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Recycled Rocker

R & B guitars

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Hiya everyone, just a (I think) simple question. I thinking about learning some R&B, lately I've been listing to some pretty cool stuff and thought why not it'll expand my playing.

 

So what type of guitar would be good to get, an Arch Top or a LP. I like the Arch tops some look real cool.

I'm currently playing a SG, a bit to rocky I think, your thoughts will be appreciated.

 

 

Cheers Ken.

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Thin-line archtops are great for that. Les Paul's too...but the ES-335

or Epiphone equivilants (Dot, Riviera, Sheraton), have that rounder,

warmer tone, that was on a lot of those records. But, in fact...ANY

guitar, will work. When I was playing that kind of music, with a "Chicago,"

and/or "Blood Sweat & Tears" type "horn band," I used a Gibson ES-355,

exclusively. But, it's really a matter of what YOU like and are comfortable

playing. Terry Kath, "Chicago's" original guitarist (awesome player) used

a Telecaster, and and SG, mostly. So....??? Any kind, will do the job...

 

Cheers,

CB

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I'm currently playing a SG' date=' a bit to rocky I think.[/quote']

 

Depends on the P/Us IMO....I play jazz with my 61RI or Strat, and ZZTOP type stuff with my Gretsch hollowbody.

 

How I set my amp is where I get the different vibes, otherwise it's just a matter of what feels good to me......they all be good I think.

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One of the coolest sounding guitars for MoTown R&B is an Epiphone Lucille. I played one the other day and I was amazed by how good it sounded. I think I want one.

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I think it depends a little bit on what you mean by RnB. By now, that's a pretty broad term and defining it isn't so cut-and-dried, IMO.

First thing I thought of when I read your posting was 40's-50's classic swing blues/RnB. Having seen a vid of him, I'd decided a while back that I wanted to grow up (?) to be T-Bone Walker and so have been looking hard at full-sized hollow bodied jobs. Came close to a used ES-295 not too long ago, but it left the shop before I got there with the cash. Ya snooze... but you get the idea. ES-175, maybe, or the Elistist big-boxes if ya got the cash?

Yeah I think the thin-semi-hollows would probably be pretty cool, too, but, myself, I'd like the versaility to switch into jazz mode, too, and I think some of the full-sized models may work better. I like what I see of the Joe Pass for this genre(s).

On the other hand, if you're thinking more contemporary funk/RnB, I'd think you want to go thinner: semi-hollow to solid. They can "scratch" easier!

Please don't take these ideas as definitive. I don't have much experience in this area (see above re: wanting to be T-Bone), and am just floating some of my own ideas on this subject. I'm as interested in the responses as the original poster.

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Yeah, Bloozeguy... "Jazz boxes" would work, for sure! Of course, back in the time you were first mentioning, the ES models had not been invented, yet. I think they are a great "compromise" between solid body sustain, and the more warmer tones, feel, of the thicker bodied variety. But, as mentioned before, any type can be utilized, effectively.

 

CB

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Stock answer any kind of 335 style guitar is the associated visual.

 

Everyone knows Clapton plays strats, Beck strats though he started on teles. I used to go see Lonnie Brooks at some of the smaller Chicago clubs in the 80s and he was playing strats then. Just went to his web page and he lists a 57 335 reissue now.

 

You can play any style on any guitar, going back to the guitarist vs guitar player thread. Getting a certain guitar is not going to make you a blues player. I once saw a local blues band and the lead guitarist had a fireglow Ric 330 through an old tweed. Still sounded like blues to me.

 

If I had to say one guitar either a strat or a Lucille/345 with its varitone so you have tone options.

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Let's not forget the single coil aspect...Curtis Mayfield played a Strat, Steve Cropper played a Tele...and if that ain't R&B guitar, the term means nothing.

 

My personal preference would be a semi-hollow, like a Dot. But the Casino would sound nice, with lots of vintage vibe.

 

The guitar section on the Motown records used:

 

Eddie Willis: ES-335, Firebird

 

Robert White: ES-335, L-5 (the L-5 was used for the guitar intro to 'My Girl', one of the most recognizable guitar riffs of all time)

 

Joe Messina: Telecaster with a Jazzmaster neck

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Great posts and suggestions, all said though, I would suggest going out and playing a bunch of guitars in different types and setups though the same or amps similar to the one you will be using and see what calls to you. You will know what you want then !

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Great posts and suggestions' date=' all said though, I would suggest going out and playing a bunch of guitars in different types and setups through the same or amps similar to the one you will be using and see what calls to you. You will know what you want then ![/quote']

 

The man of wisdom speaks!:-#

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Hey everyone, thanks very much for your thoughts, very informative. Byrds1965, yeh you are right the guitar is only an instrument, the person playing makes the differance. Bluesstringer, that is something I've being toying with so when I'm ready to lay the hard earned out, yeh I'll take my amp and test some guitars.

 

 

I do like the Dot and Alleykat so might start with them, but first will check with my guitat coach and start getting some lessons.

 

Once again blokes

 

Thanks. :-#/

 

Cheers Ken.

