Did you know the Vintage 16 guitar combo amplifier and the VT16 head version have an internal dummy load? When you want to play your amplifier without a speaker load you need what is called a dummy load. With tube amplifiers you have to load the amplifier (connect speakers) or you may damage the output power tubes. The output power tubes use the output transformer to "transform" the speaker's impedance to correctly load themselves to work properly. If the amp is running and the speakers are not connected the output power tubes are unloaded and the amplifier can become unstable. The dummy load replaces the speaker’s impedance for the output transformer and completes the circuit, so your amplifier is happy and stable. This is great for headphone use and recording where a direct signal is taken from the amp's line output. When you need tube tone in a quiet situation look to the Vintage 16 series.
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Practice the Art of Being a Team Player
In the same way that learning the other players' parts will help you to fit in well, so too will learning to become a team player. Any guitarist can tell you that your amp sounds great when it's shaking the rafters. But if you crank up indiscriminately, it makes it hard for the other musicians to play at their best. Remember, they need to be able to hear as well. So, when they tell you they need you to adjust your volume, try to accommodate them to the extent possible. A good stage mix allows the whole band to hear not only themselves, but all the other parts as well. It does not require the ultimate guitar tone; that is essential out front, but it isn't always the top priority on stage.
In this article, you will learn how to focus your efforts on the areas you need to improve the most, and we will see how important it can be to see the 'big picture' when playing in a band. Last time, we learned some effective practice strategies, but how do you know which areas in which to invest your time? How can you improve your ability to "see" where you are taking your music?
If you are really serious about becoming the best musician that you can be, it makes good sense to cultivate habits that will help you achieve your goal, rather than hinder you. In this series, we will learn seven habits that will help you become a better musician. There is a lot to learn when mastering a musical instrument, but these basic principles will help you achieve success more easily, and they apply no matter which instrument you play.