Soloing Tone Tips for Single Guitar Bands

dc007

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Have you actually recorded yourselves and listened to it? It may not be as empty as you are perceiving it to be.

Would also be a good way for you guys to decide as a band what may or may not be 'missing'.
 

mdubya

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I feel like I may have gotten carried away....
My takeaway is that the bass is driving on those examples, not super syncopated with lots of space and rests.

I was listening to some Dinosaur Jr. last night and Murph (bass) could stretch out while J plays verse and chorus rhythm, but when J goes to lead, Murph takes on the role of rhythm guitar.
 

mdubya

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I also just bought a TC electronic mimiq which helps to a certain extent! Most suggestions above are excellent! Thanks!
I practice with a looper pedal all the time. That way I can hear what my leads sound like over the underlying rhythm track. It might help you workout what the bass is or should be doing when you play lead.
 

ErictheRed

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My takeaway is that the bass is driving on those examples, not super syncopated with lots of space and rests.

I was listening to some Dinosaur Jr. last night and Murph (bass) could stretch out while J plays verse and chorus rhythm, but when J goes to lead, Murph takes on the role of rhythm guitar.
I love Dinosaur Jr, truly one of my top 5 favorite bands. But they're actually a bit thin-sounding live without a true rhythm guitar. Also Lou Barlow (Murph is on drums!) often does things that most bass players won't, he plays three-note chords a lot that he kind of strums like a rhythm guitar to fill out the sound. That's pretty rare, though.
 

mdubya

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I love Dinosaur Jr, truly one of my top 5 favorite bands. But they're actually a bit thin-sounding live without a true rhythm guitar. Also Lou Barlow (Murph is on drums!) often does things that most bass players won't, he plays three-note chords a lot that he kind of strums like a rhythm guitar to fill out the sound. That's pretty rare, though.
Oops, yep, Lou. :oops: :yesway:

I was listening to live stuff, by the way.

He sounded like he was using a distortion pedal on the lead sections, but may have just been a distorted amp.

I used to hate playing with another guitar player, so I gigged a lot as a 3 piece.

I have grown up a bit and I actually like playing with another guitar player now. I could almost do without a bass player at all with a symbiotic guitar playing partner. split rhythm and lead duties and vocal duties? I have done it with no bass player and it was cool.

Most of the jamming I do these days is just 2 guitar players and no other musicians.

Lou holds down the bottom even on the chords.

 

ehb

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Bear in mind, in a club, you don't have 20,000W laying on the floor in front of you JUST FOR BOTTOM...

Volume jump can get you fired....


Also, as dc said upthread, record yourself (but NOT on a damn cell phone with the bullshit dime store mic w/ auto compression)... Regardless of outcome, you will have a better idea of how you sound out front..... (use a Zoom or something....AWAY from directly in front of the mains. Get farther back at or past the sweet spot....)
 

moreles

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Well, it depends on the sound you want. If you want to sound like a larger group, you need more players. If you want to sound like a 3 piece, get good at it. Cream, the original Who, Experience, ZZ Top, you name it were all trios -- power trios. They used volume, first of all, to assure a constant sound and neither Clapton nor Hendrix did typical chordy rhythms and then vastly different leads. Clapton and Hendrix are famous for their single-note insertions into their "rhythm," with tons of movement. If you want to retain a strict rhythm behind your leads, well, someone's going to have to provide that. A good drummer and bassist can. Alternatively, if you mean something more like a jazz or folk trio sound, that's different, and you can listen and see how they do it. Honestly, I am often the only guitarist in bands of different sizes, and I don't even think in terms of rhythm and lead. I do lots of triads, broken chords, two string stuff, and only rarely "full" chords (which in most settings seem to me to muddy the ensemble sound way too much) so it's no big transition. I'll bump the volume, maybe, or add overdrive/distortion if I'm playing a longer, melodic, "statement solo."
 

Neffco

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Try simple solos that use an open string and lead around it. I feel your pain and this little trick works for me.

My old guitar player is a master at the three piece guitar solo. Always makes me jealous. On the bass I always picked it up a notch when he was doing his thing. We fed off each other.
 

Dolebludger

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I assume your amp has no boost pedal. If so, you should use it on your solos. If not, I use a Rocktron Nitro pedal for clean boost plus some compression/sustain. This pedal has a volume knob to adjust how much of a boost you want; there other ways to boost solo volumes such as a EQ pedal, where output volume is cranked a bit. With this, you can also adjust the tone of your solos. A third solution would be to get a compressor pedal. With the right settings it will reduce the volume on chords so that your single string solos will be the same volume.

Yours is a problem I have been fighting for 60 years. These methods finally solved the problem.
 

unknownfan

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Having played in a 3pc Rockabilly act with the occasional LZ "tribute" show for several years, I can attest to how much a bassist contributes in these situations. I play better and the sound is better if the bassist is exceptional. Good luck working it out! :jam:
 

HogmanA

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The above black dog example really highlights that, regardless of what Jones is doing, the contrast is set by Page.
Page is not even playing chords, he's doubling the bass, so when he stops doing that the contrast is minimal.
There's no loss of anything rhythmically important. There's no loss of guitar texture, being still mostly single notes.
There's no loss of anything harmonically important.
Imagine if Page played Black Dog with driving chord rhythm like a Green Day song and then stopped for the solo. No amount of John P Jones would make up for that.
What Jones is doing pales into insignificance compared to what Page is doing/ not doing when it comes to this issue.
This is all on you, guitarist!

(famous quote by?... "first you learn what to play... then you learn what not to play")
 
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