What The DEAL With Chris Ballew (The Presdents Of The United States Of America)

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by emjee, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. emjee

    emjee Member

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    I looked at an old guitar magazine (from '97) and the back inside cover has an ad with Ballew
    holding an Epiphone V with only two strings?
    Can someone please chime in as to why he strings
    his guitar ike this? It looks like he is just using the
    "D" and the "B"? Does he play just single notes or does
    he play chords or what? WEIRD.
     
  2. tnvol

    tnvol Supporting Member

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    It was their thing.
     
  3. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    Yes. They were not well people! They went on to do some projects with Sir Mix-A-Lot.
     
  4. grapeshot

    grapeshot Supporting Member

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    Chris had two strings and Dave Dederer had three strings on his guitar. They detailed what they were doing in their 1996 GW interview (cover below). I think they were both tuned down to open C. Chris was essentially playing the bass parts ("bassitarist" is how he put it) and Dave the guitar ("guitassist" I think the term was?). They played regular tuning on their "Freaked Out & Small" CD (which is f'n awesome, btw, all of their music is).

    [​IMG]
     
  5. EricPeterson

    EricPeterson Member

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    Awesome band! Love those guys.
     
  6. monty

    monty Member

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    They wrote some great music with thise 5 strings.
     
  7. Lublin

    Lublin Senior Member

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    I vividly remember buying that issue. Wow.
     
  8. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Supporting Member

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    how does one do pentatonic blooze lixxx with no high strings like that? don't get it.
     
  9. failed_astronaut

    failed_astronaut Member

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    ok ok, I'll be boring (and probably inaccurate) and give you as straight an answer as I can.

    I'm pretty sure what you're looking at is a two string "bass-itar" i.e Chris played the bass lines on a regular guitar strung with two bass guitar strings.

    Dave Dederer then played "guit-bass" which was a regular guitar but only strung with three strings.

    I think they played mostly in drop-C# (C# G# C#) and wrote some mighty good riffs.
     
  10. coldfingaz

    coldfingaz Member

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    I loved what these guys did. Cool that they had some success for a while too.

    Chris Ballew also played with Tad Hutchison (drums) of the Young Fresh Fellows in a fun little side project called The Chris & Tad Show.

    Hutchison is one of the most proficient & entertaining drummers I've ever seen perform.
     
  11. Zexcoil

    Zexcoil Vendor

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  12. b80

    b80 Member

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    Yes! PUSA are legends. I strung two of my guitars the same way. Have you never tried it? It's fun. My band uses them when we cover their songs.

    My Epiphone Les Paul Special (basitar)
    .60 and .40 gauge strings tuned C# G#

    Squier Telecaster (guitbass)
    .54 .42 .36 gauge strings tuned C# G# C#
    [​IMG]
    Uploaded with ImageShack.us



    [​IMG]
    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
     
  13. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas Member

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    ^ Nice!


    Yeah, I remember reading a mid-90s "Guitar Player" interview where they discussed the reduced string count, tuning, and their approach to harmony. They were like "Anyone who knows anything about harmony knows that you can imply any chord with only three notes. Imagine what we can do with five!"
     
  14. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

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    Mark Sandman from Morphine (R.I.P.) did something similar, though he played with a slide:

    [​IMG]

    And actually on a bass. But still, conceptually similar.
     
  15. aliensporebomb

    aliensporebomb Member

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    Have you ever been onstage and broke a string yet kept playing?

    Sometimes playing within limitations can be fun and might lead you to riffs and licks you wouldn't have otherwise find.

    Like when Robert Fripp did the new standard tuning - it let him discard everything and start over and then he came up with a lot of really cool and new things.

    Ricky Wilson of the B-52's - "Rock Lobster" came out of the unusual 4 string strange tuning with the the EA and B and E strings.
     
  16. geek-mo

    geek-mo Supporting Member

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    I remember reading an interview where the PotUSA said that they got the idea from Sandman.
     
  17. scolfax

    scolfax Member

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    [FONT=&quot]Andrew McKeag is also awesome.
    [/FONT]
     
  18. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

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    I think I read that too, but I couldn't remember who did it first.

    Off to listen to Morphine on Spotify!
     
  19. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    Didnt they have a project with Sir Mix A lot?
     
  20. Lublin

    Lublin Senior Member

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    Me, too!
     

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