Top 5 Reasons Guitarists Should Tilt Their Amps Back
1 - Practicing At Home
Most guitarists probably spend the majority of their time playing guitar by themselves at home, and when you're jamming at home you're most likely not trying to crank your amp to 11. You probably want to try to keep the volume down so you can disturb your family and neighbors as little as possible, especially when jamming late at night. This is a perfect time to be tilting your amp back so that you point the speaker towards your ears. This will allow you to keep the volume lower than you'd have to have it if the amp was sitting flat on the ground.
2 - Band Practice / Jamming With Friends
When you're jamming with other musicians it's important that you can hear yourself, as well as everyone else. We've all had the experience of not being able to hear yourself over your friends or bandmates, so we crank our amps up, and then someone else has to crank their amp up so they can hear themselves over your amp, and eventually everyone is playing full-blast, and you still have trouble hearing each instrument. If everyone places their amplifiers where they can all be tilted back, and the speakers are pointed in the general direction of everyone's ears, it will be so much easier to dial in the volume levels so that everyone can be heard, and you actually won't have to turn the volume up nearly as loud.
3 - Playing Live Shows
The most important thing about playing live (aside from remembering to bring all your gear), is making sure your audience can hear you. It's also important that you're able to hear yourself, and you can't always count on having stage monitors. Depending on the size of the stage, and the area where you'll be playing in relation to where you're amp is placed, you'll usually have a couple options to consider with how you position your guitar amp. One of the best things you can do is tilt your amp back so that the speaker is pointed towards the ears of your audience. If you're playing on a short stage (or no stage) you'll probably need to tilt your amp almost as far back as it can go without tipping over, and if you're on a taller stage you may only need to tilt it back a little. If the sound manager at the venue puts a microphone on your amp, so your guitar comes through the PA speakers, it's still a good idea to tilt your amp back to direct the sound towards your audience. Listeners near the front of the stage will likely hear most of your guitar directly from your amplifier, and not so much from the PA speakers to their left and right. Tilting your amp back on stage will not only improve your sound for your audience; it will also help you be able to hear yourself. You might be playing on a smaller stage and have to stand close to your amplifier, which could make it difficult to have the amp tilted back far enough to point directly at your ears, but if you can tilt it so that it's pointed between the height of your audience's ears and your own, this might be the ideal level. Consider your options and test some of them out over your next few gigs, and you'll eventually get to know where the sweet spot is for most stages/venues you'll play.
4 - Recording In The Studio
Guitarists love to experiment in the studio, and this is another setting where it can be great to tilt your amp(s) back. You might try it flat on the ground first with a microphone pointed at the speaker (try 2 mics! ...try 2 different mics!), and see how it sounds when recorded. But also try tilting it back and see how it sounds when recorded. With many amplifiers, the lower frequencies of your guitar can often sound a bit muddy when the amp is sitting flat on the ground, and if you tilt your amp back you'll hear a noticeable improvement. Also, if you're using the Thunderbolt Audio Little Wedgie to tilt your amp back, the recycled rubber will provide some sound isolation and reduce vibrations that might get passed to your mic stand and microphone.
5 - Playing For Livestreams or Pre-Recorded Videos
If you've read all of the above you can understand how important it is to tilt your amp back when playing for livestreams or pre-recorded videos: 1 - So you can hear yourself. 2 - So you and your fellow musicians can hear yourselves AND each other. 3 - So your audience can hear you. 4 - To ensure you're amp sounds its best, projecting your guitar with the clearest and fullest range of frequencies possible, as well as providing some sound isolation.
If you're not tilting your guitar amp back, please consider all of the above and give it a try!
The Thunderbolt Audio Little Wedgie is the perfect tool for tilting your amp back in most settings.
Order today at https://www.thunderboltaudio.com/product-page/littlewedgie
Let us know in the comments what your favorite time or scenario is for when you tilt your amp back!