The past two years of lockdowns and restrictions have led many people to pursue a hobby. With time on their hands, people have begun to indulge in something they had always wanted to but could never find the time for. Learning to play a musical instrument is the most recurring among the most popular pastimes that have boomed lately.

The guitar is a great instrument to understand and may not be as difficult as you believe. If you want to play electric guitar, you need an amplifier or an amp. How do guitar amps work, and what should you be looking for when considering buying one? 

fenders guitar amplifier

Check out Crunch Reviews for the latest news and products if you are on the lookout for some headphones that work great with guitars and do not want to get bogged down in technical details. Back to our topic – let’s explain how a guitar amp works.

 How Do Guitar Amps Work?

The fact is that when we look at the question of how do guitar amplifiers work, we will see that the concept is very quite simple. However, before we get to that, we need to look at how an electric guitar works. The two main types of guitars are acoustic and electric. 

Acoustic guitars are those with hollow wood bodies. Although many models can be, they are generally not amplified (although many models can be) and rely upon projecting the sound as it resonates in the body, which acts as a soundbox.

acoustic guitar

The electric guitar usually has a solid body and a device called ‘the pickup’ or pickups. This part of the guitar sends the sound to the amplifier, so it helps to understand how pickups work. The pickups are copper wire tightly coiled around a magnet. In simple terms, when a string is plucked, the magnetic field is disturbed, and the signal is sent down the cable – or wirelessly in some cases – to the amp.

electric guitar

 Inner Workings Of A Guitar Amp

Now the amp gets to do its job. A pre-amp is the procedure’s first stage, which strengthens the signal and sends it to the power amp. The power amp drives the speakers and presents the signal to those in an electrical instruction. The result is sound as we hear it from the speakers. This sound can be modified in volume, tone, and many other ways in more sophisticated examples.

 If you’re looking at buying an amp, our next section is about what you need to look for, and a few features should be considered. Also, we shall see that there are different types of various usage.

See also: 14 Best Piano Software To Learn Piano Easily | Top Piano Apps

 Features To Look For In A Guitar Amp

Now that we have answered the query: How do guitar amps work? Let’s look into their features.

guitar with amplifier

What do you need in a guitar amp? That depends on the use. Are you looking for an amp to practice with at home and improve your playing? Or one for band practices with friends, a school band, or another group? Or perhaps you need a professional amp as you are heading out on tour? The latter is a big step and requires professional advice, so we recommend you find a reputable retailer and ask them for recommendations.

The performance meters to look for are its wattage – the power and loudness that it produces – which will need to be greater for performances and not for practicing. The practice amp does not need a massive wattage as only you – the player – will hear it.

Tips For Beginners

Let’s be honest; if you are a beginner, you want to keep your budget small if you decide that playing the guitar is not for you. In this case, you wouldn’t want to spend a fortune on one of the big-name brands, such as Marshall or Fenders. Your best bet is an affordable and usable practice amp with low wattage. You must also be sure it is beginner-friendly 

guitar practice setup

We will give you another tip: If you don’t want to disturb your neighbors, you should make sure your amp has a headphone jack and buy a pair of headphones that work with it. Make sure you check the plug size and output socket, as there is more than one type across the guitar amp industry. Also, make sure the parts of the guitar amp you choose to use are readily available. 

amplifier features

  Modern guitar amps tend to use transistor technology and are not expensive, so there will be plenty of choices for you within the budget you have set. Check out online reviews and retailers for ideas, or visit a local music shop where enthusiasts are happy to pass on their advice. 

See also: 11 Best Online Drum Machines To Build Beats On The Go

Which Guitar Amp Is Best For You?

 If you can answer the question how do guitar amps work, you can now choose an amp best suited for you.

 It’s great to see live music returning in large and small venues after being stricken by the pandemic. Even if you are just a beginner, we strongly recommend buying a decent amp for your budget, and many reviews, blogs, and articles will help you make the right decision. 

live music

 If you want to perform, you will eventually find a bar or other venue in most cities and towns with an open mic night. These are great fun. You will get to make new friends and also get used to performing in front of a crowd. 

Check them out now and start enjoying your guitar to the fullest. Open mic nights have been the foundation of many a great band. This could certainly be a step forward for you.


What is the purpose of a guitar amp's preamp?

The preamp in a guitar amp is responsible for modifying the tone and adding gain to the guitar signal. It controls the equalization (treble, mid, bass) and often provides additional features like distortion or effects.

What does the power amp do in a guitar amp?

The power amp in a guitar amp takes the preamp's signal and amplifies it to a level that can drive the speaker. It increases the signal's power and volume while maintaining the tonal characteristics set by the preamp. The power amp's design and features can significantly impact the overall sound and response of the guitar amp.

Can I use any guitar amp with any guitar?

You can generally use any guitar with any guitar amp. However, different combinations of guitars and amps can produce different tones and responses. The choice of the amp can influence the characteristics of your guitar's sound, so it's essential to consider factors like the amp's wattage, tonal capabilities, and intended use when selecting an amp for your guitar.

What role does the speaker play in a guitar amp?

The speaker in a guitar amp converts the amplified electrical signal into audible sound waves. It is crucial in shaping the tone and delivering the output sound. Different speakers can have distinct sonic characteristics, such as frequency response, sensitivity, and speaker size, which contribute to the final sound produced by the guitar amp.

Can I connect effects pedals to a guitar amp?

Yes, most guitar amps have input jacks that allow you to connect effects pedals. If available, you can connect your pedals directly to the amp's input or through the effects loop. This will enable you to enhance your guitar's sound by adding various effects like distortion, modulation, delay, or reverb, depending on your preferences and musical style.

What is the purpose of the amp's controls, such as volume, tone, and gain?

The controls on a guitar amp, including volume, tone, and gain, enable you to shape and adjust your guitar's sound. The volume control adjusts the overall output level, while the tone control alters the frequency balance (treble, mid, bass). The gain control adjusts the input signal's level, affecting the amount of distortion or overdrive in the sound.


How do guitar amps work? We hope we have answered this question and helped you choose which amp to get for yourself. Especially as a beginner! Happy playing.

See also: Top 4 Loud Music Player For Android To Use In 2021

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