Can you Play Electric Guitar Without an Amp? (4 Easy Ways)

Hey guys, Here I am going to tell you can you play Electric guitar without an amplifier.

As you know due to amplifier electric guitar sounds awesome. Amplified electric guitar had made lots of singers and rockstars successful and famous.

Thus the question may arise is it really possible to play an electric guitar without an amplifier then guys here is good news for you.

Short and sweet answer is Yes, it is definitely possible. However, without amplifier electric guitar doesn’t sound good. But, nowadays the amplifier becomes too expensive that everyone can not afford it. Along with this amplifier required to much space.

But luckily, Now we can use software instead of an amplifier. And we can run such software with the help of laptops and smartphones as well.

So in this guide, not only I will discuss your issue but also provide you a solution. Before that, it is necessary to know how guitar actually makes sound with an amplifier.

So here we go:

Can you Play Electric Guitar Without an Amp?

    How does an Electric Guitar Actually make Sound?

    Basically in this section I am going to tell you how amplifier works.

    When the strings of electric guitar strummed it get vibrated. Mainly strings are made of nickel or steel. Then to produce a sound there are magnetic pickups in electric guitar.

    Magnetic pickups convert this string vibrations into electric signals. So this whole process is called electromagnetic induction.

    Now guys the work of amplifier starts. As when these signals produce they are weak and poorly audible. This amplifier makes these signals louder.

    Unlike acoustic guitar, an electric guitar is not hollow from inside thus when we strum it without plugging an amplifier it makes sounds but lower than an acoustic guitar.

    You may Like: How Electric Guitar Actually Works: Ultimate Guide

    Why Play Electric Guitar without an Amp?

    As we have discussed that amplifier is used to increase the sound. Due to amplified electric guitar sounds excellent.

    So these are positive points of amplifier but there are drawbacks as well. When we have to play music in an open place then using an amplifier is a better choice.

    But if we like to play the guitar in your study room at home then amplifier may disturb others so that time it is necessary to play guitar without plugging.

    Or you can start your guitar career with an acoustic guitar is also a good option.

    Amplifier is too expensive and costly. So everyone are not able to afford it.

    So rather than taking an electric guitar of cheap quality just to fit an amp in your budget, I will suggest you take a high-quality electric guitar without an amplifier.

    Practice for some months on your guitar with the technique which I am going to explain here. When you get prepared financially then buy the best amp this is the best option according to me.

    As the amplifier is too heavy so it is not possible to carry it everywhere. So most guitarists travel without an amplifier leaving it at home.

    However, this issue may be solved as digital amplifier technology is improving also amp are now becoming lighter by weight without any effect on its sound quality.

    How to Play Electric Guitar without an Amp (4 Simple Ways)

    If due to any reason you are not able to play the guitar with amp then I have a solution for you.

    Yes, guys, you can also play music on an electric guitar without an amp. But, this way, the guitar does not sound as good as with amp but it is definitely going to help you.

    So here are my top 4 strategies that act as an amp for you. Please go through each of my strategies and apply anyone which you think is suitable for you and for your guitar.

    #1. By connecting your electric guitar to your PC (Windows or Mac)

    Guys, this is one of the best technique, You just have to connect your guitar directly to your PC. Install amp simulator software on your computer.

    This software is going to work as an actual amplifier. So due to this, there is no need cabinet, wires, boards, and recording equipment. Due to this way all your heavy amp get stored right into your PC.

    So the question is how to connect Guitar with PC. The answer is so simple with a USB.

    Just connect your computer with your guitar and your amplifier is ready to work. There are various USB available in the market at a cheap price, which works awesome.

    #2. By connecting your Electric Guitar with your Smartphone (iOS or Android)

    If computer is not available at your home then nothing to worry. Here is my new technique, you can create your own amp just with the help of your own smartphone.

    I know its sounds surprising. But believe me guys you can also use your smartphone instead of actual amp.

    You just have to connect your smartphone to your guitar with the help of USB. You can easily get such USB from electronic shops.

    And then you have to download an amp simulator app from the app store or play store. You can use this technique on android as well as IOS.

    While playing music on the guitar you can also record your music on your phone just like a computer.

    However, control of amp becomes less when you use such software on mobile rather than a computer.

    #3. By Using Guitar Headphone Amplifier

    So friends you can also use Guitar headphone amplifier instead of an amp. Basically Headphone amplifier is small in size and looks like a battery.

    play electric guitar with headphone amplifier

    You have to plug this battery in your guitar and your amp is ready. Just plug your headphones and you can play the music that is not going to disturb others.

    With this technique, you can play only limited tones. But the advantage is you can carry this small amp anywhere which an actual amp cannot.

