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Instrumental influences


Cruznolfart

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Some of us here are actual "real" guitarists, this excludes the likes of me. I didn't take up guitar to actually learn how to play it until nearly 40 years after I had strummed my first chords. I played drums for many years and, like most other band members, learned a little bit about getting some kind of sound out of several other instruments along the way. But, even after having taken guitar lessons and spent many hours jamming with friends, I know that my guitar playing is heavily influenced by my drumming background. My style is very percussive, especially when I'm just noodling by myself. I can't say that it's been a particular hinderance for me but it IS noticible, at least to me. And I've heard the expression, in reference to others, "he's not a bass player, he's a guitar player playing bass" often enough to know I'm not the only one influenced by my previous non-guitar instrumental background.

 

So, my curiosity and question is, if something other than guitar was your main instrument for any length of time before you started playing guitar, how do you think it influences your playing, arranging, writing?

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Good questions, Dennis...

 

For me... I started on piano in the late 40s - 1940s - and hated the lessons although even as a kid I loved the idea that I could play a "whole" piece. Trumpet took me into school and dance bands, but it couldn't do a "whole" musical piece.

 

I really started considering guitar after exposure to the Harvard Square "folkie" phenom that was similar to that in NYC in the early 1960s. Although most of the pickin' was for vocal accompaniment, there was enough instrumental stuff that it seemed an ideal instrument to play in a group or alone, either as an accompaniment instrument or a solo "keyboard" instrument.

 

Add Leadbelly and the idea of the guitar kinda being a barrelhouse piano as I bought my first guitar and... I was hooked for good - too close to 50 years ago.

 

Then my first year in college there was a lot of "folkie" fingerpickin' and exposure to some classical and flamenco stuff.

 

So maybe... I'm playing keyboard on a guitar? If I play bass... yeah, a guitar player on bass, but I keep hearing guys like Milt Hinton, too.

 

m

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As I've said before..... there were always guitars in my home as a kid... all my uncles played, (kinda), so it was natural that I'd pick 'em up and mess with 'em.

 

Once I started taking lessons, I craved to play chords.

 

I wasn't interested in playing lead.

 

When I switched over to bass, I started paying much more attention to the low end of things.... I find most of my playing now incorporates bass runs into my chord changes.

 

I learned piano in the music store, and while I could never be mistaken for an actual piano player, I can get by by what I learned, and what I know about the guitar.

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I have played guitar since sixth grade to some extent. I played a trumpet throughout school in the band but played guitar in my after school band.

 

I started taking lessons last year at age 58 and have continued to take a guitar lesson once a week now for about a year and a half. I learn more all the time on music theory, what makes a chord and what notes in the scale distinguish or make up the various forms of chords. I didn't learn any of this in my music classes for trumpet because you play one note at a time.

 

Having played chords and a lot of Bar Chords all of my life, I am now learning the fretboard like a pianist leans the keyboard. I too played as a drummer for many years and probably play a little percussive at times on the keyboard but I also learned to play those chords sweetly during the folk era of my life.

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I played the freakin' trombone for my 4th grade year. I wanted a sax, but I didn't sign up early enough, so my choices were either the tuba, or the trombone. :angry:

 

Luckily, a year or two later, I heard Metallica, figured out that electric guitars were the one of the best things on earth, and realized that I needed to play one of those.

 

Side note, I was terrible at the trombone. It sounded like someone was killing a yak with a vacuum cleaner when I practiced.

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I came from a "musical" family. My father was an accordion player. My first instrument was the recorder. Then I joined the school concert band program, originally wanted to play drums, but my parents said drums were too loud, LOL - so I chose Trumpet. Played trumpet through middle school and in high school I also took up the French Horn as we were short one player and I would fill in when needed. I was always listening to rock music and really got into my older sister's Zepp, Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath albums and then her collection of NWOBHM records (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon, etc) which drove me to want to play it. so I dropped out of concert band and sold my trumpet at a music shop for an electric guitar. It was a Vantage flying V copy. I learned how to play by ear, listening to records but the best and most fun way was to buy a sack of weed and bring it over to older player's places and jam with them. We get a buzz on and they would show me how to play things I couldn't figure out - this helped me advance as a player quickly. I then started getting into various bands, was in a few Thrash Metal bands in the 80's and industrial metal in the 90's until what I'm doing now. It's been a blast. Guitar is my main but I also play bass (like a guitarist trying not to play bass like a guitarist and wanting to be Geezer Butler), synth keyboards (not a piano player, not that good at it, think chords and harmony button pushing) and digital sampling. Guitar influences are Tony Iommi, Glen Buxton, Mick Box and most other guitarists in bands I listen to regularly.

