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Why aren't Rickenbacker guitars used for lead/solo?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by DrJamie, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. DrJamie

    DrJamie Member

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    I must admit, in 50 years of playing, I've never owned a Rick.
     
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  2. GiorgioV

    GiorgioV Member

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    It's likely due to the neck.

    Fat and the frets are very skinny, the opposite of what most people consider "lead guitar" material.

    I don't mind the neck size myself, but I do consider the frets to be a dealbreaker. Also not an easy fix if you keep in mind that the rosewood fretboards are lacquered.
     
  3. ArtDecade

    ArtDecade Member

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    They can be, but they are unique builds that people either love or hate. Their necks are an acquired taste - sticky, thin, and narrow. Their pickups are bright and percussive. Ricks are fantastic, though. That said, I don't know that their lead tone fills a mix as well as their rhythm does.
     
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  4. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    News to me after decades of playing. Last I heard/saw, they are fine lead/solos.
     
  5. rubbersoul

    rubbersoul Member

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    This is probably my favorite guitar for playing lead. They definitely made some models that can shine in that department.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. CharAznable

    CharAznable Member

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    I actually think that if the Creedence performance had made the Woodstock movie, Ricks would be more accepted as lead instruments.
     
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  7. flume

    flume Gold Supporting Member

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    To answer the thread title: why? Because of a profound lack of imagination in most people. The comfort of mediocrity and safety of familiarity without the challenge of having to think.

    If you’ve never owned one and are genuinely curious, I believe you could be richly rewarded:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Another reason, for some, might be that Rick's string tension seems generally higher than most guitars which makes string bending more difficult. Still, their unique sound is worth their quirks to some of us:)! For some reason, I find my Ricks more fun to play than my Fenders even though I consider my favorite strat my #1 workhorse guitar. However, if I'm in my den entertaining myself I might pick up my strat and that might last a half hour...pick up one of my Ricks and 2-3 hours have passed:eek:! Go figure...so I figure my Ricks are more fun!
     
  9. ArtDecade

    ArtDecade Member

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    Isn't this one of the Rick models that has a wider nut and a a neck radius more like a Strat, though? She is a beauty, but a bit outside what Ricks are more commonly known for.
     
  10. rkharper

    rkharper Member

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    came to post this.
     
  11. CosmicCowboy

    CosmicCowboy Member

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    Yeah, I had a Ric with a neck like a broomstick. Super Distortion in the bridge and PAF in the neck, it was an amazing sounding guitar, but it hurt to play.
     
  12. rubbersoul

    rubbersoul Member

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    Indeed it is...you're right. I just wanted to say that they did produce some models that are a bit easier to play lead on and which still retain some of that distinctive Rickenbacker sound. Their HB1 pickups are superb.
     
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  13. PatrickE_FenderADV

    PatrickE_FenderADV Supporting Member

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  14. ross

    ross Silver Supporting Member

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  15. dhouse335

    dhouse335 Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a 1993 Plus... wider neck... 12 string... it doesn't play like a tele, strat, gretsch, les paul, sg, etc... it plays like a Rick... small frets, tight tension, what's been said. The thing is NOTHING sounds like it. Being a 12 string, leads take on a different slant anyways... but into an overdriven amp the thing is just explosive.

    I guess my point is... you can make serious music with it... but your approach is fundamentally different. That is one of the more fun aspects of that guitar to me...

    Also Mike Campbell, Peter Buck, McGuinn, there are others... but it doesn't sound like Hendrix, Page, EVH, or any of the typical Titans that many of us think of when describing lead guitar style or tone. It would be very challenging to pull off much of those styles of music, for me anyways, with a Rick... but the other way around is true too... it's a totally distinct tone and playing...
     
  16. BlueRiff

    BlueRiff Member

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    Because jangling in solos is not only inappropriate, it is offensive. Please do not bring this up again! :p Seriously - not sure why we haven't heard more Rick soloing - its a great tone and probably ideal for a lot of clean/lightly overdriven soloing.
     
  17. jrjones

    jrjones Supporting Member

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    Because it’s got that weird finished fretboard and you’ll slide right past your notes because it’s slick.
     
  18. josephpnorman

    josephpnorman Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Go watch some early Tame Impala live videos.
     
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  19. Jaketone

    Jaketone Member

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    Neck was fine, tension was fine, comfortable and light - great tone.

    HATED the string spacing. I don’t have huge fingers but I was all buzz and muted strings near the nut. Was a real shame to let the 360 go.
     
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  20. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately 80% of beginning and mid level guitar dom is driven by the insanity shred wanna be's.
    And what was a TON of distortion or OD back in 71 is now, hey can you turn on some distorion? :)
     
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