Shoegazers

fredgarvin

Senior Member
Messages
11,222
I listen to a lot of shoegaze stuff at night and when :beer. But I just can't seem to find the vibe to play it on the geetar. Drums, fine. In fact it's great music for creative drumming and bass playing. It seems that the guitar action is mainly about pedals and texture. I know from cruising the pedal forums that there are a lot of you guys playing this stuff...what's your take on finding the right attack for the guitar?
 

falconerpdx

Member
Messages
622
When I hear bands from the shoegaze genre, a lot of the guitar parts seem to take up the position of a keyboard playing pads without sounding like a keyboard. So your description of pedals and texture are pretty on the mark.
Reverbs including cathedral, ambient, reverse and modulated will get you started. Distortions set to maximum to drown out articulated notes...wall of sound kind of thing. Try distortions like a Rat or even a Metal Zone pedal(set it to something drenched that doesn't sound like metal for good effect). Also lots of modulation come into play, start with chorus and go from there. The thing about the original wave of shoegaze bands, is that they were highly creative and all had there own distinct takes on what later became labeled the shoegaze sound.


Lush - Deluxe


Pale Saints - Way The World Is


Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic
 

sunken.anchor

Member
Messages
837
You can get some nice wall of sound sounds by running a reverb pedal into your dirt pedal(s). Even running reverb into delay goes a long way in "smearing" some of your initial attack. Another reverb at the end can help smooth everything out.
 

fredgarvin

Senior Member
Messages
11,222
When I hear bands from the shoegaze genre, a lot of the guitar parts seem to take up the position of a keyboard playing pads without sounding like a keyboard. So your description of pedals and texture are pretty on the mark.
Reverbs including cathedral, ambient, reverse and modulated will get you started. Distortions set to maximum to drown out articulated notes...wall of sound kind of thing. Try distortions like a Rat or even a Metal Zone pedal(set it to something drenched that doesn't sound like metal for good effect). Also lots of modulation come into play, start with chorus and go from there. The thing about the original wave of shoegaze bands, is that they were highly creative and all had there own distinct takes on what later became labeled the shoegaze sound.


Lush - Deluxe


Pale Saints - Way The World Is


Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic
Lush, Catherine wheel, the smiths are some of what I listen to. It a different idea of guitar playing than I'm used to and I want to try it a bit. Avoiding the solo is something too.
 

fredgarvin

Senior Member
Messages
11,222
You can get some nice wall of sound sounds by running a reverb pedal into your dirt pedal(s). Even running reverb into delay goes a long way in "smearing" some of your initial attack. Another reverb at the end can help smooth everything out.
Thanks for the ideas, I have messed a bit with my chorus into the reverb, and stacking dirt boxes for maxed, strained saturation.
 

ignatzmouse

Member
Messages
189
if you have a 2nd (Gash?) guitar, try tuning all the strings to one note ?. Good for different texture. Shouldn't really matter if it's a real cheap guitar too ?! Then you can funk the guitar up.. Shoegazer music probably isn't big on jazz chords anyway i'm guessing,
had some friends in a band here in the UK that did the 6strings to E thing, (i'mbeinggood) is a very particular sound. i guess if you had 3 guitar players doing it you could at least have all the minor/major triads :)
 
Messages
1,934
I tend to us a lot of alternate tunings, reverb (holy grail and an RV3...sometimes at once) and delay. With a Headrush and a DL4 for looping (using the dl4 to re-record a loop off the Headrush and then reversed and shifted up an octave) I can make a pretty dense wall of sound. Add slides, jazzmaster behind the bridge plinking, and ebow to taste.

Current fave tunings (low to high): CGDACE and BF#BF#BD


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

fredgarvin

Senior Member
Messages
11,222
Thanks for the great tips, and that epic thread. I can see that if I start to dig it a looper will be essential. Right now I' listening to Tragicaly Hip's 'Now For Plan A', great record, the guitar tones here are very sweet and 'gazey'. Quite different than the older stuff.
 

A-Bone

Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
102,432
Lush, Catherine wheel, the smiths are some of what I listen to. It a different idea of guitar playing than I'm used to and I want to try it a bit. Avoiding the solo is something too.
Definitely spend some quality time with Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine, also, if you haven't.
 

sunken.anchor

Member
Messages
837
Layering guitar parts will become one of your best tools for this type of stuff.
This is one of the things that makes shoegaze a little tough to pull off when it's just you in your bedroom unless you're looping some of the parts. Slowdive had 3 guitar players a lot of the time, and lots of other shoegaze songs that come to mind have multiple guitar parts going on. Generic example: one layer of a sustained EBow type thing in the background, one guitar playing the jangly open chords, and another guitar playing arpeggios or something other lead-like part. The way all of the layers fit together into a sort of sonic soup is one of the things I love about shoegaze as a genre.

My chase for the "classic" shoegaze tones has been a little frustrating because I tend to want to be able to pull off all of the sounds at the same time, forgetting that there are most likely multiple layers of guitars on all of these recordings I'm trying to emulate. That is, of course, true any time you're trying to copy recorded tones in real life. But I think it's even tougher with shoegaze since most of the style seems to involve layers of guitars swimming in lots of reverb.
 

freedom's door

Senior Member
Messages
11,771
^^^
Very well said!

I would never try to play "live" shoegaze with only one guitarist, even with a looper. But for recording you can do it all yourself, just keep adding layers until you achieve the sound you want.
Lots of experimenting is also helpful, as is saving presets/making notes when you find the stuff that really works.
 




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