Anyone ever think of going acoustic-only?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Muddslide, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Two statements:

    1) I can't play like that.

    2) Playing my acoustic requires pulling it off the wall-hanger and heading to the front porch. Guitar in one hand, beer in other. No cables, no pedals, no hassles. Easy.
     
  2. g-Paul

    g-Paul Tele-Holic

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    My wife and I are working on an acoustic duet, but that's a side project. I like playing in a band too much to give that up.
     
  3. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Former Member

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    I have been playing electric guitars 40 plus years, I play Les Pauls and Tele's. I have played worship in church lead guitar 30 years maybe. I also play bass. Now that I am 63 Years old, I am finding I like playing acoustic more and more. I play worship and on the side blues, I really like playing blues with a good acpustic guitar. So yes I am or have been thinking about it. but I think I would keep one electric around.
     
  4. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    I went all acoustic for about five years. Sold a lot of my electric gear(not all) to finance a couple of decent acoustics. I play exclusively in church, and the acoustic tone suits our church. I could be content doing that for the rest of my life, given a great sounding and playing acoustic.
    But I developed nerve damage from diabetes, and the size of the dreads I was playing aggravated that, as well sa shoulder problems I did not know I had until I spent a few years on acoustic. So I'm back in electric land.
    I went down in body size to OM, and then L-00, but I am still having problems. Currently working on technique as well as trying to relearn how to play with less tension. I think with that and some creative positioning I might get back to playing acoustic on a limited basis, in a seated position. Time will tell.
     
  5. skimballc

    skimballc TDPRI Member

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    I have a few tools in my stable but it all starts with acoustic when writing, so I could stay that way if I didn't sometimes choose to use electrics for different colors.
     
  6. Thorpey

    Thorpey Tele-Holic

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    I'm doing it as we speak - just shelled out for an acoustic, a beautiful Faith 'Saturn'.

    I've not got the space to have my tele and my and cables anymore, I haven't plugged in in over 6 months and I never play in a band setting. I'm now spending all my time learning fingerstyle arrangements of many favourite songs and tv and movie themes too :p

    I also find it more satisfying to play the guitar arrangements to friends and family rather than blues riffs and solos!

    Now don't get me wrong! I still listen to everything I used to listen to, I still love electric guitar music, there's just no place/time for me to play that way anymore! Difficult choice to make but I'm committed and my tele is up for sale as well as my amp!
     
  7. simonc

    simonc Friend of Leo's

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    I've just done it myself, the band broke up just before Christmas, & I really don't have the time to dedicate to anything new. So I sold off all the electric gear, telecasters and all. Well, not all, I've still got a wah and boss od3 that I haven't got rid of yet.

    Kinda sucks that I'd just bought a new amp / pedal about a month before, but I'm really happy with the decision, and the maton I bought feels like home.
     
  8. Teleman1985

    Teleman1985 TDPRI Member

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    I keep thinking about this myself. Up until last year I hadn't owned an acoustic for years and I'll never sell my favourite Tele but I'm a home player and my electrics only really get plucked around unplugged these days. The odd time that I do plug them in, I find that when I turn the overdrive up, I don't really like that sound anymore anyway and end up playing pretty clean. When I pick up my acoustic it just feels more like home now. Also I've become pretty minimalist having already sold piles of pedals and other crap and just gone down to electric guitar and amp and so obviously the acoustic is connecting with my minimalist tastes. Finally, I admire guys like Bill Frissell who can play an electric solo like that without sounding terrible but to me, the electric is a band instrument and to get the best out of it at home, I have to dissapear into another room, put some music on, turn up load to play along to it and the whole thing is just alot of effort and generally too loud for our little house and for the neighbours. I know there is the option of headphone practice which I do sometimes do, but it involves more wires and gadgets and it just isn't the same as playing out loud. So yeah, the simplicity of just picking up an acoustic and playing is very appealing. Only problem now is learning to play the damned thing! I don't have any problems with comfort or action on an acoustic, but having been pretty much exclusively an electric player my entire life, I don't have many chops on an acoustic. I just seem to end up playing happy clappy basic open chord type stuff. It is a whole new ballgame!
     
