Playing Keith Richards in a Stones cover band

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Gretsch6136, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Gretsch6136

    Gretsch6136 Member

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    Hi all,

    I have been playing bass in a Stones cover band for the last 18 months. I am now moving across to take up the rhythm guitar job a la Keith Richards.

    I am first and foremost a guitarist with a life long love for the Stones, so am pretty familiar with Keith's style. My own guitar style has its roots in Chuck Berry and John Fogarty styles, so I think I'm around the mark as far lead guitar style goes.

    '52 AV Telecaster - check
    Tweed Twin - check
    Catalinbread SFT - on its way
    G7th Performance 2 capo - check

    What tips might you fellas have for copping Keith's range of tones across the eras:

    '60s R&B and British pop period
    Early '70s classic rock period - thick and rocking
    Late '70s and early '80s - Cleaner with effects being used at times
    '90s and 2000s live tone

    Thanks,

    Mark
     
  2. GuitarGuy66

    GuitarGuy66 Member

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    Take off the Low E string and tune the rest of the guitar to an open G



    And make your hair messy.
     
  3. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Might want to get something w/P90s in the mix.

    LP Jr's/Specials were all over the '70s stuff.

    Keef is mainly found in the open tunings and the attitude - his right hand is a thing of beauty.
     
  4. Heinz57Pep

    Heinz57Pep Member

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    Figuratively speaking, of course:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Gretsch6136

    Gretsch6136 Member

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    Open G - yes I have that covered.
    P90's - can do. Got a nice Guild Bluesbird.
     
  6. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Supporting Member

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    Add a Les Paul (or 335) and you're good to go. Don't overthink it....
     
  7. russ

    russ Supporting Member

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    I think the feel of the rhythm is harder to get than the right equipment.
    How's the drummer?
    Enjoy, it sounds like a blast!!
     
  8. Washburnmemphis

    Washburnmemphis Member

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    +1 A lot of the magic happens between Keith and Charlie.
     
  9. giltgitguy

    giltgitguy Member

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    I clicked because I was curious about you "Playing Keith Richard's" something or other.... His Telecaster? Vintage Strat? Dobro?

    Man, the apostrophes, commas, and quotation marks are just running amok here at TGP!
     
  10. sweiss

    sweiss Member

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    Playing the tunes correctly, of course, requires the open G tuning....which you already have covered. That's half the battle. I've heard way too many bad versions of Stones songs caused by the guitarist half assing the guitar parts in standard tuning.

    The difficult part of the equation, of course, is getting Keiths sense of timing just right....and a big part of that has to do with the drummer. A lot of drummers don't get Charlie Watts at all. Many will tell you that he sucks. (I wish I sucked as much as Charlie.) If your drummer is one of the few that "gets" Watts drumming style, then your job will be a lot easier.

    As far as tone....a little clean and a little dirty is all I can say about it. As long as you get the licks right in open G, the tone is secondary I think.
     
  11. JL75

    JL75 Member

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    What the F#$% is wrong with his fingers? Is that arthritis? Im sellin all my gear..
     
  12. BKL71

    BKL71 Member

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    If you want Keith's thick early 70s tone, you might want to try tracking down an Ampeg Dan Armstrong clear lucite guitar. They are hard to find but worth it once you find one.
     
  13. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    Don't sell your gear, that probably wasn't caused by playing. It's arthritis for sure but most likely Rheumatoid, not from injury.
     
  14. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    As for copping Keef's sound, IMHO any equipment will be able to get you the sound, just guitar > cord > amp. It's about Keef's funky, greasy way of playing. Little things like the slurs on the intro of tumblin dice, or the funky rhythms of start me up make up his sound.

    All you need is a 5 string open G tele, a regular tele and some type of gibson with PAF style hums. Don't forget the capo and over exaggerated movements.

    I'm jealous, I'd love to play Keef in a stones cover.
     
  15. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    You just got yourself a fun gig.

    You need a Phase 90 or Phase 45 for alot of the stuff on some girls.
    Maybe get an epi casino and/or Les Paul for some of the earlier stuff.

    You have the important ingredients in the tele and tweed twin. You have the right pedal for the ampeg tones. Maybe a pedal for some of the cranked blackface/silverface tone.

    Honestly, alot of it is nailing the timing of the rhythm, which seems easy but is quite tough.
     
  16. Joe Robinson

    Joe Robinson Gold Supporting Member

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    A huge plus + on the interaction of Keith and Charlie.

    Personally speaking, if the drummer doesn't lift off the hi hat on the snare beat, I'd walk out. I just spent a pointless year trying to get some decent musicians hip to a good Stones feel. The problem for many is that they think the songs are easy, so they don't study them.

    The other thing is to not get overly attached to a telecaster. It's Gibsons all the way up until Exile. A biggish, cleanish amp will work. Don't forget the capo. You will find it on the 4th fret, quite a bit.

    I'm assuming that since this is a Stones cover band, they might have all of this stuff down.
     
  17. ggwwbb

    ggwwbb Member

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    "The advantage (of the open-G tuning) is that you can get certain drone notes going. It's an open-G tuning, with the low E-string removed and there's really only three notes you use.
    My favorite phrase about this style of playing is that all you need to play it is five strings, two notes, two fingers and one asshole."

    - Keith Richards
     
  18. mark w

    mark w Member

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    The interaction with your drummer is key. There is a swing element in how Charlie Watts plays and he has stated in interviews that the band is usually following Keith's guitar. Sounds like a fun gig.
     
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  19. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    Phase 100 if you're doing Shattered.
     
  20. lostpoet2

    lostpoet2 Supporting Member

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    This. You have great gear. It's all about that feel and the Chuck Berry attitude, boss.
     

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