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Guitarists out there - anyone try a two-piece rock band, just drums, guitar and vocal

MartinLove

Senior Member
Messages
177
I'm curious if this has worked for anyone? What were the challenges and successes associated with such a venture? How were gigs? Songwriting and arrangement issues? I can imagine some obvious issues, but I'm just curious to hear people's feedback anyways.

I'm thinking of doing this. I'm honestly sick of trying to find musicians that aren't flaky and disinterested in creating music.

Let's keep this discussion based on just the pros and cons, challenges and failures, good/bad associated with a two-piece band consisting of drums, guitar and vocals.

Thanks.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,114
There's a couple of those happening around here. It's a way of getting extra gigs I guess. I like it some places, others I don't. My friend is in one and he gets booked a ton.
 

custom53

Member
Messages
4,746
Have done it at practice when someone doesn't show up.. So far, I don't like it.. Still need at least 3.. Bass, Drums, Guitar..
 

MartinLove

Senior Member
Messages
177
There's a couple of those happening around here. It's a way of getting extra gigs I guess. I like it some places, others I don't. My friend is in one and he gets booked a ton.
Can you expand on this? Are you stating that the venue, in terms of size, makes a difference in whether or not a two-piece is a viable venture?

Thanks.
 

JoeWV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
108
Also check out Middle Class Rut. Saw them with AiC a few years ago, they were really good.
 

MartinLove

Senior Member
Messages
177
The Fumes out of OZ.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGhd5zWAgoc

Can be tasty,
Rob
Also check out Middle Class Rut. Saw them with AiC a few years ago, they were really good.
Thanks. I will check both of those bands/links out when I get the chance. I'm excited, for sure.

Glad to know that you are writing about these bands from the perspective that they sound good live. Recordings are one thing, live is another. I think it could work with the right approach.

Me thinks loopers and various dirt boxes will be necessary to get an interesting sound. Probably some slapback delay will be necessary too.

The question is - should I run two amps at once, one dirty and one clean? I read an interesting article that claims that some power-duos split their guitar signals to a bass AND guitar amp. Seems logical on paper, I just wonder how it would sound live.
 

MartinLove

Senior Member
Messages
177
White Stripes...
Yup. His sound works, I'm guessing, due to all of the single note riffs he plays too. Very fuzzy and dirty, and quite "BIG" sounding. I may have to research his rig too. Anyone see him live? I know he is a bit of a sloppy player, but did he sound good?
 

gulliver

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,768
I'm working on a project that's something like this. Just do what's creative and see what comes of it.

I mostly use a looper for solos with real time rhythm part recording start and stop. My looper can fade out so I can jump in again to the rhythm part smoothly. I was using a harmonizer for looped bass lines, but I prefer to stay away from bass tones all together. Once you hear a bass line, the no-bass stuff sounds empty. It's all relative, some people listen to music through their cell phones with zero bass, no big deal.

I use a clean amp with a modeling pedal. I have a killer distortion amp, but you can't use a looper into a distorted amp, just doesn't work.
 

killer blues

Member
Messages
3,398
If there's drums on stage there should also be a bass.
the word "should" doesn't exist in music or art.


I did it about 20 years ago for a few gigs and it was awesome. I basically played accompanying bass lines on my low strings to my melodies
on the higher strings. Takes your music in different and sometimes unusual places.
 

river_jetties

Member
Messages
440
seen this a few times live (also seen one man bands like Jon Brion). Can be really great ... BUT realize there is a lot more showmanship required. If it's bad, it will be REALLY bad. The fuzz advice and looper advice (whether pre-done or done on the fly) is good. Also, I'd look into an octave box to get lower tones (essentially bass tones). Finally, be **very careful** about doing covers of bands that have bass if you don't fill in the bass. Most importantly (and to repeat), you have to have superior showmanship / stage presence / looks to pull this off.
 

gulliver

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,768
...Also, I'd look into an octave box to get lower tones (essentially bass tones)...
I did try the harmonizer for a while. It certainly can add a little lower register for bar chords, but if you try playing single notes a little bit up the neck they do sound "effected". I dumped the idea just because I didn't think it added enough to justify the compromises. Lately, I've been going with totally dry rhythm guitar ... raw, unadulterated, unmolested electric guitar here, come and get it. The drums adds the beat, and of course, the vocals are mixed big and well out in front. I do use a TC Helicon for vocal harmonies here and there.

I do only originals, so I have the advantage of shuffling the arrangements to fit and adding repetitive vocals to places where things might otherwise get boring.


If there's drums on stage there should also be a bass.
Haha ... sounds like union rules :)
 

thecasterkid

Member
Messages
193
The most important thing in this situation is to not play out of your element. If you have a guitar player and a drummer, play songs that are gonna sound good with just those two instruments (sounds obvious, i know). If you get up there and play a White Stripes song (kudos to the guy who finally mentioned them, i thought i was gonna have to break my computer) you'll sound great! But if you try to play an ELO song or something, you're just gonna look like a couple of doofuses.
 

DGDGBD

Member
Messages
7,272
Not a band, but I get together with my brother sometimes and jam with me on guitar and my bro on the drums. We both sing and its a lot of fun. Sometimes it doesn't sound half bad. I definitely play a different style with more emphasis on a big rhythm sound with strong low end to fill the room.
 






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