  9. Cooper Black

    Cooper Black Tele-Afflicted

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    Teleman,
    It's good to read you are considering the acoustic route instead of just hanging it all up for good. '98 or so found me musically depressed. I'd left a serious long-term band and didn't really know where to go, and especially did not understand how music was supposed to fit into my non-band life. Going solely acoustic was the solution for me. Maybe, you too?

    Also, music festivals and the campground jam scene kept me playing with others, which is important. Get out and jam.

    Best of luck!
     
  10. mistermullens

    mistermullens Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great thread! I've been thinking about this a lot lately, but I doubt I'll ever give up the electrics. Here's my take.

    As a singer/songwriter, I couldn't live without my acoustic guitar. It's not the greatest guitar, but it is a nice Takamine. It's a workhorse and I need it to be. Our band's last few rehearsals have been acoustic and I love it. I love the simplicity of just grabbing my guitar and harmonicas and not having to worry about set up, take down, pedals, is my amp gonna blow up, etc. Although we haven't taken advantage of it yet, I feel like there is more opportunities for gigs when you have an "acoustic show option."

    I love playing electric blues which would be a tough thing to give up for sure. Yeah, I love the electric stuff with the band too, but electric blues is what drew me to the guitar in the first place. It wasn't until later that I realized how much I love the acoustic.

    Still, if I had too, I mean if I really had too, I could probably sell it all as long as I had a Gibson J-45 to keep me company.
     
  11. Shane Davis

    Shane Davis Tele-Meister

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    I use acoustic almost entirely in my solo gigs, alternating with Tele. You can do a lot with acoustics that you cannot with electrics. I feed it through a compressor and a reverb. The key is a decent pickup so it doesn't sound like crud.
     
  12. oldspot

    oldspot Tele-Meister

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    Having only ever owned one acoustic (a cheap catalogue job that was my first guitar) I cannot claim to have much experience in the business, but for many years I played my Tele unplugged, for no other reason than my amp was on the blink. Whilst not by any means the same as an acoustic, it did help focus the mind (and fingers) on playing the notes properly and cleanly, and helped develop such technique as I now have (which is not much).

    I still play it unplugged from time to time - usually late at night so as not to disturb the neighbours. Being more of a rhythm player than an out-and-out lead player there's enough body resonance to project a passable sound.
     
  13. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My old Ibanez acoustic that I got in '78 hangs on the wall about 2 feet from my right shoulder.... I played it all the time ....until I got my first Tele....

    I had a Strat for years and still played the acoustic as a first choice....

    I honestly haven't played the acoustic or even lifted it off the hanger for years, I reckon... maybe a wipe down of dust and spider crap....

    soon as I plugged the Tele into the twin.... that was it for the other guitars....

    I should be kinder to the old girl... it always sounded/played great.... I should put a PU in it....inject some new life.. ;)
     
  14. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I played 90% acoustic for about 3 years when our daughter was born (almost 18 years ago). I bought a Martin D-15 so that I would have a good solid wood guitar to grab and play whenever I had time. Time was limited when we were changing diapers and trying to get to go to sleep.

    My wife was the person who suggested it......she said "why don't you buy a good acoustic that you could really enjoy - I wish you would play acoustic more".

    My electric guitars were mostly sitting in the cases for a few years. I play acoustic and electric equally now.

    I never had a good wooden acoustic before and it just took off.

    I think everyone should have a good acoustic for coming up with ideas and noodling.
     
  15. Cooper Black

    Cooper Black Tele-Afflicted

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    ^Those 15-series Martins are great, affordable guitars. 000-15s was my first Martin, and is a bit neglected these days, I think [reaches for case...].
     
  16. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    I occasionally do some full band sideman work and I play electric guitars at sessions.

    For the most part though, my gigs these days are more acoustic-electric and multi-instrument oriented, and the bulk of my work is duo or trio based, and usually without rhythm section. I've played literally thousands of gigs on electric guitar, and I do enjoy it.

