Why do so many two guitar(electric) bands.....?

ModdersAnon

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1,403
not try to have different tones between both players?

I saw 5 bands this weekend at an Oktoberfest.
Only one of them had distinguishable tones between the two guitarists.

It would seem that two contrasting or even slightly different tones would go a long way in making sure each player is heard clearly.


In the past when playing in a two guitar band, I would always strive to have a different tone than the other player.
 

Bankston

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16,277
What were the bands?

When I think of 2 guitar bands, I immediately think of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Night Ranger. All the guitarists in those bands had very distinct tones and styles.
 

Phletch

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I hear ya, OP. I think it's compounded further when both guitarists not only have the same tone, but also play the same part and/or chord inversions. I just cringe when I see 2 guitarists both playing the same barre chords. If one of them would just play elsewhere on the neck (or use different string groups) than the other, that would go a long way to sounding "different" from each other, even if they have similar tones.
 

jeffmatz

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I'm guessing they weren't very good either.

Good players in two guitar bands, of any genre, know how to define their own place in the mix.

Even in bands that rely on a wall of sound/brute force from time to time do it...The (late) great Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King of Slayer come to mind.
 

BadAssBill

Gold Supporting Member
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I don't think different guitars as are important as different chords, textures and lead. There are plenty of 2 Gibson guitar bands that fit perfect. But, if they are doing different things...that can make a huge difference.
 

ModdersAnon

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1,403
What were the bands?

When I think of 2 guitar bands, I immediately think of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Night Ranger. All the guitarists in those bands had very distinct tones and styles.
Rock/Hard rock cover bands, playing many popular songs from the last 40 years.


I hear ya, OP. I think it's compounded further when both guitarists not only have the same tone, but also play the same part and/or chord inversions. I just cringe when I see 2 guitarists both playing the same barre chords. If one of them would just play elsewhere on the neck (or use different string groups) than the other, that would go a long way to sounding "different" from each other, even if they have similar tones.
hahaha....I was about to include that. Whenever I play with another guitarist, even an acoustic rhythm guitarist, I always play inversions, chord partials, triads and all kind of Hendrix/Cropper things. Those chord fills just adds so much musically and I'm able to stand out by playing a contrasting part.
 

RockManDan

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yes and no to the whole question i think. ive been in 2 guitar bands where being able to exactly double what you're doing is really cool and helpful. Having two guys play the same power chord riff or harmonized lead line with similar tones can sound great and blend very well. Its the reason people double-track in the studio and pan them left and right. So part of me really likes when two players can exactly duplicate each other.

That said, that kind of precision shouldn't be used the whole time, which i guess would be these guys' problem. Only on the biggest of riffs or choruses would you really need to play exactly the same thing and blend perfectly, but its nice to have the option i guess. For every other part of the song, like an intro or verse or clean breakdown, the ability to have variety is key, but that would apply even in a 1 guitar band. To my ears, the ability to vary it up matters even more if you're the only guitarist.

Changing up who plays what solo, who plays which clean parts and who does what big chords are needed at any given time can help everything from sounding the same, and in my opinion matters way more than having 'complementary tones'. You could take two guys with the exact same LP's and Marshalls, and if they knew how to work an arrangement and use their boosts/fx right, and are good players, there'd be no problem.

In heavy-ish rock music, sometimes you want blend rather than contrast. Its kind of like singing, you don't always want 2 singers with different voices. Sometimes 2 guys (or girls) with very similar tones can sound great together.
 

jtindle

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I saw a cover band this weekend that had 3 guitars, 2 Les Paul's and what looked like an Ibanez shredder guitar. Two Marshalls and I couldn't see the other amp. Way too much distortion and this was a 50/50 rock/country cover band. The singer was good, but just too much buzzy distorted guitar. I wanted to get the singer to the side and tell him they would sound much better if the had a strat or tele in the mix, cleaner tones, maybe replace a Marshall with something else.
 

hudpucker

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6,458
I hear ya, OP. I think it's compounded further when both guitarists not only have the same tone, but also play the same part and/or chord inversions. I just cringe when I see 2 guitarists both playing the same barre chords. If one of them would just play elsewhere on the neck (or use different string groups) than the other, that would go a long way to sounding "different" from each other, even if they have similar tones.
:agree

Done strategically it can be cool but, more frequently, it's simply due to a lack of skill/talent, IMO.
 

2HBStrat

Senior Member
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41,244
.......I saw 5 bands this weekend at an Oktoberfest. Only one of them had distinguishable tones between the two guitarists.......
Was a backline provided at this festival? If so, maybe the guitarists all sounded the same because they were all playing through the same 2 or 3 amps?
 

Turi

Member
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9,502
:agree

Done strategically it can be cool but, more frequently, it's simply due to a lack of skill/talent, IMO.
I agree.

I think the guitarists should try to set themselves apart from each other in some way, if it's not tone then it should be in what they're playing.

What I can't stand is rhythm guitarists who drown out the lead guitarists with massive volume and using their bridge pickup, lead guy takes a solo, can't hear ****.
 
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My last band had 3 guitarists. I switched from an SG to a Jazzmaster for the very purpose of fitting in the mix better. It was awesome.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Coldacre

Senior Member
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I'm guessing they weren't very good either.

Good players in two guitar bands, of any genre, know how to define their own place in the mix.

Even in bands that rely on a wall of sound/brute force from time to time do it...The (late) great Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King of Slayer come to mind.
yep, King had that very warm compressed, scooped tone and Hanneman the middy, harsh uncompressed tone. made them very distinctive. (funnily enough, alot of people think Kerry King is the one playing all of those blistering solo's on Reign In Blood, when it is in fact Hanneman's Les Paul)
 

Pablomago

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6,199
I'd say lack of skill and experience. Both the guitarists learned the songs from the same TAB and aren't creative enough to make it more interesting.

I saw a band the other night who have a killer singer and rhythm section, but the guitarists are a little weak. But even when they were playing the same, they had the sense to use different guitars and different tones. One had a PRS single cut and the other had a Casino and an acoustic. They had the dance floor packed.
 

80tiger

Platinum Supporting Member
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1,449
Yah, sounds like amateurs. I'm a noob and even I know you gotta mix it up.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
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We have a very good band sonically and otherwise and the other guitarist and I are always conscious in keeping the 2 guitar tones different sounding and many times , playing different or inverted parts.. He is more the Strat Tele Fender amp guy and I am the les Paul through a Kemper using Trainwreck and Freidman amp profiles. The combination is killer
 






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