Do Guitarists Leave Silent Gaps Between Chord When Playing Accompanied?

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by To Need a Woman, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. To Need a Woman

    To Need a Woman Senior Member

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    When guitarists are playing in a bands, you get the impression that everything that they're doing sounds so fluid. But do they often leave out the very end of a measure to ease the change between chords? in anticipating the next chord? In other words, it'd sound terrible if you heard it isolated!

    For me, sometimes those silent gaps between chords (normally with barre chords) sound terrible. You want to at least get some muted strum in there. For difficult movements, I'm often faced with the dilemma of: either leaving a small silent gap, or risking landing on the next chord uncomfortably (with a slid or buzz noise as I try to properly adjust it).

    One example that comes to mind as I write this, (where everything sounds so fluid) would be the below performance - it's as if he transitions between strumming and lead lines so effortlessly. I'd do the lead lines no problem, but how he lands on the first note so well (and in time) is what takes skill.



    Thanks
     

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  2. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    Either forward planning or just being really familiar with how to get to the chord without gaps, adding a near by/easy to reach note that fits .Clever use of open strings can help

    With straight chord changes I think most of the time there's no gaps, if its difficult maybe try different shapes etc.....I'm not the best at fluidity with that but its just practice I think
     
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  3. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Looking at Knopfler playing, the first thing I notice is how utterly clam and relaxed he is. I think this is the key.
    As well as knowing the song inside out.
    As well as being Knopfler.
     
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  4. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    OP didn't mention if he is familiar enough to use inversions but @paradice makes a good point.

    The way a guitar neck is layed out it can offer the same notes in multiple locations across the neck, as opposed to a keyboard where there is only one of each note.

    For me since I only play 'cowboy chords' I find 7ths and suspended chords very helpful in creating anticipation of movement and to create a crossover point.

    To be fair, when I am practicing alone sometimes I will hear gaps or brief spaces in between, but as you pointed out, that disappears in the mix in a band setting.
     
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  5. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Ding
     
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  6. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    So...just accept knopflers a wizard? :eek:
     
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  7. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Pick your battles. There will always be some better, some not as good.
    It doesn't hurt to be inspired by, or aspire to being more like (insert name here), but at the end of the day, you are all you have to work with.
    Do your best and find your sound and your style.

    Does Mark sound like Hank Marvin? Or David Gilmour?
    Do they sound like each other?
    No.
    Yet Hank inspired them both to pick up a guitar and they each were enamored with his style and sound.

    In the end they each developed their own signature sound which is nothing like Hanks.
     
  8. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    Good point.....but at the same time most things are possible with time/practice and inclination. And knowing what to do...like OP is asking!
    Don't think being able to switch from lead to chords smoothly is unrealistic!
     
  9. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Correct! Ask Alex! He's done it live for years! :laugh2:

    This whole song is based on just that type of thing, LOL!

    If you listen close you can hear a distinct space between the chords of the main riff!
    I guess they DO leave spaces! :laugh2:

     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  10. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    This. X1000.

    I can spend ages and ages practicing and trying to get down some players riff or style and chances are it will always be a struggle....if even a little bit of a struggle. On the other hand there are some things I play, totally absent mindedly...like if I pick up a guitar just to see how it feels or something...just noodling without any reason, or thought or struggle whatsoever. And it comes out as smooth and effortless as that Knopfler clip above. (no, I'm not comparing my playing to his)
    Pure me...total effortless expression. Somebody else might look at what I just played and say "that was really cool...I wish I could play like that" and I'd be like "I don't even know what I just did!"

    It's what a lifetime of practice is really for IMO. When the time comes, I don't think about scales or modes or anything technical at all. It just happens. Sure I feel a mood, or outline a melodic structure in my head at the moment my fingers are doing it...it's just...happening.
     
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  11. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    That's how it is for me too! I'm no where near Freddy's caliber of playing, but the similarity is striking.

    For years I struggled and eventually gave up guitar and switched to bass because I couldn't grasp all the knowledge of chords and modes and scales and thought, I'll never learn all this stuff.

    Now as of late, I've realized that I'm playing by ear and feeling first, then I can go back and see WHY it works in the chord books and scale charts later.

    Has made ALL the difference for me this time around, and I only wish the light bulb went on years ago instead of midlife! LOL!!
     
