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What to do without a rhythm guitarist???

papersoul

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,083
Hey guys,

I have been in this badn a while now. I write a lot of the songs I tend to write about 2-3 guitar parts going at once. The songs just sound best with a driving rhythm under the lead or the lead melody, depending on the song.

Is it best to just suck it up and find a second guitarist or find ways to make it work? The hardest parts is some of the bridges, interludes, leads, etc. I guess if the bassist really stands out during those sections, we could be OK. Is there an effect the bassist could use to help during those parts?

Sometimes I think the larger a band becomes, the harder it is to keep everyone happy and on the same page. Me, the bassist and drummer are long time friends and jam partners so finding the write singer was not easy. It is hard to think about finding another guitarist now.

Looking for advice guys. Thanks.
 

chaos

Member
Messages
61
The band I am in has just guitar bass and drums. We play covers and cover a wide variety of music and surprise listeners with how full we sound. To me, the key is having an active bassist. Think about rearranging some of your songs with an active bass line underneath the lead guitar. Also, think about throwing in chords, heck even double stops into the leads to help fill out the sound and keep the progression going. Most importantly keep a sharp ear out for what the bassist is doing and grow comfortable filling up each others spaces.

And have fun!

Chaos
 

small axe

Member
Messages
2,914
find ye self a 2nd guitarist......it will add to the sound u are looking for or as mentioned add a keyboard as that will mix it up as well....i play rhythm
 

papersoul

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,083
I don't think I necessarily want a keyboard player. I went through that with another band and it was uncomfortable for all of us when a song or two really did not need keys. So, the guys ends up standing around for some songs. I'd much rather have two guitarists in the band.

Throwing chords into leads is a good idea.
 

jaydub69

Member
Messages
1,366
I just went through this. I was in a two guitar band and then I played with only a drummer! When we did finally get a bass player it was like a load off my shoulders. I felt like the leads were still strong, but it was the transitions between rhythm and lead that killed. There was another thread on this in the playing section recently. From that info I tried to work on taking little stabs at the lead and then back to rhythm and slowly to all lead. Way harder, but lots' of blues bands do this all the time.
 

Phil M

Shapeshifting Member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,706
Two can be cool, but so can just one guitarist. It really depends on the material. Generally, a good bassist and drummer should change it up just enough dynamically to fill in under solos (hit harder/softer, use ride or open hi-hat instead of closed hi-hat, let bass notes ring out instead of muted, etc.)
 

anais

Member
Messages
566
I was always a 'one guitar' kinda guy. Keyboard player is obviously your answer if you dont want another guitarist. Or teaching your Bassist to play 2 parts at once..?

Having said that, the RIGHT rhythm guitarist is key.. if he/she is on the same page as you they outcome is extremely gratifying. The band I am in now is a 5 piece, 2 guitars, keys, bass, drums. The other guitarist is a great player, feels the tunes and always knows how to add his part when improvising. Plus nothing beats two guitar+keyboard harmony lines.. If you are a good writer and understand how to orchestrate tunes and can get everyone on the same page then your problem is solved.
 

JamminJoe

Member
Messages
1,024
If your bass player and drummer are very good, then a 2nd guitar is not really needed. In fact, bass, drum, and vocals should be enough to carry the majority of a song in a good band.

Does your bass player have great tone? If not, then the bottom will really fall out during solos (when you stop playing rhythm), and changing the guitar solo by adding more chords and double stops to compensate is not really the right solution.
 

Scott Auld

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
12,312
What kind of music?

That said...

Get a delay pedal with tap tempo. Tap in the beat as you approach your solos, and engage it right before you kick into your lead. You will be surprised at how your leads magically appear to fill out the space.
 

papersoul

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,083
What kind of music?

That said...

Get a delay pedal with tap tempo. Tap in the beat as you approach your solos, and engage it right before you kick into your lead. You will be surprised at how your leads magically appear to fill out the space.
I do use delay and reverb on my solos to really fill in the sound and lots of mids via an EQ. My leads sound thick and full. I use an MXR Carbon Copy analog delay with no tap tempo. Who makes a good analog delay with tap tempo? I prefer simple pedals and nothingt hat needs to be programmed. I tend to just set the delay for what sounds best and leave it. I don't think the audience notices. True? Will the tap tempo help that much?

