Playing really high frets...how to get it to 'sound right'???

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Kyle B, Dec 5, 2017 at 10:17 PM.


  1. Kyle B

    Kyle B Member

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    My band does two tunes that require 22nd fret high E-string notes... We do "Running on Empty" (J Browne) and "Don't Stop Believing" (Journey). I just can't seem to ever get that note to ring right. It's always quieter than whatever else I'm playing. In 'Believing' it's especially noticeable because that note ends the solo. It just seems to die, right when the powerful last chorus starts. The studio recording sounds like it's a different guitar playing that note... but I can't do that live!

    Any suggestions??? I've thought of a few things
    * A clean boost just for that note (horrible use of pedal board space)
    * An octave pedal, play the note 1 octave low
    * Let the keyboard player take that note

    Or... ????
     
  2. Blix

    Blix Member

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    The two last notes are dubbed in over the ringing B note. Adding some extra delay at the end there will give it a more dramatic effect.
    It's not that important IMO.
     
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  3. guitargeek6298

    guitargeek6298 Member

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    Vibrato will help you make it ring out. Not an aggressive one for Believing. Just a slow vibrato to keep the note going.
     
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  4. tweedster

    tweedster Member

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    A little compression (pedals or overdriven power tubes) will help, as well reverb/delay.
     
  5. kimock

    kimock Member

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  6. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    This
     
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  7. Caprica

    Caprica Supporting Member

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    What guitar are you using?

    (FWIW Danny Kortchmar was the lead guitarist for the running on empty album. He mainly plays a Tele, so he must of pulled it off somehow without resorting to a 24 fret guitar ).
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017 at 5:03 AM
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  8. Buduranus2

    Buduranus2 Member

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    This.
     
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  9. Ferg Deluxe

    Ferg Deluxe Gold Supporting Member

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    If they're playing the live version, which is most likely, then it was David Lindely playing the slide fills on Runnin', and no frets needed to hit the high E.
     
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  10. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Correct, Lindley with open tuning. I thought I somewhere it was a lap guitar.
     
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  11. Kyle B

    Kyle B Member

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    I'm using an Epi LP 'Ultra'.... it's a chambered design. But my issue isn't sustain...it's that the note just isn't loud enough when I first hit it. Hitting it harder doesn't seem to help either...

    Running on Empty was played on a 7 string lap steel. ;)
     
  12. Kyle B

    Kyle B Member

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    Right. But I can't exactly jump to lap steel for that one!
     
  13. Kyle B

    Kyle B Member

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    Why would that help? My action isn't high, but it's not excessively low either.

    The string isn't fretting out. I suppose I can try it easy enough....
     
  14. Kyle B

    Kyle B Member

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    I do keep a compressor running all the time. It's really just this one note I have trouble with. Everything else is smooth as a baby's bottom
     
  15. Buduranus2

    Buduranus2 Member

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    How about stepping of a fuzz or boost for the last two notes.
     
  16. Ferg Deluxe

    Ferg Deluxe Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey @Kyle B -- just a quick thought about "Don't Stop Believin'". I used to do that one in my old band, and always missed out on the dual guitars at the end of the solo. I don't know what gear your using, but there's ways to replicate that passage with one guitar. I used a delay unit that had the ability that had a hold function (I was playing Axe FX at this time). I just programmed one of the delays to hold, and turned it on when I hit the B note so it rang out underneath, then played the top two melody notes.

    If you have a unit that can do that, it's fairly straight forward. I imagine you could use something like the EHX freeze pedal too.

    Anyway, just some thoughts. Not that this helps with the problem you were having specifically.
     
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  17. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    Artificial harmonic of the 10th fret? Lower your pickups? Add mass to your headstock? Try a different guitar?
     
  18. kimock

    kimock Member

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    If the action is low, level, as you go progressively higher on the string you just have less string vibrating over the pickup.
    So it does get weaker as you ascend. It's built in.
    If you pick the action up, the string has to come down towards the pickup as you go up the neck.
    You're basically "raising the pickup" in terms of output in the high register.
    It can't not get louder.

    Anyway, whether or not that answers the specific musical issue in your case, it's not possible to have weak high register response with the action up, and it's impossible to not have relatively attenuated high register response with the action low.
     
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  19. DSL74

    DSL74 Member

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    not sure if it applies to your guitar, but read somewhere EJ uses a brass saddle on his Strat's high E to fatten it up. YMMV. But I agree also about how high the action is set.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 5:54 PM
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  20. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    Could it be that your neck PU is raised quite high? In that case, the magnetic pull might influence the decay of the note.
     
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