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Hey everyone' date=' thanks very much for your thoughts, very informative. Byrds1965, yeh you are right the guitar is only an instrument, the person playing makes the differance. Bluesstringer, that is something I've being toying with so when I'm ready to lay the hard earned out, yeh I'll take my amp and test some guitars.

 

 

I do like the Dot and Alleykat so might start with them, but first will check with my guitat coach and start getting some lessons.

 

Once again blokes

 

Thanks. =D>/

 

Cheers Ken.

 

[/quote']

 

Let us know what you end up getting and how things go with your new gear.

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I [am] thinking about learning some R&B...' date=' so what type of guitar would be good to get?[/quote']

Your SG will do R&B. I use a solid body LP for blues, R&B, classic rock & funk. After you gain better command of the genre, then consider investing in a different instrument. Until then, here's a quick list to bring R&B tones to your SG:

** First, change to nickel strings (heavier = better, I recently switched to DR Pure Blues .011-.050 and they are fabulous but go with the lighter .010s if your finger strength is a problem). Round wound nickel has a certain "hollow" quality to it that will add instant depth to your solidbody SG.

** Next, learn/develop your technique using R&B rhythm structures -- focus here on your right hand (in particular your pick attack, timing, picking methods, and pick placement in relation to your guitar's pickups). Also, copy favorite R&B chord progressions/licks -- use books.

** Focus upon integrating the blues scale and BB's and Albert King's box patterns into your solos (these work for blues, R&B, & rock-n-roll so it's win-win-win for you).

 

Use your "R&B guitar money" for a good tube amp -- (EPI's VJr. Ver. 3 is a terrific & inexpensive place to start looking -- and a top end 12" speaker(s) for lows/mids. You'll need that thump. There is just no simplier way to gain those great R&B tones than through a tube amp (amp modelers + solid state are still a poor compromise). Even Lucille would sound too flat/tinny through an SS (IMO of course). I am not opposed to modelers (I use a POD, and a good distortion pedal, at times) but the tube amp platform is indespensible.

 

Then, play on and it will come to you. Good luck!

 

Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on:-"

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Let's not forget the single coil aspect...Curtis Mayfield played a Strat' date=' Steve Cropper played a Tele...and if that ain't R&B guitar, the term means nothing.

[/quote']

 

exactly. Im surprised no one said "tele" sooner. it is THE RnB guitar. or so ive been told.

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exactly. Im surprised no one said "tele" sooner. it is THE RnB guitar. or so ive been told.

 

 

Yep, if you think of one R'n'B archetype. However R'n'B in the broadest sense would even include ACDC, so basicly ANY type of guitar(or stringgauge) would be suitable...

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I recently switched to DR Pure Blues .011-.050 and they are fabulous

 

I'm playing the DR Pure Blues as well and I think they are absolutely fantastic!

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Thanks Steven, for the advise, really sound. Your suggestion sounds great so I'll start there, getting better command of my axe, and then consider a new one and a tube amp. #-o

 

Thanks again everyone all your advise it is really helpfull. :- =P~

 

Cheers Ken.

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Hiya everyone' date=' just a (I think) simple question. I thinking about learning some R&B, lately I've been listing to some pretty cool stuff and thought why not it'll expand my playing.

 

So what type of guitar would be good to get, an Arch Top or a LP. I like the Arch tops some look real cool.

I'm currently playing a SG, a bit to rocky I think, your thoughts will be appreciated.

 

 

Cheers Ken.[/quote']

 

I'd get 2 models...one with humbuckers, and one with single coils. You can pick your particular poison, but as far as the blues go....yeah, I think both are nice to have...

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I'd get 2 models...one with humbuckers' date=' and one with single coils. You can pick your particular poison, but as far as the blues go....yeah, I think both are nice to have...[/quote']

 

Or one with hums and coil taps - I stick to my earlier premise though - try out as many as you can, one will call to you !

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As I mentioned earlier...I used a ES-355 for the time I was playing that style music,

and it was great, because of the Vari-tone and all the different tones you could get,

with it. Not advocating you spend 5 Grand on a new ES-355, but it was one Hell of

a great guitar, for almost anything. I have often thought of getting a newer Sheraton,

and moding it, by putting in the same electronics & pickups, that the 355 had, including

the Varitone. That way, I'd have the sound, but not risk my Gibson "Lucille" getting

stolen or smashed. I guess I could get an Epiphone Lucille, instead. But it might be

fun to do that "Lucille" thing, to a "natural" Sheraton, too. Hmmmmm...yeah, that

might be fun! LOL!

 

CB

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Maybe it's me but I really fail to see how anyone could recommend a specific guitar for playing R'n'B. Let alone pickups and string-gauges. The diversity in replies testifies to that. Just adjust you amp and play the darn thing! ](*,)

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Maybe it's me but I really fail to see how anyone could recommend a specific guitar for playing R'n'B. Let alone pickups and string-gauges. The diversity in replies testifies to that. Just adjust you amp and play the darn thing! ](*' date=') [/quote']

 

I agree.....tone is fisrt and foremost in your hands the guitar and amp are just the tools of the trade. If it ain't in your hands it really doesn't matter what kind of guitar you play. That being said for pure versatility a semi-hollowbody will give you a nice broad range of tones if that's what your after.

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