 

I love music - listening to it, playing it and performing it.

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From the age of 13 till about 30, all I did was play the drums. When my brother gave me an acoustic guitar, I began playing it now and then.

It wasn't until I was 44 years old, and bought myself an electric guitar, that I became a "guitar player".

I now own 7 electric guitars and a bass.

 

My drumming background has a huge affect on my guitar playing. I think it really helps me with my timing. And like you, I play very "percussively".

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Twiz....

 

Don't feel bad. I could play a bit of mandolin, so I figured I could teach myself fiddle fairly easily.

 

Then every time I started to practice, the cat vomited on the living room carpet...

 

m

 

 

Haha. Yea, I think I found the right instrument now. Not only is the sound I create more pleasant to listen to, but this is the about the worst thing that happens...

 

Lizzy-1.jpg

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An excellent idea for a thread Cruz! (also welcome back)...

I began learning the piano and guitar the same time - I think the technique of piano helped my fingers' independence, if that makes sense (?) The other thing piano did was help me getting my head around the idea of more than one voice playing at once. When I began to take classical guitar lessons I could relate to the idea of it more thanks to the piano.

I didn't write any work for ensembles (that I have been proud of) untill well into my 20's - I think composing for other instruments definitely changes your guitar playing...well it did mine!

 

 

Matt

 

 

 

 

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Twiz....

 

Don't feel bad. I could play a bit of mandolin, so I figured I could teach myself fiddle fairly easily.

 

Then every time I started to practice, the cat vomited on the living room carpet...

 

m

 

 

+1000000001

 

Oh man....you're singing my song here. I can play a lick or two on the mandolin, so I thought I'd be able to pick up the fiddle a little..... Did you know that those things don't have frets?

 

I found the tough part of the fiddle is my right hand, not so much my left hand.

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Good question...id say my musical bkground would come through chorus class.When i was a kid, both my parents,along w/ another couple,got up and sang and both guys played guitar in church,so i heard them practice as well as perform,my mom was always crankin george jones or conway or elvis at home,dad's 45 collection,i remember due to the fact i molested it lol,included,tears of a clown,monday monday,summer in the city,my sweet lord an such,as well as some compilation albums w various artists.He had an early model <skinny head> fender strat like hendrix's and an ampeg amp,when he would take a break practicing,id go in and strum the open strings and hit the volume a lil and was just blown away.Years later i join chorus class,and stay with it from 6th to 10th grade,i went to nationals and also performed for several old folks communities and xmas shows thru chorus.I had already gotten a bug in my ear for harmony singing and what i would learn later as distorted guitar listening to the radio doing homework as a kid..and thennnnn,someone gave me the album black sabbath paranoid,i took a handful of lessons and learned barchords and the moment that changed my life <watching my guitar teacher learn a song by ear>...that was my last lesson.The lightbulb came on, all of the years i spent singing "you light up my life" and "you are so beautiful" and other songs ive tried to forget,it all came full circle,having heard those harmonies from the altos,sopranos and us tenors and bass/baritones all those years made perfect sense,i just had to find what notes went w/ others.Thats what influenced me. And no i didnt get my dads strat,nor did he teach me anything on guitar,he sold the guitar to a collector and got a pretty penny i understand.The one thing i do remember as a teen just starting to gig locally was dad telling me "playing guitar/music out in clubs will never amount to anything" he meant money wise im sure,"just a waste of time".So instead of listening to him,i used his words and negativity as my inspiration to try even harder,about 3 or 4 yrs into playing,i was doin circles around anything he could ever play,i would purposely play all those songs from his 45's and sang them in front of him,making sure to play close to note for note just to show him his words did not influence me.He has outgrown his anger and negative outlook now that hes older and tryin to get into heaven.If i didnt earn his respect playing guitar,i most certainly made him look twice when i got him to drop me off to a gig that was sold out <shoulder to shoulder> i booked playing in my original group backing my solo cd.I told him when i got out of his car,"dad all these cars here are people that came to see me play the songs i wrote".I said thanks for the ride and shut the door before he could say anything. [thumbup]