How about an analog delay like the Retro Sonic Delay that has a button to alternate between long and short delay times?
Analogman ARDX20? For now I just set the delay time down the middle on the Carbon Copy and compromise.

Chorus?.....like Zakk Wylde does.

We play hard rock, sort of progressive in nature. Sort of classic rock meets hard rock meets progressive.....bordering on metal at times.
 
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Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
34,972
If your song vision includes multiple guitar parts you will NEED 2 guitars.
It expands the dynamics, textures, and overall adds interest and fullness to any band sound. Even VH had 2 guitars in a lot of studio stuff.
 

cram

Member
Messages
13,951


But seriously...
For live work, you can compensate from several angles -

Drums -
In some rock tunes especially having a full sound can help here. When the bassist doesn't show or can't make it to rehersals, I can hear him (drum) using the kick a lot more to drive things with and fill the space - especially during solos where there's no backing bass.

Bass -
Using diads and sometimes chords can make a full sound. I know that when I was writing a few of our tunes I felt certain parts were very empty so I looped that one part and took swipes at how the bass could carry the load a bit more. Some of the changes were around hitting the 1 and 3 notes of the chord or sometimes it was walking into the next change rather than droning or holding a note.

Guitar
A great GP mag recently (well 1.5 years I guess) was with Andy Summers on the cover and he talked a lot about how he employed delay and used open space in songs to make it sound fuller. Think of the walking on the moon tune..
It depends upon the song, but a couple of our tunes, I drone a bass note or the note of the chord as I play a diad in the higher register. This helps a bit.

Sometimes it's frustrating though - I have wants for a compliment in our efforts. But, until we form more of a serious thing with it all, I think we're content just being what we are in a trio.
 

cram

Member
Messages
13,951
What kind of music?

That said...

Get a delay pedal with tap tempo. Tap in the beat as you approach your solos, and engage it right before you kick into your lead. You will be surprised at how your leads magically appear to fill out the space.
I've always wanted to play with one of these. I have so many ideas. I'd also like to connect the delay time to a foot pedal like a wah or volume pedal. that way I could dial up the repeats and get all space age warp sounding crap to bring the audience into another dimension!

It helps to imagine me saying that last part in my Uber Geek / Dungeon Master ManBoy voice. But do what ever works for you.
 

Celticdave

Seeker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,275
Try a keyboard player. Adds a different dynamic, and it fills out the sound pretty well.
This is the first thing that came to mind. As guitar players, we love the guitar! What we don't realize is that textures speak so much more than layers of the same instrument.

There are very few people who can pull this off successfully - two that immediately come to mind are Jimmy Page and (dare I say) John Mayer. Both of them are aware of how different sounds can interact with one another harmoniously. They also know when to call in a different instrument to get that musical thought across effectively.

I can relate to what you have going. I write my own material as well and initially, I work most of it out on the guitar. As it progresses, I start thinking about what it would sound like on a piano, brass, strings, etc. I must admit though, I'm in love with the piano...just never taken the proper time to get acquainted with it.

For me, part of the challenge is being the only guitarist and the vocalist for the group. It pushes me as a musician to break away from my tunnel vision.
 

Julia343

Member
Messages
7,610
I do understand. Most of the stuff I write has like 3 guitar parts, sometimes four, and keys, and bass. You need to find someone who is content being the Malcolm Young of your band. The sound texture changes with a rhythm guitarist. It's fuller. It's hard enough playing rhythm and singing, let alone playing rhythm, lead and vocals.

No glory in rhythm. Just guts.
 

Ding

Member
Messages
96
I don't think you can ever underestimate the value of a good rhythm guitar player. I'm a guy from the 1960's and I alway admired the way John Lennon played rhythm guitar against George Harrison's lead and McCartney's bass. The early Beatles when they were playing 4 piece. His guitar playing made that early Beatles sound. :phones
 




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