    And such a guitar headphone amplifier is best for practice as it does not make much noise.

    #4. By Using a Guitar Multi-Effect Processor

    Multi-Effect Processing is the last and final method to play your electric guitar without an amp.

    You get the best sound quality in this way but let me tell you, this is also the most expensive method on this list.


    What is Mulit-Effect Processor (MEP)?

    Basically It is a compact unit that contains almost everything you need to play your guitar.

    Also, you don’t need to connect your guitar to your PC in this case. Although, you can connect it to DAW if you want to record your music.

    One more benefit you get is, you can easily connect this MEP unit with the PA system or even with studio monitors, which makes them great.

    Due to all such amazing features, many musicians actually use these MEP units instead of the actual amplifier during live performances or recording demos.

    So, now we have discussed the different ways so you can play your guitar without an amp.

    Basically what we are trying to do in the above method is converting the electromagnetic signal coming from the guitar into digital signals.

    But, to hear the music properly, we need to amplify these signals a little bit, so we all can enjoy your music.

    Let see How:

    How to Amplify an Electric Guitar without an Amp

    Here I am going to talk about again 4 simple methods to amplify your guitar signals without actual Amp.

    how to play electric guitar without an amp

    1. By Connecting your Guitar to Home Stereo System or Speakers

    Do you have any kind of Home Stereo System at your home? whether it is Home theater or a pair of computer speakers, anything?

    If yes,Then this method is for you.

    I know, the home stereo system is not made for playing an electric guitar, but you can use it if you don’t want to go out and invest your money in studio monitors.

    One more thing: you just need a 1/4 inch to 3.5mm adapter in order to connect your guitar with your stereo system.

    But you know what, they are cheap or maybe you can already have one since it comes with many headphones.

    Once you get an adapter, you’re ready to play.

    2. By Connecting your Guitar to PA System

    Hey, Are you perform in the Live events? whether your answer is yes or no, this is a very good method to amplify your guitar.

    Mostly this method is used when you use a multi-effect processor for playing your guitar.

    And why not?

    Who wants a hundreds of pounds of crap around you and you need to setup everything before you start playing? or instead you just have to carry one little box and you can play almost any tone you want.

    One thing I like the most about this method is, you don’t need to worry about setting up an amp microphone.

    Also, you can connect your PC or smartphones with the PA system if you want to use any kind of software for tuning.

    3. Playing your Guitar through Studio Monitors

    This is an another (professional) way to amplify your guitar signals easily.

    Studio monitors are basically speakers that are specifically designed for professional audio production works like audio/music mixing or recording.

    Main advantage you get with this way is, As studio monitors have no EQ, you can clearly hear how guitar track is actually sound without any kind of enhancement or modification.

    This is the ideal way for those who want to go for music mixing or want to setup your home studio and create you music.

    Because you can clearly listen to your track, find out your inperfections and easily work on them. thus it is mostly use in post-production work as I mentioned already.

    4. By Playing your Guitar through Headphones

    I think this is the most common and easy way ever to amplify your electric guitar.

    This method is works easily with anything. like if you’re connecting your guitar with the PA system or Multi-effect unit or with your PC. you can easily get amplified output sound signals from headphone.

    This is a great way, if you want to play your guitar at night or if you live in an apartment where you need to quit.

    When I was in my college hostel, I can’t really play loud music, back then this is my only solution to play and enjoy my guitar music.

    Also Read: 5 Effortless Ways to Play your Electric Guitar with Headphone

    I discuss everything I know about this topic. if you’re still confused, whether you should buy an amplifier or not, the next section is only for you.

    Do you Really Need an Amplifier for your Electric Guitar?

    If you are playing an electric guitar at home just as a hobby then there is no need to buy an costly amplifier.

    You can also play it at home with the help of various softwares.

    So rather than spending lots of money on amplifier I will suggest you to practice on a digital amplifier by connecting your guitar to computer and smartphones.

    However, if you really want to make a career in this or if you are going to present your song at any program then you should use actual amplifier.

    So before buying a costly amplifier make sure that how much amplifier is necessary. And then decide which option is perfect for you.

    Final Thoughts on ‘Can you Play Electric Guitar without an Amp

    So guys, I discribe all the best options that I know to play electric guitar without plugging an actual Amplifier.

    I know, electric guitar played without an amp sounds somewhat lowers and that’s why I also include the section for amplifying digital signals.

    As obevious, electric guitar is not going to sound as same as with amp but this is great instead of buying an expensive amp.

    Because you can play a guitar without Amp with the help of softwares available at app store and play store. With the help of this softwares you can get a feel of amp without paying anything.

    And you know what, you can invest this money to buy the best and perfect electric guitar for you.

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