • ★ WIRELESS CONNECTION & OPERATION: Instantly pair with iPhone,iPod, iPad, android devices, etc with line of sight of up to 66 feet. You can also use the remote control to switch mode, play/pause, switch to previous/next song, increase/decrease volume from up to 20 feet; Telescoping speaker pole to adjust the pa system from 65 inch to 80 inch. Use side handles to lift and transport the subwoofers conveniently.
  • ★HUGE COMPATABILITY & VERSATILE CONNECTIONS: The powered system set features BLUETOOTH/USB DRIVE/SD CARD functions. Simply insert USB drive/SD CARD to playback songs. Versatile 4-channel mono & stereo inputs (two mono XLR inputs for microphone or line-level source, one stereo 6.35mm input and one stereo RCA input) and one stereo RCA outputs. Individual volume controls and treble/bass control, master volume to set the general volume conveniently
  • ★ WIDE RANGE OF USAGE:The PA system has 4000 Watt Peak /1000 RMS, and can accommodate up to 200 persons and 500 m2. Wide frequency response (from 40-20KHz) makes it suitable for amplifying any type of audio including music or vocals. Great for wedding, meeting, speeches, churches, class teaching, gymnastics, conference, home theater, etc. Easily connect to multiple musical instruments.
  • ★ DEEP & THRILLING STEREO SOUND: Two rock-solid subwoofers are made of MDF material and reduces resonance for distortion-free and accurate response. Eight tweeters and eight mid-tweeters ensures clear and deep stereo sound. Note: Items are shipped with three packages separately.

2. Use a Software Amp for your Mobile Device

Another way to play your electric guitar without an amp is to use an amp simulator. An amp simulator is a computer-based program that simulates an amp. It can change the sound of your guitar, but you still need a way to connect it.

To connect it to your mobile device, you need an adaptor that connects your headphone jack to your phone to your guitar. You can also get a Bluetooth adapter that connects your electric guitar to your phone.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Electric Guitar Converter Flanger FC-21 Electric Bass to Mobile Phone Connector Adapter Compatible for iOS and for Android
  • Perfect Guitar Converter Adapter-The converter from electric guitar/bass to smartphone helps to achieve perfect sound effects of musical instruments.
  • Easy to Install-Easy to install, long-term use. Useful accessories for electric bass and guitar players.
  • Compatible with iOS and Android-The electric guitar converter is compatible with smartphones or tablets, has the same type of headphone jack as iPhone/, and is also compatible with iOS and Android systems, and is suitable for some Android smartphones and tablets . tablet.
  • Wide Application-Suitable for special effects, turner and recording software applications in smart phones.
  • Guarantee-If you are not satisfied with the received our products, you can send us an email at any time. We will reply you immediately and help you solve the problem.
Bestseller No. 2
Electric Guitar Bass to Smart Phone Converter Flanger FC-21 Converter Compatible for iOS and for Android System Flanger For Electric Guitar Flanger Fc-21 Guitar Phone Adapter
  • EASY TO INSTALL: It is easy to install and can be used for a long time, a useful accessory for electric bass and guitar players.
  • APPLICATION: The converter is compatible with the smart phone or tablet which have the same type of earphone jack for iPhone/for iPad, and suitable for iOS and for Android system.
  • GUITAR BASS TO PHONE CONVERTER: Electric guitar and bass to smart phone converter helps to achieve the perfect sound effects of your instrument, applies to the app of effects, turners and recording software in the smart phone.
  • COMPACT SIZE: It is portable with light weight and compact size, easy for carry and storage, practical and convenient to use.
  • GUARANTEE: If you are not satisfied with our product received, you can apply for unconditional return and refund in 180 days. In terms of any problem of this product, you can send emails to us at any time.
Bestseller No. 3
FAVOMOTO 1pc Effector Rotor Mini Bass Guitar Phone Adapter Phone Accessories Electric Guitar Converter Bass to Mobile Phone Adapter Electric Bass Converter Guitar Effect Converter Supply
  • Guitar converter link devices: strict quality inspection system to ensure that you get high- quality products.
  • Guitar effector converter: a 3. 5 mm stereo headphone jack. connect the 3. 5 mm input plug to your smartphone.
  • Phone software effector: after inserting the 3.5mm interface connector into the earphone input of the smart device, the device can be started.
  • Effector converter: this effect is simple and practical, allowing you to have a pleasant mood while enjoying music.
  • Guitar to phone jack adapter: made of abs material, and , not easy to damage, and can serve you for a time.

3. Use a Computer Audio interface

An audio interface is the third way to transform almost anything into an amp. An interface converts your audio to digital data. You can edit your audio by using a digital audio workstation (DAW).

Interfaces have the added advantage of allowing you to edit aspects of your sound. Some have bass and treble settings, while others have input and output settings to control distortion and sound. But since they are used to produce music, they can be just as expensive as amplifiers.

