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sjl200

When starting a "band"

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A question to my more experienced friends here at the fourm.

When starting or forming a band to play contemporary guitar centric music how many is too many when it comes to guitars? (not counting bass)

I and a few of my friends are considering 3. Your thoughts pro or con thanks.

Steve

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This is a situation many musicians find themselves in

 

It can depend on whether there is a Jagger/Plant/Rodgers frontman

 

Egos are bound to be part of the scenario

 

As is potential instrument doubling..... pedal steel, banjo, fiddle etc.

 

And the presence of keyboards.....

 

V

 

:-({|=

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I've played in many bands over the last 30-40 years. Presently, I play in a small bluegrass/country rock/folk band. A few members have come and gone the last few years, but the "core" sound is from myself and two other musicians. So to answer your question, I would ask "How many musicians does it take to get the desired sound that you're looking for?" As in my situation, I find that the three of us can actually produce the music that we want to put out. Using the audiences that we play for as a gauge, we seem to work very well together. Adding others can either work well for you or against you. Take into consideration things like: do they blend well with the band, egos, talent, personalities. All these things play a major factor in the overall sound. When you get musicians that can blend well together, (vocals and playing styles), then you will have enough!

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As long as the guitarists are not all wanting to be the stand out guitar hero then all should be well.

 

The Eagles did it and they all had their place in the band as guitarists.

 

If anything, maybe one of the guitarists could also take up other sections in the band.

Possibly sampling/programming as well as guitar.

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2 acoustics take much space – 3 are a lot. Still 3 could work out fine. But people have to know their roles and not just jangle away. A certain amount of discipline is needed. If 1 stands guard around the basic song, the second could approach the chords from different angles f.x. with capo, while #3 flies here and there with little riffs and solos. Be aware of the holes and use them, , , but for H's sake let some stay empty.

 

At certain zones in the repertoire, boil down to 1 guitar with #2 adding details and 3 shaking an egg instead – only to glide further into crescendos where the whole trio explodes in simultaneous strumming etc. It's a nice task to figure this out (and it doesn't take a Mozart to fix a tiny arrangement). I'm close to comparing with a sports team : The solid defender, the building mid-fielder and the fiery attacker, but wont – this is music.

 

Investigate each others strengths and weak spots, be open about this, don't scare one another into insecurity and self-defencing behavior. Explore the members singing capacities and create vocal harmonies where it's possible. Don't be over ambitious with this as it can turn into sheer disaster on stage. Understand the chemistry of the band and most important - be each others fans.

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All good thoughts thank you all, keep 'em coming.

At present we are contemplating 3 guitars, 1 bass ,1 drummer, 1 hand percussionist and a Keys/synth player. 3 descent singers out of the bunch.

Still kicking around ideas. We know what music we want. We all play in a bigger ensemble so we fit well. I forgot about the Eagles having 3 guitars good food for thought.

Many thanks

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At present we are contemplating 3 guitars, 1 bass ,1 drummer, 1 hand percussionist and a Keys/synth player. 3 descent singers out of the bunch.

 

Whau – You seem to be a bunch who don't need that much advice really. In my experience one single acoustic have great influence on the sound of a 5-6 piece band. It draws the musical identity in a certain direction and mixed too loud soon generates songwriter with backing connotations. Good luck with the repertoire -

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I should have clarified 3 guitars 2 electric 1 acoustic (me).... so far [scared]

 

although I do have an ES335 I pull out on occasion..

Thanks

The advice is really about players thoughts about having 3 guitars and to be honest I haven't 'started' a band since I was 17 and that is a long long time ago.

This endeavor is to satisfy a desire by those involved to play more and better, we have a niche we would fill in our local area.

We have just started the discussion and I think we are still weeks away from a tune up and sit down jam.. time will tell

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I'd say, make sure everyone brings something worthwhile to the table. 2 rhythm guitar players who are so-so singers or don't sing harmony well is a waste. Now, if you are going for a Crosby, Stills and Nash thing or an Eagles thing with lots of tight harmony, then a extra guitar player (who sings awesome) might be really important.

 

Keep in mind, more players means more people sharing the spotlight, more schedule conflicts, creative differences, and egos. Just make sure it's worth it.

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I'd say, make sure everyone brings something worthwhile to the table. 2 rhythm guitar players who are so-so singers or don't sing harmony well is a waste. Now, if you are going for a Crosby, Stills and Nash thing or an Eagles thing with lots of tight harmony, then a extra guitar player (who sings awesome) might be really important.

 

Keep in mind, more players means more people sharing the spotlight, more schedule conflicts, creative differences, and egos. Just make sure it's worth it.

 

Wise words Thanks Dayrl.

We shall see if this 'thing' even makes it off the launch pad.

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I'd say, make sure everyone brings something worthwhile to the table. 2 rhythm guitar players who are so-so singers or don't sing harmony well is a waste. Now, if you are going for a Crosby, Stills and Nash thing or an Eagles thing with lots of tight harmony, then a extra guitar player (who sings awesome) might be really important.

 

Keep in mind, more players means more people sharing the spotlight, more schedule conflicts, creative differences, and egos. Just make sure it's worth it.

 

I have no idea what you are talking about. Egos? Conflict? Every band I have ever been in has had none of this. [cursing]

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I always loved playing with another guitar player in both my 'lectric rock and acoustic blues band. I like the interplay between the guitars plus it gave me the opportunity to stretch out a bit on fiddle, mandolin, kazoo or whatever else I wanted to try.

 

Also, I can't sing a note.

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I remember the gatherings and tension of too big egos – but it was back in damp-cellar-twenties when everybody was nobodies.

 

Later we had great personalities in the band, chaos, crazy even frenzy situations and typhoons of sheer madness – no longer the ego wars.

 

How to avoid the thing : Establish a level above it from step one and the first person who tries to stretch his ego beyond its natural limit and tilt the balance of the scene, stands out as a complete fool. Unsaid, but understood by the rest, this guy - the fallen sage- soon takes the lower status of the gang. "The loud floor sweeper".

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Guest rogerb

I'd say, make sure everyone brings something worthwhile to the table. 2 rhythm guitar players who are so-so singers or don't sing harmony well is a waste. Now, if you are going for a Crosby, Stills and Nash thing or an Eagles thing with lots of tight harmony, then a extra guitar player (who sings awesome) might be really important.

 

Keep in mind, more players means more people sharing the spotlight, more schedule conflicts, creative differences, and egos. Just make sure it's worth it.

 

And one more split with the money! :-({|=

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Been in several bands over the years, and two guitars was always plenty (usually one was on acoustic, one on electric). We added a third, briefly, but realized more isn't always better.

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