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Salute to the Guitar Players

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:27 pm
by jeffl
Hats off to you guys who play guitar in gigging bands, especially if you have to play leads all night long. I went to a new blues venue on Friday night (out for a romantic hotel weekend with my wife) 'cuz the band playin' there had some good reviews. I paid my cover and bought a coupla drinks, and zeroed in on the band. The lady singer was pretty good, and the drummer and bassist were spot on, but the guitar player was in no shape to be a musical front man. He was just competent and his fingers weren't great, and his ideas sucked. I left after one tune, and told the bar manager what I thought (I'm sure he already knew, 'cuz he's a good player in his own right). I've gained alotta respect for all the guitarists who have to work hard on every tune--tune after tune after tune- and work hard at learnin' good parts and playin' 'em well. I've gotten spoiled, 'cuz I'm a harper/keyboarder who basically never sits in with anything but good bands with good players (I'm just a fortunate leech,lol) , and I'm in awe of the level of ability it takes to turn a crowd on with a guitar. For you aspiring players, if you think it's gonna be easy..think again. Not very many people can do it well, and it's gonna take a ton of work to get to that level unless you're REALLY gifted.

Re: Salute to the Guitar Players

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:39 am
by maxx england
I'm just trying to play good backing and occasionally do some slide. With the community music thing I get pushed into featured solos and it's an awfully naked feeling.

Re: Salute to the Guitar Players

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:08 pm
by jeffl
maxx england wrote:I'm just trying to play good backing and occasionally do some slide. With the community music thing I get pushed into featured solos and it's an awfully naked feeling.
One of the reasons I've liked my weekly jam thing is 'cuz it's held at a guy's house in a very informal setting with no audience; it's an environment where you can lay back behind a tune and work on stuff without being obtrusive. We've got 4 or 5 string players-- not counting the bass -- so we don't need everybody filling a lane on every tune. The guitarists sit around a big table and I have my keyboard about 4-5 feet away, with my harps back there too, but there's room for a guitar player to back away from the table and fiddle with stuff during a tune (It's an acoustic jam, except for my low-volume keyboard playin' and a humbucker on the tub bass). I've jammed in settings exactly like this for about 15 years now, and seen that almost all guitar players can play decent chords to tunes, but the guys who can play coherent leads are pretty rare... almost as rare as competent harp players.

Re: Salute to the Guitar Players

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:01 pm
by NEONMOONY
A guitar player/singer in a three man outfit has plenty of concentrating to do all the while needing to be entertaining. A skilled bass player is so important in a three piece. The extra guitar or keyboard of a four piece takes a lot of pressure off the guitar player to keep the sound from falling off and getting thin when he changes from chords to riffs or leads. Then there are some signature song lead riffs that are at least somewhat difficult to play and sing at the same time.

Re: Salute to the Guitar Players

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:02 am
by phatfunkjazz
How many times have gone to Blues jams, then sit there and judge the guitar player (or the whole band for that matter), and think how much better I could play. Finally, my turn comes to join the band and I end up playing really disconnected ideas and feeling deflated, like a total hack, with an audience watching, no less. It's humbling, yet I have gained MUCH respect for those band members who can make the magic of live music happen night after night, even if they're not world-class players (nor am I).

Practice and woodshedding is one thing, but the ability to put it all together in one single moment is a skill unto itself. Props to all the hard-working bands out there, playing live music for the rest of us.

peace,
Stefan

Re: Salute to the Guitar Players

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:50 pm
by bigdaddy
I back an exceptional guitarist. He makes it look easy. Me and the drummer groove and this dude let loose. I have watched countless people stand in awe of this guy, amazed at what he does and how easy he makes it look. It ain't easy. We are a three piece. This dude picks with his teeth, plays behind his head and does so with out missing a lick. He is very good. I have played with many guitar players and he's the only one I have ran across that can lay it down all by himself. He tends to get better with each set, He's been doing it for a long time. He covers Stevie Ray Vaughn flawlessly and we blues out on Jimi Hendrix. It's alot of fun. I have a hard tiem listening to live bands because I hear the weakness in the playing. I've been ruined.