Bestseller No. 1
Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface for Guitarists, Vocalists, Podcasters or Producers to record and playback studio quality sound
  • Pro performance with great pre-amps – Achieve a brighter recording thanks to the high performing mic pre-amps of the Scarlett 3rd Gen. A switchable Air mode will add extra clarity to your acoustic instruments when recording with your Solo 3rd Gen.
  • Get the perfect guitar and vocal take with – With two high-headroom instrument inputs to plug in your guitar or bass so that they shine through. Capture your voice and instruments without any unwanted clipping or distortion thanks to our Gain Halos.
  • Studio quality recording for your music & podcasts – Achieve pro sounding recordings with Scarlett 3rd Gen’s high-performance converters enabling you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/192kHz. Your recordings will retain all of their sonic qualities.
  • Low-noise for crystal clear listening – 2 low-noise balanced outputs provide clean audio playback with 3rd Gen. Hear all the nuances of your tracks or music from Spotify, Apple & Amazon Music. Plug-in headphones for private listening in high-fidelity.
  • Easy Start – It’s easier than ever to get up and running with your Scarlett 3rd Gen with our online tool, Easy Start. Whether you’re looking to record or playback audio, we will help you get started.
Bestseller No. 2
JOYO Guitar Audio Interface Pocket Internal Recording Sound Card with Type-C and Lightning for Live Streaming by Phone and Laptop Plug & Play (MOMIX CAB)
  • Mini audio interface, high quality Internal recording sound card for live streaming to connect smartphone, laptop and electric guitar,bass.
  • Synchronize audio and video. Output the stereo audio to smartphone directly, Low latency, low interference, high fidelity recording.
  • USB-C and Lightning for smartphone or laptop. The 6.35mm jack to connect electric guitar bass and the 3.5mm jack supports monitoring.
  • Plug and play without charging. Back clip design and pocket storage, flexible and convenient to record at anytime and anywhere.
  • High sensitivity & active detectivity, if the volume is too high resulting in distortion, the indicator light will turn from green to red.
Bestseller No. 3
IK Multimedia iRig 2 portable guitar audio interface, lightweight audio adapter for iPhone and iPad with instrument input and headphone/amplfiier outs
  • PLUG AND PLAY SIMPLICITY ON EVERY DEVICE: Adjustable gain dial, which works with its built-in 1/8″” TRRS output connector to give you a true plug-and-play experience with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac.
  • CONNECT TO AMPLIFIER WITHOUT ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES: iRig 2’s new 1/4” output jack lets you use iRig 2 with an amplifier as a part of your live rig without the use of an adaptor.
  • CONNECT TO ANY APPLE DEVICE: Compatible with new generation Apple iPhone through the lightning to headphone adaptor — Easily record high-quality audio right to your mobile device. Use the built-in 1/8″ headphone output or 1/4″ amplifier output to listen to audio with headphones or amplifier.
  • ROCK WITH iRig 2: Paired with AmpliTube CS (free) for iOS, IK’s powerful guitar and bass multi-effects processor. AmpliTube CS provides you with a vast library of meticulously modeled virtual stompbox effects, amplifiers.
  • EVEN BETTER: iRig 2 features a switch that lets you select between a processed signal and a clean “thru” input signal. This means you can also use your mobile device as a tuner, recorder or other tool while preserving the purity of a 100% analog signal path.

Three Ways To Keep Your Amp Quiet

Quietening Your Amplifier/Respecting Others
  1. Use headphones: Many amps come with headphone slots, and some have Bluetooth capabilities. Check your amp to see your options, and go out to get yourself some headphones.
  2. Control the volume: Reduce it to see if it meets your neighbor’s needs. It might not work, but it’s worth a try!
  3. Soundproof your room using acoustic foam: Soundproofing foam is expensive but great if you want to experience your sound. It might not limit the noise completely, but it will help.

You can also check with your neighbors to ask if there’s a time to play that won’t disturb them. Some people will be inflexible when you ask this.

That would be best if you can practice elsewhere (like a sound studio). But, most people don’t have access to a studio.

Here’s some more tips:

What Volume Levels Can an Amp Do?

The volume levels of an electric guitar amp will depend on the quality of the amp, such as brand, model, wattage, and type (solid state and valve or low- and high-powered). The noise level will also change depending on the crowd and room size if you are performing live.

Solid-state amps are the most common type of amp, followed by valve amps. Low- and high-powered amps are used equally.

Here are some amp wattage recommendations for different scenarios.

  • For practice only: 10W (valve) or 20W (solid state)
  • Live performances without a drummer with less than 100 people: 20W (valve) or 40W (solid-state)
  • Smaller performances with a drummer: 100W (valve)
  • Performances for 100-1000 people: 200W (solid-state)
  • Any performances for over 1,000 people: 100W (valve) or 200W (solid-state) with a microphone
  • Recording purposes: 10-20W (valve) or 20-40W (solid-state).

You should purchase an amp that fits your needs and what you will use it for most consistently.

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of reasons a person would want to play their electric guitar without an amp. It could be due to expense, a better way to practice, or an amp’s noise. 

Electric guitars are great to play and much loved, but they are loud, and with this loudness comes complaints. It is important to prepare before buying the guitar. Consider practice times, purchase headphones, even go as far as soundproofing a room.

You can play electric guitars with and without an amp and although the sound may differ, it is important to play so you will enjoy.

Similar Posts