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Good questions, Dennis...

 

For me... I started on piano in the late 40s - 1940s - and hated the lessons although even as a kid I loved the idea that I could play a "whole" piece. Trumpet took me into school and dance bands, but it couldn't do a "whole" musical piece.

 

I really started considering guitar after exposure to the Harvard Square "folkie" phenom that was similar to that in NYC in the early 1960s. Although most of the pickin' was for vocal accompaniment, there was enough instrumental stuff that it seemed an ideal instrument to play in a group or alone, either as an accompaniment instrument or a solo "keyboard" instrument.

 

Add Leadbelly and the idea of the guitar kinda being a barrelhouse piano as I bought my first guitar and... I was hooked for good - too close to 50 years ago.

 

Then my first year in college there was a lot of "folkie" fingerpickin' and exposure to some classical and flamenco stuff.

 

So maybe... I'm playing keyboard on a guitar? If I play bass... yeah, a guitar player on bass, but I keep hearing guys like Milt Hinton, too.

 

m

 

 

I suspect, in 50+ years, you've been through several iterations, Milo. And, having had a few years of piano m'self, I can certainly understand how it might translate into your approach to guitar. You could prob'ly do a one-man-band gig with little effort. The cymbals between the knees might be a little tricky but I believe you'd catch on in little time. [thumbup]

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As I've said before..... there were always guitars in my home as a kid... all my uncles played, (kinda), so it was natural that I'd pick 'em up and mess with 'em.

 

Once I started taking lessons, I craved to play chords.

 

I wasn't interested in playing lead.

 

When I switched over to bass, I started paying much more attention to the low end of things.... I find most of my playing now incorporates bass runs into my chord changes.

 

I learned piano in the music store, and while I could never be mistaken for an actual piano player, I can get by by what I learned, and what I know about the guitar.

 

Interesting you didn't have a desire to play lead but took to the bottom end more naturally, considering the similarities. And your learning curve sounds somewhat like mine, via absorbtion through constant exposure. I betcha some of you really old guys could teach the rest of us a thing or two. :rolleyes:

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I started out on the bass.

My early influences were Geddy Lee, Geezer Butler, John Paul Jones, , Chris Squire, and of course the "Spider" John Entwistle.

So I like to get into a groove and stick with it when I play.

But when I play bass, I often like to play some snappy lead melody.

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Momqgfs5Teo

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=594WLzzb3JI

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Im the first guitarist in my family. My dad was into rock music and from listing to his rock cd's when i was a small child I got into other genre's aswell suck as metal and blues. The guitar has been my first proper instrument. Im trying to learn drums off one of my housemates now though and I'm teaching him guitar

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Interesting you didn't have a desire to play lead but took to the bottom end more naturally, considering the similarities. And your learning curve sounds somewhat like mine, via absorbtion through constant exposure. I betcha some of you really old guys could teach the rest of us a thing or two. :rolleyes:

 

Wait a minute!

 

You're one of the "seasoned citizens" too!

 

 

(by the way. I did take 3-4 years of lessons, ended up teaching guitar and bass....but I HATED teaching).

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Guitar from 8yrs old on,

Bass in high school, Jazz combo, pep band ect....

Percussion in Orchestral band in H.S.

And from age 12 till 19, choir.

And performing theater in H.S.

 

So my rhythm style is slightly percussive, but tends to flow like a vocal pattern.

My lead work generally also follows more of a melodic and vocal flow.

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