Playing the sustain part in "heroes"?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Average Joe, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    So, my band want to play Heroes, which means I have to tackle the Fripp sustaining melody.

    Given that we play under wildly varying volume requirements, stage setups etc my guess is that getting a natural, consistent sustain just by interacting w the amp is going to be a chore.

    I'm considering an E-Bow, but are there other options I should look into?
     
  2. Sleepyscholar

    Sleepyscholar Member

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    Soon after Bowie's death, we did Heroes as an encore. My method was to use a Fernandes sustainer guitar through a RAT clone.

    As you say, doing it the way Fripp did would be a chore: indeed, given that even in the studio he had to tape marks on the floor to get it right, I think it would be significantly more than a chore!
     
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  3. Daka3

    Daka3 Member

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  4. p.j.

    p.j. Member

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    The Line6 Filter Modeler has a preset called Slow Filter that can do a nice Fripp thing. Might be something to check out. The pedal is brilliant for thousands of other sounds/textures also.
     
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  5. monty

    monty Member

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    +1, plus you get a cool toy too that you can use in other applications.
     
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  6. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Ronson played it live with an elbow. Look it up on YouTube.
     
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  7. Grimace

    Grimace Supporting Member

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    Same, went with the ebow. Only issue was I was also responsible for the fretted/bent signature parts during the chorus, and switching back and forth was tough. I did not like using the ebow for those parts, I tried.
     
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  8. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Here's a little elbow trick: use a slide. You can still use fingers where sound best but see if the slide doesn't help with the bends.

    Our band played this song years ago (before I saw the Ronson video, and I didn't have an ebow then), I just did it with with my fingers, sustain, sliding with my fingers, the bending, and playing as much of it on one string as I could.

    It was years later that I saw the Ronson video and was like "duh". I'm going to go find it again and see how he covered the bending...but whIle Ronson is one of my favorite guitarist he is one of the biggest let downs as far as live performances go.
     
  9. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Ronson's trick is he holds the ebow way back by the bridge so the string doesn't move to far within the ebow's string area when the bends the string. Makes sense.

    And he switches between ebow parts and fingered parts.

     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
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  10. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    Thanks. I'm going to order me an ebow.
     
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  11. Blanket Jackson

    Blanket Jackson ¿Qué Hiciste? Silver Supporting Member

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    Man, would have loved to have seen this in person
     
  12. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    MIck Ronson - he did so many great and classic leads for Bad Company, but on stage he really couldn't pull them off live. That is why Paul Rodgers rarely toured with him. Even now Rodgers usually uses Howard Leese on tour (the male guitarist from Heart) who plays all the Ronson parts from the records note for note on stage (better than Ronson could today).

    BTW: a higher gain 2-channel tube amp (Marshall, EVH) should be able to sustain notes like that on the higher gain channel. Or a lower wattage amp that you can really crank with an overdrive pedal. Ironically, a lot of single channel boutique amps can't get that kind of sustain. I know because I used to play higher gain Marshall amps in bands, but recently switched to single-channel amps and started building pedals. it is very hard to duplicate what a good tube pre-amp can do (for Ronson-like lead tones) by just using pedals, you can get close but that never-ending systain thing is more difficult. But with a good pedal and an eBow it would be easy.
     
  13. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Do you mean Mick Ralphs, the guitarist for Bad Company and Mott the Hoople? Ronson didn't play for Bad Company, although he did play for Ian Hunter...and was pretty horrible at lead, live.

    Mick Ralphs wasn't really keen on traveling and touring. It's affected his career to this day.
     
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  14. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    Disagree on the disparagement of Ronson's live lead chops. Listen to the Santa Monica Civic live record, specifically Width of a Circle. Plus he did it in full drag and four inch heels and had/has actual female fans.

    Ronson is massive to me, Heroes though is Fripp's deal and what a brilliant piece of music . It came up in my gym shuffle last weekend and I put it on repeat and listened to it three times.
     
  15. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    Sorry, I did mix up Mick Ralphs - sorry!
     
  16. ignatzmouse

    ignatzmouse Member

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    guitar (strat/LP/whadeva) neck pick up, tone rolled all he way down > muff fuzz>cocked wah> v slight overdrive.(OR amp edge of breakup) transistor amp or valve if you gotta. You won't believe me, but that's infinite sustain right there. try it. use bit of echo for heroes(don't bother with ebows, fripp never did, i never have, but have been using (near) infinite sustain by this technique for 25 years)
     
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  17. ignatzmouse

    ignatzmouse Member

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    whoops, fo
    woops, forgot main thing ! technique. 1 string at a time only. mute all other strings
     
  18. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    I there are pedals for that.
    Feedbacker, Freq, maybe more. Try the FX forum.
     

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