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Is it possible by just one guitar with two or three tracks, not improvisation, to do a decent thing?

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The electric guitar is an unusual music instrument. Many instruments (piano, drums etc) can be repeated as regards sound by means of modern keyboards with varying degrees of similarity. And only the guitar (our favorite guitar :) ) can not be reproduced with good quality by these synthetic keyboards.

More than 10 years ago, a keyboard player brought me his music thing, here it is (an old record from a tape).


Of course, it's a bit monotonous, this is a Yamaha keyboard, but the piano sounds are quite satisfactory. Some variety is necessary to bring in this thing, maybe. Then he told me once that he could not make a guitar sound on his expensive keyboards (Yamaha, Roland) [thumbup] .


Do you think it possible with a single guitar track added to the twists of keyboard and to make that the music thing begin to sound good, maybe even as a hit?


Or did you ever have that you have done only two or three tracks with your guitar and your thing has turned out finished and it is quite good?


For example, I could not do so with one track, but with two tracks my thing has turned out, apparently, not bad (the record is also old from the tape recorder, I'll re record). And more it is necessary nothing in this thing: no drums and no bass.


Then that keyboard player has envied possibilities of a guitar and that he isn't able to play on it.

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I'm not quite sure what your trying to ask here. But I'll answer what I understood.


I don't think that a keyboard will ever be able to replicate the sound of a real guitar and guitar player. The subtle vibrato, the sound of a note gradually bending, the slight buzz you sometimes get when picking so hard. Then you have the difference between picking with a pick, or your fingers and the intensity your picking with.


And I've never been able to record anything in one take, usually I have to do at least 3 or 4, and even then there are usually small mistakes made.


If I missed the question you were trying to ask, please inform me so I can try to give you the answer you were looking for!

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With respect to guitar and keyboards you have correctly understood, besides the said piano, drums… even the sound of the saxophone can be found with good quality among the samples, for example, but not the guitar. I wanted also say that the guitar does not concede keyboards. It can even exceed in something them as regards creating a successful compositions, arrangements, transfer of music emotions with smaller expenses of energy and time [thumbup] .


Two or three guitar tracks, of course, this is, I mean, in accordance with pre-designed and prepared guitar playing (or score). Guitar thing of the two tracks that I have shown, of course, I recorded it not at once. I did some takes, perhaps 10-15 for each track while I have accepted it, but finally the tracks are only two. And it's enough I think for this thing and that would be impossible, as it seems, in the case of other musical instruments.


In another shown thing (of that keyboard player) I have added only one track of guitar and the thing have begun to sound much more interesting. And also there was a sensation of completeness, i.e. it was also enough for the thing as regards one track of added guitar. Although, of course, I spent certain time for this one-track that it to think up and play well. Here is the same thing, but with the added guitar (sorry for an old record):



I.e. thanks to the guitar the thing become in fact finished. It is interesting that the thing has became better understood by a half step below. Of course, it's necessary to correct something else (a bass sound etc), but this is not determinative. It can be interesting how often this happens with other guitarists? Obviously, it depends on that, is the guitarist as the author, the arranger (?), and not just only as guitar player.

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  • 2 months later...

I was not able yet to find time to rerecord the above submitted things for better quality. There has come time now when some icons in music are 70 years old or nearby . I've been busy working on a little musical film in honor of the tandem Lennon & McCartney together with a New York guitarist and singer Jan Britten Owen. It was a pleasure to play with virtuoso guitarist, we spent only 1.5 hours in the studio to record two things: Starting Over (Lennon) and Calico Skies (McCartney). And now I can show a new material with much better quality than before [thumbup] .


Therefore, continuing the top it is possible to mention covers [thumbup] .


As from Elvis, the Beatles…etc many worthy things have become as classics. And often they remain in the same form as they were once recorded.

But sometimes there is a desire or a necessity to do some worthy things as new (own) cover-versions. Famous musicians usually try to do it on their own way, not like in the original, but to be good too.

Also, for some things recorded in studio conditions with different studio effects etc... it seems [crying] that by simpler means in manner of a cover they can not be repeated with good level and with the same strength of emotional impact on the listener as original.

Really, sometimes to record a certain thing of the said worthies - it was great work in studio.


However here, as regards covering, the guitar can also do a great job, as it may seem fantastic, i.e. to give good result too by means of... two or three tracks [smile] . Herewith, I mean that a rhythm section (bass and drums) is not determinative, i.e either it is already or will be added later.

But I, of course, do not venture to say that by means of only guitar it is possible to do any thing. There are specific and virtuoso things. I quite like, for example, Rhapsody in blue (G. Gershwin) in the version by Rick Wakeman (

) .

- This is a great job with the arrangement in modern synths and pure piano [thumbup] . But if you listen to the entire album of similar things with the advantage of the only keyboards, that for me, for example, 2 or 3 such things are sufficient, deficit or almost complete absence of guitars makes me not interested to hear more at a time.


In its turn, the guitar has a slight advantage. For our film, working on the said songs, we had not keyboards and used only our guitars.

In the first thing (Starting Over), one of the guitars imitated piano playing (as it is in the original). My guitar in fact has replaced the back vocals by means of chords in the upper fingering of guitar neck. And in the second, as a matter of fact, 3rd electric guitar player was even superfluous. The main role was done only by two guitars with similar playing.



Although it must be said that the requirements to the skill of execution for the video clip may be slightly weaker than for release audio album. But this is the skill of guitar playing, singing..., but it has no big relation to the guitar and its possibilities.

So, fellows, colleagues in a guitar, I think, in covering there is not necessary too be feared of difficult studio things, - that great work in studio that was done by author-musicians, often it was done with a large share of searching and experimentations during creating thing. In covering we need only to know how to use all possibilities of our guitars [thumbup] .


P.S. In the end of conversation on covers there is another worthwhile experience with the guitar when it was used instead of wind group [thumbup] as it is in the original. This is a cover of the song Honey Pie (White Album of the Beatles). In the Beatles original there are 2 different melodic lines, at least, that the wind plays. In our version our guitarist plays only one line, but he split it in octave by means of his guitar processor (Boss ME-50). There was also a confusion at that live concert when his guitar was not working during some part of the song. But thanks to this case there was got a new useful result as regards guitar possibilities. Later at home I filled this empty part by a new track of my guitar with clean sound, herewith, I did not stop and continued to play further the same line that the guitarist played in the concert. After mixing these two tracks (the guitar with the processor and my clean guitar) I received a good tutti sound from two different guitar. This guitars tutti in its expressiveness was not worse than the wind in the original. I put our version here (video from the live concert):


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