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Playing guitar by yourself.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by charlie chitlin, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    Anybody else have this problem?
    I sometimes want to, or get asked, to post a demo of a guitar or amp and every time I try, it sounds so terrible.
    It's like I barely know how to play.
    I'd be more depressed if I was alone, but it's not the case.
    I saw one of those Hot Licks lessons once with Buddy Guy and it was terrible.
    I got thinking about this again while watching a video of Johnny Marr playing Rory Gallagher's Strat and it's awful.
    I know the guy can play, but...jeeze.
    There's clearly a particular skill in playing alone that I just don't possess.
     
  2. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    You might reconsider your title. Unless that was intentional.

    I am rubbish sitting in a guitar shop trying things out.

    In a band (even a duo) I'm good. Maybe play a backing track when you play alone. That's enough to simulate "band" for me.

    Only one matters to me, so at least that one is the one that works.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  3. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 24, 2009
    Texas
    For me, the hardest thing to deal when playing music is the increased self-awareness that comes along with it. Playing (and especially singing) is revealing. Was it Albert Collins who said "now I'm going to show you the inside of me?" I love trying to lose myself in a song but it's essential that one makes contact with the audience too. To do that simply, confidently and effectively is my goal.

    Practice, practice, practice...
     
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  4. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    I’ve always had a case of mic fright.
    Even alone, when I turn on a recording mic, my mind goes blank, my timing is horrible, and the last thing I want is to have evidence of my horrific playing.
    I quickly become frustrated with being sound man and player.
    My solution?
    A looper pedal, it stores almost an hour and has tru bypass and great sound quality .
    The mental difference, I think, is the lack of a mic aimed at me, it’s easy to forget you’re even recording.
    Now I sound like the amazing player I’ve always been, had they had looper pedals 60 years ago history may be very different :lol::lol::lol:
     
  5. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Bakersfield
    I knew right away when I saw this thread title that Pee Wee Herman was NOT the poster!
     
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  6. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    Maryland
    I don't really have a problem with that because at home I usually have to play stuff to show the two of my kids that play. Plus, if I'm working on a recording I usually have to work it out before I put a track down.

    I make a video for everything I sell on Reverb. Things seem to sell quicker with a video.
     
  7. Knowcaster

    Knowcaster Tele-Holic

    Age:
    54
    565
    Jun 30, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I am a bit in your situation as well. I have been in all kinds of group musical situations (cover bands, pit bands for musicals, church worship teams, marching band in HS, etc.) and really enjoy it. Hand me a guitar and ask me to play something by myself, and I struggle to think of anything that will sound good by itself.

    Actually, I have seen more of the opposite. I have run across numerous people who sound fantastic by themselves - they can rip through all kinds of recognizable tunes and sound great, but put them in a band situation where they have to play along with others and it is a disaster. They can't play in time, don't know when to come in for their part, play way too loud or to soft, or just get nervous and mess up. I guess if I had to pick my poison I would rather be able to play with others, and leave the solo stuff to other people.
     
  8. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2012
    New Mexico
    No. No, I have never had that problem.
     
  9. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    I didn't know Pee Wee Herman was a guitarist......
     
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  10. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Jan 22, 2007
    Mid-Michigan
    You just have to give it to the ‘performance’ just like you would on stage.

    I do find it tough to record if I don’t do that. Doing multiple track solo recordings where all the band is me is the toughest, but that’s because I don’t punch in/out so will redo entire tracks if I’m not happy.
     
    boredguy6060 likes this.
  11. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Bakersfield
    He hit it pretty big in the theater.
     
  12. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Dec 11, 2009
    Bloomington, MN
    I think it's pretty typical Charlie -
     
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  13. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    He's on the PRS bulletin board.
     
  14. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    Whenever I've bought guitar equipment, the guy who demonstrates it always sounds like (insert the name of your favourite guitarist here). That could be down to the fact that they're good because they get plenty of time to practice and/or that I really want them to sound good as I want to buy the guitar.

    When they hand it to me, I invariably sound awful. That is because I am not very good. But I convince myself this guitar / amp / pedal will make the difference.

    This scenario is not restricted to music. Buying golf clubs is often much the same for most. Your handicap isn't improving but, if only you had those latest clubs that are in all the golf mags, you'd be guaranteed to be better. GUARANTEED.

    If we were that self-conscious, we probably wouldn't put ourselves up for public scrutiny and, if we didn't like what we heard when we played, we'd put the guitar / amp / pedal back on the rack and walk away....

    We're either optimistic or naïve.
     
  15. ddewerd

    ddewerd Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    So is his tone in his fingers or his underpants? :D

    But seriously, I have the same problem when handed a guitar and asked to play something. I've mostly played in band situations, so I can pick up a guitar and jam with lots of different styles, but I've never been a big solo player (meaning just by myself).

    When I play with others, I pick up on the whole vibe of the music and that's what inspires me. I just don't have that same feeling when playing alone. So what I play is usually in the context of a band situation, and by itself, without the other musical context, it just sounds boring. And I don't have a go-to thing that non-musicians will relate to (e.g. pick the first few bars of Stairway to Heaven, or some other overplayed cliche).

    Cheers,
    Doug
     
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  16. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Detroit
    Whatever you do, don’t watch any solo Richard Thompson clips. o_O

    Actually Sturgill Simpson is also phenomenally good at accompanying himself too.

    Sooooo much more impressive than weedly deedly within a. band.
     
  17. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Someone changed the thread title....completely negates half the comments made.
     
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  18. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    I play alone a lot. But my problem is staying focused. Alone it doesnt matter if I screw up, or just glaze over what I need to improve. On stage or with another, that changes, you are now on the spot to do it right.
    Especially playing and singing. Alone I can kind of work thru it, but at rehearsal etc, sometimes I find I cant even sing the song that well or have trouble playing the right fills etc and singing. The other issue is singing softly alone, I may change the key thinking I need to move down a bit, but find when I actually power sing in the group, the original key is better.
     
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  19. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    Yeah...I thought it was pretty tame, but a mod disagreed.
    So much for my idea of starting a thread on the hidden meaning of Fleetwood Mac's Rattlesnake Shake.
     
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  20. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    ....and half the R&R song lyrics out there......and just forget ANY Chuck Berry threads!;)
     
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