If you play electric guitar, then you may have found that it is difficult to find a private space for practicing your instrument.
Electric guitars are by their nature very loud, especially if you enjoy playing genres such as hard rock or heavy metal.
You obviously need to practice every day if you want to get better at your instrument, but you may be concerned about the noise disturbing your neighbors. One way to work around this is to wear headphones when you practice your electric guitar.
Practicing with headphones means that your playing won’t disturb anyone living next door, and it comes with lots of other benefits as well.
For instance, you can hear your playing much more clearly and will find it easier to correct mistakes while practicing. In this guide, we will be sharing some top tips for playing your electric guitar through headphones.
Can I Plug Headphones Directly Into A Guitar
If you are reading this article, then you are probably wondering if you can plug headphones directly into the jack port on your guitar.
Most headphones will have a 3.5mm mini jack, although you can buy adaptors for turning these into the 6.5mm jacks that you plug into your guitar.
So even though you can technically make your headphone jack fit into the port on your guitar, it still won’t work.
The signal from your guitar needs to be amplified before it can be turned into audible sound. If you plug your headphones straight into the main output on your guitar, then you simply won’t hear anything at all.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to play your guitar through headphones, and in the next section we will cover some methods for doing exactly that.
How To Play Your Guitar Through Headphones
There are a few different ways that you can connect your electric guitar to a pair of headphones, so you can practice in peace.
Some of these methods are more difficult than others, and which one you pick will depend on the equipment you have available.
Plugging Your Headphones Into An Amp
The simplest way to play your guitar through headphones is to plug them into your amp. For this to work, then you will need to own an amp with a dedicated headphone output.
If your amp doesn’t have this feature, then you may need to try one of the other options on this list.
It is important when using this method that you own a pair of headphones with a long cable.
This will allow you to sit or stand comfortably while playing, without the cable getting in the way or inhibiting your movement.
Plug Your In A Multi-effects Pedal
If you own a multi-effects pedal, then it is very likely that it will have an output for headphones.
Plugging your guitar into one of these pedals will allow you to practice with a range of awesome effects while still keeping the noise down for your neighbors.
If you want to play your guitar without any effects, then you can just listen to the clean signal.
Since your pedal will normally be located on the floor, it is a good idea to use headphones with a long chord, so they can reach the pedal without dragging your head down or tripping you up.
Buy A Micro-Amp
Micro-Amps are miniature amplifiers small enough to clip onto your belt while you play. These devices almost always have a headphone output, so you can play them in almost any situation.
Micro amps may not always have the best sound quality, but they are a great portable solution for practicing on the fly.
Since you can clip them to your belt or carry them in your pocket, you also won’t need headphones with a super long chord.
Many micro-amps come with unique effects as well, so you can experiment with new sounds while you practice.
Plug Into An Audio Interface
If you ever record your playing, then you likely already have an audio interface somewhere in your room.
These devices are used to connect musical instruments to your computer, so you can record their output and edit it in a digital audio workstation.
As such, you can plug your guitar into an audio interface and then use the headphone output to hear the sound that comes out.
Audio interfaces don’t traditionally come with effects, so if you want to apply distortion while playing, then this may not be the best option for you.
However, if you want to record your playing, then using an Audio Interface is the best option.
Why Play With Headphones
Sometimes we will be in a position where we can’t practice our instrument without disturbing those who live around us.
Even if you play very well, the noise from an electric guitar can be very distracting, especially for those who are trying to enjoy the peace and quiet of their home.
Playing through headphones allows you to keep practicing your instrument, without disturbing your neighbors or anyone else who lives with you.
Practicing in this way can also help you to notice more mistakes in your playing, which will help with becoming a better player.
That said, it isn’t a good idea to only practice with headphones. You also need to know how your playing sounds when coming through an amp to have an idea of how it will sound on a stage.
However, for the most part, playing through headphones is a good way to hone your skills while being respectful to those around you.
You can’t just plug headphones straight into your guitar and start playing. Thankfully, you don’t need to, and there are lots of ways to play your electric guitar through headphones using the equipment that you probably already own.
This means that you can practice for as long as you want, without creating a disturbance for those living nearby.
It also means that you can feel free to make mistakes without feeling like you are being judged by anyone who might be listening.
Overall, playing with headphones will help you to keep getting better, and improve your skills on the guitar.
Richard PrynHey there. I am an award winning composer for movie trailers, including Bladerunner 2049, Diablo II, WandaVision, and loads more. I am the founder of The Trailer Music School where my aim is to teach everything I know about music composition, production, and generally being a functional human being. I podcast, blog, vlog and jog (sometimes). I also love coffee, nachos and self-improvement. I live with my wife, three kids and numerous pets. I am also known by my pseudonym, Richard Schrieber (it’s a long story).
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