Soloing tone tips for single guitar bands.......?

Oldskoolrob

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Hi Guru's,
So in a 3 piece band I'm trying to improve our overall sound. One problem is when I go from playing rhythm to soloing it feels like the 'fullness' drops out of the mix. Going from 6 strings to single notes etc. So as a result I usually try to play double stop solos, or 'play less' in the verse etc. Just boosting solo volume seems to actually increase the problem. I'm wondering if a pedal like the TC mimiq, or having a stereo set-up that I can switch on just for solos may be an answer? I use a Tech21 rig straight into the PA, so a stereo rig wouldn't be hard to do (just get another similar pedal etc). I have a DD7 on my board which I think can kind of be a doubler if set right so I guess I could try that...I also have a phaser but that's only good for some songs. I'm not a fan of chorus on guitar much either. Oh, and we play everything from Tommy Dorsey to The Angels so there's a bit of sonic ground to cover.....and I run the mixer as well as playing, singing and tap-dancing on my pedals so simple would be good lol.
What's your advice oh gurus?
 

Vortex

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(Disclaimer: I'm no guru.) I was also in a 3 piece + singer. Pedals I use to thicken the sound are the Xotic EP Boost and the RCv2. The RC does a good job of that. However I always thought it could be better. I've come to the conclusion that there are no background players in trio's. The other players need to do their job of filling in especially during solos. If you listen to early VH, LZ, ZZ, JoeB (at Rockpalast), John Mayer Trio (Try album) as examples, it's hard to tell who's in the background. Of course the guitar tones are awesome (and the players are pros) but there's a lot more going on in the "background".

@ns2a just summed up what I'm trying to say while typing this. Every time we play I keep telling the bassist I can't hear him and to turn up. Cuz ya know I'm not turning down. :cool2:
 

Matt_Krush

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get another guitarist...
have bassist split his signal, 1 stays clean, the other a light overdrive...
get second guitar player...

the only way to plug a hole...is to plug the hole.
 

mdubya

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As a 3 piece plus lead vocals for most of my playing "career" I wrote pieces specifically with lead guitar in mind. That works if you are playing originals.

Also, we had a couple of different bass players. The best one stuck to the root/bottom end and I could play top end and fills, which opened up our sound from the typical bass doubling power chords sound of or day (the 90's). The other bass player played against me too much and dragged our sound all over the place and it was not good.

As a rhythm player, I laid back and gave the vocalist all the room I could. This meant when the lead came I could roll of the volume or step on a fuzz and cut loose, my turn to sing.

So, I don't think a pedal is going to make the difference, personally.

But back to guitar parts: if you take Free's Mr. Big, the verse riff is sparse and sounds a bit awkward to play lead over, but when you get to the chorus, it sounds freaking great to play lead over. As for Free themselves, they wrote a separate section for the lead that just alternated between open E and D, which opened up the song for Koss to do his thing.

Listen to Free and Jimi and Cream and Sabbath and you get some good ideas for playing lead with no rhythm guitar.

I use my looper pedal non stop, so you could possibly incorporate that in for your lead sections? :dunno: :hmm: Just a thought.
 

tzd

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Work on your vibrato. A good vibrato makes a single note sound big.
 

ARandall

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I think the bass is the key, as @ns2a has said. In a 3-piece you can't provide the only fullness to the overall tone if you are a soloing player. Compared to what it is, the bass can be much more busy, or driving, or full. It has to, on its own, be able to take up the space your rhythm guitar does. You can then just be embellishment on the top.
Alternatively, play softly during the rhythm sections, then really dig in during your solos.

Hendrix did this really well, in both the bands he fronted. Another to look at is U2 - for the tone that Adam Clayton has. It really occupies a lot of territory.
 

Oldskoolrob

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Thanks for the hints on the Bass player - I hadn't really thought of that. So to clarify should I ask him to play more complex parts, throw some overdrive on or go a touch louder/harder as well? He's a great player but sometimes gets 'lost in the moment' so I'm not sure how much I can rely on a consistent response. Another thing I noted (can't remember the artist) but I the drummer used a lot more of the cymbals in the solo which filled the sound out too....
We sometimes have a fourth and it's great - but much more logistically challenging to get together.






So you've all brought on my epiphany that 'solo' is a misleading term and should be replaced with 'instrumental'. It has to be a whole band effort. Thanks! :applause:
 
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