Guitar tones for 2 guitar bands


Lets say you have 1 acoustic and 1 electric or 2 electrics where one plays mostly clean. Should the one that plays rhythm, here the acoustic/clean electric, players tone be more mid focused while the OD electric that adds fills and little 3 or 4 note arpeggios should be a little brighter? Should the rhythm player use mostly the lower 4 strings while the electric uses the higher strings?


i think that if you are playing with an acoustic and an electric...eq'ing shouldn't be an issue due to the inherent sound of each instrument...they won't overlap, so each, if the volume is correct, should balance out

when playing with two band does two different things...while i personally add a third..
1. for originals i play HB's while the other plays P90's
2. for covers...if i play HB's, they play single coils, and vice versa
3. for songs with only one guitar, i play the same chords in different if they are playing an E chord by the nut, i'll play an E chord at the 7th fret

these all amount to the same chording...but different voicing so that each guitarist can have their OWN tone and not have to worry about getting buried


2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
It doesn't matter as long as the guitarists are playing parts that get along with each other, like ezcomes describes above in point 3. For instance, if we're playing in G, and one guy is playing regular chords, I'll capo up 5 and play D-shapes, etc...

That said, when I'm the only electric I prefer humbuckers, when I'm not, I prefer singles or splits... but not for everything... "it always depends on the song".


Silver Supporting Member
Partial 2 & 3 string chords from each player in different registers and voicings works well too, so the combined parts make up one "complete" chord.
2 players pounding the same chords on most or all of the strings, even in different places, often makes for a lot of mud. Play around each other, not over each other. Make it a tasteful team effort. Leave room for the other person. Less is more. Arrangement is at least as important as contrasting tones.
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Silver Supporting Member
There are as many approaches to this as there are bands. It always always depends on the song. Sometimes when you want a lush wash behind the vocal, you may want a lot of open ringing strings. Sometimes you can create the right atmosphere with both guitars playing very abbreviated chord voicings.

A lot of the most satisfying recordings with acoustic guitars mixed with electrics are P90s or single coils. But again, there aren't any rules.

A lot of times engineers will have a rhythm guitar double his parts so he can pan it across the stereo field and give it some depth. The goal is to get all the parts to sound like they belong in the same mix. Sometimes a great guitar tone might not be great for this particular song. Experiment.

Oh...and play less. :)


There have plenty of successful bands with 2 Les Paul's with humbuckers in them, so you don't HAVE to have different pick-ups or even amps... Obviously you don't want to sound too much like the other guy, but as mentioned earlier there are lots of ways to accomplish that. I always appreciate another guitar player who doesn't play the same voicing's as me and vice versa.


It all depends on the musical arrangements. Properly arranged, two guitars with matching tones can sound like one big one. Improperly arranged, two guitars with completely different tones can be a mess.

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