    My reasons for currently doing more acoustic-electric playing are mostly finance and practicality. The golden days of big paying house band stints of yore are largely gone, and even society gigs/casuals have taken a big hit over the years, although I suspect regional idiosyncrasies apply. I'm a full time musician and I simply can't take on a full band gig that pays me thirty dollars anymore. I left the corporate world behind and went full time music again because I love it; I choose the jobs that I accept, based on being a household of one that needs to pay the bills.

    Plus I like fewer egos to deal with at this point in the game.

    There's no question that duos and trios sans rhythm section have more places to work. Two of the venues in the circuit that I work stipulate no drums. A new place that I did my first gig at this past weekend stipulates no more than two people allowed in the act.

    Sometimes folks suggest that I play electric guitar in the duo and trio work that I do. I do play some lap steels. But I'm not a big fan of playing strats, teles, SGs, etc., without a rhythm section. I'd much rather play my Larrivees.

    If full band work again becomes as lucrative as it was in the/my past, I'll start playing more electric guitars live again.
     
  17. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

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    I do this annually. Do unplugged acoustic and resonator From May to October Friday night Jam Sessions at a local place. 5 years from production I sell most of my physical albums at that location. (Coffee house that sells CDs of local musicians)

    Actually I love that...keeps me in practice I need to come up on the spot solos and fills for whatever piece of music someone comes up with.
     
  18. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    I do strictly acoustic gigs sometimes, and was entirely acoustic for 7 or 8 years, but after awhile I missed my Telecaster. Once I picked it up again, I knew I would play it until I died.
     
  19. burtwangcaster

    burtwangcaster Tele-Holic

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    Acoustic only, yes, for about seven years. I don't mean I never touched the electrics. But if I wanted to gig solo it had to be acoustic for practical reasons. Early on I tried mixing some electric into an evening and it didn't sound bad but I didn't feel people really noticed or cared much. So why haul the extra gear?
    I love playing electric in a band but as I got older it got harder to find willing and competent band mates.
    As you may know, it's not easy to play solo for three or four hours at a time and not suck for at least some of that time. Ultimately, it made me a much better player. On both acoustic and electric. So go for it if you feel inclined. I did it, now I'm starting a new band.:)
     
  20. Shane Davis

    Shane Davis Tele-Meister

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    I only play solo now and bring the acoustic and the Tele. I have tried all kinds of versions of this, I alternate acoustic (Ovation through compressor and reverb) and Tele for each part of the set. I have tried drum machines, loopers, you name it. What works well is a well organized Tele piece that you practice hundreds of times, so you know exactly what you are going to do on stage. Its a bad place to noodle ;)

    So, for example, I do Boys Round Here, Dirt Road Anthem, Kick it in the Sticks on acoustic, because the acoustic through a compressor carries a powerful bass hit when I palm mute.

    I do Footloose, Country Boy Song, and countrified Heart of Rock and Roll and countrified Black Dog on the Tele. Merle Travis could easily hold his own with solo electric, and we can aspire to that level of genius.

    The audience appreciates the change-up. They are used to this acoustic full sound, then they get a good hard hittin Tele riff coming into Footloose with lots of twang and it wakes em up. I do busking as well, and have to entertain a 45 minute lineup to get into the local pub as they wait, usually half drunk already. The Tele gets me good bucks and the dig the twang.

    Its always true performing, but especially with the Tele by its ownsome, that you have to plan every note to the 32nd beat before you bring it on stage. Lenny Breau and hundreds of other electric players have done this in the jazz world and an electric solo can capture an audience. Best advice I have is pretend you are in the audience and you just bought a ticket. What would you want to hear to really make you say...yeh! Watching Richard Thompson's solo acoustic is really instructional, he carries a whole night solo and you just leave wanting more. All you have to do is be as good as Richard is :arrow: ..... or not, the key is that when you cover a decent song with lots of riffs and lead with the acoustic folks tend to cut you a lot of slack, everyone is kinda impressed with someone doing a full rendition of a hot song with just an acoustic.
     
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