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  12. Dick Banks

    Dick Banks Senior Member

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    There is a large difference in what you think you need to play, and what you end up playing in the mix with a band. In my situation, it becomes obvious when I'm playing too much, or not enough. That goes for tone also. The tone that sounds good when you are alone often times does not work in the mix. I find that most of the time, my "sweet" tone ends up being to mid-heavy, and it competes with other instruments--bass and drums.
    I saw the tone thing last weekend--the other guitarist--very good player--but he struggled with his tone the whole weekend--couldn't hear it, it was too low, or too high, etc. He was just too mid-heavy. My "fizzy" tone was spot on, and mixed nicely.
     
  13. Blushingmule

    Blushingmule Junior Member

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    Exactly. He knows/wrote the song. I play a song in the key of E that just rolls off of the guitar so to speak. I "wrote" it if you get my meaning.
     
  14. TardisMark

    TardisMark Junior Member

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    I work really hard on transitions. To go from one complicated chord to the next is easily as difficult as transitioning between lead and rhythm and back. If there's a note in the chord that happens to be the first note of the lead, makes a good reference point. (Instead of leaving an empty spot, use an inversion that's closer. If it's (the inverted chord) too high, just use a couple of the lower notes of the inversion.) Or if there's a note at least on the same string if you can slide up to the first note of the lead, that could work. Good suggestions above, using variations of the chord that happens to be closer to the lead entry - I like to use a octave slide sometimes to move to another spot, very dramatic. But the real key is just practice. Knopfler isn't a wizard, he's just a guy who started with some talent, (ok, admittedly, a lot of talent) :) and then finger-picked that guitar about two million times. He's relaxed because been doing it so long, he could do it in his sleep. You can't relax into playing smoothly and confidently like that, the relax comes from practice and self assurance. Practice snapping cleanly between chords, and from chords to lead-pattern-fingering-positions. Like, a lot. :)
     
  15. eddie_bowers

    eddie_bowers Senior Member

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    Well not all chords butt up against each other with no rests. AND not all chords should fall squarely on beat.

    When you need them to you often can hit a single root note "On beat" and then strum the rest of the chord.
    Plan out your chords (which may require inversions) to minimize jumping around.
     
  16. I Break Things

    I Break Things Senior Member

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    I've been doing a lot of playing by ear lately. One thing that has helped me immensely is practicing slides and bends with jam tracks. Just kind of go with the flow and fret wherever the backing track takes you. If you hit a sour note, use it as an opportunity to practice sliding or bending up to a note that sounds good in the mix.
     
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  17. DarrellV

    DarrellV Likes > Posts Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    ^^^^ This for me!
    I find that by noodling along with a rythm section (or backing track) it helps me to sound out what works and what doesn't.

    After the fact I can analyze and see the note patterns on the neck to know WHY it works.

    But I have noticed that for me at least, my intuition seems to remember what works because I can just be noodling alone and sounding things out, looking for the next note, and I find myself fighting with my fingers and gut to not just let my finger fall where it wants to. And it is usually right!

    That's the sad part. The hardest thing for me to deal with is getting my brain out of the way and just let the music come out. Trust my feelings, like Luke! LOL!

    Absolutely! Without some kind of space it would be a mind numbing drone!

    The trick is to know where best to let the beat fall.

    Sometimes on the measure, sometimes a little off to add drama (agogic accents or rubato).

    I found this interesting paragraph that might help explain it better.
    They are talking about piano playing, but the techniques are the same across any instrument.

    "In music, a series of beats advance at a relatively even rate.
    We feel each beat not as an isolated pulse, but related to the one
    which preceded it.

    We also predict, if only unconsciously, the
    timing of the pulse to follow on the basis of the pattern we
    already perceived.

    However in hand-played music the beat patterns are not
    even; there are tiny variations in the placement of the pulses.

    Though we do not necessarily perceive the unevenness of the
    rhythm on a conscious level, we do find it more interesting than
    a mechanical beat. And in some cases of artifice or accident,
    uneven rhythm produces a very interesting auditory illusion.

    Our perception is not necessarily that the pulses of the music
    fall ahead or behind the true beat, but that they are louder or
    softer, that is, more or less intense.

    Devices of rhythmic variation have always been used as a
    means of musical expression, the ritard being a conspicuous
    example.

    Agogic accents and rubato are terms for two of the
    more subtle devices. An agogic accent consists of playing
    a note or chord a little off the beat to achieve a heightened
    musical effect. Rubato is the same technique applied to a series
    of beats in a melodic line or phrase, to give them shape or
    definition.

    Agogic accents and rubato are of enormous
    importance in expressive pianism.

    The sweep and elegance of
    a great keyboard technique is as dependent on these subtle
    rhythmic alterations as it is on dynamic variation."
     
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